Socio-Political Self-Sufficiency

and like, stuff.

okay. so i have a blog entry coming that involves such lofty concepts as doodling boys' names in one's (oh-so-professional) notebook. right.

but since i haven't had a chance to post that masterpiece yet, and since i just got this request, i thought i'd allow my blog to skirt around yet another socio-cultural landmine.

see, Liz posits that "men pay for dates." and she wonders what i think about that.

and since i suspect i'm not the only one with a lot of opinions about this, i invite you to comment on her blog with me.


  1. I always plan to pay, offer to pay, insist to pay, if after that she wants to pay or chip in, it's up to her. By 3rd or 4th date, all I ask for is an offer.

  2. I used to do the fumbling for the wallet thing, but don't even try anymore.
    Sometimes I offer to leave the tip.

    If things go well, I will often plan and pay for the 4th date.

    I had an incident where a guy who had a very high paying job took me to a very expensive restaurant that he suggested, proceeded to tell me that he collects antique cars as a hobbie, then stick me with half the bill.
    Me--the poor teacher who works 2 jobs to make ends meet.

    Money doesn't mean class.

  3. Ew. Makes me cringe to think that what women fought for when I was growing up is going full circle. I think a man should pay some of the time and so should the woman. Either that, or each pays for themselves.

  4. see, here's the thing...i always thought that women should pay sometimes or part of the bill but i always batted my eyes just right or stroked the inside of their wrist just so and it just never came up on my dates...

    ah well, i only thought i should help pay...not once did i insist that they cover all costs just to spend time with me...

    ps-you'd probably never guess it to look at me now...sahm with kids and a dayhome and a minivan complex...oh, the good ol'days!

  5. Followed you back from Liz, and read about your new comic friend. Do male comics pay for dates or do they just tell jokes to distract you while you pay?

  6. This is kind a theoretical question, since a) it depends on the individual in question; and b) comics never have dates.

  7. I forgot c) comics never have any money.

  8. i believe, neil, that they tell jokes to distract you from realizing point b.

  9. Good thing Liz isn't a dating a woman. Who would pay for the date then?

  10. I asked the same question re: dating a woman. She said she wasn't a homosexual and couldn't answer that.

  11. yuck. everything about her post made me feel kind of sick inside.

  12. Well, I'm too stupid to figure out how to comment there, so I'm commenting here. Women are deluded if they think they do all that stuff for men and not themselves. The guy common denominator: Show Up Naked. Bring Beer.

    And bringing beer is optional.

  13. The Women's Libbers and The PCers have gotten to you all. If you live in Cali, split the check.

    If you live here in the old outdated south, MEN PAY FOR DATES.


    I'm a teacher, he makes 140K, I ain't paying for SHIT.

    um except that one time I surpised him with a vacation to the lake where I paid for everything.

    But that was a present.



    Stop emasculating men with your wacko liberal bullshit.

    Thanks in advance.

  14. No wonder the divorce rate is 50%.

  15. I have never been comfortable letting men pay. I always offer. And if I start seeing someone regularly we slip into a pattern where we take turns paying. I HATE "splitting", even with my seems so petty and much better to just take turns.

    I don't like the way it feels to have people pay for me, probably some weirdness around feeling beholden that I'm pretty uncomfortable with.

    It's been a long time since I met a man who makes more than me, so that always goes into the mix too (I might feel differently if they always made more).

    Then again, I have had men tell me that I keep them at arm's length with my independence.

    And also, it's been a while since I had a date.

    Fuck, it's clear that I am a social misfit. Maybe I should let them pay?

    Oh, but, I agree, there is no way the shoes, clothes, nails, etc. are done FOR THE GUY. That is a quaint 50s notion.

    I mean, if I didn't get sexy for myself I wouldn't have any fun these days...


  16. 'Nilla -

    Some of us who've come down on the "oh no she didn't" side of this argument, would like a man who measures his worth as a man by something deeper than his wallet, but you're missing the point.

    I don't think any of us are saying that we don't want men to pay for dinner. It's much more complex than that.

    Men frequently (though not all, and god bless those who don't) feel the fact they bought you dinner, drinks, etc., entitles them to something from you. The argument being made here is a counter to that: we don't owe you anything, because for every dollar you spend on our date, we spend three preparing for it.

    My problem, personally, is with the whole valuation scheme to begin with. I don't mind paying for half a nice meal, even if he makes twice what I do, because my theory is that we're both there sharing an experience that is enjoyable (or should be) and why should either one of us be expected to pay more for that? Then again, I'm the sort of chick who doesn't trip about the toilet seat: Why should he have to put it up AND down ... just so we don't get our delicate little hands dirty? What about the fact that our ass is all over the seat every time? Doesn't that entitle him to be a little grossed out, too?

    I also think assuming men don't put money and effort into appearance (they buy clothes, they join gyms, the buy nice cars, they get their nails manicured and eyebrows waxed, this is the day of the Metrosexual, afterall), is offensive.

