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A blog about the many misfortunes and misfires in the romantically challenged life of a Twenty-something year old.

Perpetually Single: Exploiting Gender Roles to Get Out Of Paying for a Date.

By msscarletibis · November 18, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I think I will just label this blog under "sharing," because I don't really have much to add than what was said.  Perhaps it'll open a debate or some interesting discussion, but if not, it should make for an interesting read at the very least.

So, I was exchanging emails with a guy, and he mentioned wanting to meet, even though he lived a ways away.  I told him that if he really wanted to oh say buy me a drink one day, that it could happen.  It was then that he made a comment about "purchasing sexuality" through alcohol.  I then said that "drinks" may imply alcohol, but didn't have to be, and hey, why not get some fruit smoothies?  I also added a "Pfft, purchase sexuality--I'm old fashioned in that respect," meaning, that while I like to be taken out, it doesn't mean I'll be bartering a meal or drinks for sex, cause no. He responded with the following:

"I agree about the old fashioned-ness - I talk tough but I would totally let a gentlelady buy this real man a smoothie."


"Sounds like we're best off seeking platonic friendship, since we each expect the other to pay! But I'm excited to meet you."

To which I inquired:

"Platonic is cool with me, though I must wonder, how many repeat dates do you get if you expect the girl to pay for you?  Just curious."

To which he wrote the following:

"Expect is probably the wrong word: I am impressed when a woman pays for me because I like flipping gender roles. And that has gotten me a lot of dates - I don't want to take advantage of people's generosity. But I find that pleasant. I have never paid for anything for someone I've only recently met, unless they have financial problems and it feels right for me. My good friends, I don't keep track - probably I do pay for things rather often.

But I do not pay for dates - I do not offer. And normally when I first meet people, we do something free like walk anyway so it's not an issue. And that has worked very, very well for me. I am a history major, I have done a lot of gender studies - I am in touch with our past, with what paying for dates symbolically means, where this ritual comes from. And I just don't do it. I understand that security is very important for women. I wish our ancestors had not oppressed each other so that just doing nice things would have no symbolic meaning. But that's not the world we live in. I find it imperative to deviate from the "dating ritual" - it sets up unhealthy, unproductive expectations (such as paternalism), it reinforces unhelpful gender roles - all this in my opinion and experience.

"But I like to deviate from the dating ritual: it feels more clean and present. I rationally understand and I also feel on an emotional level that heteronormality, gender, and the ideology of monogamy are tools of oppression and support oppression, and like race, have a far more limited basis in biology than we think. Our culture pumps this ideology into people, including me. I don't live in straight-world, I don't feel a need to observe our dating rituals because I and people I'm with like far better. I try to make it clear right from the beginning."


Stunned by the sheer wtfery of his response, I asked my friend what were her thoughts, to which she said:


"Who the hell wrote that?  Sounds like a guy who wants to get out of paying for a date.  I don't give a flying fuck about "symbolic meanings" and "rituals."  They only have merit in one's life if one chooses to let them.  Historically speaking, marriage was about gaining/keeping wealth, ownership of women, etc., but it certainly doesn't have to mean that now.  The world we live in is the one we make.  Nothing says we have to live the present as we have lived the past.  This person chooses to accept "social norms" (but I certainly don't think many--if any--people still have these archaic views about dating and relationships) instead of trying to change them.  Sounds like a passive way of living one's life.  Personally, I choose to be a leader and not a follower; I do whatever the hell I want.

</p> <p>
Oh, and that crap about monogamy being a "tool of oppression" is just an excuse to fuck around.  Historically speaking, in some cultures, it was acceptable for the man to fuck around, but not the woman.  Double standards were accepted because some people saw women as just valuables, like fine jewelry or a healthy horse.  But I'd venture to say that the vast majority of men in our society today don't see their wives as a piece of property.  And you'd be hard pressed to find many women who'd stand for a philandering husband.  Keep your dick in your pants; it's not that hard (no pun)."</p>




<p>So yes--that about sums it up.
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posted by Immortal Beloved

Just read this to my husband. He says that this guy's message to you was "an awfully elaborate way to explain why he's too cheap to pay for a date." :-P

posted by


Your husband is awesome and wise, just like you ;)

posted by Sotia

"Oh, and that crap about monogamy being a "tool of oppression" is just an excuse to fuck around."

Wanted to point this out, too. Also, like you said, both Mr. and Mrs. IB are made of win--and the guy is a cheapskate!

posted by

Hey Lady, let me tell you something: You're made of W.I.N. too ;)

And yes, he's a cheapskate, but I wonder how many women are dumb enough to fall for that?

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