In Career, Life, Money

Why do we think that women can’t possibly make as much money as men?

I have received a number of emails, comments and remarks in the past asking me casually what I do for a living to make this kind of salary.

My answer is that I don’t talk about it, and I am a business consultant.

This is where people start getting nosy, and asking: No, but what EXACTLY do you do?

Obviously as an Anon, I am not about to tell you where I work, what I do and everything else. I can talk about my finances in detail, precisely because I am Anonymous.

But really, I am just not going to tell you.

A lot of people usually respect my request for privacy and back off, but then you get the occasional troll-y comment that says things like:

Oh she must be a high-priced escort then.

She travels all over the world, she is in ‘business’ and she makes a lot of money.

Think about it, people!

Put it all together!

She’s obviously getting paid for sex!

RIGHT, BECAUSE ESCORTING IT’S THE ONLY PROFESSION THAT ALLOWS WOMEN TO MAKE MONEY

(Note: Please recognize the heavy sarcasm in the title above)

I am slightly amused when I read these kinds of comments with people (rudely) speculating what it is I could possibly be doing, mostly because I guess I should be flattered that people think I could be a high-priced escort, not having even met me or seen what I look like 😛

The more salient point of discussion for me is:

But why the hell can’t women be possibly be legally and professionally making as much money as men?


There are women CEOs out there for instance. Out of the 500 companies (Fortune 500), only 12 of them are headed by women, most notably:

  • Indra Nooyi – CEO of PepsiCo
  • Carol Bartz – CEO of Yahoo!
  • Ursula Burns – CEO of Xerox
  • Irene Rosenfeld – CEO of Kraft Foods
  • Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook (okay not a CEO, but close)
Not to mention the other not-so-famous women who are lawyers, investment bankers, scientists and other professionals who make a lot of money.
These women make a lot more money than I do, and travel a lot for business but not for the purposes of hooking.

NO, SHE MAKES IT OFF BLOGGING

Or I get other comments that say:

Just admit it.

You’re making all this money off the internet by writing articles and blogging.

I don’t even know where to begin with this one, other than laughing in disbelief.

If you think people who write articles for sites, and who blog, make $20,000 a month, why don’t you give it a try and let me know in a year how it goes?

Of course, there are always exceptions — some people are so incredible, that they actually do that. I am not that incredible.

From all the years of blogging, I calculated that made a grand total of approximately $3.37 for every hour I worked on blogging.

I could have made $10 an hour flipping burgers!!!

So no, I am certainly not making my living off blogging or selling anything on the internet.

WOMEN CAN BE SMART TOO!

I’m interested in knowing why people immediately jump to the conclusion that since I’m a young woman freelancer who makes a lot of money, I have to be in the sex trade because that’s the only way young women can earn lots of money?

Are only men who are older considered smart enough to make that kind of money?

Of course not!

I just think it probably isn’t common, which I acknowledge, but then again, how common is it really for late-20-year-olds (men or women) to be making the money I’m making?

Not very.

So why jump to the conclusion that it has to be because I’m a woman, it has to be for sex?

If I were a guy, would it be different?

I daresay that a man who says he makes that kind of money, won’t have comments like: Oh you must be a gigolo then.

/rant

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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19 Comments

  1. Brandy

    You publish content on an open and freely accessible online platform – of course you’re going to get comments like this from the occasional wackos and bitter commentator. I don’t want to be rude about it, but I’m tired of seeing content like this show up in the blogosphere, particularly from women. It is only perpetuating the issue. Background: I am a woman. I make substantially more money than my husband or other men I know. This is the case for a lot of women I know IRL.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    What do you expect? People are skeptical. They will judge you especially when you blog or put yourself out there. Anyone can be anything online. You can pretend to be a fireman and not actually be one in real life. I had a Korean friend that told me in order to have fun one year when he was bored, he pretended to be a black guy and made a bunch of comments about how “oppressed” he was by white people on a message board.

