154. Why Do We Hate When Women Have Money?

May 2, 2024

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“Men are allowed to ask for what they’re worth. They’re allowed to show up as the fullest version of themselves. They’re allowed to take up space. They’re allowed to purchase things without the shaming judgmental comments. Men are allowed to pursue wealth in a way that women just aren’t.”

Have you ever felt guilty about wanting more money? Have you ever felt shame around wanting to charge more or get paid more? This episode of Financial Feminist tackles the deep-seated societal narratives that discourage women from pursuing financial security and independence and exposes the double standard that exists around money and wealth. Men are celebrated for their financial success, while women are expected to be selfless and prioritize the needs of others, often at the expense of their own financial well-being. In this episode of the FInancial Feminist, Tori is getting to the root of WHY that is — along with dismantling the myths around women and money, and equipping you with the tools and confidence to take back control of your financial future.

Actionable takeaways:

  • Acknowledge how societal narratives have impacted your own perception of money
  • Share your accomplishments boldly to inspire other women
  • Celebrate all accomplishments, not just traditional milestones or milestones attached to a man (marriage, having children etc)
  • Talk openly about money with friends and family
  • Use positive language when referring to money management

Notable Quotes

“An uncontrollable woman is the patriarchy’s worst nightmare. I love being the patriarchy’s worst nightmare.” 

“The worst decision you can make when it comes to your money is making no decision at all.” 

“Accomplishments don’t have to be tied to a man.”

“We teach boys to be resilient. We teach girls to be perfect”


≫ 00:20 Media’s portrayal of men and money

≫ 02:49 The double standard: celebrating men’s wealth, criticizing women’s

≫ 04:35 Personal journey: from financial feminist to millionaire

≫ 13:06 Weaponized altruism and gender roles

≫ 29:30 Actionable steps: from awareness to empowerment

Mentioned in this episode:

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Tori Dunlap:

So I came to Kristen with this episode concept. I mean, I’ve written that my entire book is basically about this. All of my work is basically about this, which is why are we so uncomfortable with women pursuing money. And yeah, we’re just launching right into it today. I’m Tori. I host this podcast. Welcome. Here’s the thing. Kristen, the reason this started was I was at the gym, and I was walking on the treadmill, and I was doing my little hot girl walk and Planet Fitness where I go… No, it’s not sponsored. That’s just the Planet Fitness, is every… In front of the treadmills are 20 TVs, right.

And you’ve got Guy Fieri on the Food Network, and you’ve got stupid Fox News, and you’ve got Good Morning America on ABC, and then you’ve got this Discovery Channel. And Kristen, I don’t know about you. I grew up, we watched Deadliest Catch religiously in my house. Okay. Well, it was like set in Alaska, but there were people who lived in the Pacific Northwest area. Apparently, it’s still… I saw this research the other day. It’s still one of the most popular American television shows. It’s so popular, especially in places like the Midwest, which makes sense.

And so I was watching Discovery Channel while watching 12 other things on the various TVs, and I don’t even know what show it was. It was the Catch Big Fish, Sell, Make Men Money show. You know these shows where they like the tuna is this big, and they have to go out into the middle of the ocean and catch the tuna, and then it’s a boat full of dudes. And then they come back to this other dude who buys the tuna. And then there’s this moment of tension where you’re wondering how much does the tuna cost. And I will make a point. Just give me a second. And you’re like, “How big is this tuna? How much money are they going to make?”

And then the guy goes, “Well, I’d give you…” And then it’s like, hah, dah, dah, dah, dah. And then they cut to all three of their faces, and he’s like, “$14 a pound.” And they’re like, “Yes, we just made $350,000 off this one fish,” or whatever it is, right. And then this show wraps up, and American Pickers comes on, which is on the History Channel, I think, but History Channel’s right next door to Discovery Channel. And if those who haven’t seen American Pickers, it’s your dad’s favorite show. Maybe it’s just my dad’s favorite show.

