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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


COLUMN: To pay or not to pay

Actress Emma Watson has been doing multiple interviews recently to promote the HeForShe campaign, which promotes gender equality.

In a recent interview, she was asked about the relationship between feminism and dating. This involved a question about if she would let a man pay for her dinner.

She explained she enjoys it when a man pays for her dinner, but she also takes the initiative to pay as well.

In my own dating life, I have encountered this same situation, where my feminist beliefs and offers to pay have thrown off a man’s “paying game.”

It is through these instances where breaking the gender stereotype sparks great conversation and ?promotes gender equality.

During a recent date, the waiter approached our table and placed the check. I immediately grabbed it and placed my credit card into the holder to pay for the whole dinner. My date appeared to be confused and asked me why I wouldn’t allow for him to pay for the ?dinner.

I told him it was not that I wouldn’t allow him to pay for my dinner, but I enjoyed the date and wanted to do a nice gesture to thank him for it. He seemed pleasantly surprised.

Suddenly, paying for dinner was no longer about gender roles of power or a sense of obligation. It was about both people wanting to give a polite gesture.

On a previous date with a different man, I offered to pay for the whole dinner and he immediately was offended. He stated it was the man’s job to pay for dates, no matter the situation.

However, if both people have jobs and make their own money, there is no reason one person should be obligated to consistently pay for dates.

I observe more women also trying to break this stereotype in the dating world by offering to pay for the meal. It appears our generation is in a transition period between old-fashioned gender roles and gender equality.

This transition can be a struggle for men who were raised to believe financial power was essential to ?masculinity.

I have seen this struggle when a man chose to stop seeing me because he felt guilty about not having enough money to take me out on dates. He said my offering to pay for our dates made him feel ?uncomfortable and insecure as a man.

It was not my intention to make him feel uncomfortable or insecure. It was to enjoy his company without causing him to struggle more financially.

It was about being polite.

However, the struggle through the transition will help us appreciate gender equality as the movement progresses. So ladies, keep paying for those dates.

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