Why Perpetuation Of The Human Race Depends On Men, AKA Buy My Lemon Chicken: Guest Post by Ashley Ambirge

by Josh Hanagarne on January 6, 2010

Note from Josh: Hideous tics, still can’t type much, but it’s good news today. Here’s Ashley Ambirge from The Middle Finger Project. She has one of the strongest, loudest, shrillest voices on the web, and she can really write. I love her madly. You should too.

Ashley, yelling, bubbles. What's not to like?

He goes for his wallet. I go for mine. Despite my gesture that would imply the opposite, I’m secretly hoping that the next words out of his mouth will be, “No, absolutely not. You’re my lady tonight, and I intend to treat you like one. Put that away, you ___________(gorgeous, intelligent, sexy, achingly beautiful) woman of my dreams.

Instead, he proudly whips out his cell phone to calculate precisely 10 percent of the bill, and with no shame and a straight face, proceeds to tell me that I owe exactly $28.46, payable in U.S. dollars only, followed by one of those overly dramatic, cheesy winks that says, That’s right, doll, not only can I gel my hair to perfection, but I can do math, too!

Mentally curse.

Sigh.

Mentally curse again. Force half smile. Force vomit down.

Another one bites the dust

The gold neck chain should have been a sure sign. What was I thinking?

You see, when you ask me out, and I eventually accept (after making myself “unavailable” for a predetermined length of time, so I don’t appear desperate, of course, and you foolishly play into my dirty little scheme to make you fall madly in love with me) and we frolic off to have some oh-so-intellectually-stimulating conversation all about the nuances of fantasy football and/or the time you single-handedly won the championship game in high school, the least I expect is that when the check comes, you’ll be so generous compassionate humane as to purchase my piece of lemon chicken.

On second thought, maybe that’s unfair. Maybe you happen to be an awesome guy–sans gold chain–who made me snort from laughing so hard, had my heart racing when your hand touched mine from across the table, and caused me to question whether or not soul mates really do exist. Sorry, cupcake, no dice–I still want you to pick up the check.

Feminists, deep breath. Hang tight. I got you

I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there: Knowing me, who I am, and what I believe in, THIS MAKES NO SENSE.

For those of you who are familiar with me and my writing over at The Middle Finger Project, you know that I’m the biggest, loudest, sassiest, in-yo-face advocate for shunning the status quo & anything done “just because.” I’m fiercely independent, as are my readers, and certainly don’t need a man to pay the bill. (Although a foot rub is always welcome.)

So why is it, then, that I still want him to?

I thought about this long and hard, and I’ve come up with only one solid, plausible reason:

Because I want to have sex.

The whole notion of gender equality is all good and well with me. I’m all about equal voting privileges (thank you, suffrage), equal workplace rights, and just generally being considered on par with my male counterparts.

But there is one exception, and that exception is in the bedroom.

That’s right: As a female heterosexual, it’s for damn sure I hope that there’s at least one thing that isn’t equal about us.

And when we go out to dinner, it has nothing to do with whether or not we can both stand in line for 39 hours to cast our ballot for the next presidential candidate, whether or not you’re making more money than me, or whether or not we are both, in fact, wearing pants.

It has to do with whether or not we could be potential future mating partners.

And without having sex with you, somewhere in between the appetizer and the main course, the only way I can gauge your potential mating factor is by how willing you seem to want to care for me, AKA provide me with heaps of lemon chicken.

Sure, that’s an oversimplification, but it’s a truthful admission of my inner-dialogue. And, admittedly, I feel pretty bad about this. Not the fact that I come across like the webmaster of www.moneygrubbing@&$!#.com, but the fact that I have this huge conflicting need:

Am I independent, like I think I am, or am I actually more dependent than I’d like to believe?

ME TO BRAIN: But, brain! Feminism is a noble ideal, one that you like! You are a strong, secure, forward-thinking, progressive liberal. Why, oh why, brain, are you playing this whole damsel in distress role all of the sudden?!

BRAIN TO ME:
Sorry, slugger. This one’s got nothing to do with me. By the way, next time, can you go on a date with a scientist or something? I’m getting kind of bored over here.

Turns out, *drum roll* there’s a school of thought referred to as sexual essentialism, and apparently me and my sexual cravings are big supporters. In essence, it’s the notion that sex is a natural force that exists prior to society.

It claims that there is something natural or biological, rather than cultural, about deeply felt urges such as motherhood, man as protector, man buying Ashley lemon chicken and, oh, say…wanting you to throw me up against a wall. (Did I say that out loud?)

On the flip side of the coin, radical feminists tend to reject sexual essentialism and instead believe that sex and all it encompasses is a construct of society, or in other words, learned behavior. It’s argued that sexuality is not an essence; it is not a biological quality or natural inner drive whose character is the same across time in space, but rather a pure cultural construct.

Normally, I’m big on social constructs, but with this one, I’ve been able to determine only one thing: It doesn’t make sense to me. Social constructs, by definition, are constructed by society. If there are almost 200 countries in the world, it’s safe to assume that there are at least 200+ different societies. Therefore, there are 200+ different ways of constructing reality of the world. Yet one thing all societies have in common is that the people that comprise them have sex. Coincidental? I think not, Watson.

My ideas

My ideas are just as valid as those of a man’s. My self-worth is just as much as that of a man’s. I am independent. Fierce. Balla, if you will. And, if given the chance, I can most likely kick any dude’s butt in beer pong any time, any day, anywhere. But when it comes to getting my groove on, I’m okay with taking a step back, and letting myself be taken care of, if just this once. (Note to future suitors: If it’s any consolation, I don’t like diamonds, so hopefully they will cancel each other out.)

Perhaps its not a sign of dependence, but a sign of interdependence, in which I reveal my cards as being an actual human being whose sexuality, by definition of being a human being, carries important social functions, beyond the biological, of creating physical intimacy and bonds among individuals. Could it be that in hoping you’ll pay for my lemon chicken, I’m really just hoping you’ll give me a hug and love me forever?

Traditional? Could be. Old-fashioned? Maybe a little. Perpetuating female oppression everywhere? Hell, I hope not.

But does it make me feel nice and will I be more likely to go out with you again and maybe–maybe–give you a good night kiss, you lucky son-of-a-gun?

Definitely.

Case in point, hombres.

Now, back to business: Anyone know a good place to meet a scientist?

