La Femme: Gold Diggers Mansplained!

Allow me to tell the story about how I once had the origins of gold-digging explained to me in evolutionary terms.

One afternoon back in college, after a long day of lectures, I was enjoying lunch on campus with a fellow classmate. We’ll call him “John.” John was articulating his frustration with dating in general, between bites of ham and cheese, and complained that women “only wanted him for his money,” which didn’t quite add up, considering the fact that John was an unemployed 24-year-old who lived with his parents.

After pressing him for more context as to why he’d come to this preposterous conclusion about the female sex, he posed that women only go out with dudes for the “free stuff” (i.e. dinner, dessert, movies, I presume).

This claim left my mouth agape, and I shot him an offended look from across the table.

Before I could even get a single retaliative word in, he proceeded to unsolicitedly share with me his theory that not only are ALL women gold diggers, but that the tendency to “gold-dig” is biologically based, weaved inside the double helices of our DNA.

Using a Darwinistic model, he narrated his evidence for this claim, beginning with the primordial environment. “Back when we were hunter-gatherers, women only got with men so that they’d give them food, shelter, and protection. This behavior increased the likelihood of the women’s survival, thus the survival of their offspring. Thus, the trait remained in the human gene pool.” He articulated.

Back up, back up.

We humans are social creatures. We depend on one another in order to ensure the survival of our species. It is through the mutual contributions of both sexes that we accomplish this, which is certainly not news to an undergraduate student.

That being said, there are obvious significant differences between the sexes that predispose them to better contribute in differing ways from one another. For example, women tend to be smaller than their male counterparts, thus making them more vulnerable to predators, and may also experience this little thing called pregnancy, which temporarily puts them in a position where a little of extra protection would be nice, especially from the cave dude who knocked her up. Personally, I don’t think it’s too much to ask of a future father to step up his game a little bit while his wife is busy making their child.

Additionally, my classmate John conveyed the message that women are essentially freeloaders who are just looking for the easiest ride through life. But women contribute, and always have, to society in meaningful and significant ways. I mean, I’m sure that there are women out there whom this “gold-digger” behavior appeals to, but that is clearly an anomaly.

I sincerely wish that John were the only twenty-something who thought this way, but clearly the idea is more prevalent than that, otherwise Kanye West wouldn’t have written a catchy rap song about it.

The worst part of my entire conversation with him was that he couldn’t understand why I was so offended-me, a hard-working 21-year-old at the time, who was just about to graduate with her bachelor’s degree with the intent of attending graduate school and pursuing a kick-ass career, and has never exploited a man for his money in her life.

And I’d like to believe that I am far from the exception.

I am of the strong opinion that my friend John displayed a massive sum of bone-headedness that day, and find his hypothesis of the gold-diggers quite offensive. Look at the numbers-there are more women enrolled in college than men nowadays. We are earning our own livings, and providing for our own children, all while maintaining the standard of domestic tasks arbitrarily assigned to us before we started busting our way through previously male-dominated spheres. What more could you ask of us?

So John, the evidence has led me to reject your hypothesis of where the concept of gold digging originated. Perhaps you’re having a hard time dating simply because you’re an ignorant asshole.

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