When I was a young girl, I used to sneak upstairs to my older sister’s room, sit on her shag carpet in front of her Three Dog Night poster and flip through her new book that she hid from our parents, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Book By and For Women.” I never knew why my sister wanted the book kept a secret or why it meant so much to her. But she would thumb through its pages with pride as if they held an unspoken truth, a power that women dared not speak about aloud.
Published in 1973, “Our Bodies, Ourselves”was written “in response to an imperative need for women everywhere to learn about our bodies in order to have control over them and over our lives.” The book was iconic and at the forefront of the woman’s liberation movement. Yet even as women fought to gain control over their bodies and other aspects of their lives, they shied away from addressing their relationship with money.
Today, at the beginning of the 21st Century, we women are reticent to explore our money identities. Too often even the most accomplished women would rather leave money decisions to others. As a consequence, we have grown to accept a culture and financial system that fundamentally puts women at a disadvantage. Consider the following. Despite making great strides in higher education (the majority of college graduates in recent years are female), women continue to:
- Earn less than men for the same careers (77 cents on the dollar on average)
- Give away countless free time to manage a home/household without financial recognition or recourse to the value produced
- Receive about 76 cents for every dollar a man does from Social Security
- Accumulate a far smaller pension or retirement plans for our senior years
- Run a high risk of becoming poor in old age despite working throughout a lifetime
For better or worse, money is power and women tend to lack both.
The purpose of this blog is to create a forum where we can explore ourselves financially, where we can converse as freely about money as we can about our bodies, our health. It addresses an imperative need for women everywhere to learn about our money in order to have control over our bank accounts, our future, and our lives. So please read freely, add a comment, discuss, and pass this link on to others. Let’s talk about our money, ourselves.