The Sexist

Is “Dating a Banker Anonymous” Anti-Feminist?

"Dating a Banker Anonymous," a self-help blog for women whose relationships have gone sour with the economic downturn, states in its introduction that it is a "safe place" that is "free from the scrutiny of feminists." Of course, once you've been featured in the New York Times—sad, beautiful group photo and all—you're no longer free from scrutiny from anybody. And so, as a feminist given to scrutiny, I saw the line as an invitation to net some quick and dirty blog content.

The feminist line comes as a half-serious inward jab—like the lamentation at a halved "monthly Bergdorf’s allowance," it is a joke that reveals a deeper worry. And yet, as I paged through the blog's entries, I had a hard time pinning down a feminist critique of the project. The blog seems to serve two functions for the DABAs stuck in middling relationships with FBF's (Financial-Guy Boyfriends):

a) commiserating with other women about shared relationship problems

b) complaining about the slow erosion of luxury from one's life

The first function—women helping women—won't find a detractor here. The second, while annoying, is less a gender equity issue than a class one. Sure, a spoiled girlfriend who whines that she can no longer dine nightly at Manhattan's finest restauraunts is an obnoxious narrator to guide us through this recession. But don't claim it's the "feminists" who are bringing you down, girlfriend. Instead of a "safe place" that is "free from the scrutiny of feminists," the blog could more correctly situate itself as a priveledged place, free from the scrutiny of the poor.

  • Conrad Davis

    I imagine that the posters on that blog conceptualize a feminist not as "a person who believes in gender equality" but rather as "a liberal woman". Therefore, when liberal women critisise bemoaning a bottle of Dom while thousands are being evicted in the middle of a freezing winter, they identify the argument as a feminist one. And clearly they don't care to discover the difference.

  • The Sexiest

    This isn't all that different from Cosmopolitan when Helen Gurley Brown remodeled the magazine in the 1960s and 70s. With more and more women entering the paid workforce, Brown observed that a gender pay difference existed, and encouraged women to go on frequent dates and let men buy them gifts in order to provide some relief for their strained personal budgets.

    Sure, "complaining about the slow erosion of luxury from one’s life" is certainly a class issue, but it is often difficult to disentangle the intersection of race, class, and gender. There's a great academic book called Race, Class, and Gender.

  • Amanda Hess

    It is, of course, a tangled web we all weave. I just think calling out feminists is misguided because it ignores the real issue. The women who post on the blog aren't so much insulting to other women as they are to other humans.

  • ChelseaSW3Girl

    Really; these girls are such wusses. Yes; I know you can't stereotype by nationality, but really, these US WAGS just don't compare well to their UK counterparts who are made of far sterner stuff.