    The only consultants I’ve known in real life were people that worked in the industry for 20-30 years before becoming a consultant. It’s very unusual to be a consultant in your 20’s, not saying it’s impossible but it’s like being a millionaire in your 20’s.

    You’re too much of a feminist to be an escort. Sometimes I find your feminist posts whiny & annoying and I’m a woman. A lot of women major in stuff that doesn’t pay as much such as :sociology, graphic design, psychology, art history, child education, etc.These majors don’t pay as the higher paying majors that a lot of men tend to go into such as : IT, finance, computer science, and engineering, etc. It makes sense why men are paid more.

    To make it in blogging you need to have a huge readership and yours isn’t high enough to make it a full-time thing. You’re not Kristina Bazan. However in the past you said you’re not interested in being famous.

    P.S. No need to choose a convent (monasteries are for men) or prostitution. You should really read more history. Women in the past weren’t as helpless as you’ve been told to believe.. Men weren’t better off either. A lot of it was a class issue, people didn’t really live well or have much freedom unless they were wealthy and sometimes not even then.

    I shudder to think what future generations will believe about us and I think I have it pretty good as a woman in the 21st century and in the first world.

    Reply
  3. Jessie's Money

    It’s so bizarre to me that people would write or comment about your work when you’ve made it super clear you’re not going to give that type of information a way. Just keep doing you!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      If I didn’t do what I did, I’d be happy to tell you all what I do. It’s more that I’m in a niche. I don’t like to say it because it is a small, tiny, TINY niche.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      When someone puts themselves out there its natural for people to be curious. Especially if you’re well-educated and have been taught to question things, especially stuff on the internet. The phrase “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” came from skepticism.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you%27re_a_dog

      Reply
  4. Annon

    LOL. That’s so interesting how people could make comments like that. I am not that ignorant, i.e. I know as a business consultant how much money you could actually earn. Getting paid 200k and over per year it’s not uncommon being a business consultant, in fact, its very COMMON to earn over 200K per year being a business consultant. There are some drawbacks, but I think every job has its own drawbacks.

    I guess people don’t know how much money you need to set aside for emergency, because you don’t always get a consulting contracts, and also the taxation implication of being self-employed (health care and what not).

    I guess there are always jealous people out there.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      EXACTLY. That is EXACTLY IT.

      I need to cover times when I don’t work (right now), taxes, insurance, and whatever else I do not have covered by a company.

      I’d rather take control of earning that kind of money and the onus on me to save and manage it, than to let a company manage it for me which is what being a freelancer is all about.

      Reply
  5. Abigail @ipickuppennies

    Wow. Just… wow.

    If it makes you feel any better, I never assumed you were having sex for money. I just thought that you were good at your job, and that your job was in a very high-paying field. Because that’s far more likely.

    I think it’s less that people assume that any rich woman has to be an escort (or the girlfriend of a rich guy), and more that these are trolls who live to rile people. Though to be fair, our bodies *are* one of our most marketable assets. I’m thinking it’s just that yours happens to house a darned good brain.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      It seems like women can only marry into money or… sell their bodies for money blatantly .. to reach 1%.

      Reply
  6. Xin

    Wow, I cannot believe the nerve of some of the people who contact you! I’m shocked, even if I generally know that some people on the internet can be absolutely ridiculous. People who make such strange and judge-y assumptions about you are way behind the times. As someone who is a very new entrant to a fairly high-intensity and high-income field (though my earning potential will likely stop growing after a certain point within a few years unless one is both a good entrepreneur or businessperson as well as a good attorney), I do see that it’s a field where women face more challenges than men, mostly because of the difficulty of balancing work and family life. Still, there is no reason why women can’t navigate those challenges successfully if that’s what they want to do, and I think both Sheryl Sandberg and Indra Nooyi are well-known for balancing work and family obligations extremely well.

