CAMPUS MAGAZINE: I am Half a Woman!
Date posted: September 1, 2007
Between the excitement of a new job and the weight of its big responsibilities, I found the time to meet up with my friend D one evening right after work. We were both run down but we were longing for the t?te a t?te girly chat. I seated myself in front of her, laid my exhausted body on the chair, and ordered all the comfort food on the menu. From the work round-up to the social gossip, we jumped from one topic to the other laughing and giggling like school girls at a slumber party. We suddenly stopped talking when the couple on the adjacent table received their check. The girl looked from the check to the ceiling and seemed to trace an invisible fly. Her partner looked at the check, hesitantly put his hand in his pocket, took two or three 10 pound bills, put them on the tray, and then pushed the tray – with the check – towards the girl with a cough – and probably a kick in her leg. The girl let go of her imaginary friend, looked at the check, curled her lower lip, threw a few more bills on the tray, and stood up. There was no eye-contact between them as she took her purse and sped up towards the door – the guy was two steps behind. D and I looked at one another and laughed.
"Do you think they will last?" I asked her innocently.
"He is half a man." D replied with a solemn face.
"He did not do anything wrong" I said, "Sharing the bill is perfectly normal. They
both seem young and most probably he could not afford it."
D totally disagreed with me; she told me that she would never respect a man who would let her pick up the check, or half of the check. D believed that if a man were to take a girl out on a date, or an outing, he has to be a man about it; "It is an honor for him to have the pleasure of her company and a real man would never let a girl pay a penny – especially if they were more than casual friends." I was not sure what to think … I never gave that particular issue any thought. I have always felt obliged to reach out to my purse, even if the man said he would pay. Now that I am thinking about it, I tend to believe that somewhere deep down, I feel that if I did not share, I have somehow betrayed myself as though I am allowing him to buy part of me, not my dinner or lunch. D's perspective runs deeper than that.
"A man should be responsible and a responsible man takes total and utter care of the needs of his woman."
I interrupted D asking "Do those needs include her clothes, makeup, accessories, and other luxuries?"
"Yes of course!" D corrected me. "Let's assume that I am married to a man, and we decided to travel, do you think I will pay for my ticket, accommodation, and food?"
I had no reply – I really never thought about it.
"If I want to throw a party for our family or friends, do you expect me to share?"
Again, I had a blank face.
"Do you think I should pay the electricity bill if he pays for the other utilities?"
"I guess it is normal" I finally replied "you do work after all." I thought I had an argument until I heard her reply.
"I work for my own reasons, be it self actualization or entertainment, and no decent man will accept to take any of my money."
I thought of my mom, and said "but it is your house and you are sharing."
"Sharing? This is not fair! I am sharing his responsibilities but is he sharing mine?"
"In what sense?" I was not sure I was getting her point.
"A man should bring the money, put food on the table, pay the bills, and give me my pocket money. A woman, on the other hand, should make sure the money is well spent, the food on the table is cooked, the house is clean, the kids are brought up well, and the man is comfortable and taken care of. By sharing my salary, I am taking part of his load off his shoulders. Will he share my load too, or will he still expect to be served and obeyed?"
She saw my perplexed face and continued saying "most men nowadays want the woman to share his burdens along with her initial responsibility. If this was a company, and they were equal shareholders, using my logic, his share would be 25%. Now why would I want a man who is in this lifetime partnership with 25%? Why would I want to be with half a man?"
I resorted to the stuttering economy and the expensive cost of living saying "very few men now can take full care of the financial responsibilities. You might never get married D."
"Let's assume once again that I did not meet my Mr. Real Man, and let's assume that I grew to like one of the current "half men", then his shares in this partnership do not grant him neither a superior word nor an upper hand. It is only fair and natural that if he is half a man, he deserves half a woman."
I had one last question for D "If you were to get married to a "real man" as per your classification, would you fully give in to his wishes and commands?"
"Give me examples" D exclaimed.
"If he does not want you to go out, or if he does not like an outfit, a friend, or anything you want to do, will you do as he says?" I seemed to gasp for air just thinking of the possibility of a man holding my reign.
"Yes … I will … He earned it and I owe it to him." D concluded.
Ok then, I am half a woman … I want to have a higher vote … I do not want to owe this kind of obedience to a man … and please … please do not start the religion argument with me!