Kiera Breaugh is a 23-year-old dance teacher, yoga teacher, and content creator from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She's had a ton of viral success on TikTok and recently went viral yet again for sharing her perspective on why women shouldn't be expected to pay 50/50 on dates with men.
In the TikTok, which currently has over half a million views, Kiera explains why men expecting women to pay 50/50 is actually "one of the most insidious and ridiculous effects of the patriarchy."
"The fact that men expect women to pay 50/50 when women don't get 50% of anything? [Not] 50% of the money, 50% of the privilege, 50% of the safety, 50% of the space they're allowed to take up, none of that. But, pay. Pay equal amounts even though you don't have equal rights. Do you understand how ridiculous that is?"
"Why are we starting at the end?" She asks. "Why are we starting with women pretending like they're equal, before they get equal? Because it benefits men. It benefits men to say, 'Oh yeah, I'm a feminist, I believe in women paying 50/50 on dinner dates.' And that is the only time they believe in equality."
"Make his pockets hurt," Keira concludes in the video.
Keira's TikTok received thousands of comments, mostly from people who agree that expecting women to pay 50/50 is indeed a scam.
Some even thanked her for putting into words what they couldn't articulate and for "opening their eyes."
BuzzFeed reached out to Kiera, who said that she believes expecting women to pay 50/50 is an example of the patriarchy because "it benefits men, because then, men don't have to court. And the whole purpose of courting in the first place was because somebody decided that women weren’t allowed to have jobs, or credit cards, or own land."
"The effects of that are trickling down today, and there’s still a wage gap, so it makes no sense for women to have to pay 50/50 before they are paid 50/50."
Here's the thing: When it comes to the wage gap, Keira is absolutely right. According to a 2021 report from Pew Research Center, the gender pay gap in the US has remained stable for the past 15 years. In 2020, women on average earned only 84% of what men earned, which means "it would take an extra 42 days of work for women to earn what men did in 2020."
Keira went on to clarify that there are situations where paying 50/50 — or women paying more than their male counterparts — is justified, but thanks to the gender pay gap, they're few and far between: "Women don’t make as much as men, so generally, if men are the ones inviting you out on the date, I think they should pay for the bill. If a woman makes a lot more money than her partner, then obviously she should be contributing to rent. If you’re in a partnership, and when things get long-term, I think it makes sense to go sort of income-based, maybe, so whoever makes more [pays more]."
"But the thing is, that's still typically men. So, that kind of brings us back to where we are. But, ultimately, it’s about who has access to more wealth, which is generally men."
When asked why so many men are insistent on women paying 50/50 these days, Keira responded, "I think a lot of straight men kind of feel like they’re in a weird spot...they feel like women are getting too much power and have too much of a voice. And I think this is their way of being like, ‘Well, you want feminism? Here’s feminism.' I think it’s out of spite or something. It doesn’t seem to come from a very wholesome place. It seems to come out of resentment, I would say."
However, there's also the argument that women paying 50/50 on dates equalizes the power in the situation and prevents men from "expecting" anything else. To that, Keira had this to say: "That's bullshit. For women who think they should pay 50/50 because then the man can’t expect anything, he cannot expect anything anyway. You don’t need to be thinking like that. You don’t owe him anything regardless, no matter what he buys you."
And, lastly, to all the men out there who STILL think women should be expected to pay 50/50, Keira said, "They should take a really nice, long history lesson and look up when women were allowed to have credit cards, and see if it makes sense to them for an entire group of people, who weren't allowed to have their own money until a few years ago, to now be expected to pay 50/50. Does that really make sense? For an entire group of people, who were not allowed to have any wealth, because the other group of people said so, now both people have to pay the same? Does that make any sense, logistically?"
"I would also ask them to consider what kind of risks women put themselves in just to go on a date with a man in any situation. There's a decent likelihood that a woman will have to endure something unpleasant, whether the man is saying things that are inappropriate and sexualizing her, or he’s negging her, or trying to take down her self-confidence so he can try and manipulate her. This isn’t even counting all of the obviously terrible, horrific, physical things that could happen to women who put themselves in situations alone with men."
"So, I would just ask men to consider the risks women take to put themselves in a situation alone with a man, and the possibility that this could be why a woman might want a man to pay for that experience," Keira concluded.
What are you thoughts on men and women paying 50/50? Share them in the comments, and follow Keira on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube for more content on gender equality, race, and pop culture.