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If you believe that Bitcoin represents the future, then you should want women to move up the adoption curve to improve their lives.
If you could inspire one group of people to adopt bitcoin, what would it be? whole country? Bond Dealers? Family office managers?
While any of these groups would have a significant impact, for example, 5% of their population invested a portion of the assets under their control in bitcoin, there is one more important group to inspire: women.
While the capitalist drive to engage women seeks to reduce the supply of available bitcoin and raise the price over time, a more humane drive to engage women sees financial and tech (fintech) literacy, with Bitcoin at the intersection, as a way to increase opportunities for women and their families, just as anyone would embrace Bitcoin.
Regardless of which point of view you relate more to, the important question is, how far do you think Bitcoin is the future?
If you think that bitcoin is just another financial asset with the potential for a disproportionate rise, then perhaps it is not important for you to take on women because you may end up getting the financial gains you seek whether or not it is widely adopted.
However, if you believe that Bitcoin represents the future in the same inevitable way that the Internet did in the 1990s, you want women to move up the adoption curve to improve their lives and the lives of those around them.
Regardless of your point of view, it is essential that men of us think about our motivations because they will contribute to the culture we develop as bitcoins, and thus either empower or devalue women in the bitcoin space.
“Like all science and all evaluations, the psyche of a woman has hitherto been viewed only from the point of view of a man.”
Karen Horney, pioneering feminist psychology
This is an uncomfortable topic. As a man and the husband of a feminist, I am well aware of my inability to see and speak from a woman’s point of view. But this issue is too important to be left alone so I am writing about it from a sympathetic point of view.
If you spend enough time studying the Bitcoin (and cryptocurrency) system, you will definitely notice the lack of female-led companies, podcasts, and social media accounts.
It’s hard to navigate the waters of content when looking for quality material that intentionally includes women. In my experience, the unintended and malevolent connotations in the daily dose of Bitcoin-related content consumed by an interested observer are huge. I don’t blame anyone or society as a whole for that. But instead, I think it’s a corollary of the majority of the votes in the bitcoin space coming from men.
As a meditation exercise, ask yourself the following regarding Bitcoin Twitter:
- Of the people who indicate their gender, what percentage is female?
- In the average of the spaces you join, how many profiles are identified as women versus those identified as men?
- How many anonymous accounts do men versus women manage?
Although it is impossible to know the answers, this type of question is intended to direct those who want honesty to realize that women are underrepresented in Bitcoin. This is at least on the platform that is widely agreed upon as The place to be In the Bitcoin ecosystem (no one exchanges meta account names at Bitcoin conferences).
Does any of this really matter? Yes. why? Please read.
Before trying to diagnose the cause of this condition, let’s get small and look at the available research to know its symptoms more clearly. The following facts highlight the outcomes of a world in which women are being excluded and devalued, particularly in the FinTech sectors. This will help us understand the macroeconomic context in which this phenomenon unfolds.
Consider this statistic: 90% of household financial decisions in the United States are made by women. Let it soak for a moment.
In light of this fact, why is there no greater effort to involve half of the world’s population?
According to a US survey conducted by CNBC and Acorn in August 2021, 16% of men invest in cryptocurrency compared to only 7% of women. Although the distribution of women participating in the Bitcoin community is higher now than at any time since the beginning, there is a 72% gender gap with 86% of men and 14% of women participating in the Bitcoin community, according to coin.dance via google analytics. .
The gender pay gap for year-round full-time workers in the United States is 17.7%, with average annual earnings of $47,299 for women and $57,456 for men.
More specifically, black women in the United States earn an average of 37% less than their white male counterparts. Similarly, Latinas in the United States earn an average of 45% less than white men and 30% less than white women, even when adjusted for equality in education and job roles.
Globally, there is a 9% gender gap in people with bank accounts with men more likely to have bank accounts than women in developing countries.
Such facts raise the questions: Why? What are the reasons for these disparities?
Globally, the oppression of women goes back to the earliest recorded writings.