But it’s these two dudes who go out, and they drive around the country, and they go get stuff that antiques and signs for old oil companies, and they go to basically hoarders’ houses. And the guy who’s there is, “Oh, I wouldn’t sell this thing.” And they’re like, “How much would you take for it?” And they’re like, “I’d charge a 300.” And then the guy goes, “200.” And then they say 250, and then they bring it back to their shop. What is my point with this? Well, I’m watching these shows. They’re all men, usually white men, and they’re all talking very transparently about how much money they’re making, and negotiations are happening in a very accessible way.

So this tells me it’s just yet another example for me over and over and over again that men are allowed to pursue money. And in fact, we give them literally platforms to do it on. They’re allowed to be transparent about money. They’re allowed to talk about bringing in a lot of money, and they’re applauded for it. They’re worshiped for it. We see this on a more massive scale with Elon Musk, right. Now, I think he’s getting more and more criticism as the days go by, which, thank goodness. But there is a certain subset group of people, typically other straight white men, who look to people like Elon Musk and think, “Oh my God, that guy’s so incredible. He makes so much money, right.”

Or will have TikToks of like, “I made $500,000 drop shipping. Here’s how you can do it too.” And the comments are not what the comments would be for women. The comments are, “Wow, you’re doing so well for yourself. How do I do it too? Dude, that’s so cool.” Right. So I’m just launching right into it. But the thesis of this episode, as well as the thing I spend way too much of my time thinking about is, why do we hate women with money? Or why do we hate women who pursue money when that standard is not for men as well? So let’s go back a little bit.

When I was doing research for my book Financial Feminist, I was realizing in my own life that as I was progressing towards financial independence towards being a millionaire, something interesting started happening, which is comments on my Instagram comments, even from people who were adjacent to me in my life, not friends but maybe friends of friends, there started being this conversation of, “Why is she charging for her services or why is she so transparent about money? It’s really tacky and gross.” I’ve said many times on this show before, but I just want to say again the pursuit of wealth is not a bad thing. The pursuit of wealth is not a morally corrupt thing.

I don’t want a stack of government-issued paper that doesn’t get me anything. I want what money can buy me. I want choice and freedom and flexibility. And in a society that is capitalist and corrupt and disenfranchises marginalized groups, you having your own money means that you get to have those choices and freedom and flexibility. A financial education, having money is our best form of protest in that system. So me pursuing money isn’t just so I can stockpile it, so I can take care of myself so that I can take care of my family, so that I can hire people, so that I can donate to causes I believe in, so that I can do really cool fucking things with a business that changes people’s lives on a day-to-day basis.

The fact that I even have to say this, though, is part of the reason we’re doing this episode, which are men are allowed to pursue money. They’re worshiped for it. And women, there’s a double standard of, “You don’t want to have more money because it’s greedy. You asking for more money, you asking just for what you’re worth is greedy. It’s gauche. It’s impolite.” And the comments that I get a lot, which is, “Well, if you really cared about this, you would just do it for free.” I’m sorry. Have you ever said that to a man? “Well, you’re a doctor. If you really cared about saving people’s lives, you would just do it for free. We’re not going to compensate you for your work.”

We’re not going to make sure that you get money to be paid. Social workers get paid nothing, but still, “Oh, if you really cared about it, you would just do it for free.” No. You deserve to be compensated for your work, and you also deserve to charge for your work. I literally had an Instagram comment yesterday that sent me into a little aggravated tailspin from someone who follows us, which said something like, “You used to care about helping people, and now you just care about selling your own products.” First of all, I care very deeply, and I’m not going to convince you that I care. The second thing is we deserve, as women, to charge for our expertise.

I also have people to pay, which is I feel like I don’t even have to say a justification, but when you’re running a business, you’re allowed to charge what you’re worth. End of statement. Period. I also have expenses because this is a business. We have other people who rely on us charging. We are not a non-profit. We are a business. And this is just, I will never fully understand or know how much sexism plays a part in my day-to-day life as an entrepreneur. But I feel like even the very thing the company stands for, which is women pursuing wealth unabashedly, we still have members of our community who have their own hangups about money, who then go like, “Why are you charging? You should just care.”

