Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

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“It’s 2014: Why Are Men Still Paying for First Dates?” The disturbing implications of a long-standing expectation [via The Atlantic]

This is an interesting piece about blogging as a career for those of you who are interested in what it’s like. I’m not a DIY blogger like the people featured in the article, but much of their stories resonated with me. I think the main keys to blogging as a career and remaining happy doing it is to set low expectations about income (some people make great money, but it’s rare and it’s difficult to sustain longterm), work hard but don’t let work consume you, take internet breaks (even if it’s just for a few daytime hours), respect your readers but don’t put up with anyone’s bullshit just for the sake of traffic, and be careful about commodifying too much of your personal life (sharing is one thing, but when you’re literally banking on your private life to bring in traffic and ad revenue, things are bound to get messy). “When Blogging Becomes a Slog” [via NYTimes]

“10 Cities You Should Move to If You’re Single” [via PopSugar Love]

“25 Famous Women on Childlessness” [via NYMag]

After decades of declining marriage rates and changes in family structure, the share of American adults who have never been married is at an historic high. The dramatic rise of never-married adults is related to a variety of factors, including the increase of adults marrying later in life, adults cohabiting and raising children outside of marriage, shifting public attitudes, hard economic times and changing demographic patterns. “Record Share of Americans Have Never Married” [via Pew Research]

Charity Johnson enrolled in 10th grade at New Life Christian School in Longview, Texas, a few weeks before her 34th birthday … She wasn’t a con artist for money. She was a con artist for love. “Forever Young” [via Buzzfeed]

Meal time โ€” often, the bane of my existence. I spend 12 hours a day corralling a wound up toddler and running what is essentially a small business and THEN I still have to plan and cook dinner for the family when all I want to do is collapse, its exhausting. “Home-cooked meals leaving working moms fried: Study” [via Chicago Tribune]

“I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.” Emma Watson talked feminism to the UN.

“How Sugar Daddies Are Financing College Education” [via The Atlantic]

[image via]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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28 comments… add one
  • avatar

    scattol September 26, 2014, 1:11 pm

    The homecook meal article isn’t a link. Am I missing something?

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    • Ika

      Ika September 26, 2014, 2:12 pm

      Thans for fixing that, Wendy! Iยดm planning on subtly leaving that article open for my husband to see. ๐Ÿ˜›

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      • Ika

        Ika September 26, 2014, 2:13 pm

        Oh boo. It can only be seen inside the US.

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  • avatar

    HmC September 26, 2014, 1:21 pm

    The men paying on a first date issue is so interesting to me. I consider myself a feminist and I’ve held onto the idea that the guy should pay, at least on the first date. If I’m being honest with myself the article above is probably right- people are quicker to accept cultural changes that benefit them and not so quick to accept ones that don’t, even if those changes are in line with their beliefs. I did notice that when I was single and dating a lot, about 5 years ago, guys that didn’t pay almost always turned out to not be interested. And so I found myself hoping they would reject my offer if I liked them, not because I was desperate for a free dinner but because to me it showed they were interested too. But obviously those decisions did not exist in a vacuum and paying for a meal doesn’t inherently show interest, but rather is a socialized behavior. I wonder how much this custom will change in even the next few years, in particular among those that consider themselves progressive/feminists. I dunno. The diamond rings seem to be doing very well!

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover September 26, 2014, 4:41 pm

      Where do you live? I don’t find it as common here. When I was dating, going dutch was pretty common. In fact my now-husband and I went dutch on our first date. Some guys did offer to pay, and I didn’t like it. I always tried to pay my own way, and then some guys *insisted* on paying, which I was very uncomfortable with. Like, you offered, I said no thanks, don’t force it on me!

      Maybe it’s because when I first started dating, I mainly dated friends – guys I met through school or work. And with those guys we mostly started by “hanging out”, not going on date-dates. So when I started having dates where it was the first time I had met a guy, it really weirded me out when they wanted to pay. Why is some random stranger paying for my food? Because I have boobs? I don’t know, it doesn’t feel right to me.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar September 26, 2014, 2:07 pm

    I like the “you invite, you pay” rule. I guess online where the meeting up is a mutual thing, you go dutch? Treating would probably indicate interest to Hmc’s point.

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  • Miel

    Miel September 26, 2014, 2:23 pm

    One of the thing I like the most about my boyfriend is how he lets me pay half the time we go out to eat. I see it as a sign of respect, because when I tell him something (“I’m paying tonight”) he doesn’t brush it off and do the opposite (taking the check away from me once it’s time to pay).
    .
    We met on a trip and our first dinner together wasn’t really a date. He offered to pay, so I told him I would pay for our next meal. He accepted but in his head he was thinking he would still just offer to pay again, or hope I would forget. I didn’t forget, and when lunch came by, I paid for both of us and he didn’t try to stop me. I was really happy he was allowing me to keep my word. We shared so many expenses on that trip (the first time we met…) and in the end he only paid a few more euros than I did. It was overall pretty even. It’s just such a fond memory for me. It makes me feel like he already respected me as a whole person.