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

NomadicNeil January 6, 2010 at 2:01 am

Yup. It’s ok to be a man, it’s ok to be a woman.

As a man it’s ok to want to ‘throw a woman up against the wall’ (be dominant) and for the woman to want the man ‘throw her against the wall’ (be dominated)… all with mutual consent of course.

But if we were to go on a dinner date… I’d still go 50/50.

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Andrew January 6, 2010 at 2:05 am

Now how do I respond without sounding like a scientist?

Women have evolved circuitry to determine “how willing [a particular man] seem[s] to want to care for me” value. The underlying cause is that a woman’s minimum required investment in reproduction is 9 months whereas a man’s is 9 seconds. This extreme imbalance leads directly to the necessity for women to offset things by acting as the selectors in human reproduction.

The question then becomes: What does a man buying (or not buying) a woman food communicate to the woman?

For now, I’ll just make the following unsupported claim: The social construct painted over the biological imperative results in a low deterministic correlation with a man buying food for women and the quality of the man.

One of the things I find most interesting about all of this is that it’s tied to food most specifically. As an experiment, I once split the check on a lunch date, then paid for her book at our next stop. I love how people (don’t know how to) react to the simplest short-circuiting of norms. And oh… evolutionary psychology does predict that you’ll care more about food than diamonds. ;)

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Ash January 6, 2010 at 9:16 am

You said it in a way that I could only feel, but not express. You make a compelling point with this being tied to food, although it was an arbitrarily chosen example based on the fact that it usually tends to be one of the first things that two people on a date might engage in. That said, your experiment is interesting to me. 1) Lunch dates, for whatever reason, tend to be less formal and tend to communicate more of a “Hey, I’m cool. You’re cool. Let’s go grab some food. Maybe this could result in love, maybe this could result in lust, maybe this could result in friendship. I’m not sure, so let’s have lunch.” Naturally, this is only one perspective from one person, but regardless that’s the only one that I’ve got as a frame of reference. As such, I’d be way less inclined to make any judgments if a guy were to ask me to go dutch over lunch, than over dinner. 2) I’d probably go wild if a guy were to buy me a book, because it communicates his shared value of seeking knowledge.

As for food over diamonds from an evolutionary perspective, that makes complete sense because the manufactured desire for diamonds is definitively a social construct that has been perpetuated by a consumerism-driven society. Food, on the other hand, is a biological necessity.

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NomadicNeil January 6, 2010 at 2:21 am

BTW some reading material:

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Sperm are from men, eggs are from women by Joe Quirk (jokey style isn’t for everyone but explains a lot)

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Ash January 6, 2010 at 6:54 am

That’s the part I have an issue with, mentally–the domination. Apparently I like it at times, but my brain says otherwise. :)

Love anything by Dawkins–will check it out. Thanks for the suggestions. And when I think 50/50, I think “friend material”–ladies? Thoughts? Although I’m really just referring mostly to the first date; thereafter, I’m the first one to pull my wallet and mean it.

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Kristin January 10, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I’ll be the first to admit my logic might be a little skewed in first-date-land and money. If the check hits the table at all, you know I probably didn’t care for the date, as a date (I have a lot of guy friends), too much.

If we have a sizzling conversation filled with ideology and people and stories and experiences and everything in my veins is burning to get out of public view with this guy as fast as I can, then I paid that check on that sneaky trip to the bathroom ten minutes before we finished.

I owe him nothing when we leave that restaurant (just in case things go sour, as they sometimes do); I’ve very clearly made my statement that I don’t need him to take care of me. But I’ve also challenged him to holding his own with me. I may secretly crave him throwing me against a wall (what woman doesn’t?) but he better be okay with the fact that I might throw him there first. If he’s smart, he’ll give me a run for my money and buy me ice cream.

If I don’t care for the date, I don’t really care if he pays or if it’s split, the ‘relationship’ isn’t going anywhere and I don’t care if he wants to care for me. Unless he shows up an hour and a half late (why did I bother waiting?) and we missed happy hour so the prices more than doubled and he doesn’t offer to pay the whole thing (I picked a happy hour place for a reason! I’m not rich!) Then I might care a little, but that has nothing to do with sex.

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Stephanie Smith January 6, 2010 at 8:39 am

Awesome writing! I know what you mean about the contradictions with feminism and sociatal roles changing, but As for me, I am 50/50 on the first date. The reasons are many, but boil down to your conclusion. Follow me for a sec. – I figure IF it was a great date and IF I wanted to rip his clothes off later…I would feel better about it if I had paid my half of the dinner. Why, you ask? Because I do not want to perpetuate the all too common thought that if the man pays, he often may feel he should get “something” for it. be it a kiss or more. If we split it, then anything else that happens is due due chemistry, not money or obligation.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if we date for awhile than, we trade off paying or if you invite me specifically somewhere with the intent that it is your treat -great, thanks for making me feel treasured and cosseted.
That’s just my take on it. I am so glad I am married though- too many rules for a brassy way honesr, raw gal like me!!! :)

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Ash January 6, 2010 at 9:30 am

Well now I must contradict myself, because I also can relate 100% to your mentality as well. I absolutely despise feeling even the slightest bit obligated to do anything, especially on this topic, and have felt that way at times in the past. However, I’ve found that in the end, it’s often the woman who builds this self-constructed image in her mind of, “Well now that he’s paid, I’ve got to a) Pretend to like him b) Stay out longer than I normally would so I don’t disappoint him c) Agree to a second date d) Other things that I wouldn’t do. However, I’ve learned to discard that mentality because, even if the guy does happen to be thinking it, there is absolutely zero correlation as to whether or not he gets it. I control my actions 100%, and he should be lucky to have had a date with me or you, let alone a good night kiss. ;) Although, you’re right- you don’t have to worry about it, you married woman you! What does the hubby think?

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Stephanie Smith January 7, 2010 at 3:33 pm

He is a gentleman all the way, but concedes gracefully toward my all too frequent headstrong ways. he likes a woman that knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it.
He always says that especially in bars, men are too focused on getting laid, he felt lucky if he met someone-connected, danced some and maybe got a number. Then he says he would call and invite the woman for coffee. Dinner is not first date material – too much investment when you may not have a connection and how do you connect while stuffing your face???
No wonder I love him! he does open doors and that sort of thing but we are both agreed that first dates are fraught with enough emotion and nerves without dragging money into it.

