By Oiwan Lam
A news story went viral in Hong Kong on April 24 about a man and woman who were were arrested by police officers relating to a fist fight in a restaurant over a dinner bill of HK$2,200, approximately US$300.
Online reports suggested that the fight was triggered by the woman’s refusal to “go Dutch” and share the bill. Many commenters were quick to accuse the woman of taking advantage of her gender and pressuring the man to pay the bill.
However, a few hours later, the restaurant owner clarified that the fight was triggered by the woman’s insistence on going Dutch. The man reportedly refused, tore up the money and got physical.
Though the truth turned out to be completely opposite of what had been imagined, some netizens still continued to present the scenario that blamed the woman for the fight.
Below are some typical reactions from the popular Golden Forum site after the news first circulated online:
Most likely, the guy was prepared to pay but the Hong Kong girl ordered so much that a HK$300-per-person-budget meal turned into HK$1,100 per person. But the guy only had HK$700 in his pocket, how could he pay?
Another netizen put his assumption that the woman was at fault in “mathematical” terms:
0.9% = woman wants to go Dutch and the man insisted on paying the bill
0.1% = woman wants to go Dutch and the man wanted someone else to pay.
0.9% = 女既要AA,男人堅持要請
0.1% = 女既要AA,男既要人請
Some even suggested that the woman was a “part-time girlfriend” (call girl) who seduced the man to get dinner out of him, and then refused to give him sexual favours in exchange.
發音/ Pronunciation: http://www.dict.cc/?s=rechnung+teilen
Even after the restaurant owner clarified the story to reporters, many still insisted the woman was the source of trouble:
the woman should not suggest going Dutch
Because the suggestion is disrespectful of the man. The woman should suggest returning the favor, like paying for dessert or a movie ticket.
女方不能提出 AA 制
Artist Ar Chu illustrated all three possible scenarios in a comic to make the point that regardless of the woman’s decision in settling the bill, she would always be the one to be blamed because of the stereotypical image of Hong Kong women, or “Gong Nui,” as being narcissistic, arrogant, proud and shallow. The term has been widely used on online forums since 2005 to criticise and label negative behaviour from women.
- Scenario one: Woman: Let me pay the bill. Man: Are you looking down on me?!
- Scenario two: Woman: OK, I will let you pay the bill. Man: Why should I treat you to dinner?
- Scenario three: Woman: Let’s go Dutch. Man: You think I can’t afford the dinner?!
This article originally appeared on Global Voices. Read the original article here.