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  • peppers87

    peppers87 September 26, 2014, 4:18 pm

    I offered to go Dutch with my boyfriend for the first part of our first date, which he accepted and I was totally happy to do, but then we went for drinks and he was like “thanks for offering to pay for dinner, but let me get your drink now” and I thought that was pretty sweet and indicated interest.

    Also, while I think whoever did the inviting should pay in typical situations, it’s often not super clear online. And when you’re going on so many online dates, it was kind of hard for me to keep it from feeling like a transaction if I didn’t pay for my meal / coffee/ beer / whatever myself and didn’t want to obligate myself to go on a second date with the guy?

    BUT food for thought – if the old saying “time is money” is true, and women TEND TO spend a lot more time (and hair and makeup product and thought on outfit) getting ready for dates, and the woman already “spent” plenty on the date by just showing up all dolled up (assuming she dolled herself up). Then, the man who just (theoretically) threw on pants and a shirt in 10 mins “owes” the 10 bucks for her drink…. to a certain point. Maybe? Just another point of view. I understand men’s clothing also costs money. BUT I also understand a lot of my female friends “spend” more effort (AND MONEY) on outfits, makeup, and hair stuff than many of my male friends.

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed September 26, 2014, 4:21 pm

      But isn’t that a lot of choice (for the time part)…A woman doesn’t need to spend a time of time to get dolled up. It’s a choice. There are plenty of tutorials for instance showing how to get dolled up in 5-7 minutes out there. And the woman can throw on a pair of pants and a shirt, or something that takes less time–say a dress– and that’s only a minute of time.

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      • peppers87

        peppers87 September 26, 2014, 4:26 pm

        Oh for sure just saying that a lot of women DO get dolled up in a lot of time (not me in particular, but if I do, say, straighten my hair it takes like 30 mins) just like a lot of men DO pay for the first date

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  • peppers87

    peppers87 September 26, 2014, 4:28 pm

    Just my theory of why some ladies may feel “owed” the drink or dinner or what-have-you and it may be somewhat “justified” by my fake math of time=money

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed September 26, 2014, 4:30 pm

      That would also go with why some men feel sex is “owed” to them. They spent all that $$ so they should get something out of it (definitely do not think this–NOT endorsing this thought, just more food for thought)

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      • peppers87

        peppers87 September 26, 2014, 4:32 pm

        ah yes very slippery slope her with “owing” anyone!

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover September 26, 2014, 4:44 pm

        That’s why I don’t like it. It creates an imbalance, where one person has given something and now the other person needs to “pay up”. I especially hated it when on a first date, the guy insisted on paying, but I knew the date hadn’t gone well and I wouldn’t be seeing him again. Like, why should he be wasting his money? I just prefer to pay for myself. Once we get to the third or fourth date we can start treating each other.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed September 26, 2014, 4:46 pm

        I’m with you….owing either way is not good

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  • avatar

    RedroverRedrover September 26, 2014, 4:47 pm

    It’s sad how many of those “famous women on childlessness” didn’t do it because they felt they wouldn’t have the time. They picked their career over children. How many men do you think ever have to make that choice?

    Just to be clear, I don’t think it’s sad that they picked career. I think it’s sad that women are typically forced to choose, if you want to get into the upper echelon of success.

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  • avatar

    shakeourtree September 28, 2014, 12:54 pm

    I always insisted on going dutch on dates because as a feminist, I felt it was important to live by my ideals, even the inconvenient ones. Benevolent sexism is still sexism, and I didn’t want to send men any mixed messages. I think I also became a more efficient dater since it was on my own dime.

    I have heard people argue that men should pay for the first date because women still get paid less than men for equivalent work. I guess that’s one way to justify it. I tend to think this is a similar debate to the one about whether to take your husband’s last name. If you want to do it, then fine by me. I can see plenty of reasons why you would want to–namely, it’s easier. Whatever your reasoning, we can still acknowledge that it’s a tradition is rooted in patriarchal culture. Basically, do what you want, but own your choices.

