It’s Friday, so time for Let’s meet Financial Feminists. This week I have the pleasure of introducing Nikki from Female Money Doc.
Nikki is a UK based GP who blogs about money. She shares her stories of debt and draws amazing parallels between your health and your financial wellbeing.
Handing over to Nikki -About You & Your Blog
Please introduce yourself and your blog
Hello! My name is Dr Nikki Ramskill, and I run the blog The Female Money Doctor. I am a UK-based doctor with a specialist interest in how money affects my patient’s health and well-being.
What sort of finance blog do you write?
My blog is centred around women, and issues that affect them in general personal finance based on my own experiences and education. I am also very interested in why women don’t on the whole invest in the stock market, so a proportion of my articles are exploring this.
How would you describe your current stage of life?
I am currently in a long-term relationship with my boyfriend Tom, and we have a house together in Milton Keynes. I’m nearly at the end of a very long period of post-graduate training and have decided to become a GP. We don’t have children yet, and we’re not married, but I anticipate that this will change one day!
What are your personal values?
I believe ultimately in freedom and happiness. I don’t like feeling controlled or dictated to, so my life choices in the last 6 years have been around finding what brings me the most happiness and the most freedom. My choice to become a GP, after realising that a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology did not fit with either of those values. However, a career as a GP most definitely would. I love the variety it brings, and the endless possibilities it allows. I’m much happier now, and definitely plan to make sure my working life always works around me – not the other way around.
What are your dreams and plans for the future?
I would love to be able to see more of the world, as would my boyfriend. A dream for me would be to be able to avoid the dreary winter months in the UK and travel to hotter locations instead. To have enough money to result in this kind of ultimate freedom would
be a dream come true!
In the next 10 years though we are likely going to be raising a family, so we may end up immigrating to a warmer country like Australia instead and leave the travel plans until our kids are old enough to be left to their own devices. It’s a long way off, but its definitely on
Feminism & Society
What is your brand of feminism?
I believe that women should be treated more fairly than they currently are in terms of fairer pay and opportunities. I also feel that men should be supporting women more by taking on more the traditional “female roles” around the house such as cooking and cleaning. Personally I am extremely lucky in that my other half is very good at these things (better than me in fact), so it works well for us. Men want to be more involved in their children’s lives, so why not let them!?
We need more ambitious women in the spotlight – without supportive men at home, this is very difficult to achieve. I am also for women helping other women – we need to support each other more and have far less of the bullying and bitching that goes on.
Do you identify as a specific type of feminist?
Not with any type specifically – but I admire female entrepreneurs and famous women doing good in the world. I love seeing these role models.
Do you have feminist in your twitter bio?
Is the patriarchy real?
Yes I think in some circles this is still certainly true. Thankfully many western societies are taking steps to include more women in the higher echelons of society, but this takes time. Women have been suppressed for so long that old habits unfortunately die hard. Without forward thinking men and changes to the faces we see in our governments, patriarchy can continue to exist.
We need the role models out there to inspire changes in our children. I certainly believe this is happening.
Please recommend us some good feminist books
Sarah Knight’s book entitled “the lifechanging magic of not giving a f***” springs to mind straight away. Women are so used to caring for others that they forget to care for themselves. Sarah shows us that actually it is ok to be “self-ish” in order to preserve our time and sanity.
And a list of good feminist books wouldn’t be complete without Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” – the book that has lead to a phenomenally popular television series. She wrote it using a collaboration of events that have actually happened in history. It makes for uncomfortable reading, but it’s so important that we do.
How do you feel about privilege
Privilege is one those strange concepts that are seen by those who don’t have it, but unseen by those who do. I don’t think that it is anyone’s fault if they have privilege in something (like having a wealthy family, living in western societies, or having ability to walk around at night without fear of being raped), but it is absolutely not acceptable to “pretend” like it doesn’t exist.
We have to remember that life is completely a game of chance. We cannot determine our starting position in life – we would all do similar things given the same set of life circumstances. To pretend that this doesn’t happen is doing us all a disservice. Acknowledge it, don’t apologise for it, but stand up for those who don’t have it so that they can enjoy the same. This also means that governments need to protect against this from happening and ensuring that everyone has a fair chance at life.
Who is your idol?
There are so many! My idols are women who are successful in business and who are doing things their own way in order to change the status quo. Women like Reece Witherspoon in the film industry, Liz Earle in the beauty industry and Ann Wilson in the finance industry. They are all strong, powerful women, and they serve as great reminders that anything is possible, providing we do things our own way and work hard to get it. This list is by no means exhaustive, but these were some I especially wanted to mention.
