Opinion

Monday 11 November 2019

Ian O'Doherty: 'Some questions are eternal - and remain eternally divisive'

'It's about the kind of person who sees a romantic occasion as a transactional event'. Stock image
'It's about the kind of person who sees a romantic occasion as a transactional event'. Stock image
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

I found myself in the middle of a hugely entertaining row the other day, and it's not often you get to say that.

The topic at hand was prompted by an Australian writer, Peta Serras, and a hugely controversial, internet-breaking piece she wrote that had friends turning on each other and families rent asunder by gender divisions. For once, this source of angst was neither Trump nor Brexit (see piece above for all of that).

Nope, Ms Serras wrote an article which said she would never go on a date with a man who expected her to split the bill.

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Cue the hysteria! Unleash the attack dogs of Twitter! She was described, variously, as "a gold digger" and a "spoiled princess" and "an enemy of feminism".

She may well be all those things and more. But here's the most important part - she was damn right.

I've told my sister and numerous female friends to run for the hills as soon as a date suggests splitting the bill, because a man who can do that without blushing is capable of anything.

Yet, apparently anyone who holds such an archaic view wants to keep the sisterhood in their place.

Me? I was simply brought up to believe that it would be unforgivably bad manners to not pay for a date - not for any sinister, pervy reason of expecting something in return, but merely because it's good manners and the gentlemanly thing to do.

Even more interesting than that, though, is the fact that any bloke who expects a first date to be shared equally will probably be the kind of guy who is rude to the staff and ultimately, it's not about the money, it's about the kind of person who sees a romantic occasion as a transactional event.

Lads, just pick up the bloody cheque.

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