Extremely weird personal reactions offered up for public discussion

By Amanda Marcotte
Monday, October 6, 2008 19:00 EDT
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So Jessica has a post up about a truly wretched Dear Abby answer to a woman who wanted her boyfriend to split the costs of birth control with her. (Dear Abby’s advice? Don’t bother him with you girlie shit. Okay, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the basic gist of it.) To exactly no one’s surprise, the commenters got on board with the “dudes split costs”, even going so far to say they’d immediately dump someone who didn’t immediately agree to it. (I’m skeptical—people’s stated willingness to DTMFA is often stronger than their actual willingness in the moment.) Obviously, the wise man is one who, when his girlfriend asks him to split birth control costs, falls all over himself apologizing for not offering and suggesting that she’s generous to ask merely to split costs when she still has 100% responsibility to remember to take the pill every day, get the prescription, pick it up, etc. The man who resists is clearly engaging in a power play to see how much bullshit she’ll put up with, because he really doesn’t have a leg to stand on, argument-wise, and because it’s not that big a deal.

Still, the subject made me uncomfortable. I don’t really see myself asking someone for this, and after reading some comments, I saw why. Like this one:

Dude doesn’t chip in, dude doesn’t get pussy. End of story.

Exactly. Any situation where the sex is contingent on an exchange of cash is something I want to be about one million miles away from. I realize my position on this is irrational and anyone could poke a million holes in it. And I don’t think women who demand sharing costs are wrong, because clearly it’s a way for a man to show a good faith willingness to share responsibility and respect how much responsibility women carry for these things. And my feelings certainly reflect a stubborn independent streak that has been the source of Amanda-focused mockery in the past. Plus, how do you know what point in your relationship is the time to spring this?

Anyway, thought I’d share because I’m interested in the Pandagonian reaction to this non-earth-shaking problem.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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