    My other problem is that all of the stuff Liz listed that she does as a woman ... I'm sorry, but, not all of us do that. It's perfectly possible to spend about 1/3rd of the $ she's spending, or less, on the things she wants. She's spending that much by choice, and to make that the basis for men being responsible for the dinner tab is absolutely ridiculous.

    Brazilian? Ridiculous. Shave.

    Hair stylist? Why? I get my hair cut every 2 months for about $25 including the tip, and am capable of a multi-colored dye job that looks like it cost me $150 in a salon, but in reality, was a $20 box job (thanks, Revlon).

    Manicure, pedicure? Do it yourself.

    All of those clothes? I shop at Ross, The Gap, Old Navy, etc ... and no one who knows me would say I'm not fashionable.

    I don't think either side should be whining about how much it costs to be a man, or a woman, in our particular culture.

    If that's what *she* wants in a man, and a lot of women do, that's all well and good ... but I'm here to point out we don't all think this way, and I for one think this kind of thing perpetuates the battle of the sexes, ... and IMO, we've spent too long fighting each other.

  17. Hello everyone,

    It's Liz, from Everyday Goddess. I just wanted to thank everyone for visiting and chiming in. I very much respect all of your opinions.

    I would say, that quite a bit was extrapolated from my post. (Or perhaps read in the comments, but not stated by me.) I don't have or spend a large sum on any of those things. I shop at Target and Payless, dye my hair with Clairol, go to Supercuts, etc. I do NOT get Brazian waxes, or any waxes down there! LOL Could never afford it even if I wanted to.

    I certainly don't think, and didn't say, that men don't put money into their appearance. Simply, that they can spend less. One pair of shorts can get them to the beach, yoga, and hiking, and that's simply not true, for me at least. One tux vs. a million different dresses. Etc.

    My aim, was to contrast gender-specific expenses. Plenty of which are choices, given.

    Serrephim, I agree about the battle of the sexes and discussion giving it weight and potentially having negative effect. It's a good point. Everytime I discuss gender issues, part of me hates it. But it's part of my La La Land world, and it pops out on the blog. Honestly, I more fear that the fear of being perceived as a whiner or a slut or whatever, often keeps people quiet when they should speak. Often silences discussion. Obviously, my little post not being of the gravest topics, but, I think, an interesting cause for discussion nonetheless.

    Truly, thanks again for chiming in.

  18. Nilla,

    Stop emasculating men with your wacko liberal bullshit.

    If paying for a date emasculates a man, then he's not much of a man in the first place. Wacko liberal bullshit my ass.

  19. nice discussion all around.

    after reading everything, i think we can all agree that it's really not about sweeping generalities, the pay/not pay issue is really a potentially sensitive and personal inter-relational issue between two people. the real focus should be on two people finding the right comfort zone. for me, that means paying for dates with my girlfriend because i make more money in my business-ey job than she does as a camp director - she clearly contributes more to the social good than i do, positively influencing thousands of young women, so i think she deserves nice dinners out on a relatively regular basis and i should pay a proportionally higher portion of our household expenses.

    happily, she agrees! that works for us, might not work for another pair.

    - cuznate

  20. cuz,
    i think you summed it up nicely, and i think you take a fair (and admirable) approach. :)

    thanks for putting out such a ballsy set of statements in the first place. even as people extrapolated more than you suggested, it takes a non wishy-washy post such as yours to excite discussion.

  21. One of my good friends, wrote a poem called Happy Hour. There's one line that says "...and I'll pay for my own drinks so I don't have to listen to you call me honey". (personally, you can call me honey all you want for free drinks!) Anyway...besides the fact that I'm a lesbian, I usually offer to pay for things when I'm out on a date or with friends, male or female, straight or gay because I'm usually the one who invites people to do things. Most people offer to pay their share and that's just fine. When on dates, I find it interesting that since I tend to date more feminine appearing women, than myself, the wait persons usually look to me to order and always slide the bill in my direction. That always seems to irritate my dates and then they grab the bill.

  22. Dude. I am so glad I haven't dated in 14 years. (No I am NOT ugly, so you just stop that right there, missy, I'm a serial monogamist and never actually "dated" either of my husbands.)

    I think back in the dark ages I used to let guys pay for me if they asked me out, at least for the first couple of dates (very few men have ever made as little as I did in those days). After that I would say "I just got a bonus from work. Lemme blow it on taking us out to bla dee bla on Friday night," so we would all know where the bill was going to end up.


  23. Well, I live in New York. I pay for dates, period. CERTAINLY any date I ask a woman on is my treat. If she offers (nice gesture) I say "No, my treat." If she invites me out I certainly reach for the check and will pay unless she insists it's her treat.
    Rule # 1. Never argue with a woman you want to sleep with. Rule #2. The guy pays unless rule # 1 applies. I don't care who makes how much money, that's what you do. It's called politeness. Besides it's well known that women LIKE things like fancy dinners, flowers, chocolate, etc... You want that special trick you like so much? You pay. What guy doesn't instinctively know this simple fact? The rules of engagement are clear. :-)


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