So reading this article on Gawker got me thinking.
The article, for those who don’t want to or don’t have time to click and read it, is about “going Dutch” on dates. Specifically the first few dates. And whether it’s okay for a man to expect a woman to pay for her own dinner on a first date. And whether women should expect to have their meals paid for. And if it’s about men being cheap or women being empowered. Or whatever.
I haven’t dated in some time, and when I did…well, frankly, I pretty much never did. Not your typical dinner date, anyway. I’d usually hung around with a guy for some time before we really went out together. Or we’d already kissed, or whatever, and so were dating. Usually we were both so poor that whoever had money would pay. But we were also barely in our twenties and spent most of our available cash on beer.
But even then, if it was a date-type evening, I never considered paying. When my boyfriend would say he wanted us to go out to eat, we both took it for granted he would pay. When we just decided to go out on the spur of the moment we’d go dutch, but a “date”–he paid. (Unless I took him out for his birthday or something.)
All of my heroes in my books pay. For everything. This has a lot to do with them being richer than Croesus, but I admit, it’s also because I think the man should pay, at least in the beginning. He’s the one doing the inviting*, he’s the one doing the seducing, so he pays.
And the way he asks always indicates he’s paying, too. Not “Why don’t we go out to eat?” but “Let me take you out to dinner” or “Come on, I’ll buy you dinner.” And my heroines don’t argue with that. Sometimes they may think about not turning down a free dinner, but, oddly, power struggles in the relationships of my characters are never financial (I say “oddly” because it’s only just occured to me). Not one of my heroines feels she’s less independent and strong if she lets the man pay. They make it very clear that he’s buying dinner, not her body, (not stridently; the topic is never discussed, it’s just clear) and that they expect to be treated and spoken to a certain way and that’s that.
Perhaps it’s because my heroes, however criminal their other activities may be or no matter how coldly they may order the deaths of their enemies, are gentlemen.
Or perhaps I’m a totally clueless dinosaur and should be shot for betraying womankind.
What do you think?
(*the person who does the inviting should pay. This is the only exception to the “men should pay” rule. But then, I don’t believe women should ask men out, either, and the reason is because if a man’s not man enough to take a chance and ask you for a date, maybe he’s not man enough period. I’ve asked a few guys out over the course of my life, and it’s never worked out. It sets a precedent, I think, where you’re the pursuer and he gets to sit back and let you do it. It makes them overconfident.)
WHORING MYSELF AROUND THE INTERNET:
I’m over at The Book Bitches guest bitching about Jackie Collins, come on by and say hi! The Bitches are awesome fun, and they did a little interview with me as well (below the first post).
I did an interview at Rachel Carrington’s blog about my Publishing series, so check that one out too!