“Oppression is the unjust use of power, law, or physical force to prevent others from being free or equal… In much of the literature written in the ancient and medieval world, we have evidence of the oppression of women by men in European, Middle Eastern, and African cultures. Women did not have the same legal and political rights as men and were under the control of fathers and husbands in almost all societies.”
– Linda Nabikoski
The oppression of women, according to feminist theory, is primarily caused by the patriarchal system which is the social system that has prevailed since prehistoric times. As we can see from the quote above, women throughout history have been treated as objects of property rather than equal to men in a common humanity. Although many of the previous infections inflicted on women are now illegal around the world, the healing process takes time. With much of the world adopting a capitalist economic system since the Renaissance, women are still catching up in a game they have not been allowed to play for centuries.
In the United States, one reason is the discriminatory treatment of women since the birth of the state in 1776. The word “covering” is an unknown word with great historical significance. It’s an important concept for building an understanding of the gender gaps we see in America broadly and in Bitcoin specifically.
Covering is the legal practice that ensures that a woman does not have a legal identity. This means that a woman is not legally allowed to work in business, own anything (including inherited property), or even have custody of her children in the event of her husband’s death.
Over the years, women like Susan B. Anthony for Women’s Rights so that the cover can be taken apart piece by piece. But just because women of this current generation have gained the rights they should have had all along doesn’t mean they don’t have to work against the current attitudes in fintech that are left behind.
Reason for hope
Today, just over 13 years after Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin White Paper, its culture is still defined and shaped by diversity and equality. This is a very sensitive and important time in the history of Bitcoin. There is still a huge void in the fintech space for women to fill, and Bitcoin is poised to empower women to do so. With its well-established roots as a protest against financial inequality and corruption, Bitcoin could help topple the tower of elitism and exclusion that has long been at the intersection of technology and finance, leading to a decline in the number of women in these industries.
As battles are increasingly being fought in Washington, D.C. and global jurisdictions in efforts to regulate Bitcoin, an equally important battle is being fought in the minds of every Bitcoin to retain or retire the status quo with regard to women. I believe Bitcoin will be a major catalyst for the changes that the world’s women in Fintech and beyond need.
Over the years, leaders like Roya Mahboob have pioneered the work of engaging women in Bitcoin and there are many women who are doing great work in the Bitcoin space, such as Elizabeth StarkAnd boring biryanAnd Cynthia LoomisAnd Caitlin Long And Amanda Cavalieri. It will be exciting to see the countless women who will be added to this list in the coming months and years. They will help reshape the global landscape to be more just and free.
How do we change the path?
This article is a call to men (myself included) to think and act as we strive to nurture the spirit of Bitcoin and break the shackles of financial oppression. The following suggestions are by no means exhaustive, nor are they remedies for wounds that are thousands of years old. But if we truly believe Bitcoin fixes this, we as men must be intent on creating a cultural foundation that proves inclusive of all those who were oppressed by the old financial system. The following encourages further exploration for each of us and offers a few small steps toward creating a more equal and inclusive Bitcoin environment for women.
- Think about your personal opinions and motivations as they relate to women’s adoption of Bitcoin.
- Acknowledge any prejudices that may normally be subconscious and perpetuated by the history of coverage and other remnants of women’s oppression.
- Ask a woman in your family or friends circle for their thoughts on Bitcoin. Listen to their thoughts with an open mind without trying to convince them why they think the way you do.
Be a woman’s ally by breaking the silence when you see the undertones behind misogyny and misogyny.
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Author’s disclaimer: This article is not a comprehensive account of the experience that women have in and out of the Bitcoin space. It’s just an attempt to move the conversation forward toward a more equal landscape of fintech and beyond for all women. I realize there is a lot of gender binary language in this article and I apologize if that was offensive to you. I hope you learn something useful from him regardless of your opinions about sex. As a Latino man, I humbly recognize my male prejudices that escape me despite my efforts against them.
This is a guest post by Josh Doña. The opinions expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.