First of all, we have so many free, I’m not going to say first of all because this is fourth of all, we have so many free things too. It would be different, maybe, if I was offering you no value, if I was doing nothing to aid and contribute to your life and then being like, “Buy a $3,000 program.” First of all, none of our programs are $3,000. They are all under three to $500, with most of them being like 50 or $100. So that’s the first thing. Okay, I’m on a rant. We can cut any of this we want, but just we have a problem in society. Men are allowed to charge what they’re worth without anybody batting an eye and with no justification.

They’re also allowed to spend money on whatever they want to spend money on without justification. So I’ll tell you another story. This is in my book as well. I mentioned her name, but she’s been a guest on the show. She has her own podcast, Victoria Garrick Browne. Friend of mine. She hosts Real Pod. She got married to her husband Max, I think, about a year and a half ago. But when we talked, they were engaged, and she was planning her bridal shower. And I remember her texting me this long of a text message. If you’re on YouTube, you can see, but I don’t know, a foot, two-feet-long text message. You know those where you just wake up, and you get this huge long message from a friend, and you’re like, “Oh boy, here we go.”

And basically, it was her feeling guilt and shame because, for her bridal party, she wanted to buy this really nice designer dress that she never told me how much it cost, but probably cost a little bit of money. This was a very important day to her. She wanted to look really nice. She wanted to feel good in her body. She wanted to buy this nice thing for her herself. And yet she was feeling all of this guilt and all of this shame because she knew that if she posted a photo, which she would likely do because she’s a very online person and also wanted to celebrate this day, that the comments would be like, “How dare you spend this amount of money?

Why aren’t you donating that money? That’s such a frivolous purchase. What the fuck are you doing basically?” And we’ve talked many times on the show about even the word frivolous when it comes to spending is inherently gendered. Frivolous spending is not video games, or NFL season tickets, or golf clubs, things that are stereotypically masculine. It’s designer gowns, right, or lattes or manicures, or getting your hair blown out at the salon. That’s the frivolous spending that is keeping you from becoming a millionaire, right. So I asked her, “Hey, if Max bought a Rolex watch and he went on the golf course and posted a photo of it, what would the comments be?”

And she already… she and I knew what the answer was. “Cool, Rolex bro, looks like you’re doing well for yourself.” That would be the comments. Or they wouldn’t even pay attention because it’s like, “Oh, of course, a man has nice things.” Or, “Of course, a man can afford these things.” But instead, her comments are, “What a frivolous waste of money. That’s not even your money. That must be from somebody else because no way it’s your money.” And this is the perfect example of really what I’m talking about here. Men, whether it’s on the Discovery Channel or TikTok or just in day-to-day life, are allowed to ask for what they’re worth. They’re allowed to show up as the fullest version of themselves.

They’re allowed to take up space. They’re allowed to purchase things without the shaming judgmental comments. Men are allowed to pursue wealth in a way that women just aren’t because of a theory that I talk about in my book called Weaponized Altruism. Let me explain to you what I mean by that. I’m going to use the gender binary in this example just because it’s easiest to explain what I mean. Stereotypically growing up, what are the toys that boys are given? They’re given Legos, trucks, things to build, right. They are told that their value to society is in their own ingenuity, their own resilience, their own self-reliance in building things creatively, and even if they fail, building them again.

What are girls given? What kind of toys are girls stereotypically given? Easy bake ovens, dolls, bridal veils, right. We give a literal child another child to take care of. That still blows my mind. We give a three-year-old girl a doll. That’s her baby, right. What is this tell girls? It tells girls that their value to society is in how giving they are of themselves to someone else. It teaches them to be altruistic. It teaches them that their needs don’t matter and that their value to society is in how much they give of themselves to somebody else. Now, I am not saying that altruism is bad, that donating is bad, that being giving is bad, but women are held to the standard, and men are not.

