The Soloist, Contributor
While the controversy over gays in the society continues to dominate conversations, there is still a long-held view by many women (of all classes) that as soon as a man enters the picture, he is supposed to finance them almost entirely. Some of the women come right to the point and tell the men that they expect money for rent/mortgage, groceries, utility bills, the beauty parlour, entertainment, clothing, airline tickets/ shopping money, car payments, bus/taxi fares, doctor bills, school fees and the most trivial ever ... phone credit!
I have heard every reason from women who exploit their men, from 'I need soap to wash my 'laundry' after he takes it off' to 'if he is eating a meal, he should help to provide it'. Some women are a little more subtle and they hint around their financial woes in the hope that the men in their lives will read between the lines and cough up some cash, sign blank cheques or issue the credit card.
Call me stupid
These women call me stupid when I deal with a man who does not dole out a monthly allowance to me. But having been conditioned from birth to never beg a man for money, I have over the years been happy with the man who knows that it's his duty to buy me gifts/finance special treats for all the special occasions: my birthday, Valentine's Day, our anniversary, Christmas Day plus pay for all dates and pick up the tab if we go out and something catches my eye. No damn Dutch for me either!" I will take care of my day-to-day expenses and I'd rather borrow from the bank and pay interest rather than beg a man for money. I deserve all of this because I am not presenting a bill after every sexual encounter or meal served.
It feels demeaning and, on some important level, like it would rob me of my power and control over my life and independence. I would hate to be placed in a situation where I am at the beck and call of a man just because he's paying the bills. If we are husband and wife or living in open concubinage, that's a different matter ... living expenses must be shared. Husbands ought to take care of their wives and be the breadwinner. If he's my man and he comes to dinner regularly, I should not have to ask him to bring the wine or dessert! Real men know these things.
But single women should learn to be satisfied with what they make, live within their means and not be parasites. On the other hand, the boyfriends should not be stingy; they should know that they can bring fresh flowers for her vase or pick up her favourite magazines, books or CDs. Look for things she likes and surprise her with them for no reason at all. For example, I once had a boyfriend who took careful note the first time he took me to visit my grandmother, and until our relationship ended, he always arrived with a box packed with all her goodies every time I asked him to take me to visit her.
So, to all you women who think that the minute a man smiles with you it warrants an invoice, you might as well put a price list over your bedheads and on the fridge!