Last week I posted a poll on my Facebook page. Titled, “When out on a casual luncheon with a guy friend, do women still expect the guy to pay the bill? Do men get offended when a woman friend picks the tab?”
These are the choices I offered:
- It’s for a man to pay the bill
- Are you kidding? Why not the woman?
- It should be split
- Take turns
- Pay your own
Close to 50 people voted and 10 left comments. The maximum votes went to choice number three, with more than 50 per cent favouring to split the bill. The next favoured choice was to pay your own, followed by a preference to take turns. A few did poll in favour of a woman footing the bill while not even a single vote preferred a man to pay the bill.
The idea for the question came to my mind from my personal experience. A day before I posted the poll, I went out for lunch with a guy friend. We’ve known each other for a long time and have had coffee and lunch before. Our agenda is always to discuss ideas, issues, anything, but people. It’s always a stimulating discussion and our genders don’t dictate who pays.
This luncheon, I remembered he had paid last time, so I plainly reminded him and said it was my turn. Politely, he offered once, not in the framework of gender but in the context that it was his invitation. I still refused and he graciously accepted. We didn’t discuss this any further, but the conventional idea of “it’s for a man to pay” crossed my mind.
Given, the man and the woman are on a similar social footing; I find this “norm” to be unfair to men and insulting to women. But I wondered if the norm has been challenged generally or not. To find out, I posted the question, and asked readers to share their views.
Some of the comments left by readers on my Facebook page poll:
- No split it. It doesn’t make sense if you’re not dating to have the man pay. It’s nice but I wouldn’t expect it.
- Pay your own, unless you were sharing some of the food/ drink why would you split it?
- I would presume to split it unless he offers to pay for it.
- Depends on who’s turn it is.
- Either split, or the one who makes an express invitation pays. Nothing worse than when you are broke and you think you were invited to lunch, and then it turns out you have to pay your share – regardless of the genders involved.
- I think you just have to make up your mind as to whether or not you want to pay or go half. I personally think paying for someone’s meal is a wonderful gesture of kindness and should not be taken for granted and not be expected. Make it clear from the get go – I want to take you out for lunch means I want to pay for you. Just make up your mind and go for it. If the other person fights to pay half reassure them that you invited them and that if it makes them feel better, they can pay next time. Just some thoughts.
- I never let a woman pay wouldn’t be a gentleman if I didn’t
- Unless you have a problem with money…. whatever she wants…
I admit, I was pleased with the outcome of the poll. With such a small sample size it clearly doesn’t reflect the larger society, but still, it’s a welcoming result for gender equality. Why don’t you join the discussion and see if it changes the outcome? Leave your comments in the reply box below or join the poll on my Facebook page here.
Categories: Gender Equality