Living in a world where the genders are understood to be equal, and are recognized as such, is an ideal that most of us can get behind. It is also something that, giving credit to the 21st century here, we have been striving towards with passion and determination.
The era of the Time’s Up Movement has made it known that women will no longer tolerate sexual misconduct in Hollywood or indeed anywhere. Additionally, the pay gap is less and less tolerated in the workplace, and wherever it is discovered it is at least disapproved of, and usually remedied. If not, it is taken to court. In our fervent pursuit of complete gender equality, one may be quick to assume that chivalry is, and indeed must be, dead.
This is far from the truth however.
Chivalry is not antithetical to gender equality, and a man paying for a date is not misogynistic. Here are some reasons you guys should still be reaching for your wallets when the check arrives.
Sweep Her Off Her Feet
Although we live in an era of gender equality, one thing will never change. Men will defend women in a physical altercation, their girlfriend’s fathers will always be wary of them at first, and guys will continue to go to the gym to impress women. I say all this to show that traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity are still there, and some are programmed not psychologically or sociologically but biologically. All this is to say, women want to be swept off their feet while on a date, and men want to sweep women off their feet on a date. While this is not the only way to do it, and in fact should probably be the most minor way of doing it, paying for the check allows the man to play that role.
No! I am not saying here that if a man pays for the bill then you are expected to sleep with him. What I mean is, if there is any ambiguity at all concerning whether or not you two are on a date, how he feels about you, and what he hopes for (not sexually, I mean emotionally) then whether or not he foots the bill will clear that confusion right up for you two.
Ever been in the situation where you and another person, a female, stand wavering at a door, unsure who should enter first? It’s exhausting, frustrating, and time consuming. In those situations the man traditionally lets the woman enter first. Or if the door is closed, the man opens it for the woman and lets her in first. We don’t need to view it as commentary on the superiority of the man, it is really just an expedient. It is an easy way to solve that dilemma whenever it should arise. The same with the check: You don’t have to fumble over who pays. Having a precedent is nice. It doesn’t mean the man should always pay, but on the first date it can cut through a potentially awkward situation.
It Feels Nice
It will make you feel good. If you are the woman, you will feel taken care of (provided you don’t overthink it) and if you are the man you will feel chivalrous (provided you don’t overthink it). Some traditions aren’t that harmful, and if they serve a purpose such as showing that you care then there is no reason that it should be retired as archaic or not-with-the-times somehow.
Some Traditions Shouldn’t Be Hyper-Intellectualized
Lastly, it is just freaking nice to do it. It is romantic. It is chivalrous. And provided you don’t get bogged down in an aggressive conversation about the me too movement, you can just allow to slip by peaceably as something nice you did for somebody you like and hope to see again. And if footing the bill triggers a speech from this lady then you might not want to see them again anyway.