1x Goldigger, not yet potty trained

by

This afternoon I went to collect a parcel from the sorting office.

There were a couple of people in front of me – a man carrying a small girl and an older man. The child-carrying man dropped his credit card and the older man pointed it out to him. As he bent down to pick it up the little girl reached out her hand for it and the older man said “oh, she’s learnt fast”.

Am I being over-sensitive at the implication that girls always spend someone else’s money? #MFIF

Em, Norfolk, UK.

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40 Responses to “1x Goldigger, not yet potty trained”

  1. kr0y Says:

    I dont know, but before reading the last paragraph of your entry, I thought that the old man meant that the little girl has learnt fast to *pick things up*.
    But since you were present there, you would of course know better what the old man wanted to mean and if he did mean what you thought, then its just plain sad :-/

  2. Clarisinda Says:

    Yes, I hate that implication too – and it happens frequently. As a woman who pays her own way 100% I find it insulting.

    However, I suspect there is a little bit of truth in this one – I would love to see stats on what percentage of money spent by women has been earned by a man, and vice versa. Even if it is only true because women earn less, women tend to be the ones shopping for their family, and because women are forced by outdated laws to be the stay at home parent whether they want to or not.

    • H Says:

      I’d really not like to see these statistics, precisely for the reasons you mention – in many households, women do a lot of unpaid labour whilst men work, and publishing stats on how much money spent by women is earnt by men would just give further ammunition to the misogynists on CiF who think women are ‘freeloading’ or being ‘subsidised’ by men (I actually read those in comments on there recently.)

  3. The Heff Says:

    Here’s another thing I have learnt reading this blog. I didn’t realise that there were laws in some places forcing a woman to stay at home and for a man to go out to work.
    Is this a law in a particular American state?

    • Juliana Soares Says:

      well,as you didn´t have a decent reply,just an arrogant manifestation of “feminist wisdom”who accused you of sarcams(????)here is the answer:

      No,not a legal law,but an indirect one,feed by culture,that “obligates” women to dedicate herself to housework and children care duties more than anything else,even herself.Depending on the country,it is stronger,like in UK as i could see….

      To be honest,i wonder in wich countries you people are…if me,in a Third World one,were educated to earn my onw money,to have high education and to acheive my goals in life as well as many women here,read something like this plus this ignorant manifestation in front of a simple question,i start to doubt the so said better economy and better level of education european countries and America “have”.For me the old men is saying the girl is just learning about money and what is relationed to this,or maybe saying she is learning to pick the things up fast from the floor what is the more suitable in such situation,whatever,who can say what is in that old men mind?

      I am such tired of such ridiculous worries about “sexism”,there are tons of worse situations like the demand for women traffick UK and USA create,nad what i see women like you saying in situations like that is “they have chossen to be in the sex trade”! That´s is far more cruel than all the shits i read in this thread!

      • Luna_the_cat Says:

        Translation: “I didn’t bother reading any of the long bit about relative wages and economic and social pressures. I’ll just tell you all about how everyone should be ignoring things like this because there are worse things elsewhere.” Hey, by that argument, we should completely ignore any issue of worker’s rights in North or South America, because after all, there is still slavery in Africa.

        Tell me, did you see anyone here dismissing problems of trafficked women, or anything like that? Or did you just decide to ignore what HAS been said and rail against the voices in your head, instead?

    • Clarisinda Says:

      I am talking about the UK. Women get reasonably generous maternity leave (certainly compared to the US anyway) and men get two weeks paternity leave. Therefore, unless a couple is extremely poor (i.e. neither are working) or extremely rich (money isn’t an issue) parents have no choice but for the father to earn money and the mother to stay at home. Which of course reinforces traditional gender roles, means that women tend to fall into the habit of being the one to do the housework which continues even after they return to work, that gaps in careers don’t aid career progression etc.

      Until the law changes (and there are plans to fix it a bit) so that couples can choose how they divide up domestic/earning commitments without being tied to old fashioned gender roles, women will continue to earn less and do most of the housework and childcare because that is how the system is set up.

  4. Luna_the_cat Says:

    “The Heff” — I don’t have up-to-date stats for the US, but women in the UK earn ~17% less for equivalent full-time work and up to 35% less in equivalent part-time work than men do. Maternity leave is also several months longer than paternity leave. As a result, from a purely practical and economic point of view, it makes more economic sense for a family deciding who should take on the bulk of childcare duties vs. who should stay in work as much as possible, to have the man work and the woman perform the house & childcare duties (and increasingly parent-care duties as well, as aging parents are becoming another social issue). And this, in turn, perpetuates the stereotype of gender-division duties, and makes it more difficult to even out gender pay rates and family leave.

