Home / Blog / Article




August 4 2015

Reparations for Women! Feminists Demand That Men Hand Over Cash as Compensation for Patriarchy

Charlotte Allen

Forget "closing the gender pay gap."  How about plain old reparations to women? Because females have had it so hard for so long in our patriarchal society, it's only fair that we just hand over some cash to them outright instead of fiddling around with wage scales, paid parental leave and the rest of that complicated stuff.

In case you're laughing at  a supposed parody,  this is actually a real idea: #GiveYourMoneytoWomen. Here's the mission statement:

We are unifying women to a cause that slices to the heart of women’s issues: access to capital and resources. This is a global movement to be compensated for our years and lifetimes of unpaid emotional, physical, sexual, and intellectual labor. You treat us like resources and then get mad when we realize how to turn that back on you. Monetizing the male gaze.

And believe me, women journalists are taking these claims seriously. Here's Jennifer Schaffer at Vice:

Women were banding together to demand payment for all the emotional work we do that goes completely unpaid—the exhausting work of being a tolerant, gentle, nurturing, listening woman in our relationships with men, at all times. Women put up with a lot of bullshit, and we have a science-backed term for it: Emotional labor. And as with any kind of labor, women are now ready and eager to get paid.

In the words of Jess Zimmerman, "Men like to act as if commanding women's attention is their birthright, their natural due, and they are rarely contradicted. It's a radical act to refuse them that attention. It's even more radical to propose that if they want it so [expletive] much, they can buy it."

The movement's founder, Lauren Chief Elk, already has a huge Twitter following, with thousands of acolytes tweeting such sentiments as "Emotional work provided by women is essential for this society to work," "Men who genuinely respect women have nothing to fear or lose," and, more bluntly, "Any rich/well-off man want to help me with my medical debt?"

The movement's founder, Lauren Chief Elk, explained it all to Schaffer:

As a prison abolitionist, and as someone who is thinking of alternatives to justice for power- and gender-based violence, monetary compensation has been something that I thought of as a really good alternative. What is an alternative? Making people financially responsible to you, making your abusers financially responsible to you. [The hashtag] came out of my own praxis for justice in regards to that. It also came out of just thinking about what women have to do all day every day, whether that's in marriages or relationships or work environments—anything really. The type of labor that we are expected and required to do all the time.

Fortunately, there are a few sane feminists out there who find the hashtag "embarrassing," such as Katy Horwood at the U.K. Huffington Post:

You want money? Cut out the bitching and moaning and go the f**k out and earn it. Men don't owe you anything and believe me, the last way you're going to get it is demanding it from strangers on Twitter, because you've been so hard done by, and life is just so unfair.

What are you, f***ing twelve? No wonder, women are so often branded as difficult and irrational when this is what we, as women, put out there to represent ourselves, and our apparent injustices.

Horwood says the #GiveYourMoneytoWomen movement is "giving feminism a bad name."

No kidding.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
Follow us