Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Women Are Bag Ladies at Heart

A report in The Washington Times reveals that most women are emotionally insecure when it comes to finances:

They may have money in their purses and a decent salary, but many women fear they’ll lose their income and end up a bag lady, forgotten and destitute.

A “startling” 90 percent of women say they feel financially insecure, according to a survey of almost 1,925 women released yesterday by Allianz, a Minnesota-based life insurance company.

Almost half are troubled by a “tremendous fear of becoming a bag lady” — 46 percent of women overall, and 48 percent of those with an annual income of more than $100,000. An additional 57 percent are sorry they had not learned more about money matters in school.


Women… are twice as likely as men — 18 percent to 9 percent — to set aside a secret stash of money, the study found. Roughly the same number counseled their daughters to do the same.

Why is this surprising? Despite the p.c. dogma about independent women, there is evidence for a hard-wired dependency program in women…something about child-bearing and its concomitant vulnerability, perhaps?

Which is not to say such feelings cannot be overcome and mastered, just as men have to stretch themselves to attain a steady-state monogamy.

Yes, the things we do for love.

The strongest, most practical women I knew always did this, some openly, some secretly, depending on the nature of their environment and their own character. One woman told me that her Jewish mother trained her to believe that each woman must have her own “knippel” (if that is the correct spelling). She said it was a Yiddish expression for a woman’s secret stash. Another woman, of French Canadian extraction told me the story of her grandmother’s deathbed scene, in which she called her children together, opened up some battered shoeboxes, and proceeded to give them each thousands of dollars. Her stash, hoarded secretly over the years and then distributed personally as she prepared to leave the things of this world. Much more instructive and memorable than a will.

In this generation of serial monogamy, observant women notice the propensity of successful men to acquire younger and younger trophy wives. They know from experience that beauty fades and that beyond "a certain age," women become invisible. The clerk at the counter calls them "dear" or "honey." It's simply one more rite of passage.

So if one is going to be deserted in a grasping attempt at some last-ditch avoidance of mortality on the part of her life-long mate, she'd better make plans for a single bed and a safe-deposit box. This is especially true now that women are "independent." Thank you, Gloria Steinem, for no-fault poverty.

What's so startling about women's fear of living at the Salvation Army? The grown children move across the continent, the husband moves to the bed of a woman their daughter's age. And if an ageing wife hasn't made provisions for this almost commonplace fate, then what? Bitter penury, that's what.

Indomitable women don’t shop till they drop. They stash.


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