So what happens when these boys and girls grow up? When the boys become men, they become entrepreneurs, they become business owners, right, or they become people who are allowed to pursue money and who are told over and over again that failure is an option and that it’s okay because, “You can just get right back up again.” We live in a society and a system that is okay with men’s failure. “Oh, that first business didn’t work out. Try again. You didn’t get the promotion this time. Well, you’re probably going to get it next year.” Men are allowed to pursue money, are allowed to see themselves as their most valuable asset, and are also allowed to fail. When girls turn into women, again, you can figure out what happens. We teach boys to be resilient.

We teach girls to be perfect. So we are so afraid of making a mistake because society will not let us make a mistake, and we don’t trust ourselves. And instead, we put so much of our worth on what other people think of us because that’s what we’ve been taught to do. And we don’t pursue wealth. We can’t pursue wealth in the same way because this altruism is ingrained in us. This altruism is part of our DNA where we then feel guilty for wanting money for ourselves, or we feel guilty for the pursuit of wealth, or we feel guilty for buying that nice dress for our bridal shower so we can look beautiful and feel confident on one of the most important incredibly celebratory days of our lives.

What happens then when women do start to pursue money? What happens? The altruism that is beautiful, that I’m really proud of as a woman, that I think of others’ needs before my own, that altruism gets weaponized towards us. When we do start thinking to ourselves, “Hey, maybe I’m worth more than the shitty job. Hey, maybe I need to start charging more for my clients that I freelance to. Hey, maybe I do want to become a business owner and want to charge for my services and get compensated fairly. Hey, maybe I do want to be a millionaire someday. Maybe I do want to build wealth. Maybe I do want money… what money can buy me and those options and those choices. Maybe I do want to get rich.” What happens?

The patriarchy panics. They utterly panic. They realize that you will soon no longer be controllable because that’s really what this is about. Money for the wrong hands, if money is in the wrong hands or exists in this patriarchal structure. Money is about control, and they see you demanding your own worth and pursuing wealth unabashedly. And suddenly, the patriarchy realizes, “Holy shit, if she continues down this path, she will have the power to make her own choices, the power to sway elections, the power to build a more equitable society and community, and we can’t have that.” So the patriarchy weaponizes our altruism.

They say, “Why aren’t you donating more,” in the comments. They tell you, “Well, why are you asking for more money? You should just be happy with what you have.” They tell you that the pursuit of wealth is greedy or gauche or bad and that it’s tacky for women to want money. And I know you all have experienced this because I… this is my whole life is talking about this. And I still literally experienced this on an hourly basis. The patriarchy realizes you’re no longer controllable. And so weaponizes the altruism that’s built in your DNA to make you doubt yourself. And again, I just want to be very clear. This is not me saying hoard your wealth.

Never donate, right. It’s instead, there is a standard for women that men do not have. Men are allowed to unabashedly pursue money. They don’t have to justify it. They can pursue it for themselves. And that is applauded, not just neutral. It’s applauded. And when women do it, the patriarchy realizes that you are getting money, which means you’re getting power and you’re getting agency and that you’re no longer controllable. And that, my friends, is the patriarchy’s worst nightmare. An uncontrollable woman is the patriarchy’s worst nightmare. And as I say in my book, I love being the patriarchy’s worst nightmare.

I love showing up as the fullest version of myself, unabashedly pursuing wealth, not because I want a certain number in my bank account but because that money gives me options and choices and allows me to make the world a more equitable place. So what can we actually do to buck these narratives and fuck these narratives? But what can we do to actually feel better about pursuing money? Well, first, maybe parts of this episode absolutely blew your mind and made you realize, “Oh shit, I’ve been playing small, or I’ve been guilty about wanting money because I’m worried it’s going to make me a bad person, or because somebody told me that I’m greedy if I ask for what I’m worth.”

