Being feminist, dating gives me a lot to chew on. By conservative estimates, being male is still worth five percent of your paycheck. For many women dating is an interview process for motherhood, a position of serious economic vulnerability. On some level, generosity and wealth are reasonable, non-discriminatory things to be attracted to.
However, after a certain number of dates with thirty-something geek businessmen who were "proud of their ability as a provider"--and who seemed both delighted by and impervious to my passion for social(ist) analysis--it became clear that accepting the existing system** wouldn't do.
Eventually I arrived at a sort of formula for handling this in my own life. I don't care how much money they don't have, as long as they are good at:
1) Meeting their own needs
2) Making me feel loved, cared for, and appreciated, and
3) Carrying their half of responsibility for a family, should that ever become relevant.
I would date someone who doesn't have these things covered, as long as fixing that was a serious priority in their life. It goes without saying that in the eventuality that finances are combined, communication is prioritized and agreements kept.
I also developed a romantic-gift rule. I'll guiltlessly accept gifts that are just to make me happy, but not gifts of things I need when I'm unable to comfortably take care of those basic needs myself. In a very serious relationship, I would also, carefully, accept gifts related to unmet basic needs, as long as they were targeted towards making me better able to independently meet those needs in the long run.
I like these rules. Clearly they aren't perfect for all situations; in the event of zombie apocalypse, the gift rule would get unwieldy fast. And my understanding of "half the responsibility for a family" is necessarily flexible and feminist, so in practice it would take a lot of discussion. Still, I love having clear boundaries that protect independence.
*the other counterpart is hight, which is interesting because the discrimination is severe, consistent, and not just in romance--despite the fact that being short is not something people have any control over.
**For me, a (theoretically happy?) relationship wherein