Over the weekend, the US celebrated dads. When most women think of Father’s Day, they think of the celebration of a man in their life who was and/or is influential in helping to love and shape them into the person they are today.
After all, dads, even though they’re not perfect, form a special bond with their daughters that can be one of the strongest, most-nurturing relationships in life.
As Dr. Peggy Drexler writes for Huffington Post, “Despite the evolution of women’s and men’s social roles, the father-daughter bond—whether strong and nurturing or broken or non-existing—still holds an enormous sway over women. No matter how much their fathers may have disappointed or hurt them, all the women I met felt a measure of loyalty and gratitude to them, and expressed their eagerness to stay connected to the men who were among the first loves in their life.”
But this weekend, I read an article about another kind of dad, the sugar daddy, and a special summit created to help women become more adept at experiencing the benefits of rich, old men who want to shower young girls with money in return for “companionship.”
In her article, “ Where women learn how to shake down their sugar daddies ,” Doree Lewark writes, “Welcome to the Sugar Baby Summit, where ladies like Sabine — who, as with most of the women in this story, asked that her last name not be used — learn how to get the most out of a benefactor. Or more specifically, his wallet.”
“Girl, I need to pay my rent…I need financial security.”
The article features interviews with a number of young women who share why they attended the summit.
One twenty-three year old girl, a student, attending a class called “Master Class Part 1: Upgrading,” shares her need to pay her rent and have financial security.
Another girl shares how she juggles multiple men, showing off “…$1,300 worth of clothes that a new sugar daddy bought her the previous week at a Las Vegas mall. ‘I feel like such a lady boss,’ she purrs.”
Yet another tries to distance herself from the crowd who will settle for anything. “If I see [a man’s] net worth isn’t $50 to $100 million, I don’t want to deal with them,” she boasts, sharing how she used to make a six-figure salary before entering the world of sugar daddies. “I’m not feeling desperate,” she says. “Some girls here are homeless.”
Repeat after me: A man is not a financial plan
Sugar Daddy Summit is hosted by seekingarrangments.com, which Lewark describes as matching “men of means with young, often financially struggling women who want to be spoiled by a ‘daddy.’”
And while your natural reaction is probably to sit back and judge these women, it’s worth stopping for a second and wondering: “As a woman, do I also rely on a man for my financial well-being?”
The statistics are compelling. I’ve shared them before. Most women are not capable of fending for themselves financially, let alone being financially free, without a husband (for example, “ Women’s Retirement Planning Woefully Inadequate, Study Finds ”).
You don’t have to attend a sugar daddy summit and flaunt your Louis Vuitton bag to strange reporters in order to fall into the trap that a man is your financial plan.
An event like the sugar daddy summit, and the site that sponsors it, while shocking and distasteful, is really just an amplification of a problem that faces most women: a woeful lack of financial education and a fear that without a man a women can’t be financially free.
Become a free woman by becoming a rich woman
I started Rich Woman precisely because this problem is so prevalent. Our mission is to help women become financially free, to be self-confident and self-supported, and to have healthy relationships that are based in mutual respect, not financial security.
As I write on our Rich Woman web page:
The bottom line is that money has tremendous power. It has the power to set us free, but it also has the power to enslave us.
Money enslaves us by keeping us in an unhealthy relationship, sending us to a job that we don’t like every day for the paycheck, or causing us to deny ourselves things important to us because we lack the money to buy them.
A Rich Woman has a healthy attitude towards money. She doesn’t make excuses if she doesn’t have it. She doesn’t vilify those who do have it.
When we talk about Rich Woman, we talk openly about money, investing, cash flow, and taking charge of your financial life.
Today, I encourage you to begin the adventure of learning how to make money work for you through financial education. I invite you to a different kind of summit—financial workshops meant to empower you, not behold you.
And I also invite you to become part of a community of women who know that there can be more to life than relying on a man as your financial plan.