The findings from the Economic Justice Center come amid increasing awareness of gender inequality in the marketplace, as well as calls for a federal law to limit women’s access to men’s wallets and bank accounts.
“Obviously, we have a long way to go,” said Kohala Bher, economics professor at Scripps College. “We have seen some gains made by working men in having a greater say as to what is done with money they earn, but women still far outspend them by a ratio of nearly two to one.”
Lindsay Otto, a women’s rights campaigner from Nevada, says the backlash against women’s spending ignores the fact that most men allow — and in some cases, even encourage — women in their lives to have the final say about purchases.
“Take my brother, Mark, for example,” Otto said. “It was his wife’s idea for them to take out a loan for that stupid timeshare at Lake Tahoe. And he never wanted a Volvo, but mom pressured him into leasing one because they’re supposed to be safe. But it’s totally Mark’s fault. He’s the one who chose to get that controlling bitch Jackie [Cauthorn] pregnant, and he’s never been able to stand up to mom or even grandma. God forbid he ever has a daughter.”
Other women’s rights campaigners say that the study fails to recognize that the situation for men in the U.S. is better than in other, matriarchal societies where men are treated as little more than breadwinners with little to no say in household finances.
“If we look at the matrilineal Mosuo people of China, or the Ede of Vietnam, where women literally own all of the property, we can say that men in the U.S. are doing just fine,” said Corrina Saiyajin, who runs the organization Women Know Better. “And anyway, if we give men equal access to their money, they’ll just spend it all on dangerous motorcycles, fancy beer-making equipment, and expensive GoPro cameras they’ll never use, and that will be the end of home decor as we know it.”