The latest trend to get a girly makeover is maths, like, as in, numbers, formulas and equations.
‘Girl Math’ is essentially the logic people often use to justify their spending.
Paid in cash? It’s basically free.
That manicure cost £50 but it’s going to last three weeks? That’s only £2.40 a day.
Got money back after returning some clothes? That’s a profit — spend it how you want.
On the surface, Girl Math is nothing more than another fun TikTok trend, but, as with most ‘girl’ trends, there’s a sinister undertone.
Personal finance expert Ellie Austin-Williams, 31, went as far as to say the trend is actually ‘infantilising’ women, who don’t need to justify how they choose to spend their own money.
‘Women are pictured as shopaholic – irresponsible with money,’ she told The Tab.
‘And by jumping on this trend with Girl Math, it’s basically the modern version of “oh we’re so silly with money! We can’t manage our money.”
‘We need to move away from that. We are very capable women, and we can manage our money and make financial decisions and we don’t owe it to anybody to justify them.’
While it’s true that Girl Math simply isn’t that serious, it only really works as a joke if everyone is in on it.
Unfortunately, not everybody gets it, and, in the wrong hands, what should be a lighthearted joke for women can quickly become a nasty joke about women.
As Austin-Williams noted, the fact women even feel the need to dissect and justify their spending in such a way is a problem in and of itself.
As long as we’re financially secure, we can spend our money on whatever we please, and just because something is considered feminine, it doesn’t mean it’s also frivolous.
The fact that Girl Math is somewhat nonsensical also plays into the idea that women simply don’t understand finances and economics — a belief that arguably still holds us back in terms of reaching equality.
Boys are still more likely to study maths and statistics than girls in sixth form as well as university, and boys tend to perform better due to maths being an exam-heavy subject.
Everyone uses fun calculations to make themselves feel better about their spending habits, but labelling this as inherently feminine is damaging, not just because it ignores the fact that men definitely do this too, but because it plays into the idea that women just don’t understand.
Why should we get to hold the purse strings if we’re going to spend an extra £30 just to qualify for free delivery? Maybe we shouldn’t have access to our own bank accounts after all.
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