Our matriarchal inheritance
This post is part of Mindful Money week. Do check out my previous posts.
“It is important for women to get wealth in our hands.
As western women we have the opportunity to claim our birthright, to create wealth, doing something that we love.
It is our birthrite but not necessarily our destiny.”
FACT: The majority of women for the majority of western history have had no money of their own. They have been excluded from the power, status and freedom that money brings.
FACT: Women have been systematically prevented – by laws, morality, religion and social mores, from having the right to earn, be financially independent, inherit or save.
It is little wonder that we women can be scared of money and feel under-confident around it today. This is our story. Our ancestors’ story. This is our collective unconcious.
Our bodies have been bought in marriage with dowries, domestic servitude, prostitution and slavery. The fear of destitution has kept women in unhappy, abusive marriages for centuries.
We have given ourselves to mothering and householding, some of the most demanding work around, for free, for generations uncounted. Our sense of lack of deserving for putting real value to our work is endemic and has been reinforced from every side.
Now you may well be a feisty independent woman, with your own bank account and income and a partner totally committed to your blossoming. Scrub that! If you’re reading this blog I know you are! (Even if your inner confident girl is curled up and having a little sleep right now.)
So what’s all this got to do with you? You’ve never been a slave or disinherited for being female…
But wait – most of us still, to some extent, hold the underlying inheritance, cultural, and epigenetic, of women’s financial weakness.
Hell, research consistently shows that women are less likely to go for promotion, ask for a rise or apply for the highest paid jobs. In the wage earning community women. Women still earn 79% of every man’s dollar. FOR THE SAME JOB.
This is not about man-bashing. I am a deep lover of men. (Some men especially, Mr DA 😉 xxx) Nor is it a whine, blaming everything on history.
But it is part of our cultural and historical conditioning, an innate part of our thought processes. If we don’t see this clearly, then we blame ourselves for our weakness, our stupidity.
And does that empower us?
Nope, it puts us back in our box. Like the abused blaming themselves for the abuse perpetrated against them.
Take a few moments to reflect on the women in your family, your grandmothers, mother, aunts… What financial power or independence did they have? Did they know their own worth? Did they value themselves. Could they give and receive, equally, with joy and love? What was the power balance in their relationships? What was their currency: guilt trips, emotional manipulation, love…?
Mine is one of creative rainbow mamas, strong, creative women on both sides devoting themselves totally to motherhood, leaving their soul work and immense creative ability to become hobbies and something which decorated their houses and adorned their loved ones, but went no further. The scope of children narrowed their worlds and something was felt as lost… Their gifts were not shared with the greater world, that would have benefitted hugely from them. And they from it…
For me, my need to contribute financially to my family, even to a small extent has been a vital part of my sanity. The more I am financially dependent, the more I feel lost in myself, in the world. To earn for my work is my creative conversation with the universe and the world beyond me.
And you? What is your matriarchal inheritance?
This is part of the Mindful Money series at Dreaming Aloud. Take some time to check out the other posts on…
The Blessing of Money
Finding your inner entrepreneur