    Luckily, I found a partner who is not threatened by subversion of gender roles. He actually admires me a lot of my “unladylike” qualities, like my outspokenness and ambition. We are planning on moving in together when I’m done with school in a few months, and I’m actually quite worried about how to pool our resources in a way that seems fair, since I’ll likely be making significantly more money than him by then. We’re also going down the childless/-free by choice road, and it was reassuring to see the names of a lot of awesome women in that article, many of whom I didn’t even recognize as childless.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover September 28, 2014, 1:47 pm

      Totally agree with you about benevolent sexism. It’s not something I want to support, so I put my money where my mouth is. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Just wanted to comment on your concern about finances. What my husband and I do is keep 3 accounts. We each have our own account, and then we have a joint account. The mortgage and shared bills are paid out of the joint account. Figure out your budget, and then you’ll know how much you need to allocate to the joint account every month. Then whatever is left in each of your accounts is your spending money.

      My husband and I make roughly the same amount, so it’s easy – we put the same amount into the joint account each month, and we have the same amount of spending money. You and your husband have uneven incomes, so you have a choice to make to decide what is fair – should you each end up with the same amount of spending money? Or should you each get spending money proportional to what you earn (like you each get 5% of your pay for spending money)? Or should you each get spending money proportional to your actual expenses (like if one of you needs business clothes and the other needs casual clothes, the business clothes cost more. If you wear makeup, that’s an added expense, etc)? Or, do you want to put all of those costs into your initial budget, so that your spending money at the end of the month is purely for splurge items like buying coffee every day or other treats like that?

      When making your budget, don’t forget to put EVERYTHING in it, including money for investment/retirement, and money for an emergency fund. As well as vacation fund or house-downpayment fund or whatever else you may be saving up for. That way, whatever’s left in your own account at the end of the month is “free” money that isn’t allocated to any bills. You can spend it however you want. ๐Ÿ™‚

      If you want more suggestions, post to the forums and people will be happy to give you advice.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra September 29, 2014, 1:29 pm

      I definitely don’t see it as “benevolent sexism” at all. Some guys — especially traditional guys like my boyfriend is — see it as a common courtesy/respect thing. It’s BECAUSE my boyfriend respects me that he offers to pay. That’s how his parents raised him and in all honesty I couldn’t have asked for a more respectful guy.
      .
      It’s just like the chivalry debate. Does chivalry = disrespect? I mean, women can open doors too. Women can push their own chairs in. Yet, I can’t remember the last time I opened a door when with my boyfriend. Again, it’s simply out of respect for me that he does it. He’s old fashioned, and that’s a big reason why I love him so much. I identify as a feminist. I believe in equality. But guys paying for first dates is VERY rarely a disrespect to women.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover September 30, 2014, 2:55 pm

        No one’s trying to claim that your bf doesn’t respect you, but it’s still inequality based on gender. In this case it’s called benevolent because it’s the less-opressed gender having to give something to the more-opressed gender.
        .
        Basically the only reason this exists is because women weren’t allowed to work, so they had no money. Yes, men paid, because they were the ones with all the power. They had the power to make sure women were dependent on them. Money still equals power to a large extent.
        .
        Your boyfriend was raised in a traditional way, and I believe you when you say he does it out of respect. But for me, it feels very uncomfortable. And many men (in my experience) will insist on paying even if you say no. Which is extremely disrespectful. So no, I don’t think that all men see it as a sign of respect. Some do, but others just do it because they think they’re supposed to, and others do it out of pride or ego (both “power” feelings). And yes, there are some creeps who do it because they think it means you owe them something.
        .
        Anyway, everyone’s different and we’re all going to do what feels comfortable to us. But like shakeourtree says, we need to own it. For example, I have an engagement ring. Yeah, it’s sexist, but what can I say? I wanted one and he wanted to give me one. For the record, if my husband hadn’t wanted to get me one, that would have been fine. In fact I brought that up as a possibility and asked him if he wanted to skip it. I still would have liked one, but I think it’s unfair and it’s rooted in sexism so I wouldn’t have blamed him for not wanting to do it. He wanted to, so we got one. That’s how ingrained these kinds of things are. But I don’t try to argue that it’s not sexist. It still is. But we wanted to, so we did. In our culture it’s extremely difficult to never to anything sexist, benevolent or otherwise.

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      • Portia

        Portia September 30, 2014, 3:22 pm

        I have been debating how to respond to this (and had a short conversation with Bassanio last night about benevolent sexism) and I think you got to the crux of things: even if we’re OK with a practice and invite it, if it is a gender-based practice, it is a form of sexism.
        .
        You also reminded me of an episode of the Sex Nerd Sandra podcast that I found fascinating about how modern dating culture came about. It’s technically on hookup culture and there’s a good chunk of the episode about that, but the expert she had on went into the history of courting turning to dating and I had to listen to it again because it was so captivating. I’ll see if I can find just that portion of the interview…