    Women own less property and control less wealth, and are more dependent on men, not always or even often by choice, but often out of simple “this is what is available for people who have to pay their rent/mortgage and food bills right now.”

    When I first married, the decision was made for me to go striaght to work at a job requiring much lower qualifications. and my husband to finish his PhD and get a much better job after, not because I didn’t want to go to graduate school (because I *DID* want to go to graduate school, very much) — but because pragmatically, his earning power after a PhD would potentially be (at the time) a third again what mine would have been after a PhD, and we couldn’t afford to both do a PhD. We made the decision purely on the basis of “we would like to be able to move out of this 60-sq.-foot basement flat.” Was that decision of who should get and not get higher education right or fair? No. Not a bit. Did it perpetuate stereotypes about earning, and working, and achievement? Yes, beyond a doubt. Did we feel we had a realistic choice? No.

    Your unawareness of real social problems does not justify your sarcasm. Educate yourself, and not by giving us further grief, thanks. Try listening and asking questions, really asking and listening to the answers I mean, not the pseudo-questions of obnoxious gits who think they understand it all already.

    • SkyHawk Says:

      I think what “The Heff” meant was that bullshit like this happens so often in the States that there must be a law for it. I don’t think lighting his hair on fire was the proper response, because clearly he’s (I’m assuming “he”) read the blog already. Besides not answering his question. The Heff, here’s your answer. No, there’s no written law saying that “a woman belongs in the kitchen”. However, one would be led to think so, after all of the posts to that effect.

      • A Different Sam Says:

        The Heff’s just a troll trying to provoke a response. He’s not a very subtle troll and he’s not a very smart troll, but based on the reactions he’s drawn in both this comment thread and others, he seems to be a successful troll.

      • Luna_the_cat Says:

        I do not share your faith in Heff’s sincerity. His comment fits a pattern I’ve encountered too much, and I honestly don’t know how you read his comment as anything other than sarcasm.

        ADF’s point is taken.

      • SkyHawk Says:

        Thank you both for making me see that. *facedesk*

      • Luna_the_cat Says:

        Happens. Your bullshit detector will become tuned soon enough.

      • Nic Says:

        Not to get into a troll/not troll war. The Heff was likely responding to the poster above him. Clarisinda posted “and because women are forced by outdated laws to be the stay at home parent whether they want to or not.”

  5. Alexa Says:

    You know he COULD have just meant that some kids (of both genders) are spoiled/demand stuff that costs money, I know I was all “mommah can I get ___?” when I was younger and didn’t know better, he could be joking about that, NOT because she’s a ‘gold digger’. Why assume the worst?

  6. Brittany-Ann Says:

    Intent is irrelevant here–that comment is inherently sexist because of social narratives that women are goldiggers.

    There are some things that are culturally and historically unacceptable to say or apply to marginalized groups because they have been applied to such groups, used to degenerate them, and used as excuses why marginalized groups do not deserve certain rights.

    Please refrain from positing whether or not this is sexism, please.

    • Katie Says:

      To be fair, the OP ASKED if she was being oversensitive. So this may be the one time it’s acceptable.

    • Emma Says:

      I’d argue that intent is actually pretty crucial. You’re working under the assumption (the same one the OP had, and one that is relatively likely to be true) that this man was speaking about her in terms of her femininity.

      What if he was speaking of her in terms of her childhood? Babies cost money. They are probably the single most expensive “thing” a person will ever acquire, and they never spend their own money either… always someone else’s. Usually their parents’.

      Considering the social narrative, it’s understandable that the OP would take offence (such as an immigrant acquaintance who recently decided to label the overheard “people with uncommon names have an easier time getting interviews” as a racist comment about immigrants when in reality the discussion was about uncommon native names), but it doesn’t mean that the comment was sexist.

    • Jonathan Says:

      OP specifically asks if people think she is “being over-sensitive” so it’s unreasonable for you to attack people for discussing the point.

      • Brittany-Ann Says:

        Except I’m a mod here. Intent is not important–a receiver of sexism is not in the perpetrators mind. The action or words are all that matters–we’re not a court of law. This is a place where women who have been discriminated against can vent and find community, not to be interrogated and silenced. Questioning her experience is silencing,

      • Jonathan Says:

        being a mod here doesn’t make you right.

        I understand that discussing whether or not a post was sexist is not generally welcome on this site, however since OP specifically asked the reasonable options would have been to either not approve the posting or approve an edited version with a short note the the original poster that “was that sexism” is not up for discussion here.

