There has been a long-standing gender inequality that has persisted throughout the ages. Unlike other gender inequalities, this persistent unspoken rule has plagued individuals while going almost wholly unnoticed. What is this gender inequality?
Men are expected to pay for meals without question. Even worse, they are expected to at least off up the service. While this may seem like no large deal to some people, consider the peculiarity of the custom. A man, who is expected to treat a woman as rightful equal in all social stratus, is then expected to offer to foot a bill for a meal.
This is tied into two obvious concepts. One is that a woman should be paid for, as it is the gentlemanly thing to do. This flies in the face of the endless push by women’s rights groups to treat women as equals and not as special cases. Secondly, the gesture is meant to indirectly expose a man’s virility by way of his success.
A man who is not willing to pay is a man who cannot pay. A man who cannot pay is an unsuccessful man. Moreover, an unsuccessful man is not as worthy of respect or female attention as a man who is successful. These two stigmas play into the act without question. However, is there a way to turn the tables and avoid this social norm? Is there a way to get the woman to pay for the meal?
Option One: Just Expect it
Before you go out to dinner try saying, “So, you’re paying, right?” There are two options here for her. She will either be caught off guard and agree to paying without really thinking about it, or more likely, she will ask you to repeat.
The important part here is to not falter. Remember, you are not trying to demand her to pay. You are simply expecting it. Do not begin stammering or backtracking to save face.
Simply look her directly in the eyes and repeat the question. “You are paying, correct.” She may be a bit put off by this at first. Let that be okay. It is up to you whether or not what you said is off-putting.
If she truly has a problem with it, talk about it after the meal, not beforehand. It cannot be stressed enough that you are not attempting to force here to pay. There is no purposefully forgetting your wallet or leaving your money at home.
You should have your money with you and be capable of paying if need be. Instead, you are simply expecting that it is a viable option that she pays. That is because it should be a viable option. There is no clause that states men MUST pay for a woman’s meal. For men to expect particular things from women is considered rude, and so for women to expect something from men is also just as rude.
Option Two: Give Her The Opportunity
Giving the women the opportunity to pay is just as effective as asking her if she will pay. When the waiter is about to bring the check, excuse yourself to the restroom. When he or she brings the check, it will be placed in the center of the table.
This causes the woman to have to face the check herself. For many individuals there is a natural inclination to consider picking up the check. Unfortunately, sometimes the waiter will drop the check right in front of your open chair. This will ruin such a plan.
So, you can also wait for the waiter to come by with the check. You can then direct him or her to place the check at the center of the table, then excusing yourself to the bathroom. The usual amount of time that is worth waiting for is 4-7 minutes maximum.
The woman must have enough time to begin to let her mind wander, and thus more likely wander toward the check. This option is a bit conniving, but can work just as effectively as the first. It also is less abrasive and thus less likely to cause conflict. However, it can also be seen as a bit passive aggressive and thus can cause a bit of annoyance.
If Neither Option Works
There is a simple third option that is much more useful. Simply ask the woman her policies on payment of meals. There is no harm in asking a woman what her policy is on the situation. Be frank and upfront with her and she will likely be the same back. Instead of these mind games, simply explain to her you are interested in knowing and lay out your reasons why. There is a good chance she will be okay with paying now and then.