January 25, 2015
Hi everyone from Osaka, Japan! We’re currently on vacation in Japan and finally visiting a different part of Japan rather than Toyko. We just left the lovely Kobe yesterday where we were staying at the home of our good friends and now we’re staying at an apartment (AirBnB as usual) in the heart of a hustle bustle downtown Osaka that really resembles Hongdae. I’m currently sitting at a Starbucks on the corner of a busy intersection enjoying an Orange Mocha Frappucino and trying desperately hard not to sing WHAM’s “wake me up, before you go go” while dancing around in ode of Zoolander. Must…resist…okay just a little crotch thrusting under the table…no one will notice. Oh shit guy at the cash just judged me a little. So onto our Speaker’s Corner for today!
The question we posted was about gender roles and if you think the man should typically pay for everything or if things can be split up. I think most people agreed that splitting the bill is okay but if someone wants to treat you it kind of makes you feel special because they wanted to spend their money on you. I’d like to know if that applies to men as well because all the responses we heard about this was from women. If a women wanted to treat a guy would he feel special and happy or would he feel lacking in some way or even embarrassed due to existence of past gender roles?
I think in order to answer this it really depends on understanding the culture you grew up with. Let’s look at Korea as an example, and forget gender roles for a second. Let’s look at age roles, something that isn’t very present in Canadian culture. If you’re older than someone by a couple years as a Korean, you’re expected to pay for the meals for your younger companions if you’re out together even if you’re the same gender. In turn your younger friends are expected to be there for you and help out if you need them with something, for a simple example, running out to grab you coffee or helping you clean your car. This isn’t a solid set in stone culture rule, it changes on your group of friends so don’t be freaked out to come to Korea and be expected to pay for everyone. It’s really just something people are used to culturally the same way how men were expected to pay on a date because men used to be the only people making money.
In Korea I think because there is no part-time job culture for young people it would just be impossible for anyone—let’s say in high school or university-to treat anyone. In Canada, however, almost all my friends had part time jobs by just the middle of high school. I’ve had a part time job since grade 8 and have literally not stopped working since then. I had three part time jobs in university! This idea is weird to my Korean friends who told me being in school was considered their full time job.
So the point of my example is that paying for someone in Korea could be an age related “I’m taking care of you” kindof thing more than solely a gender role thing. Generally speaking most men date women close to their age/younger than them, so there is the double whammy of paying based on your age AND paying based on gender roles. BOOM NO MONEY! HAHHAHHAA. But in Canada this age thing doesn’t really exist as hardcore as it does in Korean society. You can be the older person on a date and also broke-flat-broke so you’d hope your date would be willing to split the bill. Being older doesn’t always equal better job or pay.
So I’m curious what it’s like in your culture. Do you have the age thing that Korea has or do you have a clear gender role? Are men expected to pay for the date or is it okay for people to split it? As a man, would you feel weird if your female date payed for the bill? And what if you’re gay? How would you determine who “should” be paying? What if you’re an older women dating a younger guy? Hrrrrmmmmm…so many shades of possibilities! Let me know in the comment section! Time for me to go find more Sailor Moon treasures in Japan. So happy for the remake of the show because there is stuff everywhere while last year Toyko has nothing. Martina out!