Women As Moneypits

29 Sep

So we’ve all heard of dowries, right.  Basically your father pays another man to take you away.

Indian Widow

He’s not gaining a son, he’s losing a daughter.  I’ve been learning about Hindu practices lately which have really been bothering me.  In India girls are promised at a very young age and then once she is married (to a man potentially a few decades her senior) she basically becomes a servant to her mother-in-law until she gives them a son.  God forbid her elderly husband dies, she cannot remarry and is required to shave her head and wear white mourning clothes until she dies.  She’s also often urged to speed up that process by throwing herself on his funeral pyre to save her in-laws the burden of continuing to feed her.

I don’t want to hate on Hindus.  They’re not the only people to decide that women are worth less, are burdens on their families. Check out anything Jane Austen wrote.

And yet it makes me wonder.  Why were women considered a burden?  We could only keep house, we had no marketable skills.  And why did we have no marketable skills?  Because our fathers wouldn’t let us go to school?  Because they thought that if we read the big books and did the big thinking then our brains would explode?  Because men were afraid that if we could support ourselves then we wouldn’t want them anymore?

Hey, Self, why all the past tense?  In many countries girls still can’t go to school.  Here’s an article about Afghan girls dressing as boys. Can you imagine?  Your parents telling you “Hey!  I didn’t really want you, what I really wanted was a boy instead, so you’re going to pretend to be one.  Added benefit:  hopefully it’ll lead to the birth of a real boy!”  I don’t want to say that in Afghanistan parents love their children any less than anywhere else in the world.  I don’t think that’s the case at all.


Pride and Prejudice

Just as Elizabeth Bennet’s father loved her and Indian girls fathers love them too. I just want to point out how the entire world has been influenced by this sort of thinking.  Women are a bad investment.  Women waste your money and can’t keep track of their own, god forbid they have any.  Women love to shop.  Daughters are costly.  Bicycles with pink tassels cost more than ones with blue.  God forbid you have five daughters like the Bennet’s, or Tevye from Fiddler on The Roof.  Poor fathers.  Poor, poor men.  Pity the men.

I’m just really sick of men telling women that we’re a burden because we don’t have any skills, when those women have no skills because other men wouldn’t allow them into school or let them read books just because they were women.

The latest iteration of this line of thinking; the Gold digger.  Every piece of media warns men against their evils.  Women just want to use your car.  They want to use your credit card at the mall.  They want to you to take them to expensive meals.  Wow.  I didn’t realize how much I suck.    I’ll get on that one straight away.  Never mind that I hate when men give me gifts that cost real money.  It feels like they want me to owe them *something*.  It makes me feel like a prostitute.  Yup Cee Lo, if you were richer, I’d still be with you.  My leaving you had nothing to do with how you talk about loving my “cheeks.”  Um… awkward.  And it’s certainly not about your penchant for crazy baby temper tantrums.

One of my best friends is a guy and when we first started hanging out he kept trying to pay for my food.  I would do anything to avoid this.  And he would make fun of me for it endlessly.  I knew he wasn’t interested in me that way and yet it still made me really uncomfortable.

I plan to make my own money.  I expect my husband to mow the lawn and rake the leaves (mainly so I can watch), but to pay for everything?  No.

I’m glad to be a part of a generation where women are reclaiming our ability to be wives and mothers and educated people.  Women are natural multitaskers.  We’ve always known we could do it all and now we need to grab at the chance to prove it.  Any man who doesn’t know that isn’t worth my time.

One Response to “Women As Moneypits”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Rejected Boy Syndrome « Female Gazing - October 20, 2010

    […] friend Izzy responded to my post about the concept of Gold diggers and made an interesting point.  He pointed out that these guys who really believe in gold […]

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