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We’re not all gold diggers!

 The only thing us women care about in life is money. We don’t want to put much time or effort into earning it though. We would much rather bag ourselves a rich man instead. If a guy can’t flash the cash, then we are not interested!

Basically, we are all just gold diggers.

But we are not. This is just one of several negative, cultural stereotypes of women that we could well do without! In today’s society, many of us would actually rather work for our own money and/or have a career. And by all accounts, there are other qualities on many women’s what to look for in a man check list that they consider to be more important than the size of his bank balance. These include being caring, supportive, intelligent, physically attractive, trustworthy and funny, as well as having similar interests.

Personally, I have never really been attracted to men with a big bulge (in their wallet!). They clash with my strong left-wing views and so I view them as a bit selfish and uncharitable. I feel quite put off by men who wear expensive suits and drive flash cars. I even feel a bit guilty when men I date spend money on me! Therefore, I am probably as far removed from a gold digger as you can get. It is just unfortunate, for us genuine women, that people seem to forget that we even exist. The gold digger stereotype appears to have had a much more profound effect on people’s way of thinking. I suppose it is no wonder, really. If it is always being implied that the vast majority of the female population is mainly interested in relationships for money, then people will start to believe it. It will no doubt intensify the views of people who already suspect it to be true as well.

This stereotype has regularly been portrayed in popular culture via jokes and the media, for as long as I can remember. All of these have a powerful influence on society and keep this false assumption about all women alive in people’s minds. So I sometimes feel annoyed when it makes an appearance, especially if it is in something modern. I thought that political correctness may have made this and other stereotypes gradually disappear, but instead it looks like they will continue to be portrayed for years to come.

Some examples in popular culture that come to mind are:

Lyrics in the song ‘Gold Digger’ by Kanye West

Lyrics in the song ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ by Marilyn Monroe

You Tube – Gold digger prank: An average looking guy asks a girl he has just met out to dinner. She refuses but quickly changes her mind when she sees his Lamborghini!

Family Guy: In a cutaway gag, a young woman gets into the car of an unattractive older man. He produces a wad of cash and she says gleefully ‘That makes you attractive.’

American Dad: In one episode, Roger the alien’s rich alter ego Max attracts a blatant gold digger.

Friends: In one episode, Phoebe insults some party guests. She makes a common assumption when she comes to a couple where the man is considerably older than the woman. ‘And okay, you guys? Gold digger, cradle robbing perv.’

Keeping Up Appearances: In various episodes, Hyacinth encourages her sister Violet to stay with her wealthy but wayward husband ‘because of the Mercedes’ and for other money related reasons. She also often tries to encourage her own husband to buy expensive items in order to impress their acquaintances.

I clearly remember my younger brother making an interesting observation about women when he was only around 14. “When you have a girlfriend, you have to buy them stuff all the time” he moaned. This gave me the impression that he thought that he would have to buy any girl meals and jewellery nearly every week in order to keep her interest! I have always suspected that television may have influenced him to say this. It seems to be the only explanation for why a young teenage boy, with no dating experience, would already have quite a negative view of women in general.

In recent years, the Internet has provided yet another outlet for this stereotype. Not long ago, a man could only confide in a select few people about his ex/partner being more interested in his wonga than him. Now he can choose to tell the whole world about his bad experience! There are many comments on various websites that slag off ex-wives and girlfriends for allegedly being all about the money.  There are also numerous comments in relation to relevant news articles/videos on YouTube etc which suggest or say outright that women are probably all the same. All of these views are likely to influence other men’s opinion of us, which again makes me feel a bit annoyed. The Internet is reinforcing this stereotype when really, the men who have fallen victim to such women have merely just been unlucky in their choice of partner. Many men may find that they have to eat their words when they meet a genuine lady.

It does not help that the Internet has specific sugar daddy/sugar baby ‘dating sites’ either! I feel that these kind of give the impression that women can be easily obtained this way. Of course, they will attract some women who will jump at the chance to live the high life and some women may see a sugar daddy as a simple solution to their financial problems! However, there will be a much higher percentage of women out there who are not interested in pursuing this way of life, despite it being offered on a plate.

Like any stereotype, it is unfair to tar an entire group of people with the same brush due to the actions of some. I wonder if this particular one became so popular because it is effectively a warning to men to be on their guard when dating. No unsuspecting man wants to be taken for all he is worth and made to look like a fool, after all.

To any man who assumes that we are all money-oriented though, I would say this: Plenty of men on an average wage have long-term relationships and get married. Surely that would not happen if we were all only interested in what is stuffed under a guy’s mattress?

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