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Here's me hoping this is the right circle. I also liked the satisfying alliteration. Anyway, here goes:

In my mind, it truly is an important factor for achieving liberation - financial freedom. For centuries, women have been held back by men in terms of property and even right now we can see how it's mostly males controlling and owning most the money.

That's why the J. Prit*kers of this world can fund the transgender movement and how the $$$ techbros are controlling the narrative.

What can we, as women, do? On the larger scale, sure. And what about our own lives?

What made me think about this is how Etsy screwed women over and how these grassroots movements are often reliant on crowdfunding and donations.

Which, in turn, costs us all so much, just to try and fight back, that it leaves us vulnerable.

I was raised with the patriarchal idea of having a husband one day who would basically manage "our" finances. Me, obviously dependent and all that. That's an ideal that my grandparents wanted and enforced when I was growing up.

As a lesbian, that is (thankfully) not possible. I refuse to go my mother's path in life and be dependent on a male. I don't have much but I am hoping to learn from you all.

Thoughts?

Edit: Not trying to say heterosexual women have to go that route and can't be independent - far from it. It's just that by being gay, I had to realize that this default doesn't apply to me, ever. Made it easier to conceptualize within my family's upbringing.

Here's me hoping this is the right circle. I also liked the satisfying alliteration. Anyway, here goes: In my mind, it truly is an important factor for achieving liberation - financial freedom. For centuries, women have been held back by men in terms of property and even right now we can see how it's mostly males controlling and owning most the money. That's why the J. Prit*kers of this world can fund the transgender movement and how the $$$ techbros are controlling the narrative. What can we, as women, do? On the larger scale, sure. And what about our own lives? What made me think about this is how Etsy screwed women over and how these grassroots movements are often reliant on crowdfunding and donations. Which, in turn, costs us all so much, just to try and fight back, that it leaves us vulnerable. I was raised with the patriarchal idea of having a husband one day who would basically manage "our" finances. Me, obviously dependent and all that. That's an ideal that my grandparents wanted and enforced when I was growing up. As a lesbian, that is (thankfully) not possible. I refuse to go my mother's path in life and be dependent on a male. I don't have much but I am hoping to learn from you all. Thoughts? Edit: Not trying to say heterosexual women have to go that route and can't be independent - far from it. It's just that by being gay, I *had* to realize that this default doesn't apply to me, ever. Made it easier to conceptualize within my family's upbringing.

4 comments

[–] lucrecia 11 points (+11|-0) Edited

Agree absolutely that financial independence is crucial, and I think there needs to be much more awareness of this connection in general. In terms of individual independence, https://www.thebillfold.com/2016/01/a-story-of-a-fuck-off-fund/ is a good, quick, piece for every young woman to read.

As a class, I think women have to move away from buying the rubbish men try to sell us, including their value systems. We don't need the same amount of money as the richest men if we have enough to support each other doing what actually matters, and personally I think that if we amass the same material wealth, men will just steal it anyway. Similarly, we don't need to contort ourselves to survive in their spaces if we have our own. I think one of the biggest tricks patriarchal culture pulls is getting women to compete on men's terms in the first place; the game is rigged. We need to be clear in ourselves about what we actually need and why, so that we can use our resources effectively, and channel them back toward women wherever possible. So I think the most important first step is to talk to and learn from other women, in environments where people can be honest.

By abdicating parenting in favor of economic independence we continue to chase the carrot on a stick while allowing questionable ideology to be taught to our children in schools and other public spheres. I'm in favor of a Universal Basic Income and a form of home/un-schooling that fosters critical thinking.

[–] SarahTheGreen 4 points (+4|-0)

I was raised with the idea that women should be financially independent. I was told this by '70s feminism, by seeing how my father treated my mother (a really stingy housekeeping allowance that she had to supplement with her own part-time earnings that she earned once we were all in school to be able to be dressed reasonably well), and by novels. It was a hot topic when I was growing up.

I have been unable to marry due to trauma (working on that) and unable to support myself financially due to same trauma plus other disability. My father kicked me out of the family when I stood up for myself so no family support either. I've been on some form of government handout, mostly disability but even then a real struggle, for over 23 years now. So I have been thinking about this a lot.

A universal basic income (providing a basic level of support for everyone, just as we do for education, and for health care in most wealthy countries) would help a lot, and we are heading that way, sped up by the pandemic lockdowns. One country (Spain? Portugal?) has already pledged an NIT (negative income tax, which is halfway to a UBI) and I know the Liberals in Canada are discussing it.

I think we also need to discuss the value of women's labour regardless of whether it is paid for or not. Society gives lip service to parenting being the most important job while not actually supporting mothers that much (and I think far too many feminists do, too, which may be alienating right-wing women, though I don't know if it does). I've been thinking a lot about this. Am I of no value to society (unless I can spread my legs for a man) if I am unable to do "women's work" in the paid workplace, am not allowed to do the kind of "man job" I would be good at because I am too feminine-presenting (I tried; it was a horrible disaster), but would be quite good at emotional labour in a family unit or small, familiar community? I would have been fine as I am in a small hunter-gatherer community if I could have found one that wasn't abusive. I would also have been fine as a mother figure in my own family (e.g. caring for aging parents) had I been respected instead of abused and kicked out.

I realize the financial buffer is to protect us from abuse – it makes it easier for us to say no and leave. But somehow there's this idea out there now that a woman is of no worth unless she can support herself financially. I'm not sure how much of this is just internalized oppression on my part and how much of it is just the normalization of women working for money even when they have small children. Politicians support working mothers because it's good for the GDP and good for consumerism. It isn't necessarily good for women.

I also have this Darwinian idea in my head, based partly on what an acquaintance once said to me about her own children (that she was a successful mother because they'd become both self-sufficient and had had children of their own, like baby birds leaving the nest and breeding), that people like me "shouldn't" have children even with a supportive husband because we can't hold down a job in our current cultural iteration. Even if we'd make way better parents than our parents did.

**

I've seen two ways of couples dealing with money that are different from pay-your-own-way/split-costs-down-the-middle which only works if both spouses earn the same amount. One is to divide all income from all sources into two separate accounts, one per spouse, each paying equally into agreed-upon shared expenses, with the rest spent/saved/invested as each individual wants. (Though dealing with investment income from that might be sticky.) The other is Muslim (gleaned from internet comments) and it says that her money is hers, his money is theirs.

[–] SarahTheGreen 5 points (+5|-0)

TLDR: Individual financial independence is an important interim measure (go for it if you can) but doesn't solve the underlying issue of women's financial (and political) vulnerability due to sex differences in reproductive roles.