“No, because actually, you see, a real-life horse is £4000 outright and then the RSPCA says that it costs up to £150 a month for insurance, and that’s not even including a stable and hay and feed, so really, paying £34.99 for the SIMS 4 Horse Ranch expansion pack means you’re actually making money” says our not delusional in the slightest Founding Editor, Ellie Fielding to me to justify my very necessary purchase. This was then backed up by fellow editor Adam Saraswati Rawlings, who described this purchase as ‘saving the animals’ because it would be cruel to keep a real horse in Central London. This, my friends, is a textbook example of the newest internet trend, ‘Girl-Math’. FINALLY, a word to describe the Cirque-du-Soleil levels of bending over backwards to justify large purchases!
The phrase ‘Girl-Math’ was coined on the Kiwi radio show ‘Fletch, Vaughan and Hayley’ in their segment where listeners phone in with expensive purchases so Hayley can justify the purchases down to $0, while the male presenters look on in a mixture of awe and horror. Anything from Taylor Swift tickets to blusher to shoes can be justified using Girl Math. However, I believe that Girl-Math is not new and has been a tradition by women that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Ye Olde Girl Mathe
I believe that the history of Girl Math spans many generations, coming from a history of women justifying spending money to the main breadwinner of the household. That’s why we have an innate sense that cash isn’t real money because there is no record of how it was spent. The reason there is no such thing as ‘Boy-Math’ is because men have never had to justify any of their purchases because they’ve usually been the ones with all the money and lauding it over the ladies in their life, tracking their purchases. When we think about most women’s innate need to justify every purchase they make, it feels much more like a collective historical tradition for women that we really need to get out of the habit of doing.
When we’re told to cut expenditure on unnecessary purchases, the expensive lattes, the manicures, the bags which we’ve already got HUNDREDS of, are usually the first on the list to go. We rarely hear about cutting expenditure on sports tickets or golf clubs or Yeezy’s. More feminine-centric purchases are seen as unnecessary or even frivolous, even if they improve quality of life, like a skincare routine with SPF in or organic brand foods. Football tickets are as frivolous as a fresh set of nails and a good manicure will last 3 weeks, a football match lasts 90 minutes, but the nails are seen as the problem because getting your nails done is a traditionally feminine activity. Everyone loves a good bargain, but the incredulousness women face for things like a nice haircut or a new dress is far higher than a man spending £40 for example, on a white t-shirt. Just because something is frivolous and girly, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold capitalistic sway, look at the BILLION dollars that Barbie has generated for the economy and my beloved Tay Tay is on her way to a billion dollars from the Eras Tour alone. Between Barbie, Taylor and Beyonce (The Holy Trinity), they’ve created a $7 billion dollar surplus for the US economy, actually buoying the US out of a deeper recession, the girlies are practically powering the American economy at this point. I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it again: there’s power in pink, if companies want to make money, advertise to the ‘silly’ and ‘frivolous’ of the world!
I ain’t sayin she’s a Golddigger, jk I totally am
I feel like we all know that the Golddigger concept is incredibly misogynistic, but in case you don’t, it’s the idea that women are only in relationships with rich men so they have access to that sweet, sweet moola. Society historically has been set up so that women can’t make as much money as men, but when they try to marry a rich man so that they can elevate themselves higher in society, they’re the subject of vitriol and ridicule. Often, marrying a rich man was the only way to gain financial standing and financial standing=power, a la Amy from Little Women. Famous Goldigger Anna Nicole Smith was the subject of internet and irl abuse due to her controversial marriage to an 89-year-old. While there are some iffy moralistic issues, the main one that most people have with these sorts of pairings is that evil women are taking advantage of men with money. The Goldigger ideal turns the power more in the favour of women rather than men, which is why so many men fear the idea of a scary Goldigger coming to take away their hard-earned money.
So, what do Goldiggers and Girl Math have in common? Quite a lot, actually. Women who take a lot of pride in their financial situation often find that they are labelled as ‘money hungry’ or ‘Goldiggers’ even if they’re spending their own money. Financial stability is a sign of power, and it threatens men if a woman can financially support herself and exist without his help, it tips the power scale towards women slightly, meaning there’s one less way to oppress women. Abusive partners make their significant others entirely fiscally reliant on them so that they can trap them, so the power that money holds in relationships, particularly between a man and a woman, is enormous.
Nowadays, women make their own money and we shouldn’t have to justify what we spend our own money on for our own purposes. To do Girl Math is to say “I don’t deserve this money to pay for this thing”. Go on, scare a few men by being A) financially self-reliant and B) completely unashamed about it. As a society, we desperately need to break free from the chains of Girl Math and stop justifying paying for our own stuff with our own money. Pay for that latte/eras tour ticket/Sims 4 expansion pack queen, you deserve it.