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Liz January 6, 2010 at 11:06 am

Thank you, Stephanie. Not in the dating scene anymore, so when my husband pays, I’m still really paying (hah! Take that, feminism!). When I was, though, I often wanted to split the check on the first date for the very same reason. I didn’t want any type of implied obligation towards sex or similar activities.

Also, in the man’s defense, some women are very offended when they attempt to pay and the man tries to “take care of her” and insists on picking up the check. Perhaps this guy had been burned on an earlier date and was trying to be respectful of your signals.

In my case, instead of using the reach for the wallet signal, I use the reach for the check signal. If I want to split, I usually reach immediately for the check (the man never assumed I wanted to pay the whole bill). If I didn’t want to split, I would notice the check being set down, but would wait to see whether my dinner date reached for it first. Most men insistant on paying will immediately take possession of the check.

If you want to give the “oh I’m willing to pay but really want you to” signal, then wait for him to take the check and slip his credit card in (or start counting out his money), and then casually start to reach for your bag (not your wallet, just your bag) and see if he waves you off. But if this fails, please understand what my husband has told me a million times: Men don’t read signals. Tell us what you want, but don’t expect us to know if you don’t tell us.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Ah, the intricacies of it all! You’re right, Liz – there are women who might be offended by that, which I can slightly understand, but I imagine every single woman has a different attitude toward it. I don’t tend to frame it as a “I can take care of myself, thank you very much” because usually the guys that I end up on dates with are well aware of that, and that’s usually why they’re on the date with me in the first place. Also-true about the reaching for the check. I usually let it sit there for a little while to see what’ll happen. If I’m not interested, I will ask: “How much do I owe?” However, if I AM interested, I will usually let it go to see what he says, if anything. Isn’t that awful, psychological BS?! But it’s true.

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Todd January 6, 2010 at 9:22 am

Ah, the “pussification of man” has come home to roost. Too many men are now afraid to be chivalric. Men were beaten into submission. Turned into SNAGs (sensitive new age guys). Now, the female of the species has discovered that they may have taken things too far in wanting their men to cry-to go dutch-to be… women.

Men, it’s okay to pay for dinner-open the door-be a man. This, IMO, is one of the reasons that so many men do not live up to their responsibilities. I digress.

Ashley, wonderful post. Good luck on getting that lemon chicken.

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Andrew January 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm

First of all… I draw a big, fat line between early stages of dating and being in a relationship. The following applies only to the former.

I’m with you in that fear of chivalry is lame. However, another perspective is that chivalry itself exemplifies the “pussification of man”. Paying for dinner and buying a woman a drink are both known by women to be shortcuts employed by men employed to mimic value cues. They typically come across as status seeking behaviors. Status seeking (when recognized) communicates low status and is fundamentally unattractive. In a sense, chivalry is built upon men’s abdication of being valuable in favor of appearing valuable.

Liz above mentions the “implied obligation towards sex…” There’s nothing inherently manly in what has essentially been reduced to bribing women to gain their favor.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Andrew – I, too, draw a line between early stages of dating and relationship. I definitely meant this to refer to, mostly, the first date. It’s just like making a first impression, in which they say you’ve only got 30 seconds or less before another person passes a judgment about you; same thing with dating. There’s no second chances to make that first impression.

What I’m interested in, however, is what you said last: “There’s nothing inherently manly in what has essentially been reduced to bribing women to gain their favor.” In making this statement, you’re also implying that there are other things that ARE, in fact, inherently manly. What are they? While it’s certain that masculinity looks different in different cultures, there are some common aspects across cultures…especially because all human cultures seem to develop the notion of different gender roles. But what are they?

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Josh Hanagarne January 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm

The 500 lb deadlift is inherently manly. I swear it, forsooth and all that. 600 will be even more inherent and brutish. The ladies will surely flock to the sound of the clanking plates and my wife will have to swat them away like bees. It’s good to be back:)

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Andrew January 8, 2010 at 2:17 am

@Ash – Are you intentionally forcing me to link you back to “Why Your Girlfriend Wants to Cheat on You?” :)

“Manly” is too vague. I’m using it here to mean: Things about men that women find attractive, and not some sort of (culturally relative) machismo.

Josh got off to a good start; physical strength is an indicator of survival value. Survival value is indirectly attractive to women. It’s not as attractive as reproductive value because it only deals with the likelihood a man will be around to help support a woman and her child. Since strength is influenced more by training than genetics, it doesn’t rise to the level of reproductive value. Coincidentally, the issue of buying food for a woman fits into the same category as strength.

One example of a physical characteristic that does communicate reproductive value to women is height.

Most of the things I talk about in the article I just linked have to do with implied social status, demonstrations of genetic superiority through the genetic version of conspicuous consumption, or highlighting uniqueness. Anything along those lines will generally be attractive to women. Uniqueness equates to genetic variance which is super-important in reproductive value.

Neil’s insistence that 50/50 is the way to go will generally win out even in cultures that do place higher emphasis on chivalry. This is because uniqueness cues (reproductive value) will tend to trump provider cues (survival value) in matters of reproduction. As I said before, the particular cultural significance placed on chivalry will impact this balance.

The fact that provider cues do communicate survival value is why some guys will latch on to that strategy. It’s generally more intuitive to believe in the power of provider cues because it’s intuitive that women want to be taken care of. If you ask most women what they want, their answers will reflect this. However, as I said elsewhere in the comments, women will often respond to cues in different ways than they say. This is because reproductive cues operate on a deeper level than survival cues in situations with the potential for reproduction.

There are plenty more examples…

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm

You know, this is interesting. I wonder if this has something to do with the woman’s brain telling her to go for a “SNAG,” as you put it, but then secretly wanting the bad boy. Or, why so many nice guys end up being the friend. I hate to admit it, but there have been MANY guys whom I’ve dated in the past that were super, duper nice guys, who I tried to convince myself I really should be madly in love with, but just wasn’t attracted to them. While their intentions are purely good, i.e. When you ask them what they want to do, they’ll respond with, “Whatever you want to do,” this actually drives me crazy. I prefer someone with an opinion, who can make a decision from time to time, which I do associate with being more manly, despite how bad that might sound.

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Randy January 6, 2010 at 9:59 am

Sexual essentialism: Twenty years ago, Camille Paglia wrote on this in Sexual Personae. Sigmund Freud pieced most of it together 100 years before that.

