Thursday, December 9, 2010

Upsetting Conversation

Hey Blog-Readers,
I wanted to share a conversation that I had with a friend of mine recently and get some feedback from you guys about it. We're going to call my friend "Bobby." I was talking to Bobby on the phone the other night and we got started on a conversation about dates and dating and what is expected on a date.  His argument was that if a guy and a girl go out on a date and the guy pays for everything, that it is expected that the girl "repay" him.  It would be "unfair" to let the guy pay when the girl has no plan to "at least hook up with him."  He argued that if a girl did not plan to pursue sexual activity with the guy, she should offer to split the bill up front.  If the guy then refused to let her pay, "it's his own fault if he doesn't get any." I brought up the argument that a girl could have intentions of "hooking up" with him at the beginning of the date but decide later that she no longer wants to.   He said that in that case, it was the guys fault for "screwing something up" that led her to no longer want him sexually.  This then turned into an argument about gender roles.  He claimed that people could either choose to be "old-fashioned" or "progressive." If the couple was to be "old-fashioned" then it was the man's role to pay and the woman's role to "repay."  If the couple chose to be progressive, then "clearly" they would split the bill and there would no longer be any "expectations" of either party.  Being the romantic that I am, I brought up that it used to be that a man would pay for a date out of both a sense of obligation and just to pay for the right to be in the woman's company.  To this he replied "well that's just stupid." He also said that in general, a woman would "go out" to have fun, whereas a man would "go out" to "get laid."  When I brought up the fact that all of these were complete gender stereotypes and had no real validity in a real-life situation, he said that "these things are portrayed in movies and TV for a reason....that's how things are."  He also claimed that if it wasn't for man's "need to go out and get laid" and woman's desire to "hold out until she found the right (biggest, strongest, smartest) guy," that there would either be no furthering of mankind or the children would small, weak, stupid, and not survive.


As I'm sure many of you will understand, this conversation was very frustrating for me. I hold very different  opinions about the situation.  Paying for something and expecting sexual repayment? That's the definition of prostitution.  How is it then that he is able to so "solidly" justify this?  It's because this is the image of dating that we see in the movies and on TV.  But just because it's in the media, doesn't make it okay.  The entire time I was trying to get him to understand my point, I realized that I would never be able to back it up as strongly as he could back up his point.  My evidence is that "it's just wrong!" Whereas he can show his point of view in all sorts of media.

I wanted to blog about this to get your opinion on a few different things:
How would you have responded to this conversation?
How can we possibly try to overcome these media stereotypes that have infiltrated and polluted our society?
And most importantly, I disagree with what the majority of society is telling me. But I'm not crazy, am I?

Frustrated and Confused,


  1. I agree with you. What this guy, whoever he is, said is complete bulls***. A guy should not expect "repayment" if he pays for dinner or whatever for the girl. What the media shows is not what I think is what dating truly is. Dating shouldn't necessarily include sexual encounters. I have always thought the same as you about why a guy would pay for a girl. Dating is about getting to know someone better.

    Case Western Reserve University

  2. Well, to begin with, I would have challenged his definitions of "old-fashioned" and "progressive."

    For example: an "old-fashioned" date could be one where the male is simply courting the woman, and trying to get her to go on more dates with him, or even marry him. He would still pay for everything, but in this more serious atmosphere, I highly doubt intercourse would happen on the very first date. In fact, many times these types of "old-fashioned" couples wait until marriage for intercourse. This definition of "old-fashioned" would make your friend's scenario (where the male pays because he expects sex at the end of the night) "progressive".

    My point it that your friend is not seeing the whole picture. The media does stick to very rigid gender stereotypes a lot of the time, but there are many real-life examples that do challenge his reasoning. This proves that decisions about sex and dating should be just that: decisions.

    I would suggest to your friend this scenario: If he truly believes that the only reason to pay for a woman on a date is to be "repayed" with sexual favors, it seems that his real interest in the date is sex. Which is fine-- he has the right to want consensual sex at the end of a date. So why not make these expectations clear to begin with? I'm sure he would be able to find a girl who would be willing to sleep with him. There are women out there who do go out with the desire to "get laid." Then, he and the woman are both happy. He might not even have to pay for a dinner if both parties are simply looking for sex.

    You aren't crazy. Your friend seems a little closed minded, but I believe there are a lot of guys out there who aren't. Sure, they may want to get laid on every date they go on, but they may not. Every person differs, which is why stereotypes and generalizations are a horrible way to prove a point. If your friend truly believes that this is the way that all couples function, let him go out and attempt to find a woman. He might, but I believe he'll have a hard time finding a relationship based on anything more than sex.

    Good luck, and hope this helps!
    SAPAC Men's Activism Volunteer

  3. First off I know this post is very old and most likely no one will read this but I thought it only fair to put in my side of the story.

    The argument did stem from dates and dating but it also had to do with equality among the genders. My argument was that things should be fair. That is a guy pays for a fancy dinner and a movie or whatever and the girl pays him back through sexual favor then things are fair and equal. I don't think it right for a man to automatically assume just because he takes out a girl that he will "get some" at the end of the night but I also don't think it right that a girl should assume that because she is a girl she should just always get free meals and not have to pay in any form whatsoever.

    I then made the argument that it be simple and fair this way. That if a girl has no intention on paying her fair share through sexual favor that she should simply offer to pay for her half and if the man refuses then it is his own fault that the date wasn't fair and he paid for the whole thing. If he wishes to be old fashioned and choose to pay based on the old fashioned idea men always pay well then that is his choice and an old fashion man shouldn't assume sexual favors from dates anyways.

    Also the argument that a man should pay to be in a woman's company is extremely sexist and not a good argument at all for hopefully obvious reasons. All the point I wanted to get across was that a date between a man and woman should be equal and a woman should not assume to just be paid for because she is a woman. Unless you choose to be old fashioned in your beliefs but then that hits on what gender roles are and why the man pays because only them men work etc...

    Again I assume no one will read this but I just wanted my side of the argument up in my own words.