It’s ‘Money Day’ in one of my Facebook business groups
Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my two favourite groups that I regularly contribute to. Unlike some women’s business groups, it’s a non-toxic environment, and I feel I’ve grown a little from sharing other women’s insights, experiences, and tips.
But I always feel a bit yucky when I see the ‘Money Day’* graphic pop up in my feed.
*Not actually called Money Day, but that’s still what it is.
Here’s why it triggers me
1. Because I’m not making much money
Since giving myself permission to pull back from copywriting to focus on my book, I’m just not earning a lot. I’ve turned away big copy projects and although I’m clear on prioritising my unpaid work of writing my manuscript, I still feel the nagging doubts of my conditioning. I’m a feminist; I’m also human.
2. Because I hate the hustle
The person I am who increasingly loves feminist theory gives the faux-feminist push to earn more, get more, be more the side-eye. The idea of ‘investing in yourself’ – normally accompanied by something like ‘buy my expensive program!’ I find quite repellent. And the interweb is FULL of it. Beware the hustler!
Obviously, I support women going into business. But it’s a big venture, and for partnered women it involves cooperation and collaboration with a partner or family – or paying big $$$ in long daycare. I hate the hustle because instead of teaching women how to break the stereotypical roles of house-cleaner, primary parent, and all that go with it, it normalises doing all of it. Getting up at 4am might work for some women, but for many of us, it’s not a realistic long-term lifestyle choice, or a healthy one. And we’re not ‘less invested in ourselves’, or lacking in positive mindset because of it.
3. Because I’m a mum, and that’s an unpaid, unrecognised position
My reality for now is that my primary occupation is a full time mother, I have been for nearly 10 years. The neoliberalist idea of women who choose full time motherhood part of the growing ranks of ‘welfare bludgers’ (thanks Christian Porter) is one we are increasingly bombarded with, and reinforced in the most “PC” of places – including job applications where ‘current employment details don’t include unpaid caring. (I choose ‘private sector’, then put ‘Motherhood’ as the industry.)
I see the way the role of mothers and motherhood, (full time dads just 3%) is widely undervalued where it counts – that is, structurally – and it fills me with rage.
“What we don’t count, counts for nothing”
— Marylin Waring
The fact is, we all need money. Being financially dependent makes it harder to flee unhappy relationships, abuse, and makes women over 60 an alarmingly increasing representation in homelessness. I’m in a happy, loving relationship, but you just don’t know what the future may bring: these frightening realities have a lot to do with the drive to want to return to financial independence.