Specific to the title of your post: Paglia referred to a study comparing the sexual frequency of lesbian couples, gay male couples and heterosexual couples. Of the three groups, Lesbian couples had sex the least often (rarely), heterosexual couples were second (occasionally) and gay male couples were the most active (all the time). So yes, it appears that the species does depend on the male sex drive.

I guess picking up the tab has long been a subconscious cue for “sponge-worthiness”. Never been a lead pipe cinch though. It seems we have come full circle from my feminist indoctrination in the ’70s. So you’ve made me wonder. In transactional terms, does “my treat” or “being treated” represent wanting sex, expecting sex or are we just haggling over the price?

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Josh Hanagarne January 6, 2010 at 10:06 am

Randy, I knew this was a conversation you’d be jumping into:)

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Good thought. Without being able to comment on this from the male’s perspective, but I don’t believe that treating a woman is a conscious expectation of sex. Perhaps I’m overly naive, but I never think, “Oh, he must want some.” Instead, I tend to think, “Good, clearly he sees how awesome I am, and he’s showing how much he likes me.” Normally I am against equating an arbitrary item like money, with worth, but there’s no denying that that is how it’s usually defined, in terms of monetary value. Therefore, he will probably define it that way as well, and choosing to treat is, then, a demonstration of how much he values my company. Furthermore, while I make the argument that a guy picking up the tab or not is going to be linked to my sexual preferences, I do think that the only reason a guy WOULDN’T has nothing to do with sex–I do think that if he were to go 50/50, it’s simply because he’s valuing the state of his finances more than a date with me. I don’t think he’s consciously trying to make a statement, nor is he aware of the impact he’s having on my attitude toward him. Of course, maybe there are women out there, who when prompted to go dutch, think, “Oh, yes! Now that’s what I was hoping for. He IS the man of my dreams. Now that I’m certain he thinks of me as an equal, we can progress.” Who knows. What I do know, is that’s certainly not me. :)

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NomadicNeil January 6, 2010 at 10:08 am

Ash, when you say 50/50 = “friends material” do you mean, the guy is giving you the impression he only wants to be friends or that your immediate reaction is to just be friends because he failed some subconscious test?

How about this for a scenario… I’ve had women pay for the both of us on a first date. What kind of reaction do you have to that possibility? Could you imagine doing something like that? How would you feel about the guy?

It’s not just as simple as ‘women want to know if the guy will stick around’ and ‘men will bang anything that moves’, from a biological perspective men and women have both evolved to be promiscuous or monogamous depending on the situation. Humans (both sexes) are much more promiscuous than say orangutans and gorillas, not quite as much as chimpanzees.

Anyway… I try to avoid the dinner date… I’m more into mini-golf, an art gallery or frisbee in the park.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Well, I said it above but I think it’s relevant here as well–whenever a guy wants to go 50/50, I don’t tend to think he is consciously trying to make a statement; I think he’s consciously trying to guard his finances. Probably not the case in every scenario, but that’s what I imagine is mostly the cause. Therefore, I don’t tend to think that the guy going 50/50 is saying he just wants to be friends (although this may be the case sometimes, during which usually there are other factors that communicate the message as well, so it’s clear to read it as such), but when he wants to go 50/50, I notice that I’m significantly less attracted to him thereafter. It sucks, I know, but it’s just how I work…whether by nature or built in social constructs!

In terms of the woman paying for the first date, I’ve done this before…but usually when I’m going out of MY way to communicate that I’m only interested in a platonic relationship. However, if that weren’t the case and I were genuinely interested, and genuinely wanted to pay (for whatever reason), then I’d still hope that the guy would argue with me about it, instead of just accepting…even if I still pay. In that scenario, my attraction doesn’t wane is I’m the one who is sincerely insisting….but if would absolutely wane if he just assumed I was going to get it. Actually, wane is the wrong word. Disappear is the right one.

Last but not least, unconventional dates like the ones you mention are cool….but who pays for the mini-golf or art gallery? From my perspective, the dinner scene still applies.

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Steven Ponec January 6, 2010 at 10:33 am

I agree with Todd. Being chivalrous is important. Hell, I do it all the time when I’m dating!
I feel like my comment is kind of short and much less…in depth than other’s on here.
But basically, once again Ashley, your article…made me think!
And I like that. It’s great.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Length is of no importance, Steven – thanks for dropping by! I dig the chivalry. I love having doors opened for me, chairs pulled out for me (not done enough), and even a guy going ahead and ordering us a bottle of wine without asking me prior. There’s A LOT of women who would likely be super taken aback by that, but for some reason, it’s sexy to me. Once, when I was in London, I went on a date with a Spanish guy from Barcelona. He took me to the greatest little authentic Spanish tapas restaurant, and ordered us his preference of wine, as well as 10 or so different tapas that he thought I’d like. I loved it. Perhaps it has something to do with an association I make between that and self-confidence, which is probably one of the most attractive male qualities of all.

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Jen January 6, 2010 at 11:12 am

Great post Ash. One of the things I liked about my husband is one the first date he offered to pay. I’m fiercely independent too, but its also nice to be taken care of. :) One of the things that he liked about me, was that I offered to pay. I can understand that, I am sure some girls expect it all the time which is off putting too. Great post as always!

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

THAT’S TRUE – see, I don’t want to come across as some greedy, high-maintenance chick who just expects to be paid for, because I think those are the last adjectives that describe me. I always offer to split it (usually), but the point is that I genuinely am hoping they’ll refuse. It really has nothing to do with finances–I don’t mind shelling out money for a nice evening…but am much more attracted to my date when he does pay. Simple fact.

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Cait January 6, 2010 at 11:20 am

I’m right there with you, Ashley, on the “independent, yet biologically driven” thing.

My thoughts on acceptable social practice: the person who did the asking should expect – and immediately offer – to pay for both meals on a dinner date. The one who was asked may, of course, insist on splitting the bill. This applies equally to everyone who ever goes on a date, regardless of sexuality or gender. Lunch dates, however, are a little more free-wheeling.