What is the role of men in feminism?
Men have a huge role to play whether we like it or not. In the same way that those with money have to acknowledge their privilege in life, so do men when it comes to their own privilege. For too long now, men have had the upper hand whether they acknowledge it or not. This is gradually being worked on to make our societies fairer for all, but there is still a long way to go. For example, women in the UK have only had the right to vote since 1918 (and there were limits on this until 1928!) – and this decision was made by men.
There will be generations of women who still live with the memory of this. It is in our blood. Men have more power than they realise, and need to stand up and say something when they can see that women are not being fairly represented. They need to acknowledge glass ceilings and pay discrepancies. They have such an important role to play and the more we can educate our sons on this the better it will be for our societies in the future.
How do you get your news?
I pretty much don’t watch TV anymore! So most of my news comes from social media, and if it’s something I want to learn more about, I seek out the BBC app and read it from there.
Please share your top 10 blogs you follow with us.
- Women who money – I love how they have collected together so many awesome female finance bloggers! I met them at FinCon this year and was blown away!
- Rockstar finance – I enjoy getting their round-up every day. It gives me inspiration and I definitely learn a thing or three
- Chief Mom Officer – I think their family set up is great – her husband stays at home while she brings in the money. Her blog is fantastic for inspiration and great at pushing boundaries on the status quo.
- Andy Webb, Be Clever With Your Cash – He has a website full of tips and tricks for the UK market in how to save money.
- Emma Drew – Her blog talks about all things making money which I enjoy having a read through. I’m currently doing her affiliate marketing course.
- This is Money – they have a great blog and podcast on the latest money news in the UK and provide useful comments on what to do with my money
- Money saving expert – it’s such a useful resource that I couldn’t not put it into this list!
- Lucky Bitch.com – Denise Duffield Thomas talks about mindset and money blocks. It’s amazing the kinds of limiting beliefs I have uncovered through her guidance.
- Amy Porterfield’s podcast – I love her business advice and tips for getting ahead. It has been so useful!
- UK Money bloggers – this group is fantastic to be part of, and there is always something interesting to learn on their blog.
Some media spin that’s upset you lately – please share your rant
One of the things I actively dislike is the way that “natural contraception apps” are being made out to be safe and effective at avoiding pregnancy. As a GP with a specialist interest in gynaecology, this makes me nervous and angry. No matter the “research” that is spouted out by the companies that produce these apps, using “natural methods” for contraception (avoiding sex on fertile days) is not an exact science, and in fact is an extremely poor way to stop yourself from getting pregnant.
Being able to control when we have children is absolutely a feminist issue because before the pill was invented, women had no choice but to be pregnant pretty much all of the time. Having access to safe and effective hormonal contraception is helping us to lead the
lifestyles we want. It has freed us from being stuck in the home and enabled us to develop meaningful careers if we choose to. Women with heavy periods no longer have to tolerate the embarrassment and expense that their monthly cycles lead to. It also treats
endometriosis, another debilitated and highly disruptive condition on a woman’s life.
More on natural family planning
My fear is that if we start going back to so called “natural methods” and turning our backs on safe and proven ones, we are turning our backs on something that has helped us to become free.
Yes, it is a woman’s choice how she prevents pregnancy (if that’s what she wants), and this is fine for those women who wouldn’t mind having a child (perhaps older, more secure in their career/relationship etc), but FYI; the copper coil is hormone free and can stay in for
10 years! No guess work is involved in this!
I worry that these companies are leading our younger generations into a false sense of security and complacency. It’s not just pregnancy we need to avoid, but HIV and other STIs like chlamydia that can screw up a woman’s fertility for life if not treated quickly. Only
condoms help to stop this.
And some media that has galvanised you
I absolutely loved watching Jacinda Ardern through her pregnancy as New Zealand’s Prime Minister. I loved how she asked the people to help her name her baby girl Neve Te Aroha, and I loved it when she took her along to work in Parliament. THIS is the kind of role model we need ALL OVER THE WORLD. Seeing her story has given me hope for the future.
What is one awesome thing in your life now?
I finally feel like I know who I am and what my values for life are. I love being able to make decisions about my career that work for me and how I want to lead my life. Getting older definitely has its benefits!
How can people connect with you?
Ms ZiYou Back Now
Thanks for taking part and sharing Nikki. I absolutely agree on natural family planning – it was very worrying how many people were buying into these new tech products in this sphere. And seconded, getting older is awesome.
If you identify as a feminist – female or male – and would like to be featured on Let’s meet Financial Feminists – please get in contact.