Boy meets girl, boy asks girl out, boy pays. It’s a well known narrative.
However, this narrative that was once seen as chivalrous and gentlemanly is now seen as patronising and out of date. Today, gender norms and traditional dynamics, such as the idea that the man should pay, are facing constant challenges.
To suggest that the man should always pay is also alienating. What if there are two men on the date? Or two women? Or two people who don’t identify as either gender? The rules we are taught to play by stop becoming applicable when the norms change.
In a world where women are slowly cracking the glass ceiling, to suggest that the man has to pay also implies that he is the higher earner of the two. But sadly, to an extent, this is accurate.
The pay gap between the genders remains staggering. Women still earn a significantly lower amount than men over the course of their careers, often for the same job. The Fawcett Society say that the current gap for full time workers is 13.9 per cent. The cultural presumption that women earn less than men or ought to, can be fuelled by small things. Like who pays on the first date.
So, here’s how to decide who pays without patronising or being patronised.