Monday, January 28, 2013
Why should women control the money? Women are better money managers than men. Men tend to overspend and rarely know what they have spent money on. Men spend too much on friends, buying too many lunches and too many rounds of drinks at the bar. Men also spend too much on tools and toys they'll never use. When women take control of spending, she is doing both herself and her man a big favor. With me in charge, my husband's spending went way down. And those tools and toys that he absolutely needed a week earlier – well, when money isn't available, the need will pass and the money he would have spent can be saved, invested – or used for something really important, like a new pair of red pumps for me! And he agrees that the pumps are more important!
You may decide to tell your husband something about the finances, but you should be in control. Dennis has his paycheck deposited into a joint account, and I transfer those funds into my account. Once the money is in my account, I do with it as I please, paying bills, making investments, setting aside money for vacations and girls' nights out, and, yes, for my personal spending.
Ladies, don't feel guilty about spending “his” money! It's not his at all – it's yours – and he should understand that. Men in female-led marriages want the wife to spend their money – it reinforces your respective roles and men like this. They love providing for women and love being reminded of their place and of their vulnerabilities. It's a great way to make a man feel your power. I sometimes take Dennis shopping so he can watch me spend “his” money. I tell him that his money is hanging in my closet, on my shoe rack, or in my jewelry box. It's an emotional rush for both of us, but in different ways.
Some ways I control money:
Direct deposit - Dennis' paycheck is deposited in a joint account twice a month. On the day of deposit I transfer the funds into my account. And don't let your man tell you that his company doesn't offer direct deposit; they all do, it saves them hundreds a year in check printing costs.
Pay stubs – I review Dennis' pay stub to understand what is being taken out; I make any adjustments that I feel are needed. Women have to watch deductions for savings plans, credit unions, and so on. Make sure that what's being deducted is being deposited and remains in the account. Dennis told me about two men who were having “savings plan” deductions made only to immediately take them out to spend. Their wives were informed – end of deception – punishment administered – wives firmly in control! So, ladies, carefully review any savings plan statements and make sure that they are consistent with what is being withdrawn from your man’s pay.
ATM and credit cards – Women should be closely monitoring and controlling their man's use of ATM and credit cards. Better still, prohibit him from carrying them at all. This eliminates the temptation to spend money. Dennis is not allowed to carry ATM or credit cards. If he's fueling the cars or doing the grocery shopping, he is allowed to borrow an ATM card but ONLY after asking permission. When he returns he has to give back the card with receipts for purchases he made. A woman friend's husband was spending hundreds monthly that he could not account for. Taking his ATM card solved the problem.
Major purchases - Women should be responsible for all major purchases since these have a large financial impact. I make all major purchase decisions. Dennis is involved only with those that directly concern him, such as the new iron we bought a few months ago. And his being involved doesn't mean he makes the final decision, I do!
Allowance – Dennis receives a generous allowance twice monthly for his personal spending. This has to last him two weeks, and if it doesn't, he won't get any more.
Even though the allowance is for his use, he has to account for his spending. If he's unable to account for his spending when I ask, I may reduce his next allowance by the amount he can't account for. This encourages him to manage his money better.
Again, even though his allowance is for his use, he has to ask my permission for any purchase over $50. He has to justify what he wants to buy. The last time he asked, I told him, “No” and said that if he had $50 to waste, I could put it to good use and used it to buy new shoes.
You might consider only giving him money when he asks and can justify why he wants it. A woman who does this says it's more work but does cut down on his spending. He doesn't ask unless he really thinks he can justify it. An added benefit is that his having to come to her reminds him who's in charge.
Financial discipline – When my husband falls short of my expectations, there are consequences depending on what he's done, or not done, as the case may be. Denying him money or, better still, making him pay a fine encourages better behavior and reminds him who's boss. I insist that Dennis pay his fines in cash in an envelope accompanied by an apology note.
Some other points:
Dennis can have no more than $20 in his wallet at one time unless he asks my permission and justifies why he needs to carry more. This cuts down on the temptation to spend.
Check his wallet for more money than he's supposed to have, receipts, and so on. If he has more than he should have, Dennis forfeits it and may also have to pay a fine. He has to explain any receipts he might have. It cuts down on spending and reinforces our roles.
