Women Lead Pendidikan Seks
May 06, 2015

I Want Him to Pick Up the Tab Occasionally, Am I A Bad Feminist?

Does wanting the guy to pick up the tab once in a while make you a bad feminist? And how to tell him that you actually don't mind being treated?

by Magdalene

Dear Madge,
I consider myself a feminist, but lately I’ve been getting annoyed when the guy I’m going out with never offers to pay for my meal. He gets the check and automatically splits the bill. I mean I’m all for equality, but I feel that sometimes I would like to be treated too. Am I a bad feminist?
Dear Ella,
There’s no such thing as a bad feminist, but your expectation just shows that you have a double standard. But don’t worry, many women who identify themselves as feminists often feel this way too. It goes to show that we’re just human. This interview addresses this issue.

I do, however, think that there’s nothing wrong with what’s he’s doing, especially if you are in a place that you both have agreed on (meaning that you can afford to eat there), and if he does it fairly (meaning that he doesn’t split the bill in half, when he eats and drinks much more than you). Three possible reasons he does this: he’s afraid of offending your feminist sensibility; he truly believes in observing gender equality in all aspects of his life; or he is a cheap skate. Or all of the three.
But I also see nothing wrong with being treated by a man once in a while, the same way a female friend would treat us for lunch or dinner. So if you feel like he’s taking this equality thing too far, maybe send him a little signal. The next time you go out for a meal, pick up the tab and say, “I’ll get this one. You can get the next one.” Hopefully he’ll get the hint and the next time he picks up the tab.
If not, maybe he’s just a cheapskate.
Got a burning question about something? Send it to [email protected] -- in English or Indonesian -- with the subject "Ask Madge" or tweet your question to @the_magdalene.