Allow me to start off this post with a sweeping statement on gender equality politics, something that has never been a bad idea in the history of ever.
The only reason why Men’s Rights is a thing is because Feminism has become a parody of itself. Feminism ran out of real issues years ago, so now they focus on stupid crap like manspreading, “mansplaining”, and pushing campus rape statistics that don’t even hold up to rational thought, let alone any empirical research. And while we’re at it, LOL at the whole women make 23% less than men thing.
While we’re at it, the “patriarchy” is particularly laughable. Look at the average guy and explain to me how he’s suppressing women. He’s just as suppressed as she is, just in a slightly different way. The life of the average guy in North America in 2015 is about the same as it is for the average woman. There’s an argument to be made for the rich oppressing everyone in the lower and middle classes, but there is no movement actually looking to suppress women.
Like with Feminism, Men’s Rights is almost equally laughable. The movement does touch on some legitimate issues — like domestic violence hardly being a one-way street, default child custody going to the mother, and maybe circumcison — but quickly devolves into nonsense about stuff like Gamergate and declaring false rape allegations as some sort of huge problem. Like with Feminism, the crazy fringes of the movement give the whole thing a bad name.
There are certain problems that people encounter when being alive in 2015. Some of these issues are gender specific, but most aren’t. Young women are struggling to get ahead, date safely, and so on. But so are young men. Both genders are struggling with finding careers after earning ill-advised degrees. Both genders are trying to figure out how to invest for retirement, while being able to afford a decent house and a tropical vacation each year. Even people who aren’t reading this blog are worried about that stuff, just not as much as you or I are.
And yet, I see countless pieces in the PF-o-sphere like the one I encountered the other day, over at Makin (sic) The Bacon, titled Women Into Investing Part II: PF Bloggers. Essentially, Ms. Bacon asked a bunch of women personal finance bloggers why women are scared to invest, and what the gender can specifically do to become better investors. I have yet to see one that gives men-specific tips on the same issues.
Which reminded me of this tweet I sent out a couple of years ago.
The woman on TV is giving last minute tax tips. Wouldn't they be the same as, like, regular tax tips?
— Nelson! (@financialuproar) April 23, 2013
This isn’t some sort of rant against Ms. Bacon. She’s just doing with thousands before her have done, by asking all the other PF ladies (who will hopefully promote said post on Twitter or their own blogs) what to do with the problem of women’s lack of investing. But why in the actual hell would investing ever be a gender issue? Just like with last minute tax tips, investing tips are THE EXACT SAME for dudes and ladies.
Want to pick actual stocks? Be prepared to read your face off. Sorry, you can’t just skim through an article on Seeking Alpha and decide to buy a stock. Well, you can, but be prepared to be laughed at by serious investors.
Want to do well at work? Then be a great employee, dammit. Take a critical look at how hard you work (like with driving and sex, just about everyone overestimates how good they are at work), and increase your productivity along with decreasing the amount of office crap you either start or contribute to. Happily do the jobs nobody else wants to and I guarantee you will get ahead. Stop worrying about crap like how making the office coffee or treats is somehow sexist.
Want to save more money? Then actually save more money. Either pick up some extra income or cut your spending. The internet is filled with stuff to help you out with that.
And so on. It doesn’t matter what your financial problem is, the solution is you taking action and fixing it. It has very little — if anything — to do with your genitals.
But by making it a gender issue, suddenly both sexes can use their ingrained beliefs to blame someone or something else for their problems. Ladies aren’t getting ahead as fast as they’d like? It can’t be an issue with their work ethic or a lack of patience, it’s the patriarchy’s fault! Damn rich guys, always striving to keep women down! I’m going to go on Twitter and retweet some stuff on sexism, which is easier than acting!
It’s the same thing for dudes. Yeah, having money that you’re paying to your ex for child support would be nice, but it’s time to stop complaining about that and focus on optimizing the future. It’s the same with with alimony, or being stuck in a marriage where your wife spends all your money. Ultimately, they’re all just excuses.
Sometimes, when somebody wants to discredit something I’ve come up with, I’ll get a remark about my lack of formalized education. Nobody should listen to Nelson, see, because he never went to college. I’ve never let that slow me down because I know it’s a terrible comeback. Which is exactly the attitude a woman investor should have when some troll tries to refute her investment research with a quip about how women are bad at math.
There’s plenty of ingrained sexism that both genders have to deal with. Yes, it goes both ways. Talk to a male kindergarden teacher or nurse if you don’t believe me. That’s bad, and it’s something we should look at improving. But when it comes to money, investing, frugality, or anything else to do with your finances, there’s no reason to make anything about gender. The same rules apply to everyone.