When he asks for money make him justify it.
When he asks for money, don't give him a quick answer; make him wait. If he keeps asking, deny his request.
When he asks for money, only give him some of what he asks; it's a great way to exercise your authority. If he complains, he gets nothing.
When he asks for money, give it to him but only for something in return, doing some chores for a woman friend, for example.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
I'm often asked what makes for a good female-led relationship. Well, there are really four things that bring about a happy female-led marriage:
1) Obedience – he does what I say! You know this had to be on top of the list!
2) Domestic service – he does housework - all of it! He loves it and is a real Domestic Diva!
3) Personal service – he's my “maid in waiting,” looking after all the little things.
4) Atonement – he puts women – all of us – ahead of himself.
Let's talk about the most important one first, because if your man is obedient – and he should be – everything else falls into place. Obedience is pretty straightforward. I give the orders and he follows them! PERIOD! No discussion or debate, just, “Yes, Ma-am!” when I tell him to do something. My husband recognizes that I manage the money, make all decisions, make rules as needed to keep the house running smoothly, and plan our social agenda.
You have to be assertive. Let's understand, ladies, that your man's acquiescence has to be matched by your assertiveness. You've got to be demanding. Don't be afraid to confront him when he displeases you. Raise hell! Yes, I'm in charge and he knows it, but I still get aggressive with him from time to time just to remind him that I'm the boss and whatever I say goes, without question, without hesitation. Don't be afraid to be assertive. Women have been taught that they have to be nice – don't believe it! You can't be nice and have an FLR. Release your inner bitch! Men love bitches! Be one!
Women are the superior sex – We are emotionally, intellectually, and morally superior to men and should be in charge. Make sure he knows it! Make sure you act like it! An everyday reminder to him that it's a woman's world is a good idea!
Start early – The earlier in a relationship you start giving orders the better it is for both of you. You're going to like being in control, and he's going to love your being in control. Men want to please women, so ladies, don't stand in his way! Tell him what he needs to do to please you! Dennis was looking for a strong, take-charge women and he found her – me! He's been taking orders since our first date and we wouldn't have it any other way!
Obedience makes him happy – I give the orders and he obeys! PERIOD! Dennis is well trained; when I tell him to do something, I get a little bow of acknowledgment and a “Yes, Ma'am” and off he goes. I love it when he does as he's told, and he loves being told. It reinforces both our positions. How important is it to him to follow orders? Well, if he's not told to do something by mother or me at least a few times a day, he'll get restless and concerned; it's as though he thinks I don't love him because I haven't told him to do something. Your man is going to see your ordering him around as a sign of love. You're going to see it as a sign of your authority. Well, everyone is happy!
Insist that he shut up! – I demand that my man shut up! And I have no problem telling him to shut up at home or in public. Why? Because men don't have anything to say; women do. I don't want to hear his complaints or how hard his day was, and I sure don't want to hear that he didn't get his housework done or that he didn't do what I told him to do. In our home men speak when spoken to or when asked to join a conversation, a conversation that is woman-led.
Insist that he listen – I demand that my man listen – same thing at work for the guys who work for me. By “listen” I don't mean “obey,” I mean listen. Men should shut up and listen to what women are talking about, what they have to say, what their plans are, what their concerns are; how they want things done. What women say matters and men need to understand this and act accordingly. When they listen, men are in a position to better respond to women, to be of service. This is satisfying to all involved. Dennis is a good listener. He'll hear that Mom or I need something and it's there. Or he'll hear that we're planning a get-together and he'll politely ask for details so he can prepare for it.
Insist that he show you deference – He should be treating you with respect. “Yes, Ma-am!” is mandatory at home and away, I don't care who is around. An apron is mandatory; he has to wear one at home no matter who is visiting. He has many aprons as do the other men in our family. If he doesn't find an apron hanging in the kitchen when he gets home, he gets the privilege of choosing one to wear. He enjoys wearing this sign of his subservience, but, like it or not, he wears it because I demand he does.
Insist that he ask permission – He should be asking your permission to do anything outside of his established routine. If he wants a cigarette, he asks; if he wants a mixed drink, he asks; if he wants to do his Tuesday evening grocery shopping, he asks. Every time he asks permission he is recognizing that I'm in charge.
