I just got this comment on a post I wrote a couple years ago on splitting the check.
"I need an opinion from someone who knows what they're talking about because I'm new to this whole feminist thing. I have always offered to split the check but I have never had a guy accept it until now. I have been seeing a guy I really like for a few weeks now and he lets me split the check. I'm almost tempted to say that he expects me to split it. I'm not sure why but this has really been bothering me. I guess because it seems like he doesn't think I'm worth him impressing me. Does that make me a bad feminist?"
I'm flattered that the commenter thinks I'm someone who knows what they're talking about, but alas, I don't actually feel like I am.
I mean, I consider myself a feminist, and I believe in equality of pay, of rights, of, well, everything. By the same token, if a guy asks me out, I want him to treat me for the first date. (Not anymore, I mean, with the whole married thing and all.) It's fine to split subsequent ones, although I think much more charming to alternate. But that is me.
In the scenario above, I'd be bothered as well, although I wouldn't wonder if he wasn't trying to impress me. I'd look at other things, like how he behaved toward me (calling regularly, being on time, keeping commitments, listening to me, etc) for that.
As for whether it makes you a bad feminist, I would say no.
But in questions of feminism, I'm not the best person to ask. I grew up in such patriarchal societies, in a household where my father was always in charge and always right. I deferred to men, until, well, I am embarrassed to say how old. And men always paid for everything.
In other words, I would have to say that I was rather late to feminism as well.
So I turn to my extremely bright, articulate, analytical readers.
Does wanting to be treated by a man make someone a bad feminist? What makes a good feminist?