Imagine you are a guy who just finished college, have a lot of debt and live in a city with a high cost of living. You have a low paying entry level job and you are barely keeping your head above water. You get invited for drinks by a guy your age. He went to a better school, didn’t finish. But his dad pulled some strings, he got a good job. He showed you his “spring break” pics. This guy lives large. There’s probably a trust fund there. You could go to the bar with him, networking and all that. He’ll probably cover the first round too. But you know that you’ll be expected to pay a large tab at some point. His tastes aren’t exactly “budget dive.” Sure, you could splurge, there’s still open credit on your card even thought you’ve surely but slowly been paying it down. And that savings account you started a few months back, not quite up to $250 and at this rate it’ll be over a year before you get to that “safety cushion grand.” You could raid that as an emergency beer fund, couldn’t you?
This guy doesn’t get that you live in the dodgy but slightly arty part of town because that was the only place you could find where it was under a grand for rent. He thinks you are just some kind of hipster wanna-be. He thinks that you drive that old pick-up because vintage is in. Doesn’t realize it was all you could afford with your graduation money and it seemed better than getting locked into a car loan. He doesn’t realize that you ride your bike to work 3 days a week because the pickup needs probably about $2000 in work just to be safe and those tires are worn down to the tread. If you ride you bike to work 3 days a week, you only have to put $20 in gas and you can make that last a whole ten days. He thinks you are just being “green,” you liberal, you…
In short, the reality of your situation is something he will never understand. So you politely decline the night out and say you gotta have a clear head for tomorrow’s workday. Maybe next time, though…
Do you see the inequity of this situation???
Okay now there is something called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
–physiological needs come at the bottom of this pyramid. This is food water, and yes, sex.
–Next comes safety and security.
–After that, friendship and love.
If you accept this model (and there is certainly an argument to be made that this is flawed or not a be-all-end-all model of human life.)
Well, if you do accept this model, then you might start seeing where I am going. A woman seeking “friendship” with a low status man is seeking higher things on the pyramid, perhaps safety that might come from being seen in public with him. She may complain to him that she easily gets Mr. Right now on Tinder but where is her Mr. Right? She might complain of the wage gap and talk about equal work for equal pay. But where is her “egalitarianism” when she expects the man to pay for the first date. Where is her “egalitarianism” when men are expected to make the first move in romantic courtships and also navigate extremely confusing and contradictory social cues.
This “relationship” will be on an unequal footing.
Just like “drinking with the rich guy.”
Just like the employer-employee relationship.
Maybe you are stuck with the inequitable employer-employee relationship.
But why are you choosing the other two?