So maybe acknowledge how that’s shown up in your life. And I will make a shameless plug for my book because everything I just said is literally what my entire book is about. I wrote Financial Feminist to talk about not just the actionable ways to save money and pay off debt and start investing but also all of the narratives we’re fighting as women every single day when it comes to our pursuit of money. And we also have journaling prompts as well as a workbook built into my book. So please, if you haven’t read it already, this will help. My Financial Feminist book will help, whether that’s e-book, hardcover, audiobook, you can also get it for free at your local library.

The other big thing we can do, we’ve said it on this show, we will say it many times again, is to develop better habits around talking about money. Because if we can start to talk about money, can start to talk to other women about pursuing wealth unabashedly, about paying off our debt, we can collectively come together and say, “Yes, having this financial education, having these financial conversations is our best form of protest in a society and in a system that constantly disenfranchises us.” So do not be afraid to share your accomplishments boldly. I will say, an accomplishment for an accomplishment, I think I’m really good at this. I have had to cultivate that, though.

And almost every time I say something like, “I’m a New York Times bestselling author, or I’m a Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, or I have built a multi-million dollar company before the age of 30, or I think I’m a really good partner and friend,” what will happen is that someone will shit on me. Always. Literally, always. And it hurts more when it’s somebody who you might care about or someone who you might respect. That’s really hard. But sharing your accomplishments boldly not only allows you to show up for yourself and to be proud of what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve done in a society that, again, wants to minimize your accomplishments but also is a permission slip for other women.

I know that I have made an impact with other women in doing this because I also get the comments that say, “You celebrating your own accomplishments allows me to celebrate mine.” And that’s so fucking cool. So don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments boldly and be excited about what you’ve accomplished and also gas up your women in your life who have also accomplished really fucking cool things. And I’ll also remind you that accomplishments don’t have to be tied to a man. We’ll do a whole other episode, I’m sure, about this someday. But a lot of what we celebrate for women, big milestones we celebrate are getting engaged, getting married, having babies.

We also need to celebrate getting divorced, getting sober, getting a master’s degree, starting a business. Those sorts of things are just as much of an accomplishment as getting married, having a baby. We also need to talk openly about our friends, about our salary, and about theirs. Tell people if they’re being underpaid or undervalued. Have open conversations about money because men are doing the shit. Now, again, we live in a society and a system that encourages that, that encourages men to share numbers and pursue wealth. But the way we start to change that society, the way we start to change those societal narratives that women aren’t allowed to talk about money is by bucking them, is about talking about them.

So if you don’t already have a group of friends that you can talk openly about your pursuit of goals, about your money, about your salary, find those friends. And we have an entire Facebook group of friends. We have over 100,000 people who are willing and able to talk openly about money, and we’ll link that down in the description if you want. It’s free to join. Same thing, talk about investing, talk about building wealth. We want to talk about as much as we’re talking about salary and saving, we also want to talk about the wealth-building strategies that actually make a difference in our lives that actually secure our financial futures.

And do not let someone you care about talk badly about themselves or their ability to handle money. If you hear a friend or loved one go, “I’m just so bad at money,” I want you to kindly stop them and say, “You’re not bad at money. No one taught you this. So it’s okay, and I’m here if you need me.” Or, “I overspent and I feel like a piece of shit.” You have to encourage people around you as well as yourself, because you might be telling yourself these things too. Your mindset really matters. The narratives you tell yourself really matter. The language that you use to talk about your relationship with money or the language your friends are using to talk about their relationship with money that matters.

So stop them or stop yourself in their tracks and kindly redirect that thought and remind them that they were never taught this. This is not a… We don’t live in a society that again allows the pursuit of money but teaches you how to do all of this shit. It’s part of the reason why we do the work that we do. We need to erase from our vocabulary, “I’m bad with money.” You’re not bad with money. This is a skill just like everything else. You’re learning. You’re not bad with money. You’re learning. Or, “I’m bad at math, so I’m bad with money.” No, you’re not. Math isn’t about money. Math is about psychology.