My reason for this approach: if you’ve asked someone to spend time with you, you should a) make it worth their while (though hopefully the conversation/company was enough to do that), and b) show them that you are interested in them and want to treat them. Again, this applies equally. If I ask a dude out, I offer to pay. If he wants to pay his share or for both of us, great, but I don’t expect it. That’s what I consider fair equality and makes my inner feminist happy.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

That’s also true; if I were to ask a guy out, I would be prepared to pay. However, I never do that. I don’t call guys either (ever). If a guy is interested in me, he will find a way to get in contact with me, and get up the nerve to ask me out. I shouldn’t have to. It’s funny, because a lot of guys are taken aback when they tell me to call them, and I flat out refuse. “Sorry, I don’t call boys.” But on the flip side, I notice that they’re also 10-fold more intrigued thereafter. That probably comes across as snobby and conceited, but I think that there’s where a lot of chicks go wrong – they chase the guy, and then wonder why he’s not interested. Biology, baby. Guys like to be the dominant ones, whether they’re conscious of it or not. Never, ever call a guy – unless you’re in an established relationship. Just my two cents!

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Emily January 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I’ve also heard (from a guy) that guys will usually accept when a girl asks them out or shows interest first because they figure they can almost definitely get laid. I’m sure this is not true of all guys, but there is some truth to it.

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Colin Wright January 6, 2010 at 11:27 am

Really well-written, as always, Ash.

I’m torn on this subject, because on one hand I don’t have any problem picking up the check, but on the other, I think it’s really charming when the girl offers.

Case in point, my last girlfriend charmed me on the first date by insisting that she take ME out. After a year in LA, this was refreshing and somewhat shocking, but really spoke volumes as to her being an independent woman who didn’t want to owe me anything from the get-go. HOT.

Did I end up paying for a lot of stuff later? Sure. Did I mind? No. She made it clear from the beginning that she wasn’t showing up for the free meal.

While we’re on the subject, I went out with another woman while I was in LA who, despite the fact that she made about 100 times what I made (she was a doctor, I was a Creative), would always insist on going to really expensive places and never offered to pay for anything.

Let’s just say that relationship didn’t last long (and thank god for that…my bank account couldn’t take it, and my opinion of her dropped and dropped and dropped).

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Ha, I once dated a guy who made $150K a year, while I was a student living on student loans, and he always would want to split the check. That was annoying.

I can see how the scenario of, “No, sweetheart, I’m taking YOU out tonight” would be attractive, but probably not because of the money, but more the lure of breaking tried and true social rules. It’s intriguing. Rebellious, in a sense. And THAT’S hot. But having someone tell you, “I’m taking YOU out” is exactly the same reason why I want (need) the guy to do it! Not because it breaks social rules, but because of the display of confidence. And that, friend, is the sexiest thing of all.

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Amanda January 6, 2010 at 11:50 am

Ashley, I must say, I like you. I like your writing style. I like your honesty. I like cut of your jib, as they say.

It’s an awkward thing for a woman who otherwise considers herself a feminist to step back from it. Hell, my husband has been supporting us for well over four months while I get my proverbial shite together.

Honestly? Sheer torture. It makes me nauseated.

I love it when men hold the door for me or walk outside of me on the sidewalk. The chivalry – it’s beautiful. But when it comes to money, I’m a different woman entirely. For whatever reason, if a man offers to pay but I ultimately pick up the check, it’s a win-win for me.

Thanks for asking, dude, but I got this.

I’m off to read your blog now. You got yourself another reader.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Rock on! You totally make a good point, and is also a point I was trying to make – it isn’t so much about the money, but rather the willingness of the guy to take the reigns and step up to the freaking plate. Maybe it’s a function of me dating different varieties of wishy-washy guys over the years, but I’ve gotten to the point where I really love it when a guy can just take control and take care of business, if need be. There’s nothing I hate more than, “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?” Give me a freaking opinion, dammit!

I hate how so overwhelmingly old-fashioned this makes me sound, but I can’t deny the truth.

Thanks for the kind words – look forward to hearing from you over at The Middle Finger Project! Hoo-rah!

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Justin Matthews January 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Be a man, sack up and pay for dinner already! Especially if you are just going out with someone, even if you are not looking for sex. Of course it is great when she says “Hey let me pay tonight” and it is even better when Mcdonalds is ok over Mcexpensive restaraunt. Lower your standards? Maybe. Find someone who may be more on your personality level? Probably. Besides, how much better is sex with that person who is closer to your personality and still wants to pay once and a while?
-Justin

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Looks like we have our answer – sometimes guys ARE paying with the intention of receiving something in exchange later.

P.S.
McDonald’s is fine later on in the relationship. Take me there on a first date and be prepared to a) Lose to a nugget eating contest b) Never hear from me again. :)

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Casey (northandclark) January 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm

While I sympathies with the difficulty of sussing out the value of a potential mate, and sympathies with the desire for physical satisfaction (pardon the expression hubba hubba) I think this whole dinner thing might not be the best system.

One place where we are clearly the victims of cultural constructs is the degree to which people are secretive about their sexual desires and feelings. But, I still think if you are looking for the best match sexually, you are better off asking about it than playing some game with the check at dinner.

I think whether or not a man picks up the tab is probably a good indicator about a couple of things, particularly how likely he is to pick up a check at dinner. If your real interest is carnal, that information might not be so relevant.

As an aside if this guy is talking about fantasy football all night and then picks up the check I think you should still sail to smoother waters (and I play fantasy football).

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Love it- “sail to smoother waters.” The fantasy football example might have been an exaggeration, but definitely have come across those people that do nothing but talk, talk, talk about themselves all night long and you just sit there and force a smile. Nightmare.

You said that “if you are looking for the best match sexually, you are better off asking about it than playing some game with the check at dinner.” I don’t know that it’s about a sexual match, per say, but rather in a potential mate, overall. And while I would love to simply say, “Hey, what do you think? Me? You? Do we have what it takes, handsome?” that’s unrealistic unless you want to come across as a psycho, no? The only way to know is much later in the game, but I do think that something like who pays for the check is an indicator that can help me decide whether or not I even want to play the game in the first place. Maybe it’s superficial, maybe it’s a cultural construct that is layered over biology, but it’s definitely a factor, regardless of whether or not I wish it were or weren’t. *Scratches head, makes silly scrunchie face*

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Casey Brazeal (North and Clark) January 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I understand that its hard to be direct with people, but I think it’s worth it. And you can’t always start off with a direct line of questioning, but if you want a simple answer ask a simple question.