        I’m not saying it wasn’t sexism and I’m not saying that question should be a welcome subject on this board, just that if a topic asks it is rather silly to then go after people for discussing it.

      • Brittany-Ann Says:

        Being a mod here allows me to be able to direct commenters on which topics of conversation are and are not appropriate. If you don’t like it, start another conversation on another board.

        If a question submitted by a reader confuses you about a blog’s commenting policy, then I would err on the safe side, and follow the blog’s dictates. Women here are looking for a safe space, not a court of law. Judgments are not appropriate here.

        This is the last time I will say this. I trust you understand what I’ve lined out in my last several comments.

  7. Amp Says:

    As a total newcomer to this site could someone tell me why we can’t speculate about whether this counts as being sexist? After all, the original poster did ask us whether she was being over-sensitive, and a couple of other posters have suggested viable alternative suggestions.

    Is intent really irrelevant btw? What if it had been a little boy?

    • Julian Says:

      Speculation about whether or not something is sexist isn’t always a good idea on a site like this because quite often, it’s not discussion, it’s silencing. Oh, you silly little girls, THAT’S not sexist! That’s NORMAL! A much fuller discussion here: https://myfaultimfemale.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/being-made-to-feel-its-mfif-on-mfif/

      Although yes, if there is a direct question asked by a poster about whether they’re overreacting then there is scope to give an opinion, because it’s been asked for.

      If it had been a little boy though, I don’t think the comment would have been made.

      • Alibelle Says:

        I just want to back Julian up and agree that it’s often silencing and since this a ranting blog with personal experiences that no one else here witnessed it’s kind of shitty to tell that person that their perceptions are wrong.

        However, I think it’s cool on this particular post to make personal decisions about the intent and sexism here because the OP asked specifically for that to happen. If she hadn’t, it would be fucked up, but she did.

  8. Amp Says:

    To moderator:

    It’s a bit sad that the ‘possibly related posts’ that are automatically generated towards the top of these pages include a link to a porn site – or does in my case. Is there anyway you could disable this aspect of the page?

  9. May Says:

    I absolutely think it’s BS that women are presumed to never be spending their own money. Especially as someone who was married to a jerk who spent all MY money and ppl still acted like I needed to ask his permission for purchases. Bah!

  10. Ruby Says:

    I think it’s quite likely it was a sexist comment, but I don’t think I would have been surprised to hear it if it had instead been a little boy. Some parents complain their kids “eat them out of house and home” or “bleed me dry”. It sounds like an extension of that to me, BUT there is an implication that girls do this more than boys anyway.

  11. Matt G. Says:

    Absent any further context, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant that she was quickly learning to be helpful.

    • Vickie Says:

      My first comment didn’t go through but I wanted to say what Matt G said. This could be a sexist remark, but I would give him the benefit of the doubt as well.

  12. BranchMonster Says:

    While I can’t claim to know exactly what was behind the man’s comment, I do know that neither one of my two freeloading exes heard any comments about spending my money, but random men would take any chance they found to suggest that I was spending a man’s money. At least the last ex would actually tell these guys “she’s the breadwinner.” Unfortunately, that didn’t mean he could see his own misogyny.

  13. Grafton Says:

    I believe that “you are too sensitive” is actually a code-phrase with the true meaning of, “you are not willing enough to put up with my bullshit.”

  14. Anne Says:

    What an interesting thread! No Em, I don’t think you’re being over-sensitive and why is it that when we notice something that is invisible to so many, we feel the need to downplay our own perception?
    I just think your radar picks up more things than most and the phrase “daddy’s credit card” springs to mind and we only need to look at popular culture to see that using “daddy’s credit card” is something daughters do more than sons. Google it and you’ll find pink Tshirts “I love daddy’s credit card” for baby girls, pictures of the movies Shopgirl, Meangirls, mentions of Legally Blonde’s heroine and Jennifer Aniston’s character in Friends and rather revealing examples given on urban dictionary: “a spoilt brat, owns nice clothes, maybe a car, has her hair done every five minutes, all on Daddy’s credit card”.
    2 years ago, I found myself watching Powerrangers with two little boys I was minding. Pink ranger (female and blonde, of course) was sulking and got asked by someone: “what’s the matter with you? Can’t use daddy’s credit card?”. The only reason I remember is that the kids found this particular line hilarious, were besides themselves laughing and begged me to rewind and replay it over and over again. Despite being 4 and 5, and yet, the idea of daddy’s little girl spending all his money while being blonde and pretty wasn’t lost on them either.

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