Check, Please?

It has come to my attention that, on occasion, I have a tendency to overreact. I feel strongly that women, including young girls, should be able to live and pursue opportunities as equals to our male counterparts. It is so much of what I AM THAT GIRL stands for and a true passion of mine. I have moments, though, where I take a step back and question the proper balance of gender roles in our modern society.

As a strong woman, I want to know that I can pursue a career and earn a paycheck in the same way as the man sitting next to me. But then the more old-fashioned side of me also desires a man to consistently open my door and reach for the dinner bill. Is this fair and reasonable or are we looking to have our cake and eat it, too?

I was out with a group of friends the other night enjoying a casual dinner when the man I had been dating reached for the bill and quietly treated the group to dinner. Insert oohs and ahhs here. A normal reaction, perhaps, but not my reaction. Later that night, I pulled him aside and with an infuriated tone stated that the gesture was kind, but entirely unnecessary. He looked puzzled and I took that as my cue to declare, "I can pay for my own dinner because I'm not one of those girls that needs you to save me!"

Looking back, I hang my head a bit realizing that actions speak louder than words and such a confrontation was not necessary. This man wasn't looking to put down or disrespect my position in life. To the contrary, he was attempting to show me kindness and respect through the act of a generous gesture.

Clearly, I overreacted to the simple act of a man treating a girl and her friends to dinner. I claim to want the quality of chivalry in the men I date, but also desire to live as equals, not needing such acts of kindness. So, what's it going to be? Can we find a balance with the gender roles between traditional and modern-day society? I sure hope so because nothing makes me smile more on a date than a man opening doors and helping me with my coat. I just better be careful to not bite his head off if he dares order for me because it's pretty safe to say I will make it known that I am perfectly capable of ordering for myself.

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