By Quinlyn Manfull
My Tinder got banned a couple months ago because I had my Venmo in my bio. Tinder is super against sex work and that’s a terrible thing in and of itself, especially because I was not soliciting any sort of sexual act for money. I literally just wanted men to pay me.
There are numerous historical reasons for men to hand over their wallet to women — the capital obtained by their ancestors was unjustly acquired and stolen from women. Men have erased women from historical accomplishments, subjugated women to domestic servitude, have blocked women from entering the bastions of power and opportunity afforded to their ancestors, such as educational institutions. Today still, women make up the majority of unpaid labor globally — even before you account for labor that we do not even consider labor: emotional, reproductive and sexual.
Men are taught that they have a birthright to the attention of women. It is a radical act of resistance to ignore a man, to refuse them attention — resistance that far too often leaves women dead. The proper reaction to male entitlement of women’s attention is to act even more radical and demand remuneration.
In the late-capitalist hellscape that we have found ourselves in, value is determined by the payment made on something. A couple steps removed from full redistribution of wealth is the interpersonal transfer of wealth from men to women.
#GiveYourMoneyToWomen began surfacing back in 2015, started by Lauren Chief Elk as a way to access capital that has been unjustly robbed.
Not only does handing over your credit cards to women begin to balance out gender-based income inequality that has existed since the beginning of time, but it also acts as payment for the years of unpaid labor that women undergo to support the men in their lives. From unpaid reproductive labor, to unpaid household labor and unpaid emotional labor, women are expected to give themselves to men 24 hours a day and then split the check.
I hear a particular critique of #GYMTW all the time from so-called feminists, that feminists should want to make their own money, that asking men for money is moving back to a time in which women could not make money. I think this level of Lean In feminism is annoying at best, and an entrenchment of corporate patriarchy at its worst.
Structures are set up not only to economically disenfranchise women; to not allow women to access the fruits of their labor, but also to not even value most labor done by women. When we do not value emotional, reproductive and sexual labor done by vastly women, we see the devaluation of the care sector and a continued pay gap that has been built on hundreds of years of plunder, isolation and of exclusion.
Emotional labor is the act of women providing unpaid therapy to men, putting on a perky face for what often is a lesson on why women are people, calling men into conversations in order to politely tell them they are perpetuating toxic masculinity and rape culture. Emotional labor is expected of all women, at all times.
Men are so oblivious to the amount of emotional labor they require from women – and women often rationalize their emotional labor for men as just being nice. It’s far more than that. From birth men are told they are special, parents support them speaking their mind, telling them to grow and try and succeed, to grab opportunities and run with them. When they do not understand something or when something is hard, they often require the hand holding of women around them.
On campus, Give Your Money to Women looks like paying the women in your life who help you, who make your life easier. Venmo the girl who always answers your questions in class, bring coffee to that friend of yours who is constantly explaining social dynamics to you and slide a couple bucks to the girl you constantly interrupt in your Intro to Sociology.
When you look around, take a step back, and understand your role in a system of patriarchy, that exploits you and profits off of your body and your labor, it is about time you demand compensation.