Also, I am sorry if when I read your post I keyed in too much on the physical part of seeking a mate (you’ll forgive a young man whose mind quickly turns to that subject).

But I think the point stands firmer if we’re talking about evaluating a possible long term romantic partner and not just a physically romantic partner. I can completely imagine wanting to key in on social ques that might reveal what they are like beyond their anecdotes or conversation. I might look to see how this person carries herself, where does she want to go, is she comfortable doing something different, is this a person who sounds genuine or looks comfortable around me. But if you’re waiting to see if he picks up the check you might be intentionally or unintentionally, eagerly or reluctantly leveling what a man can be or reducing him to a caracature of what he can be.

Just as it would be wrong to think of women as purely decorative entitiies it would be equally wrong to think of a man as a wallet and a watchdog.

Not that you said that or even implied it, but when we get into the issue of men needing to pay the tab I feel like the slope gets slicker and slicker.

Man does this sound like the response of a broke dude or what? Ok Ok, how do I walk this back? It’s ok with me if someone is attracted to rich, ambitious or assertive men. I think that’s fine. And I encourage you to keep testing your indicator. Just don’t test it on me, you’ll probably hear this awkward lecture again.

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Tesia January 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Setting all that deep-thinking human evolution stuff aside, my thoughts turn to more day-to-day relationship dynamics. Everyone involved has to learn a fine dance of give and take. If I’m hoping for a long-term relationship with this guy sitting across from me, I want to see that he is capable of giving and was raised with a little bit of chivalry from the get go. (Hey, we’re evolved human beings now. There’s nothing wrong with traditional methods of showing respect) And the curve ball for the second date (if it gets that far), that he is pleased after I pay the check.

I really think women should put effort into paying at some point. This is a new age and a lot more is expected from women. Rise to the occasion and treat your man right when he’s done right by you.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Absolutely! On the second date, I’m game!

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Boris Bachmann January 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I always want to pay …if I have money. Always.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Yup, I think more often than not…guy NOT paying is just bc he’s watching his budget.

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Emily January 6, 2010 at 8:32 pm

My own response to this situation has me stumped. Do I love to treat people I care about to dinner and other fun occasions–men, women, friends, lovers, family–even my dad? Absolutely. Do I want the man to get the check, especially if he’s invited me, especially on the first date? Absolutely.

I cannot figure out my old-fashioned response and frequently feel guilty about it, but it won’t go away, no matter how hard I try to beat it into submission. Ashley, your argument about sex roles was intriguing. The mention of measuring the “quality” of a man is, too. Here’s what I’ve come up with. Women want men to ask us out because then we know that the man has weighed the chance of being rejected and found us worth the risk. It communicates to us that we are valued and desired AND that the man is confident enough in himself to take a reasonable risk and to deal with the consequences should they be rejection.

If you ask someone to do something, it’s usually polite to pay for them unless you communicate clearly that they are expected to pay (i.e., “Would you like to come to the concert with me? The tickets are $65″). Now, I understand that men can’t exactly say, “I’d like to have dinner with you, I estimate it’ll be about thirty bucks a head.” And this comes to my second conclusion. Men paying for women bows to the cultural norm that a “real” man will never let a woman pay. This is not true (at least not in isolation), but it does set to rest any nagging doubts the woman may have about a guy who goes Dutch that are raised by this norm, which is ingrained into a lot of us and which none of us can entirely escape. The guy offering to pay on the first (and on subsequent) dates allows the woman time to get to know him and become confident that she won’t have to defend him to less open-minded friends and/or family. Maybe we shouldn’t have to deal with this, but we do.

That said, I’m a huge fan of then being able to invite a man on a date and pay for him, and of this back-and-forth continuing throughout the courtship. Mainly I like to know that a man has thought of something fun to do with me and has taken care of the details (including the bill) so I don’t have to worry about it.

Guys like Nomadic Neil have got the right idea for the kind of girls they want to attract–girls who aren’t interested in paying homage to the cultural status quo, who enjoy standing out against it, who find “dinner and a movie” boring. But there are a lot of traditional gals who like to be treated, “taken care of,” if you will, and so if you’re a traditional guy, don’t be afraid of it! You’ll find the girls who like you just the way you are!

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Yes, the internal struggle I faced when contemplating this was what compelled me to write it. The more I’ve interacted with the comments that have been left, the more I’ve come to the same conclusion – I think it’s the self-confidence of a man taking the risk to ask me out, and the subsequent display of his thoughtfulness of making it a memorable event, including picking up the tab as a demonstration of good-will, is what I’m attracted to. Also agree that a lot of it is based on an ingrained cultural norm, but I believe that the cultural norm has been shifting, to reflect a more feminist influence, and therefore 50/50 has more commonly taken the place of man pays. But I do think that this new cultural norm conflicts with biology, in a way, and produces this kind of turmoil, or at least in convincing us that the guy has done everything “right,” but we still can’t figure out why we aren’t interested. It’s because what’s “right” is defined by socially acceptable norms that may or may not correspond with our innate, biological tendencies. Oh, the drama!

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adam t glass January 6, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Funny, every feminist i have ever met seems to have a problem finding men…I have a picture saved on my desk top. It says “The common factor in all of your failed relationships is you”

certainly comes to mind…Keep plugging away Ma’am, simple math tells us every person will meet someone who is somewhat compatible…Somewhat has a better survival rate when compared to perfectly compatible IMO.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I don’t know too many hardcore feminists, as a lot of my girl friends come from other cultures where feminism isn’t even in their consciousness; that said, I imagine that, to a lot of men, feminists come across a bit like men. Heterosexual guys don’t want to date a guy; they want to date a chick, or, better put…they want to feel like they’re dating a chick. I read something recently that proposed a link between idealizing gender equality and the increasing notion of female-as-stick-thin being attractive; it was stated that the current female physical ideal is actually closer to that of a man’s. I haven’t formed an opinion on that, but thought it was relevant.

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NomadicNeil January 6, 2010 at 11:20 pm

If you look at how ‘dating’ happens in Northern Europe (Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany) you’ll see how much the whole ‘who pays’ issue is actually a cultural thing and not the result of biology / evolutionary psychology.

