I watched the first episode of this new TV show when it premiered this past Friday. (It’s produced by Drew Barrymore and Ellen DeGeneres). I’m not a big fan of reality/reality’ish TV shows, but this one looked kinda cool and different, so I wanted to check it out. I was also working on a freelance editing job, which takes a lot of my focus, so I wasn’t watching the show closely, just had it on mainly for background noise. This couple caught my attention though, so I was pausing in my work to watch when they were on camera. I’d gotten caught up in my work and forgot about the show when I heard this female say, “I think the man should always pay…” That got my attention. I set my work aside for the next fifteen minutes so I could see how this first date was going to play out. I won’t spoil it for you, in case you want to watch it, but I will tell you I wasn’t surprised by the way things turned out. What I do want to dish about is the dilemma of females in society who are very similar to this one particular female, in attitude and how they interact with others in society, particularly men. For the past few years, as I’ve gotten a little further along in my feminist studies, I’ve started noticing more and more how feminism plays out in society and how we determine what is and isn’t feminism. In some situations, like the recent Emma Watson “boob” thing, there are some pretty strong opinions about what is a good feminist vs. a bad feminist. So I wonder, is the female in this clip being a good feminist or a bad feminist? On one hand, she seems empowered and confident and not at all interested in letting this male (or any male, I’d guess) dictate who she is and how she lives her life. I will mention that she uses her feminine charms and physical assets as empowering tools, so I wonder if that makes her a bad feminist or a good feminist? In regards to her saying that the man should always pick up the check, that almost seems like a step back from so-called good feminism. Some might argue that she is being a proactive feminist, that she is asserting herself and making sure she gets what she wants (the man to pay); others might say that expecting the man to always pay only reinforces the idea that women need a man to take care of them financially, that they aren’t capable of paying for things or of sharing the costs. Does it matter if the female can’t pay, so the man does or she expects the man to? Does it matter that she might actually be well-off financially and might even make more money than the male, but she wants to exert some kind of power over the male by telling him that he has to pay, because that’s what a “gentleman” would do (as she mentions). These situations always leave me feeling a tad perplexed. Should I toss up a high five and a “You go girl!”? Or should I chastise her for not wanting to enforce equality of the sexes by splitting the check? And how would we feel if, at the end of this date, the male had said, “I think you should pay”? If you watch the clip, the male is obviously a little bit rattled by the whole “who will pay” situation. Is that because he believes they should have split the check, especially on a first day? And if so, is it because he believes in equality of the sexes or he’s just cheap? Or maybe he’s bothered that the check is so high and the nice thing for her to do would’ve been offering to split the check. Would he have balked at paying if the date had gone better? It made me stop and think about my own dating experiences and how the check issue was settled. So who pays? How do we determine that? What would a (good) feminist do?

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