Flogging the Agony Aunts: October 6, 2008
The week’s worst relationship advice
Dear Abby is, hand’s down, the world’s best-known advice columnist. Founded in 1956 by Pauline Phillips (under the nom de plume Abigail Van Buren), the column’s been written by her daughter since 1995, when Abby’s Alzheimers got really bad.
This week, Abby Jr. does her mama wrong. She hears from a woman who lives with her boyfriend and they have an agreement where they split expenses down the middle – the rent, utilities, etc. The woman thinks her boyfriend should also help pay for her birth control pills too. After all, if she got pregnant, he’d certainly be responsible for paying child support. Seems like a no-brainer to me. But Dear Abby disagrees, saying, “Unless you are prepared to pay half the cost of his prescription drugs – including Viagra – my advice is to back down on this one.”
Um, no. It’s not like she’s asking him to split the cost of her zit cream or hemorrhoid ointment … birth control pills are pricey. Perhaps she should volunteer to pay half of his vasectomy! Just because we ladies have the plumbing doesn’t mean we should bear the total financial brunt of it.
Speaking of finances, in addition to my BettyConfidential.com duties, I am also an advice columnist for the Seattle Weekly. This week’s column centers around a letter I received from a man who is adamant that women pay their own way on a date. He denies that there’s a wage gap and is furious that he’s always expected to pick up the check. I told him to lighten up and find women who were comfortable splitting the bill (I count myself among them). I also told him he was full of crap about there not being a disparity between what women and men are paid in this country. It sparked quite the debate in the comments section and I was wondering what you thought.