I’m usually not big on making New Year’s Resolutions. But a tweet by Greta Thunberg at the end of the year convinced me to rethink that.
For the few of us who didn’t read about her take-down of a former kickboxer, professional misogynist, accused sex-trafficker, and online entrepreneur Andrew Tate it went something like this. The 36-year-old Tate taunted 19-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter – boasting about his extensive car collection and the enormous emissions produced. Cars are often seen as a sign of male virility or insecurity, depending on your vantage point. She replied with the most liked tweet of the year - “yes, please do enlighten me. email me at email@example.com,” hitting at the heart of male insecurity in just a few choice words.
Andrew spent the next 10 days formulating a response. Then he posted a video of himself eating pizza and spouting off – playing a bit of defense and a bit of offense. Turns out the pizza boxes may have tipped off Romanian authorities that he was in the country – leading to his arrest on sex-trafficking charges.
After his arrest, Thunberg tweeted her response on the morning of the 30th - “this is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes”. Game, set, match Thunberg.
My 2023 resolution: TAKE UP MORE SPACE.
Younger women seem to already know this.
It’s one of the reasons The Beam Network is thinking about how we best engage young women investors. Whether young women are creators or inheritors of wealth, they tend to approach their wealth more holistically – looking at the most significant positive impact they can have in the world, from their investments to their philanthropy to how and when to use their voice. As a result, they are more willing to buck tradition and challenge established family dynamics. As a result, they take up more space.
Thanks to social media, increased activism, and a 24-hour news cycle, we have more information and a global platform to address sexist systems and detail the impact they have on our mental and physical health, how we dress, and even the formulation, testing, and research of medicine.
I recently revisited Maya Dusenbery’s 2019 book Doing Harm which weaves together scientific and sociological research, interviews with doctors and researchers, and personal stories from women to provide a comprehensive, accessible look at how sexism in medicine harms women today. In short, most medications are produced for men, tested on men, and researched on men despite women having very different reactions and experiences with medicine.
But systemic sexism doesn’t stop there – consider the following, which have been historically designed by men for men:
Car crash dummies
And yes, the financial system.
This affects our physical and mental health, safety, productivity, and financial well-being.
Greta knows this, she’s aware that climate change has a more profound impact on women.
This isn’t to say there aren’t male allies. There are. And they too are seeing the benefits of a more equitable system. In a recent story in Fast Company researchers found that “even men’s mere signaling that they want to be good allies is an important first step toward a shift in the way many men have historically treated the women in their lives.” Researchers believe it also leads to more workplace equality.
So, in 2023, I’ll take up more space and make more space for male allies. My Co-Founders of @The Beam Network and I will do our part to ensure that the women in our network have the tools they need to take up more space and push the financial system to better meet women exactly where they are.
-Bertha Morales, Co-founder The Beam Network