Over there 50/50 is expected (or variations such as you’ll buy the meal, I’ll get the drinks later etc.). I’ve had women get slightly irritated because I paid for drinks without asking them to chip in. ‘Going Dutch’ is a put down from a UK (and US / Canadian ) perspective (historical reasons; the Anglo-Dutch wars). But not in the Netherlands! It’s no big deal over there, cause that’s what Dutch people do! LOL

Relevant to note that in those countries women on the whole are more equal to men than say the US or the UK. Germany has a female president, some Scandinavian countries have women taking up 50% of their parliamentary positions, the salary of both the sexes is more equal (Scandinavian countries have the smallest pay gap between the sexes of all countries in the world), paid maternity leave for both men and women etc. etc.

The women in those countries are much more comfortable with how they want to act when it comes to dating and more assertive when it comes sex and relationships.

This doesn’t mean to say men can’t lead, be dominant or be chivalrous in other ways. I hold doors open, walk on the outside of the pavement despite the fact that I get equal amounts of praise as disdain for doing so.

I completely understand if the women who posted here have an immediate emotional reaction to the notion of 50/50… but it is a learned response (not an innate one) taught to you by the culture you’ve grown up in, I’m guessing the North American / UK / Australian culture.

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Andrew January 7, 2010 at 12:02 am

The nature/nurture debate is almost never an either/or dichotomy. Cultural indoctrination can, and does, (at least on the surface) override biological imperatives to differing degrees in multiple instances. The converse is true as well. In either case, your mileage will vary with the level of importance culture/biology assigns to whatever’s in question. It would be an error to choose one or the other in this case.

Regardless of cultural variance, I think women’s (men’s too, but the article is written from Ashley’s perspective) feelings are more deeply influenced by the biological component. Cultural impositions are layered over them with more of an appeal to rationality. Thinking rarely trumps feeling in humans… as much as we’d like to think.

Emily’s comment about “the right idea for the kind of girls they want to attract” is probably the most powerful factor in all of this.

@Casey “I think whether or not a man picks up the tab is probably a good indicator about a couple of things, particularly how likely he is to pick up a check at dinner.” …That seriously cracked me up. Funny because it’s true. Love it.

I also find it delightfully intriguing that, in dating especially, what people say they want and what they actually respond to are often way out of alignment. Guys who follow the stated wants of the woman they’re after end up in the dreaded friend zone way more often than they’re likely to admit.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Hmmmm. Interesting. This is what I found on that:

“The phrase “going Dutch” probably originates from Dutch etiquette. In the Netherlands, it is not unusual to pay separately when going out as a group. When dating in a 1 on 1 situation however, the man will most commonly pay for meals and drinks.” However, that’s from Wikipedia, so the authority could be questionable. It did go on to say:

In Sweden and Norway , the practice of splitting the bill in restaurants is common. In a courtship situation where both parts have a similar financial standing, which is commonplace in Sweden, the traditional custom of the man always paying in restaurants has largely fallen out of use and is by many, including etiquette authorities[2], considered old fashioned. Generally a romantic couple will take turns paying the bill or split it. It is generally assumed that everyone pays for himself or herself in restaurants unless the invitation stated otherwise.

“In most of northern and central Europe the practice of splitting the bill is common. On a dinner date, the man may pay the bill as way of overtly stating that he views this as a romantic situation and that he has some hopes or expectations for a future development.”

While I do agree that perhaps paying the bill is a largely arbitrary example that cannot be applied across cultures, I think what it communicates can, and is probably communicated in other ways, in other places. Biological gender differences are, in fact, universal across the human race, and manifest themselves differently in different places. Therefore, surely in other cultures there are other signs that women look for as indicators; in Western society, picking up the tab happens to be one of them, but it’s not to say that that is the universal signal for masculinity. Know what I mean, dawg?

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NomadicNeil January 8, 2010 at 1:08 am

I agree, as you’ve pointed out you hate it when guys ask you what you want to do on a date, it displays a lack of leadership, confidence etc. Universal qualities women look for in men.

Those qualities can be displayed in lots of different ways, for you one of them is paying for dinner etc. I’m just saying that many women around the world look for the same qualities, leadership etc. but don’t look at whether he pays the bill or not as an indication of that. This shows that your gut reaction to a guy not paying the bill is a cultural response. After all, European women seem to be able to determine the same masculine qualities just fine without looking at whether the guy pays the bill.

So you could be filtering out perfectly good, confident, leaders because you are using an arbitrary cultural standard to filter guys through. That doesn’t have to be a problem if you are happy with the results it’s given you.

I’m not so sure about that wikipedia entry. It’s still filtered through the American perspective. I’ve lived in the Netherlands for 10+ years as well as Germany. Also I have many Scandinavian friends and meet a lot of Scandinavians on my travels.

The vast majority of sexual / romantic relationships in Europe do not start with a guy asking the girl out on a date. What happens is that people meet eachother through friends at parties, gigs, clubs, bars, interest groups etc. People gravitate towards eachother and somewhere along the line they hook up.

I think the idea of formal dating is only really present in the bigger more cosmopolitan cities like London. The influence of TV and movies is becoming more pronounced. Some US cultural imports I’ve noticed in the past few years include, trick or treating during Halloween and a highschool prom for example

Interesting that the Spanish guy took you out to dinner, I doubt that’s how things happen back in Spain. He was obviously aware of the concept of asking someone out on a date (we all are, US culture has spread far and wide) and used that to set the right frame (sexual/romantic).

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Stephanie Smith January 7, 2010 at 9:04 am

@Liz: Thanks for sharing. Your last point was fab and SO true! Men are not going to notice nuances for the most part, so why do women keep expecting them to? No wonder books came out saying men and women were from different planets! :)
@NomadicNeil: You hit on it exactly! I am American but I spent from age 13-20 in Denmark, so my cultural perspective is very non-American. Only in the US are we so afraid to voice our true wants and desires. Europeans revel in their sexuality and are very open, so there are not the “rules” or “games” with regard to dating, like in the States. Now, I am not saying that all Americans are like that, but it IS a cultural influence, especially in the South – bible belt and all that.
I had a hard time making the transition from an independent, forward woman to one who was not appreciated but put down for being open enough to say if I wanted to pay my share or have sex on the first date, whatever the case was. Then you become the chick who is great for some fun, but not wife material. Some just can’t see past the honesty and realize there is a lot of depth under a strong exterior – they don’t want to take the time to look for that.
Perhaps we will see a paradigm shift as cross culturalism opens people’s minds to avoiding treating others how YOU want to be treated, but rather treat them as THEY want to be treated.

