Did you know that in Saudi Arabia, a woman can’t travel, get out of jail or drive a car without a male chaperone? I know this because a Fierce Girl in that country is currently running a petition to change the law, under the hashtag #Iammyownguardian. You go girl.
This is just one of many f*cked up rules that our sisters in other countries are subject to. I won’t go into detail about ‘honour’ killings, child marriages or female genital mutilation, but will just say it’s totally and utterly f*cked.
And even here in the modern, Western world, we continue to fight on other fronts. We fight not to have men threaten us with rape and death on Twitter. We fight not to be killed by men we had the misfortune to love (two women die this way every week in Australia, sadly). We fight not to be manterrupted, mainsplained to, or manspread next to.
Nonetheless, we have been given a gift of rights that many of our sisters around the world simply don’t have. In fact, until last century, women could barely own property in their own names. Until the mid-20th century, we couldn’t apply for a bank loan without a male signatory. And in many industries, we weren’t allowed to work once we got married.
So the rights we have now have been hard-won.
Our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers handed us a powerful legacy: financial independence.
We don’t need a man to give us permission for anything (well, maybe to touch them, but they hardly ever say no to that).
So how good is this? We can earn our own money! Invest it! Save it! Spend it!
We can do whatever we damn want to do with it, because it’s ours.
We have the power to pay for our own lives.
But as Gandalf once said, with great power, comes great responsibility. (Well I’m not sure it was him, but it sounds plausible, in his deep, calming, Sir Ian McKellen voice).
We have been handed a GIFT. The gift of financial freedom. And we have to treasure it.
That means not throwing it away, not letting a man get his grubby hands on it, not leaving it to sort itself out. Let’s disregard any Marxist deconstruction of gender politics and economics (which I could totally do, with my liberal Arts degree and intimate knowledge of Marxism).
Because I would like to argue that FIERCE GIRL FINANCE IS A FEMINIST ACT.
Men are always trying to get up in our shit. So, every time you learn more about money and finance, the more you take over the stuff they have been owning for centuries.
Every time you fight for a payrise (and to close the gender pay gap), you are carrying on a tradition of women fighting for their share of the world’s resources.
Every time you save money for your F*ck-off Fund, you are giving yourself more power to shape your choices.
Every time you invest money successfully, you are giving yourself more resources to do whatever it is that makes your soul sing.
Every time you say no to spending money on crap you don’t need, so you can pay for stuff that improves your life, you are adding to the happiness of all of us womenfolk.
And every time you use your wealth to give thoughtfully to a charity that helps other women, you are sharing the love with the sisterhood.
I could go on. And I encourage you to share your own thoughts on how you see finance intersecting with feminism.
But let’s all just take a moment to think about what we have gained, what we still need to fight for, and how every dollar we earn, spend, save and invest in a mindful way, is a dollar in the money-box of gender equality.