I believe there is an important conversation to be had about the relationship between women and money and we need to start asking questions about why our culture is so obsessed with women’s wealth and how it’s obtained. In this blog I explore how misogyny around this topic is not just reserved for the men in our society, but how we should move through these beliefs so we can all benefit.
It’s a common observation that some men (we know the types) have a particular discomfort with women doing well financially; succeeding in their own self-built businesses or rising through the glass ceiling, overtaking them in what they see as the natural order. A knee-jerk reaction of many is to question their success, pouring subtle doubt over the legitimacy of their success and belittling their standing. They might not even be aware that they are doing it, it’s so ingrained, but it happens every day. But it’s not the men that I want to talk about here. We know and almost expect it from them.
The problem we have to tackle is the number of women I’ve seen fall into this trap of internalised misogyny. How can we move beyond this and lift each other up?
These commonly held, if not openly talked about beliefs, centre around the idea that a woman who has done financially well for themselves, especially if they came from a place of lack, has somehow obtained that wealth unethically, illegitimately or simply by marriage. We’re bombarded with images almost daily, of women marrying for money under the façade of real love. It’s an easy win for the tabloids because it makes good headlines. Who owns the newspapers though? We are stuck under the narrative of the capitalist patriarchy and we must move forward so we can claim our legitimate share. But we have to start with ourselves first.
To play big on the financial and career field we have to be strong. By galvanising ourselves against the unwanted opinions of others you can create a mindset that will set you free from the haters. Listen to those who hold you up and support you. Surround yourself with positive cheerleaders.
It’s an insidious form of misogyny that we as women perpetuate, and it’s very subtle. So subtle in fact that we might not even realise that it’s happening, but we know the feeling is off. For example, take two wealthy women; The first obtained their wealth as a result of a painful divorce, the second a high-flying businesswoman. We know how the men will judge their status and validity, but as women, it is important that we don’t fall into these misogynistic tropes and make judgements on each other.
The saddening fact for now is that the more you succeed and the more financially independent you become, the more you’re likely to attract the negative people and the behaviours I’ve mentioned above.
When you get to the point in life where you’re ready to embrace your potential and claim your piece of the cake, the biggest block you will face is this internalised narrative – that you that need approval from other people so you can be valid in some way.
At this point you have a choice. Do you want roll over – to be seen as legitimate, valid and good in the eyes of the patriarchy? Or, do you want the alternative – to free yourself from the entire game? It will always come down to these two choices and remember this – the only approval that you ever need is the approval of yourself.
Pay attention to the narratives that we are fed around women and wealth.
The biggest fight is going to be with your own internalised misogyny. The best way to fight is to assume solidarity with all women until you are proven otherwise. Assume that every woman is on the same side as you.
I hope you found this of value. Something else you will find useful is my Spiritual Life Money Upgrade Programme and you can learn more about it here.
Dr Kate Tomas