This blog, Dating a Banker Anonymous, sprung up some months ago as a gathering place for women whose Wall Street boyfriends have been laid off or made to work all the hours to hold onto their jobs. I’d swear it was a hoax, only the New York Times seems convinced that it isn’t.
The NY Times article plays up the aspect of women supporting one another and commiserating about the jerks their men have turned into. The posts on DABA are purportedly the stories of different women, but all are posted to the site by its creators and self-proclaimed “DABA Girls” Megan and Laney. Not all of them are particularly sympathetic (people moan that their boyfriends can no longer buy them $800 pairs of shoes, or take them to their favourite restaurants; a woman involved with a married man complains that she can no longer accompany him on his “business trips” since the man’s wife began checking his bank statements), but these bratty outbursts make pretty entertaining reading (“I ain’t saying I’m a gold digger, but I ain’t messin’ with no broke banker,” finishes one entry.)
What is most interesting is that the site’s description declares it to be a space “free from the scrutiny of feminists”. The line has got this feminist at a loss to explain why these women would expect us to be anything but broadly on side with them.
I mean, I don’t have a whole heap of great things to say about gold-digging as a way of life, but that has less to do with feminism and more to do with the view that there is more to life than shoes. If your ambition is to settle down with a guy who has cash to spare, and he’s reasonably aware that you’d be out the door if he ceased to keep you in the manner to which you were accustomed, then the whole thing is basically a business arrangement.
What I think is interesting from a feminist perspective is how this particular arrangement disadvantages women when the economy starts to take a turn for the worst. The site’s creators both have their own careers and presumably aren’t facing down too much financial hardship, but for women who marry bankers and settle into mortgages with them expecting to be secure for life, there could be some nasty shocks on the way. With some time out of the job market and increasingly fewer jobs to go around, women whose husbands and boyfriends were supporting them before the recession stand to be hit hardest of all.
Mostly though, this is a site for women to bitch about how being overworked, or out of work, has turned their boyfriends into insufferable assholes. And I think feminists can get behind women, any women, having a place to get together and talk about that.