Oh, woe is me, to have seen what I have seen, see what I see.

I feel like keeping an eye on the prize is starting to become difficult. I feel like I was more aspiring and self assured in middle school than I am now, when it comes to achieving my dreams. I feel like I’m starting to slowly compromise things that matter for things that shouldn’t matter.

Well that’s a shame. I need to get over it. All women do.

Research is starting to show that even relatively savvy young women are losing confidence in managing their money and losing sight of their future. In the workplace, women are apparently less intent upon negotiating their salaries, refrain from saving and investing and are becoming increasingly dependent on men or social security benefits. However, in this society and economy, relying on these things is almost foolish- what happened to being the more intelligent of two? The U.S Department of Labor has revealed that women get fewer retirement benefits because they are more likely to work part time or interrupt their careers for family. And a woman having more longevity does not help here either.

The thing is, I want to succeed after college. I want to have a family and raise children and still maintain a steady, prospering career. Many women have wanted this but ultimately failed to find the proper balance without making some sort of sacrifice. Even after 4 decades into the feminist movement, the social structure of child rearing is still basically the same. And now, in many cases, an American woman might be stripped of her best financial asset: a husband. Of course, our system has a way of counteracting this burden by providing policy for paid parental leave, subsidized day care and now, national health insurance. I guess the point is: women choose to take this on, and it’s applaudable, but why?

Why work without benefits? Why spend more on that pair of heels to make a statement? Why have an extra child to break the bank? I wonder these things because I want to know; I want to be prepared.

Seemingly, men see money as a marker of their significance, whereas women see it as a mean to security. Men want money as an end in itself; women want money for things they really want. Women don’t receive adequate recognition for making money and properly managing it. In order for us to become rich, it seems like we have to engage in stereotypical male behaviors: staying in the workforce, staying on a budget, and staying in the stock market. Eeep, scary! For women, however, saving and investing has to compete with money’s usefulness in buying stuff that produces other things…like female recognition. We are wonderfully praised for visible beauty, mothering, and community service. So is it worth it?

I guess wanting to be noticed and appreciated isn’t a bad thing but is this reason to compromise? Although many leading, executive women make attaining that balance in society seem possible, sacrifices are still made. And unless you were once married to Britney Spears, a man cannot sit around hoping for their darling wife to buy him a new sound system. Although there are countless exceptions, society has not placed the burden of attaining power and monetary wealth upon a woman and I guess that’s the trade off to our continuous struggle in overcoming this systemization.

40 years and counting, gals.

3 Comments

  • Reply January 8, 2010

    Ben Z.

    Not sure how budgeting and investing are stereotypical male behaviors, anyone who handles money should do the same. Being a single parent is rarely a choice. And men don’t differ from women – they spend their money in the same ways. Instead of heels they buy $1500 suits to show off their status in the workplace. What are you trying to say here? It sounds like you’re saying that society should pay more money to women so they can buy stuff..

  • Reply January 8, 2010

    Ben Z.

    True, women shouldn’t feel sorry for themselves. They should realize that in this day and age, they are in a very equal playing field with men. Why? A business doesn’t care about your gender. It cares about how much profit your can bring. The workforce is as equal as ever. If women feel forced to blame nature about their instincts to rear children, no one can fix it for them.. nearly all mammals have the instinct to rear offspring as females, and to support their families as males.

  • Reply January 8, 2010

    Tareen

    I’m raising questions here: why does this mentality in women exist? why do they feel that they are bound by society? why do they feel the need to make better statements? In the past several weeks I’ve encountered several articles and women that feel this way. They feel like theyre giving into “male stereotypes” by pursuing higher goals than the average female. It doesnt make sense, youre right. Even after the feminist movement, it seems almost innate for women to feel that money is for security or being recognized when really I feel like both men and women need to be conscious of how and when their money is spent. I feel like what hinders more women from attaining executive positions is their mentality. After barely dipping my feet into the 20′s pool, I’m beginning to wonder if I, too, will fall into this mindset. I dont see a need for women to feel sorry for themselves. Thus, the notorious quote as the title of this random post.

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