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,