Most Helpful Girl
For a lot of women, we have experience with men who try to get all the rewards of a relationship (time with us, our attention, sex, companionship, support through the hard times) without putting as much skin into the game as we do. There are a lot of take take takers out there. Right or wrong, paying for dinner and a movie, especially if you are the one with the highest income, is a way to show you're putting some of your skin in the game. And we kind of want to see you go first because we get an awful lot of guys out there in the wild who want sex, NSA, but still want us to be there when they call, and that's not where most of us want to be.
ALL men? No, certainly not ALL men, not even MOST men, but common enough that as a woman, you have to have a strategy for sniffing them out and avoiding them.
ONLY men? No, certainly not ONLY men. There are women too who are just a vortex of want and need that no man can ever hope to fulfill - and men have to have their own strategies for avoiding those women too. (I'm BI, I have to avoid those women too, so it's not even like I don't get it.)
Ok, plus it's a holdover from a different time, when women had few rights, and were still seen as an object to acquire, less than as a person to be loved. It was a way to say "I value you at least as much as this dinner bill is going to come to."
Plus, in a very tangible way. men still have a higher lifetime earning potential than women, so you have control of more capital, as a group, than we do - so we may just have a lot less disposable income.
Now, I am not saying it's an ideal situation, with men in some way being expected to pay all the time, because in a perfect world where all was equal, that would be a shitty thing to expect. What I see these days, and echoed from a lot of younger women here, is that we want to find ways to approach men more, in a way that doesn't make anyone feel emasculated, nor call us "thirsty", "desperate", "slutty".
We want to have the income to carry our own load and share with the ones we love when it matters, like taking a nice fella out for a steak. (Because steak is just so damn good and everyone deserves a good one at least once in a while - or fish or something vegan - whatever floats YOUR boat.)
We want to be taken seriously as equals.
So in this day, while we're still struggling, we do still rely on men for capital. It gets better every day though, and we are continuing to work on ways to liberate MEN AND WOMEN from these things.