I think in most situations you can assess a person's career level and income group based on their age, how they carry themselves and where you meet them or through initial conversation, right?
Not always. There's a lot of people who are young and dress like bums, but are highly educated and have good incomes. The way one carries themselves is perhaps a stronger indicator. What they say, how they act, etc. Even then it could be misleading. In university, I used to study with this woman who appeared to be super ditzy, but looks were really deceiving. She had a high GPA, and beyond school, has gone very far in her career. While I'm certain that being extremely attractive is not a disadvantage for her, she is undeniably smart, despite how she carries herself.
You know what I've learned to respect women for their ability to collectively set standards and as a group commit. They know the expectation of full financial contribution is nothing more than unilateral compensation but it's something the majority refuse to disassociate with. They can do this because men are encouraged to think individually since they're in competition with each other over what's perceived as the same resource. Men would rather be disadvantaged and maintain a perception of superiority to other men than be emancipated and empathize as a brotherhood.
A very interesting perspective. I don't think women collectively set any standards, but rather, these seem to be set through historical trends, media, news, etc. The "standards" are a stable social equilibrium, the gender behaviors to which we have settled into that won't change, as long as men believe they should be disadvantaged and they should compete. If we didn't pay a gal's way, someone else would, right? And that someone might get further than us in the dating game. And that's reason for worry, because beautiful women are a scarce resource! Believing these things, we pay. But if that's the way the system works and if the system is not subject to easily change, and additionally, if there are no limiting budget constraints, why wouldn't we pay? Given the system, the man is best off if he pays.
I didn't like paying when I played the dating game, but likely if I paid more, on average I would've gotten further and the same applies for the typical guy. So guys, pay for your dates, if they'll allow it! And if you really want to pay your dues, get married. That's the ultimate unilateral compensation for any woman!
But to encourage a dating environment where men can set barriers and have fair expectations in society which has taken away all of their gender based balancing benefits, we need more brainpower than for the best outcome assumptions. That includes treating ourselves better and having others do the same.
You know what, I think men and women should form gender unions. The more I think about this, men won't get fairness in dating unless we leverage collective bargaining to fight for our rights. Who's with me?! *crickets*