You Don't HAVE to
To make things clear- I'm not one of those cancerous male feminists who agree with shit females say to be on their good side. You don't HAVE to pick up the bill, just like you don't HAVE to hold your fart in on a date. You won't go to jail for either of those things.
There will also be women who're not only cool with but insist on splitting the bill, and if that's exactly the woman you want- then make sure you ask every single date you're with to split the bill and you'll find her eventually. The rest is for the others, who aren't quite sure what they want.
Don't let feminism ruin it
Okay, "what if she's already ruined it with her incessant feminazi behavior?" Unless she's a total cunt, in which case you might as well pretend you're taking a piss and escape, most girls that embrace equality do retain a lot of feminine characteristics and they want a man. A lot of women just want to be heard, they don't want to scream in your ear. You can still be a man. You can SET the dynamic. Equality =/= castration.
Some stigmas will exist. A guy that sleeps with tons of hot girls gets fist bumps. A girl that sleeps with tons of guys is a slut. A guy that pays for the first date shows interest. You cannot completely erase certain expectations that come with your gender... at least for the next couple decades.
Women have their end of it too
They don't wake up from a 4 hour nap and hop on to get a free meal. Women spend quite a bit (efforts and $$) on makeup, waxing and all that shit. How would you feel if your woman showed up with arm hair? Sure, she CAN do that, but that's equality gone cancerous.
Okay, there are women out to get a free meal but I'd risk a dinner whore over not giving the impression my gut wants me to to an awesome chick I'm interested in.
It's just the first date!
Dinner can get expensive, so I'm only talking about the first date. Over a couple of dates I'd most definitely expect her to pay her end. If money's a problem, go on an inexpensive date. Don't take her to Chez La Walletkiller if you're lagging behind on rent. Girls do appreciate non-expensive dates.. and the ones that don't, well you just weeded out the parasites.
Women have more to lose by having sex than guys do. "I paid for dinner, suck me off!" is as stupid as "I look pretty, marry me". Don't be one of those people.
Ba dum tss