Make and enforce rules – You'll want to have well documented rules and standards to ensure that he does things right. By “right” I mean how you want things done. We have plenty of rules for everything and he has to know them. He writes them in his journal so he remembers them. There are rules for how men behave with women guests, how he greets them, serves them. There's a right way to clean the living room, a right way to light a woman's cigarette, and so on. And there are established routines that he has to follow; every day of the week he has housework to
Friday, January 18, 2013
I like to refer to men – regardless of age – who are supportive of women in the workplace as “guys.” Some of the things the guys do:
· Feel women are better managers; women, they say, are inclusive and collaborative, not dictatorial and secretive like men
· Prefer to work with and for women; when we have a job posting reporting to a man, it gets few if any applicants; post a job in a woman-run department and there's no shortage of applicants – especially from men!
· Do not feel resentment when women are promoted, are given “better” assignments, or have women-only events or group meetings
· Since they've been raised in an era of affirmative action, they see a need for society to atone for patriarchy by taking positive steps to provide women opportunities to advance
· Do not see opportunities for women as hurting their own careers
· Express admiration for their female managers and colleagues and see them as role models
But there's more! Guys recognize that the position of men has changed. Men no longer have a lock on the technical skills they once had and they certainly don't have the good-old-boy-network stacking the deck for them. They're feeling just a little vulnerable, so they're looking for ways to show they support us – Oh, don't you LOVE a vulnerable man? We're seeing real role reversals and power exchanges! Guys have combined the chivalry, to which all women are entitled, with a respect for our authority.
They're doing so many things that say they really respect us:
· They're polite
· They're obedient
· They know when to shut up – very important!
· They recognize our authority; we're hearing “yes, ma'am” a lot around our office these days!
· They value our opinions and ask for them whether we are involved in their particular project or not
· They gravitate to assertive and demanding women; I'm an alpha female – yes, call me a bitch – and I never have a shortage of guys who want to work for me. It seems that the more demanding I am with them, the more they like it. Men LOVE strong women!
· They recognize the need for all-female events and groups and help with these meetings even though they don't participate. They order and serve lunch, run errands, make copies, and so on.
· They cover the phones, particularly when there is a woman-only meeting or lunch
· They participate in many feminist activities and charitable efforts started by women. The guys recognize that having “Feminist credentials” is important, and many of them volunteer one night a week to work on Feminist activities. We women have any number of organizations and activities to which guys can be sent; they just have to ask, and most do!
· They mentor women and share knowledge
· They step up to help women on projects and in new endeavors
· They share project success with women
And then there are the personal niceties the guys do:
· Always offer to help with filing, copying, and other administrative tasks
· Run errands for women over lunch, picking up dry cleaning, fueling cars
· Defer to female staff, regardless of her level – “defer” is a nice corporate word for “obey”! I love obedient men!
· Make and serve coffee and keep the kitchenette clean and in order. My husband will tell you that making and serving coffee are becoming important skills for men in the workplace. Women have served coffee for centuries; why not men?
And it doesn't stop there. When the guys come into my office, they do so with a real reverence and a “Good morning, Ma'am!” They're almost bowing down to me, treating me like a Goddess; they don't do that with the male managers. In a meeting they listen to every word I say, they write it down’ and if they don't understand, it's, “Excuse me, Ma'am, will you please repeat that?” For me it's like being at home. Men who listen! Men who obey! I love men who obey! Sometimes I'll call for one of my guys and just give him some trivial thing to do, and he'll run off and do it; he'll come back and thank me for having him do it! Both of us feel good! I do the same with my husband; same result. Both of us feel good and our positions are reinforced in the process.
Not only do the guys accept a subordinate role in the workplace, but also in their personal lives. So many of our guys are obviously in some type of Female-led relationship. I hear them saying that they have to ask their wife for permission for some activity or trip. And so many of them talk about housekeeping problems, or how to scrub the kitchen, or about their wife going out that evening with her friends. It's nice to see a real change taking place; real role reversal! One of our guys was hesitant when I asked him to take an out-of-town trip; he was embarrassed to say that he needed to ask his wife's permission. “No need to be embarrassed,” I reassured him, “my husband has to ask permission, too.” He was relieved by my comment and that evening received his wife's OK. I keep his situation in mind before asking him to travel and always have him ask his wife's permission.
