Show me the money, honey!


One of my tasks here at Bitch headquarters is to open the mail and keep an inventory of the books and CDs that are coming in for possible review. Today I arrived at the office, tired and doped up on DayQuil, needing a basket in which to place all of my angsty eggs and I found that basket in this week's *Most Ridiculous Book To Be Shipped To Bitch For Possible Review In Our Magazine*. The title: Smart Girls Marry Money. The back cover description:

 "Why does society applaud a girl who falls for a guy's 'big blue eyes' yet denounces one who chooses a man with a 'big green bankroll'? After all, isn't earning power more a reflection of a man's values and character?  Smart Girls Marry Money challenges the ideals and assumptions women have blindly accepted about love and marriage--and shows how they've done so at their own economic peril.  In this brazen manifesto, authors Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake use cold hard facts, real science, and true stories to present a compelling case for why mercenary marriages make the most sense for future happiness.

 "Smart Girls taps into a growing collective suspicion that the post-feminist world isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Ford and Drake think it's high time that women get their heads out of the clouds and start carring about their own security--the kind that can be measured in dollars and common sense.  With an irreverent, straight-talk tone, the authors serve up a sound case and intriguing strategy for how women can truly 'have it all.' Sure to spark conversation and controversy, Smart Girls Marry Money will ultimately empower women with a new way to take control of their economic and romantic lives."

Whoa.  This spells disaster for me, since laying out my past year's earnings on a table next to a 16-year-old girl's would make the two of us nearly indistinguishable.  So if my income is indeed, as the description suggests, a "reflection of [my] values and character", then not only am I not a catch, I should also probably be hanging out down at the Orange Julius flirting with the high school football team.  That's okay.  I don't need a crystal ball (or, in this case, a book) to tell me that I've got a long life of cats and Roseanne re-runs ahead of me.  Hey, it beats being with someone who's just after my money!

I can just picture this book's publicist sitting in her chair thinking, "Bitch will probably never in a million years review this 'post-feminist' analysis of gold-digging in the 21st Century, but what the heck!"  Well, she was half right.  It's only getting a blog post, and that blog post is only addressing the back cover.  But who knows- maybe I'll crack open a bottle of cheap wine and actually read the damn thing.  It could be fun!

by Danny Hayes
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10 Comments Have Been Posted

I would read it, if only out

I would read it, if only out of morbid fascination. The cheap wine would be necessary, however.


Since most of the rich have made their money exploiting the poor and uneducated I'd rather take love and poverty. Why purposefully become dependent on men? Not when they can divorce you once you stop looking like a trophy wife.

I dunno...I see marriage as

I dunno...I see marriage as a business. I haven't read the book, but marrying someone for their money doesn't sound bad to me. A lot of marriage is about financial security, why shouldn't I choose a man because he has what it takes to be rich? It doesn't mean I am completely dependent on him. It just means that he would be there for me if I needed the cash. Sounds nice to me.


How do you know he would provide you with cash when you wanted or even really needed it? Why not just be rich yourself so you don't have to depend on anyone else if you don't want to? If you so happened to be in a loving relationship with a rich person, then go ahead and marry them. But how comfortable do you think it would be to live with someone you didn't necessarily love or who didn't necessarily love you for the sake of financial security?

Many men in places of financial power use their money to "buy" women and treat them as disposable commodities or to control them by limiting their mobility. Even with a joint account, a person without their own income is never really free to make their own choices about how and when to spend money.

Well like I said, I believe

Well like I said, I believe that marriage is a business. Why would I go into a partnership without fully trusting that my partner would give what was promised to me. (which in this case would be financial security). I would surely plan on being well off on my own, that's why I mentioned being married to him doesn't mean I'm completely dependent on him.

I know that there are men out there who want to "buy" women and so on...and as someone with that knowledge I will make an educated decision on who I spend my time with.

What does marriage have to do with love?

I always thought that one was supposed to marry when they found someone suited to aid them on their journey through life.

Why wouldn't it be comfortable to live with a husband when there is no love between you?

Sense when does sharing a Room have anything to do with love...?

Maybe we just disagree on what both marriage AND love means.

I agree with the premise of this book

I completely and totally agree with you, Ember. 2 of my friends recommended this book to me and after reading the back cover and a couple of pgs, I do think there's something to their argument. I am a well educated young professional with my own means but I find absolutely nothing wrong with a woman choosing to marry more for financial security than for love. As you said, marriage is a sort of business and when you're going into a new venture, you want to make sure that there's enough equity to keep it going. Love runs out fast after the honeymoon and then what? Usually the problems come when there's a lack of money to take care of the kids, to buy a new car, to keep up with the house, all the things that usually come with married life.

So why not be strategic about it and choose to marry men who are financially successful? And of course these women wouldn't marry someone who they can't trust, someone they think will take the first opportunity to be unfaithful. People who were once in love cheat on each other all the time. People who were once in love, enough to make a commitment to each other in marriage, get divorced (50% of the time). I see no reason then to adopt another view on marriage one based less on fairy tale and more on reality.


Ok, hold on, since WHEN have we lived in the era of post feminism? Last time I checked, women were still getting charged more for single-payer health insurance, being trafficked in the global sex trade, and being commodified in the media. Last time I checked, women at MY OWN college campus were liable to be sexually harassed and assaulted for wearing a skirt, or were susceptible to date rape and spousal or domestic abuse. Yes, we can vote now, yes, we aren't barred from public office (at least in this country), but we are NOT post feminist. There is still a need for continued diligence regarding women's equality all over the world. Suggesting otherwise makes the struggles and degradation of women invisible.

the book

The book looks silly - I researched these authors and they are both divorcees (one is remarried but you know she has anger inside just like the other one)...and angry divorcees so it seems. The writing style is pretty bad, and i would be embarrassed to even hold the book in mny hands. In my humble opinion, these two whatever they are angry people, just set women back 60 years.

"romance without finance ain't got no chance..."

Nope, I haven't read this book, so can't offer a review. As far as the humanity-old "marrying-for-love vs. marrying-for-money" issue...well, as a financial failure in a 30-year marriage who's witnessed the emotional, psychological, and even physical damage done to my spouse by poverty, I think I can offer some food for thought.
First, that, while money doesn't buy any MORE happiness past a certain income level; being in a low-income level that means choosing between paying the electric bill or the telephone bill, having to always wear thrift-store clothing, never being able to go out to eat on anniversaries or birthdays, never being able to afford even a cheap motel getaway, and never being able to buy even modest gifts for one's wife makes for a far-from happy relationship, no matter how much in love a couple is. People who glibly chime, "Money isn't the most important thing in life, love is," are almost always at least financially comfortable enough to afford a vacation, dining out once a month, and buying a pair of earrings for their partner at Xmas. Without a certain amount of income, life becomes extremely more stressful, very boring and dull, and lacks the variety and stimulation needful to maintain healthy long-term relationships.
Second, not all women have the same wants. Feminism allows women to be themselves, and some women want most to be stay-at-home mothers and/or to rely on a man for financial support. If those are a woman's wants, then choosing a man for his green roll rather than his blue eyes, as long as she's honest with him about her reasons, is not gold-digging -- it's logical and practical.

I'm late to this discussion

I'm late to this discussion but I just have to say:
The Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope deals with this issue over and over in his amazing, wonderful, and surprisingly feminist novels. His conclusion seems to be: marry for money and you'll regret it, marry without regard for money, and you'll regret it.
Not optimistic, I know. But probably true for his era. Yet another reason to think a girl's gotta have her own salary.