Dangerous dating chivalry – ‘man pays’ – ignores non-straight relationships

Dangerous dating chivalry – ‘man pays’ – ignores non-straight relationships

[Ed. – Well!  There you go, ladies and gentlemen.  Time to roll over for the 3 percent.]

A survey released yesterday morning found that about 77 percent of people in straight relationships believe men should pay the bill on a first date. The survey, put together by the financial website NerdWallet, polled roughly 1,000 people who had been dating their partners for six months or more.

The company’s survey indicates that, in the early stages of courting, the pressure to pay falls primarily on men, but this imbalance hardly dissolves as the relationship progresses. Fifty-six percent of men foot the bill in full once they’re in an established relationship, and, even further down the line, 36 percent of men pay all of household bills, versus 14 percent of women. There’s not much in the way of historical data on the question of who pays for dates, but the findings of a 1985 poll suggest that very little has changed in the past 30 years. …

Who’s expected to pay for a date may seem trivial—some would even argue that covering the tab is a form of respecting women—but there’s reason to believe that this minor, “benevolent” form of sexism can lead to a fraught question of what the man is then owed. …

David Frederick still saw one data point that inspired optimism. Almost half of the men surveyed in the study he co-authored said that they would break up with a woman if she never offered to help pay the bill on a date. …

Ultimately, though, financial chivalry is in need of an even larger revision, seeing as it overlooks the possibility of gay relationships. Steven Petrow, who writes an LGBT advice column for The Washington Post, talked to NPR about this. “In the gay community, you didn’t have that tradition to fall back on,” he said, and he went on to suggest that straight couples would do well to understand how two men or two women negotiate a financial situation without gendered expectations. His rule? “You invite, you pay.”

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