We've had some success integrating reluctant men into female-led and -staffed work groups, but some men have been difficult. We have had issues with men being less than compliant when given orders by a female supervisor; two have refused to work for a woman and are no longer in our company. It's unfortunate that many of the men have such attitudes. And it's unfortunate that some can't accept that the workforce is being feminized. Patriarchy dies hard.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Awhile back someone wrote asking whether we “consider worthy to take some governmental-level measures that would secure the women the status they deserve?”
Well, YES! We feel that there needs to be government action at all levels to enhance the position of women in the workplace and in society in general. Not because we need help, but to accelerate the process of women moving into leadership roles. There is a lot of inertia against us with thousands of years of male 'leadership' and a male-imposed disdain for women's ideas and values. That has to change, and it can't change too soon. The male-run world is a mess! So, just remove the barriers, and women will take care of the rest!
Even though women don't hold a majority of political offices, our voices are strong and influential; politicians care about the female vote. It's time to help women substantially improve their status and make real social change. It's an exciting time that will see more women in positions of influence.
My husband and I were recently at a feminist workshop where attendees suggested programs that would be beneficial to women. There were many interesting and exciting ideas on how women can increase their participation in business, and how we can raise the earning power of women -- the 'wage gap' has got to go! Some things that were suggested include:
· Continue programs that set aside a certain percentage of government contracts for women-owned businesses. We also recommend that the percentage of contracts reserved for women-owned businesses be increased
· Develop policies that encourage private companies to set aside contracts for women-owned businesses.
· Provide recognition for companies meeting targets for women-owned business participation
· Provide zero-interest loans for women-owned businesses to expand or for groups of women looking to start a business.
· Provide lower tax rates/tax credits for women-owned businesses
· Provide tax exemption for educational activities and pursuits for women
· Provide subsidized loans for women pursuing science and technology degrees, areas that have traditionally seen female under-representation. Forgive these loans if a woman enters and stays in the technology workforce for five years after graduation
· Exempt women-owned businesses from corporate taxes for their first five years and gradually apply tax rates thereafter
· Provide lower tax rates for women's earnings as a means of making up for the 'wage gap' that currently exists between men and women; women currently earn 74% of what men earn.
· Provide incentives to businesses to have adequate female representation in their workforce as a whole and on each rung of the corporate ladder from professional to senior management. To close possible loopholes, place limits on the number of women in administrative and clerical jobs that can count against women employee targets. This would encourage the promotion of women into traditionally male, higher-level positions. It may also encourage businesses to hire men into traditionally female clerical and administrative positions, further breaking down gender stereotypes.
· Gradually raise targets for staffing of women within a company. This would provide organizations the incentive to recruit, train, and promote women.
· Provide meaningful part-time work for women
· Mandate that part-time women can return at any time to full-time employment status.
· Require that a woman on part-time status receive equal consideration for any promotions within her department and that she is offered any position for which she is qualified
· Women on part-time status are to receive training and personal development opportunities as would a staff member working full time
· If a part-time female staff member is determined to be the best candidate for a promotion, every effort must be made to have this as a part-time position if she so desires
· Require that women on part-time status receive the same benefits and the same pay raise percentages they would were they employed full time
· Make it easier for men to leave the workforce for homemaking to support a working wife
· Part-time work may be available depending on the company situation.
· The man could return to his old position and department within 10 years of taking 'working wife leave.'
· Obtain funds from charitable organizations to launch grass roots efforts aimed at involving more women in political activities:
· Recruit female candidates for political office
· Develop women political activists
· Support female campaigns
· Organize 'get-out-the-women's-vote' activities in support of female candidates
These ideas were presented during a three-day conference. The majority of attendees were women, but there were a significant number of men who were active participants in the conference. These men agree with the Feminist agenda and want to actively support it. Lots of good suggestions that all of us are going to try to move forward. Some people thought that, while the suggestions were very exciting, it would be hard to get them into practice. They may be hard, but worth the effort. The status of women has improved since I met Dennis at a NOW meeting. Neither of us would have ever dreamed of the progress that's been made, so, who knows? We'd appreciate any other suggestions in this vein that others may have.