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It's a question that comes up all the time, but shouldn't. I am willing to answer it yet again, because certain social skills are slow to develop in some men, and I believe the advice that follows will help such men not only realize some of the basic, common courtesy around dating, but also reframe the way they see all social interactions, causing a positive impact in all parts of their life.
My hope is for them to read this and learn that interpersonal interactions are not isolated behaviors that exist in a vacuum. They are part of a dynamic, two-person exchange with a lifetime of history and context.
The post started with this question:
If expecting a woman to cook/clean *because she’s a woman* is misogyny, then wouldn’t expecting chivalry from a man *because he’s the man* be misandry?
Question details included:
> If a man publicly says it’s a woman’s job to cook, clean, and care for the children, there’s a very good chance that most women would consider that misogyny. If we turn the tables around, and a woman says it’s a man’s job to pay for a first date, to take her out, initiate the milestones, open her doors, pay for things, etc. …is that not misandry, using the same logic? In both scenarios, each gender is being assigned a strict rigid task simply because of their sex/gender. However mainstream society only seems to call out the first scenario as sexist. And most women I’ve come across, to at least some degree expect those behaviors from men because they’re the man. Are most women sexist to at least some degree, if we hold them to the same standards as men?
There are a few things going on, here, that indicate an unhealthy, victimhood mindset and interpersonal dysfunction. The man's weak grasp of women's autonomy almost indicates autism or a similar developmental thing.
Let's break it down.
> says it’s a woman’s job to cook, clean, and care for the children, there’s a very good chance that most women (and probably a huge portion of men) would consider that misogyny.
Yes, because people are free to choose what job they want in life and relationships. Some women are happy to cook and clean, and that's great! Some women have no interest. That's also great!
It's pretty gross and backwards to expect ALL women to cook and clean for men because of their reproductive systems. We think with our brains, not our... whatever body part you think is responsible for cleaning.
> If we turn the tables around, and a woman says it’s a man’s job to pay for a first date,
Actually, originally, it was the woman's job to pay for the first date, as dating took the form of courtships and early dates happened in the woman's home, where she/her family would feed and entertain the man.
THEN social norms changed, and it became more common for the man to take the woman out. Because men had earning power and women had none, men planned the dates and paid for them.
Want to know more? Check out Marriage, a History.
NOW the expectation is that whoever initiated the date pays for it, UNLESS THEY CLEARLY STATED before the person accepted the date, how much they thought it would cost.
This is basic common sense and courtesy.
What you may not realize is that everyone has a different budget for entertainment. It would be awful if I accepted a date with you, then you took me somewhere expensive, and expected me to pay, throwing off my budget for the rest of the month.
Obviously, it would be good if people in the US felt more comfortable talking about money. But let's be real, OP. If a woman asked about your salary before accepting a date with you, you'd go on Reddit whine about what a gold digger she is. Don't lie.
You don't want her asking you about your salary, and you probably shouldn't be asking her about her budget yet, either. What you CAN do, is, WHEN you initiate the date, if you expect me to pay for my half, TELL ME how much you expect the date to cost BEFORE I accept or decline your offer.
Since certain social skills may have been slow to develop in you, I will give you some templates you can use for this conversation:
This gives her the chance to say, "No, Friday won't work," without saying, "Actually, I am poorer than you and I can't afford that."
This is a date that's pretty affordable -- and it souds more fun that sitting and looking at each other in a more expensive restaurant, anyway.
See? It's really not that hard.
And it's not about the man paying because mISAnDrYYYYYy!!
It's about the man being a big boy who knows how to use his bog boy words.
Summary: if you're going to get your panties in a bunch about having to pay for a date, you need to either:
Also worth noting: probably the reason you're single and not getting many dates is because not only are you insecure about money (a repulsive trait for someone you don't yet know -- unless someone is very wealthy, they're not going to want to start something new with someone who's not financially stable; personally, I make enough money to support an outrageously fun and amazing lifestyle for myself, but I can't really afford to subsidize another person; any man who wants to join me would have to be an equal partner, and early signs of financial instability would be red flaggy, unless there were a really good reason for said instability, like that he's chasing a huge moonshot of a dream that just might come true, because that's actually kind of hot)...
But you're also kind of entitled. You seem to have forgotten that YOU have asked HER for the pleasure of HER company.
SHE has AGREED to give YOU one of the only 52 Saturday nights she's going to have this entire year.
And you're sitting here bitching because you initiated the date and are therefore expected to pay?
Instead of whining and feeling wounded and victimized, maybe be appreciative of the fact that SHE has agreed to give YOU something of hers that is WAY more valuable than money: her time and attention.
You asked her out and she said yes. You should be excited, appreciative, and grateful. If you're not... why did you ask this woman out?
If these thoughts are something you struggle with, I highly recommend The Charisma Myth. It could change your life.
> initiate the milestones,
Yes, because stereotypically, men are the ones who are slower and more reluctant to commit, and when women initiate milestones, people call them crazy.
> open her doors
Again, if you're going to whine about having to show appreciation and care and affection toward the woman who just agreed to give you the most precious thing she has -- her time -- you're unlikely to get a second date.
Women just are not into woundedness, stinginess, and victimhood.
I'm pretty sure it's a hardwired preference. Women who liked woundedness, stinginess, and victimhood mated with men who were helpless, then they and their offspring died at the first sign of a drought or famine or bad hunting season. Only women who preferred men who were generous, autonomous, and confident in their ability to manipulate the world around them survived.
Women who chose men who didn't seem to cherish and appreciate them... died.
If you like her, you should WANT to open the door. It does't even take extra time or cost you anything!
And, in case you care, the reason for this and many similar traditions of men helping women is because of women's smaller, weaker size, paired with difficult fashions (hoop skirts, high heels, short skirts, corsets, etc.) over the years.
It's courtesy, not misandry.
> a strict rigid task simply because of their sex
It is very silly to compare spending two seconds opening a door to asking someone to spend an afternoon cleaning up a mess that isn't theirs.
Especially since, in the modern world, most women work, which was not true when the tradition of women cooking and cleaning started. (If you don't work outside the home, it makes much more sense that you would take care of the home. I'm sure you would agree.)
Within a relationship, a couple can agree to whatever norms and roles they want. It is fine to expect the man to always pay, if that expectation is clear and mutually agreed upon. It is fine to expect the woman to be a stay-at-home mom, if that is a value both members share and agree to.
But it's backwards and stupid to demand that all people follow YOUR norms, and your weird desire to control others might be another reason you're still single.
So. Men whose panties are in a bunch about paying for dates or holding doors for women.
My advice to you -- advice that I truly think could change your life and end your loneliness -- is:
1. Use your big boy words to communicate your expectations about money, values, and whatever else is important in a relationship.
2. Cognitively reframe the way you think about dating. Women are not into creepy entitlement and control issues. If you feel ENTITLED to our time, rather than GRATEFUL for it, we're going to notice, we're not going to like you, and we're not going to agree to see you again.
Hopefully this helps.
For more, check out If a Girl You Were Hitting On Was Rude to You, It's Probably Your Fault and "Creepy" Isn't About Attractiveness. It's About Reciprocity.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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