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      • Lyra

        Lyra September 30, 2014, 6:57 pm

        I can see that point. I’ve had talks like this with my friends too. For example one of my best friends is one of the most feminist women I know and she said she would be turned off if on a first date the guy did not offer to pay. Both her and I believe in splitting the bill, but both of us wouldn’t say no if the guy to pay for the first date.
        .
        I guess since I work in all small private schools I work with many moms of students who are extremely traditional…almost in a subservient sort of way…and compared to them I’m EXTREMELY feminist. Like they see their husband as their provider and they stay home with the kids and/or they always need to talk to their husbands about making a decision. Whereas I’m still not sure if I want to change my name if/when I get married — something that is absolutely unheard of to these women.
        .
        I really do believe there can be a good balance. I have great support from my boyfriend career wise. He is also a huge believer in equality. Not to mention the chivalry isn’t just for me — he’ll hold doors open for anyone and everyone, plus there were a couple of times when we were out for drinks with a friend or two and he chose to pick up the entire tab. I think with him it’s much more about common courtesy. I’m just lucky enough to get the brunt of it being the one who is dating him. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover October 1, 2014, 10:30 pm

        That’s funny. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t feel like I’m extremely feminist at all, but I guess to some people I am. I took engineering in school, and I guess pretty much any woman who goes into that field is pretty feminist by the time she graduates. You kind of have to be, if you’re going to make it. And then that’s the kind of woman I’ve been working with for the past 15 or so years, so it seems totally normal. I’ve also been lucky that I have a lot of feminist men in my life, including my husband.
        .
        I mean, when my sister got married and changed her name, I was floored. Absolutely shocked. It just never occurred to me that she would do that. I’m just so used to women at work who kept their names. Especially since a lot of them are Chinese so it isn’t even a question. And then a few years later my husband’s sister got married and she changed hers too. She tends to have some conservative leanings, so I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Still. It seems so strange to me to change it when no one here really cares. I can see if you lived somewhere super traditional, there would be more pressure. But my city’s really multi-cultural, and everyone does things in their own way, and no one cares if your last name matches your husband’s. Or your kid’s, for that matter.
        .
        So yeah, it’s funny how much of a difference it makes, what kind of people happen to be around you. I guess we all look at what we see other people doing, and we mark that as “normal”, and then measure ourselves by it.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra September 29, 2014, 11:36 am

    I’m beyond late to this, but regarding the “why are men paying for first dates?” article…I really like when guy pays for the first date. Navy Guy paid for the first few dates when we went out because he’s suuuuper traditional and he basically wouldn’t let me pay. I offered on the second date but he wouldn’t hear it. However when we started cooking at home I would pay for all the supplies and I did most of the work so it balanced out. I’d say he still pays for 60% of dates, but we’ve evened things out a lot.
    .
    When I was in dating mode I was more than willing to split for first dates, but there were a couple of times when I was left with the tab in a very rude manner. For example: “I’m not paid until Friday, can you pick up the tab?” after we had ordered $25 worth of drinks and appetizers. Needless to say we never had a second date. I would typically offer to pay my share at least, but would be pleasantly surprised/impressed when a dude insisted that he pay the whole thing.

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  • avatar

    AndreaMarie September 29, 2014, 12:14 pm

    Many men hold strongly to paying on thefirst date. Ive alway offered to pay but every first date the man has refused and picked up the check. My current BF and I have been tgether for several months and we share paying for things…for example I’ll pick up pre-dinner cocktails and he’ll pick up the dinner check. I think the tradition of paying for the first date is deeply ingrained in men. Whether they feel its a sign of respect to the woman, or showing interest, or pride…who knows…but its a strongly held tradition

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  • Portia

    Portia September 30, 2014, 2:04 pm

    Ahhhh, I read that article on sugar daddies financing college and now the website they talk about in the article is following me around the web, placing ads for me on DW in particular. No, Internet, I am not a wealthy middle aged man looking for a college-aged companion…

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover September 30, 2014, 2:37 pm

      I don’t know what I clicked on, but now I’m getting a set of ads that are clearly targeted at men wanting to find sex. Only on DW as well. No idea why.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray September 30, 2014, 3:18 pm

    I know this is old, but I think whoever asks for a date should pay. Which is often how it works in non heterosexual couples, but it’s not really a great solution in opposite sex relationships. By and large men still ask women out so the burden would still fall on them. It’s not just about men paying, but also men being expected to ask women out. I have a few friends who refuse to ask a man out and say they want someone who takes charge. Which okay fine, but I don’t see that as taking charge.
    .
    Also, I really hate going dutch for me. Logistically it can be a pain. Especially if you shared an appetizer or something. If it a only two people it seems kinda annoying for a server. I always offered to pay for the whole meal/event, which I think is fair. I don’t know what it is, but every date I’ve been on with a man has paid and wouldn’t let me pay for drinks or dessert or something small. And with women, one of us paid and there wasn’t an annoying back and forth.

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