Updated: Jan 30
Ah, yes. The "Who Pays?" question. But this time, we've put a little spin on it. The screen shots below are from an Instagram post announcing this episode of our podcast.
*Prays to the baby Jesus for strength. Inhales.*
Let's first tackle the issue of the wage gap. The wage gap is very real. You'll never get an argument from me about women getting paid equal to men for doing the same job. The debate here is believing the wage gap justifies expecting a man to pay for a first date. On its face, it sounds very empowering, doesn't it? But if you kick the dirt around a bit you'll uncover a few facts that are often ignored when this topic comes up.
First of all, white men are paid more than everyone. This particular conversation always incorrectly focuses on white men and women when the wage gap is even greater for Black and Latina women and a gap exists between white men and Black and Latino men as well. So, when you say things like "As long as the wage gap exists, men can pay" what you're really saying is that white men can pay because you think of such issues as they affect white people and no one else. So, yeah. That's not a good stance to take.
Now let's address the pay disparity issue. What if you - the woman - make significantly more than your male date? Are you really going to force a teacher - who's already grossly underpaid - to cover your $200 meal because, feminism?
What if you swipe right on Tinder or another online dating site and meet a man and he suggests you take things offline and meet in person. Do you honestly consider that an example of him asking you out? The match was mutual. It's assumed you and your match will meet. You were both on a dating app looking for dates. The context is completely different.
Finally, can we please once and for all get something straight? A woman's decision to get her hair done or buy and outfit for a date is not in any way the same as a man forking over money for dinner or drinks. First, there's a return on investment for a blow out or manicure. A woman would probably be getting those things anyway, regardless of whether they had a date. An outfit purchased for a first date can be worn again. It's not the Oscars and you're not wearing couture, it's a glass of Merlot at a local wine bar. If a man puts down money for food and drinks and there's no chemistry, that's money he's just lost. (While I think invoicing women for movie tickets and whatnot is pathetic and creepy, I understand the motivation. )
This idea that it's a man's "job" to pay for a date while a woman's "job" is to show up and look pretty isn't just outdated, it's offensive. As is the idea that men should pay for a date as a way to compensate us for our company. Let's be clear, when a woman or man is paid to provide their physical presence somewhere, that's called being an escort. Which is absolutely fine and a legitimate way to earn a living, but if you're someone that looks down your nose at that sort of thing and still thinks a man should pay for a date in exchange for your company, you might want to address that inconsistency.
What I'm really curious about is this claim that men appreciate all the effort we make to look good for a date. Guys, honestly, would you know if I had my eyebrows threaded or not? If I had my hair blow-dryed? If my outfit was new? Probably not, right?
The justifications to not pay for food and drinks you ate and drank is making my head hurt. You would NEVER expect a friend that asked you to dinner to pay your way. Never. So why is a date any different?
Make it make sense, people. Leave your comments below.
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