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Why the Way We Talk to Women About Money Needs to Change

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You’ve probably read something recently in which you were confused about why it was assumed you couldn’t control your own spending. You’re a woman, so all you can think about is wasting all your hard-earned cash on shoes, right? Ugh.

According to one new survey, the stereotypical way media organizations talk to women about money is widespread. Starling Bank had about 300 finance articles from the UK and other countries linguistically analyzed, The Guardian reports. 65 percent of the articles aimed at women “defined them as ‘splurgers,’ excessive spenders with poor judgment who needed to ‘rein in’ their spending.”

On the flip side, articles written for men depicted a financial landscape brimming with opportunity, where spending was seen as an exciting risk or a smart investment.

The Wage Gap

Why does that matter? In our modern world, money is power. And in the US, women still earn about 80 cents for every dollar men earn. To address that wage gap, companies need to commit to paying women equally for equal work (groundbreaking, right?), and laws need to hold them to that.

But in the meantime, empowering women to demand what they deserve is necessary, and language is a powerful tool.

“If women are constantly talked about as either scrimping and saving or managing the pennies to make things go further, that’s what you get reinforced to think money’s all about. And of course if you’re a man you’re having different sorts of conversations; you’re prepared to demand more, and not see money as something you have to beg for, but something you have a right to,” Starling Bank founder Anne Boden told The Guardian.

Did we mention today is #EqualPayDay? How about next time you read an article in which someone talks down to you about your ability to manage your finances, you use it as motivation to ask for a raise?

 

(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)

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