We live in a society where lots of men do not pay. Not only do they fail to pay for the women with whom they go on a date, they increasingly do not even pay for themselves.
The men afflicted with this syndrome tend to be young, and are usually under the age of forty. Those who suffer most severely tend to be products of the nation’s top universities or respectable urban workplaces—where political correctness and leftwing ideology regularly trample over concepts such as chivalry and honor. At these institutions, the worst thing that could happen is to be perceived as racist, sexist or homophobic. Being a weasel that does not pay is not considered a source of embarrassment.
The occurrences of such male wussiness in modern society are too numerous to detail, but just a few examples can shed light on the nature and extent of this trend.
Example 1. A Stanford Law student in his mid-twenties declined to take his date to dinner, claiming that he had been “eating too much lately.” Just the evening before, he met her at a dinner party at her apartment, where he was not at all deterred from eating the food that was available in abundance for free. He does not hail from a poor family, but on his date, he shelled out only $2.50 for an ice cream cone for the lady and then quickly got to the point: to secure what young men usually want from women.
Example 2. A 35-year-old captain in the Air Force met his date for happy hour at a sports bar. His date ordered a beer at the bar before they sat down at a nearby table. Later in the evening, when the waitress presented the check, he studied it intently and asked his date if she had already paid for her own drink. She said no, and reached for her wallet. He insisted, “I got it.” As it turned out, her beer, which cost no more than $5, was not even included on the check. He was a graduate of Columbia University who eagerly defended President Barack Obama and compared his nine years of service in the Air Force to indentured servitude.
Example 3. A man in his late thirties met a lady for a drink at a crowded establishment in New York’s Nolita district. She arrived early and bought a drink at the bar. When the man arrived, he, too, ordered a drink, and suggested relocating to the restaurant’s outdoor patio. The lady suggested he settle his tab first. He shrugged, said, “[the staff] will find us,” and walked outside. The busy bartenders did not notice that their customer had left and never bothered to look for him outside, and the man never paid. At the time, he served in a senior position at the Department of Commerce.
Though the men described above had been educated at the nation’s top universities or were professionals who worked at respectable institutions, none had any qualms about behaving without chivalry, courtesy or decency. The reason? Their attitudes are widely shared by their contemporaries across the country.
The sad reality is that too many of America’s institutions of higher education—with the most elite universities being the worst culprits–have ceased to value character. Instead, through speech codes, mandatory sensitivity training sessions and insidious brainwashing from faculty and administration, students are taught absurdities, such as identity politics and Obama worshipping.
Then numerous employers in the real world—especially fancy law firms, rich investment banks and major technology companies—eagerly foster the same absurdities through professional initiatives.
Those who emerge from this environment know that anyone who dares to criticize Obama’s failed policies would risk being called a racist, and women who dare to deviate from feminism’s preferences would risk the fury of femi-Nazis. For instance, Ann Romney, the wife of former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was, despite being an impressive and well-spoken woman, ridiculed by a female Democratic strategist for being a stay-at-home mom.
No one in this progressive world sees any dishonor in men who do not pay. In the leftist paradigm, chivalry is out-of-date anyway. Men who mature under these leftist teachings–conservatives, liberals, moderates and independents alike—gladly excuse themselves for not having to fork over extra dollars. Without cultural norms that discipline or elevate standards of behavior, they happily do away with the nuisance of respect and courtesy, and resort to seeking from women what men have always eagerly sought: sex. Certainly, the modern woman can choose to split the check with her date or even pick up the entire tab as she sees fit, but the lack of honor is not about the woman’s ability to pay; it is about the man’s unwillingness to do so.
Paying does not lead to a man who will not lie and cheat and certainly not to one who has no flaws. But the increasing number of men who wiggle out of this simple gesture does mean that women–especially highly educated women—are left facing a dating scene that is openly crass and disrespectful.
Thankfully, plenty of men in the modern era still pay. They range from older gentlemen who hail from an era that emphasized values, to younger ones who were raised by families that continue to uphold norms long abandoned by the university or the modern workplace. They also range from those who engage in professions that are intrinsically tied to honor—such as the military and law enforcement—to those who live in parts of the country that still believe in an etiquette code.
Of course, even men who fit these descriptions can fail to step up to the plate, as Example 3 from above demonstrates. Which is why it helps to have cultural mores that define what constitutes honorable behavior and what does not. America’s urban, progressive, bicoastal elements have declared themselves too good for something that old-fashioned, but as modern life demonstrates, when chivalry and honor die, nobody wins.