Are Lesbians Susceptible to the “Depressing Truths About Women & Money”?


Irin at Jezebel disputed Maddy Dychtwald’s complaint, voiced at an event for Dychtwald’s new book on women’s economic power, that “young women she’d encountered were mostly interested in bikini waxes and how to get a man.”

But when Irin looked at Dychtwald’s book, she found that “one finding in Dychtwald’s book did give me pause.” She found some surprising statistics in Influence: How Women’s Soaring Economic Power Will Transform Our World For The Better.

Eight percent of all women in the survey fell into the “supportive traditionalist” category, the most passive and male-dependent one. But when it came to younger women — in their twenties in particular — the results were more dramatic:

“I was shocked to see that younger women were almost twice as likely as mature women to call themselves Supportive Traditionalists, even if they weren’t married. They were more likely than older women to worry about usurping the man’s role, to think money might make them less attractive to men, and to say that they’d see their partner as ‘more of a man’ if he took control of the finances.”

Jezebel’s article postulates that maybe the younger women haven’t been disillusioned yet. They’re still clinging to fantasies of men on white horses, while the older crowd had learned better by now.

We’d like to know what those statistics say about queer women, but we can guess that they’re probably dramatically lower. When you realize you’re gay, all that financial security offered by the patriarchy in exchange for some of your autonomy disappears overnight. Queer women no longer have access to that world. It’s a fact that can be kind of terrifying, especially when you consider 1) the huge amount of legal grey area surrounding gay partnerships and 2) how much more expensive it is to be gay. 3) According to a 2009 Williams Rpeport, Lesbian couples are more likely to be poor than married heterosexuals, and children of same-sex parents are twice as likely to live in poverty as those of traditional married couples, a new report shows.

When it comes to financial independence and security, gay women have a lot more to be worried about it. But at least we aren’t saddled with the Cinderella myths that straight women appear to be struggling with.


On the upside, it looks like Ramin Setoodeh has finally learned how to employ the first person singular to write an opinion piece (sometimes). On the downside, Setoodeh missed an opportunity to apologize or see the error of his ways — and for a writer who apparently is now claiming he writes opinion pieces rather than news articles, he’s going to have to work on that! We’ll have a full editorial yelling at Ramin later this evening, so hold your comments for that!


What do you say when your child comes out to you? Maybe more parents should ponder that, because you only get one shot at that conversation. The Wall Street Journal has an analysis of what different pediatric organizations think. Surprisingly enough, it turns out that kids with supportive families are far less likely to be depressed or to attempt suicide. (@wsj)


The unfortunate reality of gay marriage laws in the US means a dizzying patchwork of legal hoops for gay families. Marriage licenses that transfer across state lines are just one more thing straight people have that gays don’t, and that can lead to some headaches. This story of two women who moved from Massachusetts — where they were legally married — to Pennsylvania — where they weren’t — illustrates the point perfectly.

But frustration was evident as they told of the hoops they had to jump through, at extra cost, to amass legal documents they wouldn’t have needed in Massachusetts – including a second-parent adoption… At their lawyer’s advice, the two women have stored their legal forms on flash drives that they carry constantly.

Of course, the Defense of Marriage Act is one of the big roadblocks to uniform marriage laws. It is currently being challenged in federal court, so we’ll see what happens there. (@washingtonpost)


More and more lesbian couples are choosing to have kids, even in The Castro, apparently. (@sfgate)


There is now a Facebook movement to get Cam and Mitchell to kiss on ABC’s Modern Family. If a Facebook movement got Betty White to make muffin jokes on SNL, I wonder what it could do for gay PDA on primetime. (@movieline)


After the Catholic Church made headlines again for the priest sex abuse scandals, what are the effects for openly gay members of the clergy? The anti-gay messages coming from the Catholic hierarchy beg a difficult question regarding the many gay priests in the church. Though “active homosexuals” and “supporters of gay culture” have technically been barred from priesthood since 1961, it is estimated that somewhere between 20 and 50 percent of priests are, to some degree, gay. But, owing to the vociferously anti-gay sentiment from the Vatican, these men are frequently silenced, left to languish in secrecy if they choose to continue following their calling to the priesthood. (@bostonedge)

Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 131 articles for us.


  1. lolz, I bet a good portion of those “supportive traditionalists” are just that way because they don’t want the mens to know about their fortunes.

    That’s why I’m gay, by the way: It’d totally kill me to see peen with my money.

  2. Yeah, I wanted to strangle my little sister (15) when she said she wanted to be a housewife and have her husband bring home the money while she made him a sandwich. And she wasn’t being sarcastic. My heart cried.

  3. It doesn’t bother me if women say they want to be traditional housewives because it’s really, truly what they want to do with their lives. It’s when they’re doing it because they feel they have to, or that its just the way women should behave, that’s when it’s an issue.
    Personally, staying at home doing all the washing, cleaning, cooking etc. sounds like a fate worse than death. No thanks.

  4. I stay at home but I don’t have time to do the washing, cleaning, or cooking. Sometimes Alex cooks though, that’s nice. and then there is cleaning to be done, which is stressful. Neither of us have any money but at least she has unemployment. The cleaning happens on an irregular schedule. My other roommate supports her boyfriend with her tiny salary working for an NGO b/c he hasn’t been able to get a job since moving here from london. My other roommate is a lesbian, she’s pretty, I don’t know where her money comes from.

    “I’d make such a good statistic, someone should study me now, just because i’m here, and i’m real”
    -ani difranco

  5. I often feel like I’m an oddity because I’m actually pretty financially comfortable. :/

    And I’m totally getting the baby bug of late… we always said we’d adopt, but now the hormones are going PUT A BABY IN YOUR TUMMY, DINA. Sigh.

  6. Re: parenting-I highly recommend knowing your rights before you settle down somewhere and decide to have kids. When my wife and I decided to have a kid, we were living in a very anti-gay state (VA), so we planned the birth in DC (where we could get both names on the birth certificate), and then 6 mos after our son was born, we moved to NJ (for a few reasons, but mostly so I could have a second parent adoption). We are really happy with our choice, and love Jersey (really!), but it was very hard to pick up and move away from our friends/jobs. We also lucked out because we were renting in VA, and could move very easily. There are so many factors involved, and although you don’t want anything bad to happen, you have to plan for it anyway. It really sucks, though, that each state can do things differently and/or change the rules whenever they want.

      • We are in the process of this now. We tried 3 times, though unsuccessful so far, to have a baby via IUI. Now it is on hold cuz we wanna move to Mass and have the baby and stay there forevs (our families are in RI). It’s like we have to choose right now-even though we have enough money to go ahead and have a baby, we won’t have enough to move across the country, too, so we have to make a hard choice. I am worried that putting it off too long could lessen my chances of it ever happening, and that makes me panic.

        I will stay in Mass and get legally married and just hope that everytime I travel I don’t have to worry about my “marriage” being worth nothing over state lines.

        I never realized how much money I needed just to start a family and maintain it (legal fees and sperm fees mostly!). It makes me sad and panicky. I would die if the only reason I could never have kids was because of money.

      • Annnd this is one of the reasons that realistically I know we’ll be holding off regardless of my baby rabies. NSW doesn’t allow second parent adoption right now (although apparently that’s in the works? Then again the government here is nigh useless sooo…), although we could have the second parent be designated as a guardian or something like that. On the other hand, if we move back to Washington State (no joint or second-parent adoption there, either) and go through with adoption like in the original plan, we could always do like Dan Savage did and go down to Oregon. Buuut… argh. I don’t know. It kind of depends on if we have a tummy mummy or if we go the “here’s one we prepared earlier!” route.

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