I will remind you, I’m a theater and communications major. That’s what I did in college. I’m not the best at math either, but I’m really fucking good at money. It’s not about being, quote, unquote, good with math. And finally, I talked before about how men are allowed to fail. They’re allowed to try something over and over again because we teach them resilience, and we tell them that that is actually their value or something. That is a good trait. I need you to just get started. Take a shot. I know every time you hear me say this on this podcast, but I don’t need you to be perfect. I need you to start. Imperfect action beats inaction every single day.

I’ve said this about investing in particular, but I’ll just say it in general. The worst decision you can make when it comes to your money is making no decision at all. None of your debt gets paid off unless you do something. Nothing changes about your debt unless you change it. Nothing changes about what you have in your bank account unless you change it. Nothing changes about you not using compound interest to your advantage with investing unless you change it. Yes, we’ve got all of these systemic factors that are at play here, and we acknowledge those and talk about those all the time.

However, we do need to control what we can control in order to take care of ourselves and then change the system for everybody else around us. Do not try to be perfect. The pursuit of perfection is a fool’s errand. I’m very philosophical today, and I really love it. But the pursuit of perfection is absolutely unobtainable, inaccessible, but you taking action, even if it’s imperfect, is the best thing you can do right now. So you know me, I’m all about actionable things. If you are hyped up about this episode, you’re like, “Fuck the patriarchy. Fuck everybody telling me that I can’t pursue wealth or that I… it is wrong for me to have money.

Fuck people who think and fuck a system that thinks that I am a worse-off person because I have money. I am not going to hate myself and hate other women who charge for their services, who get paid fairly, who get paid according to their expertise, and fuck anything that tells me to play small in order to conform.” Let’s talk about what we can actually do. Have conversations, right. Talk openly about money. You can go to herfirsthundredk.com/quiz. It is free. Why wouldn’t you do it? Go take the quiz on our website to get a free personalized money plan, especially if you’re way too overwhelmed with everything financially and you’re trying to figure out where to start.

That’s how you get started. If you haven’t listened to other episodes of this show, there are over 150 episodes. We would love to see you in some of the other episodes, especially ones that have our step-by-step guidance there. And like I said, my book, my book literally teaches you exactly how to get paid, exactly how to get out of debt, exactly how to start investing, exactly how to create a budget that doesn’t make you want to die, and it’s free at your library or under $20 at your bookstore or on Audible. I so appreciate you being here. I’ve been wanting to do this episode for a while because it’s something that I literally encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Yes, even as a multimillionaire, I get told constantly, “Why are you charging? You should just do it for free.” Or just, there’s so much pressure on women to be controllable, right. Really, I don’t have to say anything more. It’s all back to the thesis, which is when you have money, you’re no longer controllable. And when you start to pursue that money, the patriarchy panics, realizing that, “Oh shit, she’s going to get to the point where I can’t control her anymore.” So they start flinging these arrows at you of all of the things, right.

“Donate more. You’re frivolously spending. Why are you charging for your services? It’s daddy’s money or your husband’s money. It’s not even your money.” The pursuit of wealth is not wrong. The pursuit of wealth is not bad. It gives you choices and options and freedom, and nothing bad happens when women have more money. Thank you for being here, Financial Feminists. Thank you for, as always, continuing to support this show. And I hope you have a kick-ass week. Thank you. Thank you for listening to Financial Feminist a Her First 100K podcast.

Financial Feminist is hosted by me, Tori Dunlap, Produced by Kristen Fields, Associate Producer Tamisha Grant, Research by Ariel Johnson, Audio and Video Engineering by Alyssa Midcalf, Marketing and Operations by Karina Patel, Amanda Leffew, Elizabeth McCumber, Masha Bakhmetyeva Taylor Chou, Kailyn Sprinkle, Sasha Bonnar, Claire Kurronen, Daryl Ann Engman, and Jenelle Riesner.

Promotional Graphics by Mary Stratton, Photography by Sarah Wolf, and theme music by Jonah Cohen Sound. A huge thanks to the entire Her First 100K team and community for supporting this show. For more information about Financial Feminist, Her First 100K, our guests, and episode show notes, visit financialfeministpodcast.com.

Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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