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Tenacious Feminist – Cultural Commentary from a History Prof #financialfeminist

Ms ZiYou Lets meet financial feministsI am so happy to introduce to you a new series on Ms ZiYou, Let’s meet Financial Feminists that will feature each week on Fridays.

And to kick off the series please welcome Tenacious Feminist. She is a history professor who blogs on the intersection of money and feminism. Her blog includes impressive well-researched pieces, and her recent article on Financial Feminism really made me think about pink collar occupations.

Handing over to Tenacious Feminist – About You & Your Blog

Please introduce yourself and your blog

I’m Jen, and I write Tenacious Feminist.

What sort of finance blog do you write?

I’d say it overwhelmingly is about/features political and cultural commentary, with money as an aspect of those categories. Sometimes I do more overt “here’s how I credit card hack” kind of posts, but as the political climate in the states has changed I find I’m doing less and less of that.

How would you describe your current stage of life?

Settled. Married, no kids, three cats, full-time career. I’m a tenured professor.

What are your personal values?

I think it’s important to come to understand the systems we live in–it’s part of what I see as my job as an educator–and then work to fight them by challenging and changing the narrative (ie, some people still teach U.S. History as the parade of great white men–those guys feature in the lessons I plan, but I emphasize a far more holistic understanding of who was here and what their experiences were, leading to concepts of American identity that are inclusive of multiple voices). I do that in my job, in my own research, and in my Tenacious Feminist writing.

What are your dreams and plans for the future?

I don’t really know just now. I want to finish my/a book. I’d like to grow my side biz even as I’m working at my FT job.

Female Money Mentors

Feminism & Society

Do you identify as a specific type of feminist?

I try to be an intersectional feminist. This means that I’m constantly trying to frame my thoughts around how categories of identity intersect and how that shapes or should shape our feminist goals so that they’re more about a universal equity. White feminism is the opposite of that. Arguably, for example, equal pay without some recognition and addressing of racial disparities in salaries is a white feminist cause–instead of Latina women seeking parity with Latino men, we should all seek parity with the top–white men’s salaries. I am trans-inclusionary and deeply informed by our historical past.

Do you have feminist in your twitter bio?

You know it.

Is the patriarchy real?

Is this a trick question? Yes.

Please recommend us some good feminist books

I don’t read theory like I used to, but I read a lot of other stuff that’s through a feminist lens. Emily Birkin turned me on to the Veronica Speedwell mysteries by Deanna Raybourn–solid feminist leads in that genre aren’t super common and she’s great. They’re ageing now but Linda Gordon’s The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction and Patricia Cline Cohen’s The Murder of Helen Jewett were books I read in grad school that taught me how to think in intersectional ways about race, gender, class, sex, and religion.

How do you feel about privilege

That it’s a very real thing that a lot of people are deeply uncomfortable acknowledging.

Who is your idol?

Wonder Woman and Nancy Drew, though as a good historian I know both are fraught with problems.

What is the role of men in feminism?

They can be great allies and feminists themselves. They also need to take up the mantle of calling out other men, as clearly and unfortunately, women’s voices don’t always matter to those men. We’ve seen that, painfully, in US politics lately.

Do you consider yourself an activist?

Yes, but I feel like I need to get out there more.


How do you get your news?

I read a variety of sources. I don’t have cable. Usually, I read the Washington Post first, and often the BBC.

What are your thoughts on the mainstream media?

Depends on what we mean by it but one thing I’ve talked to my students about is how having a 24-hour news cycle has changed how news works dramatically. When I was a kid, there were clear and obvious times for reporting, analysis, and opinion, even on TV. Now it’s hard, particularly on cable news, to distinguish between them. This, I suspect, is how some people find the concept of “fake news” credible, and on some things, the term is pretty accurate.

Please share your top 10 blogs you follow with us.

<whispers> I need to read more than I do. I interact with a lot of people via Twitter but end up woefully behind in my post reading. My preference is to read blogs with a social consciousness angle.

I love Bitches Get Riches and Done by 40. I love The 76k Project’s honesty. And I also try to check in regularly with She Picks up Pennies and Tread Lightly, Retire Early, Our Next Life, and Reaching for FI.

What feminist resources do you use?

I have a circle of well-informed feminist friends that’s my primary resource–they point me elsewhere when I ask.

Is talking about money feminist?

It’s inherently gendered, most of the time, and can be feminist.

Some media spin that’s upset you lately – please share your rant

See twitter 🙂 I’m exhausted by most US politics lately but the Kavanaugh situation has been putting me over the edge.

And some media that has galvanised you

I don’t think I have a specific thing for ya.

Ms ZiYou Note: I was galvanised by this post of Jen’s.

So, you say you’re an ally (thoughtful meanderings)

Parting Words

What is one awesome thing in your life now?

The weather. Fall. Yay!

Anything else you’d like to say?

Please send coffee.

We else should I interview for this series?

You and I know the same people 🙂

How can people connect with you?

They can find me at tenaciousfeminist.com or on Twitter.

Ms ZiYou Note: Check Jen’s awesome twitter game.

Ms Zi You Back here

Thanks to Jen for taking the time to share and being the first #financialfeminist profile.

And I’d to leave you with the Tenacious Feminist Response to #WhyIDidntReport.

“Why didn’t she say anything when it happened?”


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.

Thank you for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter or contact me privately.

11 comments on “Tenacious Feminist – Cultural Commentary from a History Prof #financialfeminist

  1. Interesting reading Thanks for sharing.

    I thought of you yesterday and would be interested in the feminist viewpoint on this . I went to a networking day yesterday. The first talk was on ‘inclusion and diversity in the business world’. Literally the next topic on the agenda? ‘women only networking’

    I wondered if they were trying to be ironic 😉

    Sorry not trying to make light of a serious subject and one I like to think I agree with but it also just made me chuckle

    1. Morning FBA – thanks for the question. I always love feminism questions.

      And as for the specifics – it’s complicated is my answer.

      Women have to behave differently to men to get ahead in the business world – e.g. we have to modify our tone excessively. And men can’t help women with these things, as they frankly do not see it. If a woman followed a man’s advice she would not always get the same results as men.

      Not to mention that even in 2018, men use networking events to pick women up, especially men with power. Women think they are meeting someone for a business meeting, and the man treats it as a date. And this puts a lot of women off mixed networking events.

      I do agree however that in my feminist utopia, that they would not be necessary. But we aren’t there yet. Does that answer your question?

  2. I really enjoyed this interview, and thank you for introducing me to a new blog to follow!

    The Kavanaugh business has been especially ugly, on so many levels. (Without even getting into any of the many other issues, it is extremely improper for him to have made such partisan statements – as Courtney Milan has recently tweeted, judges who take judicial ethics seriously won’t even let slip comments that strongly imply their political leanings in private to their own clerks.)

  3. Thanks Ms ZiYou and Prof Jen. As a gentleman I was heartened to read that you think men can help women with improving fairness in society. It’s something I really feel as well – that men have to call out nonsense too. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    1. Hi YFG – Yes, Yes, yes – men most definitely have a role – both in calling out unfairness and helping us shape a world that works for everyone – freeing men from the traditional cultural expectations as well.

What do you think?