Dating while Feminist

Installment three!

Who pays?

So, there’s this video on Facebook from Elite Daily titled, “Why Guys Should Pay for the Date,” and it’s ridiculous.

The premise is basically that because she spends hundreds of dollars on skin care, make up, hair care, clothing, and jewelry, that he should, then, pay for the date.

ALSO! The bill for that dinner is $490. Like, what the actual hell?

So, let’s unpack this.

(And I should point out that I wear make up so rarely that I can count on one hand how many times I put it on in the span of a year. I am also not an enormous fan of jewelry, save for a few favourite simple pieces. I might be biased is what I’m saying.)


Sometimes, I look like this.

Whether I am dressed in athletic wear, a blouse and skirt, jeans and a t-shirt, or a fancy dress and 3″ heels, I am dressed for myself. I wear those things because they make me feel good. Whilst, admittedly, we are often forced to dress in attire that is appropriate for the occasion, there is often still a wide range within what is considered appropriate, and I dress in a way that makes me feel good.

Similarly, the rare time I wear make up or pull some jewelry out of my jewelry box, it is because I want to wear it. I feel like it completes the outfit or the overall look that I’m going for.

Finally, if I decide to spend hours on my hair (or, more like me, pay someone else to spend that time on my hair), that’s my choice.

And, sometimes, I look like this.

As feminists, we are ALWAYS saying that we don’t dress for men. We don’t dress in a way that justifies their harassment of us. We make decisions about how we dress and how we take care of ourselves because it makes us feel good.

Therefore, if I dress up for a date, it’s because I want to. Now, of course, when you’re dating someone, there is a certain degree to which you are dressing to look nice for the other person, but let’s be honest: the main reason is because it makes you feel good and because if they pay you a compliment, that also makes you feel good.

I can’t imagine EVER expecting a date to pay simply because it took me some time to get ready for the date.

My rule for who pays? Generally speaking, I figure whomever invites the other person should be prepared to pay. That said, I won’t accept a date if I know that I can’t afford to pay my share, and I will always offer to pay my share.