New York: It’s not sexism, it’s chivalry!

New York: It’s not sexism, it’s chivalry!

I have a piece at New York magazine this week, about two new dating websites that are hoping to make a profit from what they call “chivalry” or “traditional dating”:

The HiDine process is simple: After being granted permission to join the “exclusive” HiDine community, would-be daters create a profile in which they list their favorite foods and the specific restaurants they enjoy. The men are instructed to find women who share similar culinary interests and “ask them out to a restaurant you think they will enjoy based on their lists of favorite restaurants.” The women, meanwhile, are instructed to “sit and wait” to be asked on a date. “Chivalry is alive” assures the website’s tagline.

“I come from a small town where guys act more like guys, and this wouldn’t even be a question in some places,” McGinnis told me in a phone interview. “When you take somebody out, you pay, it’s as simple as that.” But HiDine isn’t shooting for the small towns; it’s shooting for the big cities, starting with L.A. And in a city like that, McGinnis said, there’s a lot of competition. “Especially in big cities, where a girl can go out with any guy, [paying for dinner] is such a small and easy thing to do.”

Why can’t women do it for men? McGinnis explains that’s just not how it works. “If I ask a girl out, she’s going to expect that I pay,” he said. “It’s fair that that’s what girls expect, to be romanced in the early stages of dating.” (At no point in the interview did he refer to women as “women”— always “girls.”)

You can read the whole thing here. Unless you’re a “girl,” of course, in which case you should sit and wait for a man to come and read it to you.

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