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Who should pay on a date?

15 September 2014, 08:32

Nairobi - In last year’s Female Nation Survey (by the way, we’re doing one again in August so do remember to take part), we asked women who is supposed to pay on a date. I must admit, I thought it was a rather stupid question because in my mind the answer was very obvious.  

I mean, we’re not living in the 1940s anymore, are we?

So the results really threw me. Almost half of the women surveyed said that they believe the man should always pay on a date. I was gobsmacked.

That’s one out of two women who expect to be treated to coffee, food, drinks, movies, shows and whatever else people do on date. I’m not very clued up, since I haven’t been on a date since… well… Actually, I’ve never been on a date. I used to be, as they say, off the market. (Which turns out to be a much more fitting description in this context than I had realised.) Now I’m in my 30s and the idea of sitting opposite a perfect stranger to make small talk and have him pay for the food I’m eating is so terrifying that I’ll probably die alone. But I digress.

I totally understand why men used to pay for women. Historically the vast majority of women had no financial power and men had to support us. But why are we still expecting them to do it? I mean these days we drive in motorcars and pay our own rent and are even allowed to buy property in our own names, without a male signature. And everywhere I look I see women with jobs and qualifications and – can you believe it – even their own bank accounts.

So why do one in two financially independent women expect men to pay for them when they’re perfectly capable of paying for themselves?

Also read: The best time for sex

I'm not saying everything should be split exactly down the middle every single time. If someone asks you out for something it’s fine if they want to pay for you, but it still shouldn’t be expected. And of course it’s perfectly acceptable to allow someone to treat you every now and again - especially if they have more money than you - but wouldn’t you want to treat them back sometimes?

I would. So that's why I believe in going halvesies, or taking turns. And for once, this is not because I’m a feminist. It's simply because it's fair.

 - Women24

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