Paying the Price of Misogyny

It has been a few decades since women got the right to vote in India. But the right to an opportunity to pay for one’s meal still seems a few eons away.

Picture this. It’s a warm, sunny Sunday. You’re going for lunch with your parents to a swanky restaurant in GK M-Block. The place looks uber cool, the menu is exciting, and you can’t wait to dig in. But this nice outing with my parents was slightly ruined when, after a delicious meal, the waiter brought the bill and put it right in front of my father. It irritated me, even though I had seen it happen many times in my life. I commented on the same and my parents laughed it off at the moment, but this recent incident has stayed with me since.When women go out for meals with their guy friends, the bill is almost always brought to one of the men. The poor waiter doesn’t seem to realise that the friend group is collectively broke, and must split the bill amongst themselves equally so as to retain at least some money for other expenses (read: Auto ke kharche). At first sight, this must seem to many as making a mountain out of a molehill, but the simple act of payment reveals much more about gender and equality in our society.

I wondered if I was the only one who had experienced this blatant act of misogyny. Unfortunately, I was not. The same response echoed throughout an empty classroom after class hours when I asked my friends if they had seen this happen, and all of them nodded their heads in agreement.

Once, I went out for dinner with my brother and the waiter brought the bill to him. Little did he know that my brother had no money and it was I who was giving him a treat after his 10th boards got over!”

shared a DU student.

I have definitely seen the bill go to the man in many cases. I believe that it stems from the belief that men are the sole or major earning members in the family,”

expressed Sejal, a student from LSR.

The effects of explicitly handing over the bill to the man has negative consequences for the men as well. The burden to be chivalrous and pay for both parties rests on the man, who may not have the economic resources to fund meals for two or more people.

It will not be wrong to say then that patriarchy has objectified men into money-producing machines undermining their emotional self,”

reads an article on shethepeople’s blog.

So where does the solution to this seemingly insignificant problem lie? For Sejal, it lies in education.

I don’t think anything will change if we dictate the rules to people. I believe that the solution lies in educating people and perhaps integrating some sort of gender sensitivity in hotel management courses,”

she said.

For some others, gaining the courage to correct the waiters in their ways (which might often be embedded in them as a default mechanism) is the way forward.

The day men and women are equidistant from the black leather bill folder, is the day they will truly pay the price of the meal, and not the price of misogyny.

Read Also: Feminism v/s Feminazism: Understand the Difference

Featured Image Credits: dailynexus

Devanshi Panda

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Devanshi is a History Major who ironically has the memory of a goldfish. A true jack of all trades but master of none, she can be found mostly scribbling in her sacred notes app, humming a tune along to her uke, or deep-diving into a book.