Today a guest post from my good friend and a tireless advocate for women, Debra Levy. Here she explains why a largely unnoticed new regulation reinforces the old “he who earns it owns it” assumption rather than the remodeled “family income and wealth are the result of joint work—both family work and employment—so they are owned jointly by both spouses” – with chilling effect on mothers’ financial well-being.
MSNBC was onto something the other day in their piece Why Stay-At-Home Moms are Mad at the Fed.
Our regulators seem unaware of how families divide tasks or how women work, or even what they earn compared to men, and a new move by them may penalize women and erode progress on women’s access to personal credit.
It happens all the time. You go to a store whose merchandise you value, like and trust to make a family purchase, nothing for yourself. Jeans for your son. Underwear for your daughter, or loads of flooring for a home construction project at your area large box hardware store. You wait in line at the register and tick off the errands still on your list, that work email you have to fire off as soon as you leave the store.
You whip out your wallet to pay for your purchases and then the inevitable questions: debit or credit? Then, would you like to sign up for our [insert brand name] credit card and save 25% on today’s purchases?
I’ve done this once or twice. Store affinity cards can yield fabulous yearly discounts, exclusive to its members-debtors. Such cards are “marketing in a heart beat” for retailers, and sometimes they make our spending easier and more affordable.
Raise your hands, women and men of America, if you ever have opened a credit card account at a point of sale transaction? Now, think back. When you did this, did you list “household income,” or “personal” or “independent income?” Continue reading