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Just want to say how much I wish I were European, for that very reason! Sure it’s fictitious and possibly not truly representative, but has anyone seen the movie “Vicky Christina Barcelona?” It’s one of my favorites, because everytime I watch it I am inspired to use my feelings to guide my life. In the movie, he basically proposes that he takes the two American girls on his private plane to a different city, where they will eat good food, drink good wine, and then the three of them make love. The one American girl is uptight, and her reaction is reflective of puritanical American culture. I say…get me on that plane, ASAP!

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Stephanie Smith January 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I am with you -When does the flight leave????Wish I could have that story to tell – it’s better than the one about when the Chippendales did a concert in Dnmark when I was 18 and let’s just say- the 2 I went out with were SO NOT GAY….ok-TMI- but hey – I was wild and young! YUMM.

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George Angus January 7, 2010 at 10:00 am

Der Ash-meister,

I had to take a day and calm down, breathe deeply and tire of cold showers before I could respond.

Amazing insight has been gained by reading this. Kinda like getting a peek at the woman behind the curtain.

This is me, picking up the tab.

Cheers

George

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Ash January 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Disclaimer: I am only one of many, many females! Ha. Although I do think that the majority of them who have commented here do, to some degree, agree with the desire I’ve expressed, even if they can’t explain it. So, take that for what it’s worth! :)

And thanks for the lemon chicken! HA HA.

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Beth L. Gainer January 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Great posting!! I love your writing style.

A friend of mine is a biology instructor, and she has persuaded me that biology is at the root of everything. Oh, and I bought myself a killer diamond righthand ring as my reward for a double mastectomy that I fought for. I love diamonds but bought them for myself. How’s that for feminism. BTW, I wasn’t making a feminist statement with the double mastectomy — I’m a breast cancer survivor.

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Stephanie Smith January 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Beth -my mom is a survivor too and she has bought herself jewelry- I say, if you want it, don’t wait for him to give it – you deserve to treat yourself!

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Ash January 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

Hell yeah! There’s no reason why anyone should ever wait for a man to buy them anything, INCLUDING dinner. (1 Because you’ll get really hungry in the process and 2 Because you’re kicking ass in the world and therefore have plenty of your own purchasing power!) Thank you for sharing your story.

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Matt Cheuvront January 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Well I am VERY chivalrous and VERY generous, even though I don’t have the income to back it up – how are my odds looking? Because, you know, we can dance around this all we want but we both know its inevitable that we end up together.

Seriously though – hell of a way to put this into perspective, and especially give us men something to think about – what you ladies are thinking about when we forget to open your car door, don’t pay for your movie ticket, etc. You continue to outdo yourself and I’m constantly impressed by all you do and the eloquence in which you do it.

P.S. I’m sorry I’m late to the party – I feel like we need to put bells on each other to keep track of what one another is doing online…

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Ash January 21, 2010 at 8:45 am

Does your fiance read your comments, Chev?!?! Ha. Seriously, thank you for the words of support, and, while I can’t speak for all females, we are DEFINITELY judging you on a first date. We are hawking your every move! We pretty much decide after 2 minutes whether or not you could be “the one,” (even if we don’t believe in soul mates, ahem, we still like the romance of it all), but if the decision isn’t in your favor, it still could be by the end of the night if you play your cards right. Ha. If you want the girl, just pony up already and at least pull our her chair. You’ll already be far ahead of the other 98% of the men she’s been on a date with.

And I do wear bells, you didn’t know?

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Pieter January 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I read your blog a few times and I thought you were a real deal independent woman and that is why I am so shocked that I am writing a comment!

The problem about the chicken is very simple to solve; you just have to hint that there will be great rewards and pleasures if the cost of the meal is assumed by your date. He will see the benefits and be more than happy to comply!

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Ash January 21, 2010 at 9:05 am

Ha, that’s the thing – I don’t think there’s a link between being independent and liking it when a guy takes me out to dinner. :) I’m probably one of the most independent people on earth. That’s not to say that I need a guy to take me out to dinner, but rather that I really, really like it when he does. Furthermore, the only reward and pleasure coming out of that meal is the possibility of another!

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floreta January 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I consider myself a feminist BUT I like chivalry and I like for the old-fashioned men pay for my dinner thing. Not because they’re gonna get some later (but they COULD right!?). And no, that doesn’t make me any less of a feminist, darnit. Excellent post, Ashley!

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Ash January 21, 2010 at 9:05 am

Yeah! I’m not a big fan of all or nothing ANYTHING – a romantic feminist? Why the hell not!

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patti January 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

if i am ever single again, i swear to god i will sleep with the very first man who buys food (has money! can plan!), carries it home (physical strength!), cooks it palatably (has skillz! can focus!) , sets an attractive table (sensitive! “gets” ambience! has made an effort!) and rinses and stacks the plates, but doesn’t expect me to 1. wash up or 2. watch him while he washes up (has clean habits! values our time together!).

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Ash January 21, 2010 at 9:07 am

You’ve thought long and hard about this! :) Interesting connections you made. See, guys – this is what women are thinking. Exhibit B.

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Tiffany January 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm

honestly, i think that the polite thing to do is to pay if *you* ask him out and for him to pay if *he* asks you out. seriously, who goes 50/50 on a date. that’s pretty lame. i think that, regardless of your ideology (i.e., feminism), every woman wants to be protected by her partner – just as men want to be nurtured. that’s just a basic human instinct.

that said, it takes a lot of courage to say this out loud, Ash. =)

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Ash January 21, 2010 at 9:13 am

Bingo! Basic human instinct versus ideals that have been socially constructed for us (i.e. what a feminist is suppose to be and how s/he is suppose to act). It’s not to say that one’s right or one’s wrong, just simply that I hope someone will buy my lemon chicken. Furthermore, continuing down the path of old-fashioned, I don’t ask guys out. If they’re interested in me, they’ll ask me out, point blank. And I like it that way. If I want them to ask me out, I’ll make it known, but still want them to do the chasing. Some guys like it when girls get up the “guts” to ask them out, which is probably cool in some situations, but I’ve also found that guys love the chase just as much as I love them doing the chasing. Is it a game? Absolutely. Do other people hate that? Absolutely. But I guarantee that courtship, whether acknowledged or not, IS nothing more than one big, giant game. At first, anyway.

Tangent much, Ash? Ha, whoops.

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