Why Getting Free Drinks and Doors Held For You Isn’t a Privilege
It’s 2 a.m., and I’m in the VIP section of a Lower East Side bar getting yelled at.
The aggressor is an Ivy League bro who now works in finance, and his reason for yelling at me is that I didn’t tell him I had a boyfriend until he asked.
Sounds pretty ludicrous, right? But the thing is, he invited me over to his table, and let me (and my friends, who I invited over) drink from his bottle. He was nice to me, he pretended he was interested in my name and what I did for a living. 20 minutes later, when he realized I had a boyfriend, he felt conned.
After all, he was only doing all those nice things in the hopes of getting laid at the end of the night. It’s called chivalry!
It’s pretty common to hear guys whine about the fact that girls get free drinks at the bar. But any guy who says women have the privilege of chivalrous behavior is seriously mistaken. In fact, the bro in the above situation was being chivalrous. But chivalry is nothing more than treating desirable women nicely in hopes they’ll put out.
Men would do nice things for women in the good ‘ol days, but this all depended on how desirable the woman was.
Translation: guys would only do nice things for a girl if they wanted to bang her, which is exactly how things still work today.
Even if you were a bodacious babe back in medieval England, you could ruin that by doing something unsexy, like, you know, speaking your mind or whatever.
“While [women] were made objects of reverence (and therefore could wield power over men desirous of their company), they were at the same time relegated to the position of appendages to men in a hyper-masculine martial society,” explains Sarah Douglas in her review of “Chivalry In Medieval England” by Nigel Saul. “Women were increasingly restricted in their behavior because any deviation from the chivalric ideal of the passive, beautiful female was gradually more unacceptable.”
And things haven’t changed.
Sure, being a decently attractive woman can get you free drinks, free club entry, and can also help you get out of situations for being “cute;” but it can also get you in really, really bad situations.
When a girl’s good looks and acceptance of chivalry are combined with guys who think they’re owed something for being nice, you get horror stories.
You know, like the guy who thinks he can help himself to a girl’s body because he helped her get home when she was hammered. Or the guy who gets verbally abusive to the girl who doesn’t want to go on a second Tinder date.
In worst case scenarios, women are killed or seriously wounded by men who feel that they “wasted chivalry” on them.
Take for example Lakeeya Walker, 22, who didn’t say “thank you” when a man held a door open for her. His response was to throw his hot coffee in her face, kick her repeatedly in her pregnant belly, throttle her neck, and threaten to “kick that baby out” of her womb.
Walker is just one of many women who have been harmed for not “appreciating” chivalry.
You could argue that chivalry is one of those things — when it’s good, it’s good. When it’s bad, it’s really bad. But that’d be a stretch. What guys don’t realize is that getting hit on isn’t actually fun.
Girls joke about how they’ll wear low-cut tops in hopes of free drinks, but while some girls know how to handle guys who get hands-y or aggressive and can even capitalize on men’s behavior, others don’t. When does talking to the guy who bought you a drink out of obligation turn into dancing with him out of obligation? When does dancing with him out of obligation turn into letting him grab your butt out of obligation?
The problem isn’t women who take free drinks from guys they have no intention of sleeping with. The problem is men who don’t treat women like human beings, and instead treat them like a vending machine who will reward them with sex if they put enough compliments and free drinks in.
In a guy’s mind, your acceptance of a free drink is an acceptance of his sexual advances. Because when a guy goes out for the night, everything he does, from his outfit to the table he purchases at the front of the club, is catered towards his ultimate goal of getting laid. Since this is many men’s mindset, they assume women are the same way, which leads to them saying things like, “She obviously wanted to get laid, she was wearing a see-through top.”
But unlike guys who are on the prowl, girls wear (and do) things for their own reasons. That’s not to say there aren’t women who go out for the night looking for a hook-up, but a woman could be wearing a revealing outfit for a multitude of reasons. Maybe she wants to be trendy, or fit in, or, dare we say – actually look good for herself.
And before some butt-hurt bro starts getting aggressive about this, consider maybe you’re part of the problem. If you’re one of the men to which this does not apply, good for you. But if you feel the need to defend yourself by starting an angry Facebook argument about it, you probably are.
Chances are, if you’re a girl who’s “lucky” enough to experience chivalry, you’ve also experienced extremely angry behavior from guys that feel played, rejected, or teased.
Is being treated like a princess that great if you have to worry it’ll stop once you finally put out? Or that it’ll take a turn for the worst if you don’t put out? Is being given nice things worth not being treated like a person?
Any guy who says girls are lucky because they can use their boobs to get whatever they want clearly don’t realize all the other bullshit we have to deal with. You can have the free drinks and the tits, but just keep in mind that they come along with sexual assault, verbal abuse, constant fear, a lower paycheck, and plenty of other things that probably aren’t worth it for an $8 vodka-tonic.