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MoPOP at dusk, Seattle

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Distaff Trembles

Did anybody see this one from the Los Angeles Times? Study says that almost half of American women fear becoming bag ladies.
...almost half of American women fear becoming bag ladies, even many of those earning six-figure salaries, according to a new survey.
Six in 10 women describe themselves as the primary breadwinners in their households, and 54% manage the family finances, according to the poll by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.
Even so, 49% fear becoming a bag lady -- a homeless woman who wanders the streets of a city lugging her meager belongings in a shopping bag.
Most surprising, 27% of women earning more than $200,000 a year said they fear falling into such destitution.
An interesting study but it leaves a few things out. Like men. Why not ask about our level of fear about the future? While we have zero potential for becoming bag ladies, maybe we are just as worried about ending up on a busy intersection offering to clean people's windshields for a quarter.

How do we know there is any less trepidation among males? Would love to see the contrast. I got news for you, we are all scared. I sent the article to a few women I know and got this note back from Carrie; And here I thought you were talking about the bags under my eyes.

Most humans are freaked at the possibility of being knocked off their perch. Probably always have been. We have all seen how quickly it can happen. You get the money thing solved and something else rises up and bites you on the ass. Little certainty in this life of ours. The ones that think they can seal themselves off get their own comeuppance.

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I talked about the study and women's fear with the accent mark at lunch. I have to consider that women might have a much higher fear index than men. She says that it might be because women have only lived independent lives for a relatively short time on the planet, heretofore being totally dependent on the y gender. So it could be residual old school conditioning facing the new paradigm shift.

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Speaking of women, I have noticed something recently. I have asked three women their age in the last couple weeks as an experiment. I believe that these women were all roughly my age but not one would spill the beans. "Well around..."one says to me. "None of my business," says another. I asked three men their age and got my answer answered instantly and I believe truthfully with no hesitation.

While I admit that my query is limited in nature let us assume it to be true. I would assume that there are perfectly good explanations for the gender split on fessing or not fessing up to our age. Women are judged in our society by their looks in ways that men are not. Age might be an indices of sexual vitality and perhaps theirs is a fear that entering the dreaded "crone" phase chronologically would make them somehow disposable. A woman's worth has long been measured by her utility to men. Odd the double standard. Probably an atavistic response rooted in our most ancient genetics.

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