Just because I am a woman who makes a high income doesn’t make me a sex worker
The Instagram post of my response is here. I won’t mention who is saying the following notes below, but you can click on the post and see for yourself.
I considered not writing anything but this bothered me enough that I have to say it.
Note: They posted their views and comments publicly, so I have the right to say what I want in response, publicly.
My entire post said:
Would you ask a man who makes a lot of money, and says he works as a consultant in STEM if he is a sex worker?
Someone else responded with her unconscious bias that it was completely realistic to assume this because:
- I make a lot of money
- I ‘refuse’ to say what my job is
- I mention CEOs and lawyers as some people I deal with
- Oh, and 80% of sex workers are women
I don’t even know where to begin, so let’s start by ripping apart each of her arguments:
“I make a lot of money”
And what? Men make a lot of money too. Are they asked if they are sex workers or exotic dancers?
No. You’re only thinking that because I am a woman.
“I ‘refuse’ to say what my job is”
I refuse to tell you the DETAILS of my job and what my role is, but I do say that I am a consultant who works in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Math).
I don’t say what I do because my industry is very tiny, and I am in a niche.
I have always been clear that I got a business degree, I became a management consultant out of school, and I work in STEM. I am not specific, but I am clearly in a high-paying job that plenty of people (mostly men) make great money in.
I have even mentioned a few times that I have two rare specialties which companies pay a lot of money for because no one has BOTH specialties, let alone one.
The only difference? I am a woman, so it isn’t really plausible to people that I am able to also make as much (if not more) than the guys in my area.
GASP! HOW CAN IT BE? A woman in a male-dominated industry, making MORE THAN THE GUYS SHE WORKS WITH? Impossible. Totally impossible.
But a man, working in a female-dominated industry, making more than the women he works with? Omg, happens all the time.
This is what I mean is an unconscious bias.
And just because I won’t tell you what I do, doesn’t automatically make me a sex worker, now does it?
“I mention CEOs and lawyers as some people I deal with”
Oh and the only way I can deal with people in higher roles as a woman is if I am on my back?
It isn’t realistic that a woman can be in a position of power or influence and therefore, meet with people who run companies? Or lawyers?
I am in management consulting, which means I meet with all types of people from factory workers to clerks, to executives, to lawyers, to bankers, to whomever I happen to be working for at the moment.
If you can’t get it straight through your head what “consulting” means, it’s time to do some research instead of assuming things.
“Oh, and 80% of sex workers are women”
Throwing a fact like this at me, doesn’t really excuse anything. In fact, it is insulting because you think that absolves you from thinking critically. Just because it is a fact, doesn’t mean it applies to my situation. Let me ask you this question that makes far more sense:
I am a woman right?
Are 80% of women sex workers?
So logic dictates that if I am in the majority of women (95%), I am likely NOT a sex worker. Plus I say what I do in general, just no specifics because I am in a niche – CONSULTANT IN STEM. I cannot be any clearer, honestly.
So why is all of this happening?
I know why.
“Sex worker” comes to mind because that’s the only job they think of that a woman can easily make good money at
I don’t even deny that sex work seems to pay, there are so many examples of women out there selling their bodies either legally or not, and making lots of money. But that doesn’t mean it applies to ALL women who make good money
My entire response is that — “Obviously [sex work] is the only way women can make good money” /heavy sarcasm
To respond back that it was not “out of the blue” and I was being “emotional about it”, doesn’t make you any less misogynistic or biased. (And yes, you can be a misogynist if you’re a woman, yourself.)
These commenters have an unconscious bias to think that women can only make good money on their backs, which is exactly why I am ANGRY, not emotional. That was another thing I fought over — let’s name my emotion for exactly what it is – ANGER – instead of pinkwashing it to call it “emotional”. You’d never call a man “emotional” but you’d apply that to me? If he said this, he’d be “angry”, but when I said it, I was “emotional”.
The commenter then tried to say: Please don’t say men can’t be emotional.
That’s not what we are discussing – men CAN be emotional, I am saying in this situation, you wouldn’t call a man who posted what I did “emotional”, and yet you applied that term to me, because I am a woman. I am in fact, not being “emotional”, I am straight up ANGRY.
We don’t have enough high-income earning female role models
I recently started direct messaging another young woman about my age. She’s equally as formidable because she just started freelancing on her own, for $6000/week, in a medical industry (I wouldn’t want to reveal her details here publicly until I write my Success Story post on her and let her choose what she wants to say.)
Did I assume she was a sex worker? No.
My point was — No, it isn’t plausible. You are only saying “sex worker” because that’s the only job you can think of that a woman would make a lot of money from.
I also see other high earning women talking in general about their money, but never specifics. Never their salary, what they save, etc. I 100% respect that, which is why I am Anonymous, so I can be fully transparent about what I make, save, and spend. If I weren’t Anonymous, I wouldn’t say a DAMN THING.
Women brag less than men do, this is both good and bad
I hate the word ‘brag’ because it sounds like you’re being obnoxious and a jackass, when in fact you’re stating the facts of your earnings, accomplishments and general awesomeness. Just talking about it feels like bragging, and that’s something I struggle with as well when I am writing posts.
Women don’t talk their money and successes enough because women don’t tend to like to brag.
I am completely in this camp of not wanting to really come off as THAT WOMAN, so I don’t say anything about what I make, or how much I have. People can extrapolate these facts by just observing my attitude at work, what I wear, what I drive, and make educated guesses but for all they know, I could be up to my eyeballs in debt, have a rich relative/partner financing this lifestyle, etc.
In fact, most people think that I am sure — that I have someone else paying for me, and not that I am the one paying for myself, when in fact, the reality is this:
And this hurts us because we don’t speak up to managers or people about our successes and accomplishments, whereas men are more likely to vomit-brag which gets them ahead.
Men however, are slightly less reticent about saying what they make and bragging about their bigass salary or car.
Not all guys for sure, maybe 5% of the ones I have met, will willingly brag to me about what they make. Complete strangers tell me what they make. My uncle brags about how many houses he owns and how much he makes, and has saved. My colleagues will talk about their money too, what they blew on a trip to Europe, etc.
Women? Near to 0%. I have never met a woman who bragged to me as a stranger, out of the blue how much she made. Not a relative, not ANYONE.
The ONLY PERSON IN MY LIFE who has bragged to me, was my mother.
My mother is PROUD of coming from a dirty little podunk village to “making it” to 6-figures in life, so when her salary went up to $130K, she told me excitedly in whispers. I hugged her so hard and told her it is a real accomplishment, and she should be proud AF to be in the 1% after all she has been through and done.
I AM HAPPY WHEN WOMEN BRAG.
But not many do. I want to hear more female bragging, quite frankly.
So when you hear a woman like me, “bragging”, you immediately jump to conclusions, which I can see being valid based on your biases, but doesn’t make them correct or appropriate, frankly.
The bottom line is:
If I were a man making good money (forget whether he says what he does or not), would you ask him:
Are you an exotic dancer or an escort?
No, you wouldn’t. And this is exactly my point.