FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

How Girls Handle Money

“I held up a $20 bill and asked who wanted it. No one moved. A good 30 seconds later, one of the girls raised her hand and said, “We should make a rule about who gets it.”

Another girl raised her hand and declared, “It should go to the girl that got here first.”

Everyone looked around, and they all nodded in agreement.

We spent the next hour discussing how girls think about money and make decisions. Even when rules weren’t necessary, the girls refused to act and instead focused their energy on creating rules about who got the money.

Clearly, if men had been in the room, the women wouldn’t have stood a chance.

I asked, “Why?” The group preferred rules because rules establish a system of norms. “Then,” one astute girl laughed, “we can play within established parameters and still manipulate the rules to get our way.”

Instinctively, I responded, “And still be considered good girls?”

Without missing a beat, the group nodded in agreement.” Link

7 responses to “How Girls Handle Money

  1. Giovanni Dannato June 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Perhaps best not to accept rules or approach a bargaining table in the first place unless you have some sort of decisive leverage to enforce the terms.

    Otherwise, you’re in effect just discussing which concessions you’re handing over.

    • Eric Patton June 21, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Girls operate differently, they want to reach a consensus. Everything has to have an egalitarian feel to it. It has to appear fair.

      You’re right though, it’s generally the balance of weakness that decides it. When greed meets need, greed usually wins.

      • Eric Patton June 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

        Also, some previous studies have shown people are unlikely to take money, versus a commodity item of the same price, like a soda. It’s considered less like stealing and more like ripping off evil corporations or taking something that is easy to replace.

        It’d be interesting to see what would happen if you offered the class a smartphone or popular cosmetics.

  2. Giovanni Dannato June 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Also, if the women are sharing a resource that doesn’t necessarily mean men have entered into their considerations.

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  4. Randy June 28, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Sounds like these girls actually handled themselves pretty well. Why is wanting to set up rules bad and wanting to take the money right away for oneself good?

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