    Anyway, from reading your blog, I can tell that you must be incredibly driven in your professional and financial life. I really admire that! I don’t personally have much entrepreneurial spirit of my own, but I greatly admire those who have it.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I am driven but I am also not THAT driven. I wouldn’t give up bedtime with my son for instance, to work late at work. I think that’s where that might hurt me a bit but I refuse to compromise.

      Reply
  7. Paige

    People who work for salary highly underestimate the amount of money a freelancer or entrepreneur can make. I learned this after starting my own business and I re-learn it all the time when people ask me about how they can do what I do. Even if they have twice the technical skill I do, they’re afraid to charge what they are worth. They undersell themselves in order to “compete.” Perhaps they’re just timid or perhaps they’ve been convinced by the salary their company pays them that they aren’t worth that much. So I think it’s a matter of everyone underestimating the amount of money they could potentially make—and, sadly, I suppose that goes double for women.

    Of course what they don’t quite understand as well is that when I charge $100 / hour, I don’t pocket $100 / hour. I have costs, TAXES, insurance to pay.

    Anyway, high-priced escorts can make plenty, although there is a significant amount of cost & upkeep involved, if an account like this is to be believed (a great economics article, btw):

    https://medium.com/matter/sex-is-sex-but-money-is-money-e7c10091713f#.hak8ax5uv

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      EXACTLY.

      We are afraid to ask for what we are worth or more and we undersell our skills.

      Thanks for the article link. And yes, if I charge $100 I don’t pocket $100. This is not cash under the table.

      Reply
  8. raluca

    I’m not making nearly as much money as you do, but I do make a lot of money for somebody my age. I could be making even more money if I would be willing to travel and I would be a contractor rather than an employee. If you work as an outsider in a company and you get paid overtime, I could presumably make as much money in 4 months as I make now in a year.

    Fun fact, I always tell people I know what rates I’m being sold at – and then I have to explain that no, I’m not a prostitute, but my work is outsourced, I’m basically being lent to other companies. My company makes crazy money off me as well. And I think if more people were aware at what rates they are “sold” and “bought”, they would be thinking so much more about what kind of money and opportunities they are leaving on the table.

    If being an employee didn’t mean that I can take 1 year of reasonably paid maternity leave (less than I make, but enough), I would choose to work as a contractor as well. At the moment, the benefits are just too good to quit.

    So, don’t worry about the prostitution thing. I personally think some of them are quite business savvy and entrepreneurial. If I was born 200 years earlier, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have ended up as the most madam of them all. Being told what to do by my husband or father figure is not something I could tolerate. So it would have been either the whorehouse or the monastery for me :P.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      If I could charge directly what my brokers are charging, I’d be raking in the dough. Much more than what I am making NOW.

      Hmm 🙂 I am probably the same in the past — a madam or running the monastery. I’d have figured out a way to not be told by anyone what to do… !!

      Reply
      1. raluca

        yey for the Uppity Women Society!

        Reply
    2. save. spend. splurge.

      LOL I have an hourly rate as well which I guess confuses people.

      Reply
  9. Revanche

    If you’re making that kind of money from blogging, you and I have to sit down and have a SERIOUS talk 😉

    So many biases are revealed when people make nosy / judgy comments! It seems to me that they live in a world where they simply cannot imagine how they would make this kind of money unless they were high-priced escorts. (And though I don’t know anything about that world, I suspect you still need some solid skills to be banking that kind of cash even as an escort.) Living in that world must be pretty sad.

    I’m not SURE I could make the same money as you if I changed industries, but if I made the time to invest in a reasonably well-considered career change solely for the money, and went for it, I’m guessing that it’s doable. But I do what I’m good at and I make good money for it so, you know. I don’t sit here throwing stones because I need someone on the internet to be worse off than me.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      No way man. I do not make that.

      Hey you should read that article in the comments: https://medium.com/matter/sex-is-sex-but-money-is-money-e7c10091713f#.hak8ax5uv

      $6000 a day!

      Reply

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