(Apologies for the hetero wording)
Imagine this segment with its point A on one end and D on the other. A indicates a woman who pays for herself and her date throughout courtship and dating, and D would be the same done for her by her date. Sunday, the rev’d Rhonda Waters was an adamant proponent of dating in the center point (E) of the segment while an intern expressed a preference for the E-D zone. Personally, I love to E-D someone who’s A-E’d me rather than always E each-other (oops, did that sound dirty?). The problem lies in the expectations and non-dits. If the woman expects the point D area, the act is no longer seen as a gift but a convention. The man’s action may then become pre-conventional as he may expect that she may expect the D. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, but if they want to eat it, I say let them.
If we want to have things be balanced without slicing pennies, however, placing the fulcrum can be tricky. While sweeping statements could be made on the roles each gender can fill, in our own lives we also all have different strengths (and preferences).
Ideally and on paper, as good utilitarians, we should all be able to be forthcoming with our strengths and honest about our weaknesses. However, given things like pride and laziness (right, I know, not you but everybody else, uh-huh), burdens get unevenly divided.
I was joking with a friend on how I know if a girl likes me: if she likes me, she will act aloof and avert my gaze and if she doesn’t, she will be hard to reach and avoid eye contact. She laughed and explained that girls are trained to act that way. Now I’ve read The Rules (2-Don’t Talk to a Man First (and Don’t Ask Him to Dance), 3-Don’t Stare at Men or Talk Too Much, 4-Don’t Meet Him Halfway or Go Dutch on a Date, 5-Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls, 6-Always End Phone Calls First) and suspect some of these of permeating female culture, just as a male counter-part does (2- Talk to Many Women, 3- Stare and Talk a Lot, 4- Pay for Dates, 5-Be Irrepressible).
As in any game, two consenting adults are free to enjoy themselves however they choose. If you want to play on the same team, however, the rules require editing. Rules on what to do are for sheep: what you do stems from who you are. Correct me if I’m wrong, but these feel healthier: