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Why Do Bitches Get Riches?: The Power of Unapologetic Confidence and Getting Shit Done

As you know, Kitty and I went to FinCon 2018 this past September. It was a magical time of education and bonding with our comrades-in-arms, and we returned with our heads spinning with new ideas for making Bitches Get Riches better, faster, stronger. We also came back with a renewed vigor for our mission. And that meant taking a long, hard look at what we do here and why.

Like our name, for instance. It’s not just a blog title, but a call to action. For this blog is founded on the premise that bitches do in fact get riches. But like… why? And more importantly, how?

It feels like all our most important career advice here at the blog—asking for a raise, getting a promotion, negotiating a salary, getting paid fairly for your work—can be summed up in this one little phrase: bitches get riches.

Let’s unpack that.

We’re taking bitchy back

We were very intentional in naming this blog Bitches Get Riches. It’s catchy, it rhymes… but more importantly, it establishes us immediately as a departure from societal standards of decency and femininity.

Because let’s not play: “bitch” has been hurled at women for decades as an insult. It’s a gendered pejorative used to take women down a peg, to put them in their place, to correct their behavior when it deviates from what is acceptable and expected of a “good” woman. It has been used with the cruelest and most disgusting of misogynist intentions.

Women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama have been called bitches by their detractors. Feminist activists, progressive politicians, inspiring business leaders, humanitarians, and educators have all been called bitches. This led us to a realization: If some of the most powerful, successful, compassionate, and brave women in the world are bitches, then is being a bitch really such a bad thing?

In short:

So we’re taking “bitch” back. We’re reappropriating it as our own. For if it’s good enough for the likes of Julia Gillard and Laverne Cox, then by Gloria Steinem’s enormous tinted glasses and bell hooks’s glorious lowercase letters, it’s good enough for us.

The concept of taking back insulting words to defuse their power to harm marginalized groups is not new. People of color and the LGBT community have been doing it for decades. We realize it’s not for everyone, and we totally respect that.

But for us, bitchiness is a source of power, confidence, and inspiration. We are proud to self-identify as the Bitches behind Bitches Get Riches. And here’s why.

So why do bitches get riches?

I reached out to our sisters in the personal finance blogosphere for some insights. Here’s how some of the bitchiest names in money writing answered the question:

Deviating from the norm

Kara Perez from Bravely Go wrote:

“The world tells women to be pretty, be quiet, and put up with shit. Women who deviate from that norm will find that there are myriad riches out there for them. Financially, I think bitches are asking for more, are pursuing careers that pay more, and are talking about how things like the pay gap are fucking outrageous and should be done away with. To push back against norms and to practice ‘unladylike’ behavior comes with risk, but I think it also come with rewards.”

No risk, no reward.

I want to point to what Kara said about talking about the pay gap. Anyone can negotiate and job hop their way into higher pay. It’s an individual triumph. But the gender and racial pay gaps are a much larger problem. They affect all of us: from domestic workers to women in tech.

By talking about the gender pay gap, a bitch is taking a personal risk. But the reward—spreading awareness in order to affect societal change for women of all classes—is for all of us.

By Kara’s definition, a bitch doesn’t just stand up for herself by deviating from the “ladylike” norms. Her behavior ultimately helps to lift all women up, even those who don’t have the power to be bitches in their daily lives.

Unapologetic confidence

Jen T. Chan wrote:

“Bitches get riches when they become unapologetically confident in their skills, experience, and, most importantly, self-worth. Every bitch goes through a period of doubt: will men perceive me as too aggressive? as too uptight? as a woman who needs ‘to get some’ in order to relax? Every single bitch who has become rich had to muster the fortitude to push past those possibilities, realizing that she deserved far more than what she had. And when she did, she demonstrated to other fellow bitches not only what is possible, but what we, as a collective, deserve.”

Confidence breeds success. And as Jen points out, it flies in the face of the self-doubt and uncertainty socialized into many women from birth.

It’s true that women are statistically less likely to negotiate a starting salary (though research shows they’re now asking for raises at the same rate as men… even if they don’t get them when men do). They’re even less likely to apply to a job for which they are not 100% qualified (men, on the other hand, are happy to take a whack at it when they’re only 60% qualified).

In other words, it takes a real bitch to be self-confident enough to advocate for herself and others financially.

Embodying traditionally masculine traits

Bethany of His and Her FI wrote:

“I think women who are bitches in part succeed financially because they embrace more ‘male’ traits. While being assertive as a man and being a bitch as a woman may have different connotations, they have the same denotation and that is what it takes to make a buck. I would also say I have never heard of a submissive bitch. Those words don’t go hand in hand, meaning that women who succeed and climb the financial scales have given up the role of subservient and taken over the world! (Ok, not the world, but at least the position that affords them to make more money and more money savvy choices.)”

Bethany is absolutely right. I know this because feminist icon and boss-ass bitch Nicki Minaj agrees with her.

So many traits associated with getting ahead in business are viewed as traditionally masculine: being assertive; not prefacing ideas with “I’m sorry but”; giving commands; delegating work; speaking and writing with brutal directness. All of this garners admiration for men. “He’s so assertive and direct!” For women? “She’s such a bitch.”

Well fine, then. If being a bitch is what it takes to climb that career ladder, then baby, watch me climb!

Fuck being polite and nice

Desirae Odjick of Half Banked wrote:

“Bitches get riches because we’re willing to stand up and say hey, I deserve this—which to many people reads as the bitchiest thing a person can say. Who are you to deserve a huge salary, a promotion, that freelance gig, an epic vacation, staying home with your kids, whatever it is that you want? A bitch has no problem saying ‘I am entirely deserving of this awesomeness’ and take the action needed to make said awesomeness happen, including asking for it even when staying quiet and making do is the ‘polite’ and ‘nice’ thing to do.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Desirae: “bitchiness” elicits the same knee-jerk reaction in the working world as women loving themselves in the dating world.

Certain men hate it when a woman responds to a compliment on her beauty with “I know.” Same goes for women who know their financial worth. If a bitch asks for a raise, a promotion, or a flexible schedule so she can better care for her family, she’s met with indignation. How dare she presume to demand so much! It’s certainly not the “polite and nice” thing to do!

But “polite and nice” won’t pay your rent.

As Desirae says, a bitch should have no problem owning her own magnificence and asking for what she deserves. If she instead remains quiet, “polite and nice,” it’s unlikely she’ll ever get that raise, that promotion, that flex time. No one’s going to hand out money to a demure little lady. She’s got to ask for it. She’s got to be a bitch about it.

Bitches give a damn about what’s important

According to Felicity of Fetching Financial Freedom:

“My first instinct was to say, ‘because bitches are honey badgers, and honey badger don’t care’ (or possibly make a pun like ‘money badger,’ and by the way, I’ll be upset if Kitty doesn’t Photoshop a money badger now pls and thank you) But that’s not true. Bitches DO care. A lot. But only about what matters. Bitches get riches because they say no to bullshit expectations and yes to getting paid for the patriarchy-busting work they do.

In other words, a true bitch is one who knows how to prioritize. Maybe that means she cares less about stock options than she does about a potential employer having a dedicated nursing room in the office and company-wide maternity leave. Or maybe it means she will not accept a company’s policy of salary secrecy because she understands it perpetuates wage discrimination.

A bitch is not cool and aloof (except in negotiations… which she will fucking win). She cares deeply. She cares a whole helluva lot.

Revanche of A Gaishan Life agrees:

I simply could not have done it without the pioneering women ahead of me making the trail and then instead of pulling up the ladder behind them as so many selfishly successful people do, reaching out a helping hand to guide those who came after them. They are the truly successful women—they’ve made and are helping develop flourishing generations of wealthy and successful bitches after them! Why do they/we succeed? Because we care about what happens to the world, we care about our communities, we are fiercely proud and principled, and we strategize about how to make a difference every day.

Defining a bitch

With the input of our sister rich bitches, we have come to a conclusion. A bitch is a woman who knows what she deserves and reaches out and takes it. She is someone who is successful because she is assertive and productive and manages to remain so in the face of adversity. She tramples challenges into the mud and declines to conform to societal standards of femininity when it will hold her—and her sisters!—back.

Bitches get riches because they will not stand to be passed over, talked down to, or left behind. Because they have the skin of a rhinoceros and the unflagging belief that their hard work is worthy of reward. Bitches will happily advocate on behalf of others because they understand what it’s like to face obstacles for no other reason than an accident of birth.

Bitches get riches because bitches get stuff done.

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19 thoughts to “Why Do Bitches Get Riches?: The Power of Unapologetic Confidence and Getting Shit Done”

  1. My mother was most definitely called a bitch on her ascent from poor single mother to CFO of a huge non-profit. I think she is one of those people who wears the title with pride, and she has never been afraid to go after what she felt she deserved. Her success, both in life and career, can attest to the power of that inner strength. As a man, I get accolades for going after the things I want in life, and hopefully someday soon the world will realize that women should be doing that as well! Here’s to all the powerful bitches out there getting shit done!

  2. Hey Bitches! Love the article and have been such a longtime fan 🙂 Was a little disconcerting to see Yolandi featured in gif-form though, though I’m sure as non-South Africans her and Die Antwoord’s context might not be known internationally. This isn’t a call out or attack, but here’s a couple articles by POC from SA:
    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.za/zimkhitha-mvandaba/die-antwoord-continues-to-offend-and-outrage-through-their-contr_a_23005690/
    https://mg.co.za/article/2015-01-22-blackface-white-guilt-grey-area
    http://www.okayafrica.com/ninja-die-antwoord-south-africa-appropriation/

    We’ve all got problematic faves (your Seaworld article was really helpful to me in this area, thank you for that), esp irt music. Just making sure you’re aware of their background.

    1. Um, no I did NOT know this background on Yo-landi. Definitely just an American casual fan. I’ll find a new gif to replace this one. Thank you for the feedback!

  3. Thank you for including SAHMs in this article! I am a SAHM and I’ve definitely felt pressure (not from my husband, thankfully) to feel like I don’t deserve anything or that I’m ungrateful if I spend time or money on myself. This applies more to time than money in my case. When I take time to go to the gym, travel, or have a night out with my friends, I get plenty of side eye!

    1. Gurl, bitchy moms make the world go round. You are training up the next generation of bad-ass bitches, and your work, your life, and your happiness are heckin IMPORTANT. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

  4. Great points here, and a very good read in general – will be sharing it across my social networks and FB groups. Thanks for linking to our blog post about bitches getting ahead in business here!

  5. I used the word bitch totally in passing in a post and a few people balked at it. I said something like, “The greatest compliment my nana ever paid me was to wrap me up in a hug and call me her little rich bitch.” But as someone who lived her whole life in poverty, to see her granddaughter make (what seemed like to her!) a lot of money was the best thing. It was absolutely the highest praise she could give me. I still remember that exact moment from the hug to the feeling to knowing, “I’ve made it. There’s nothing beyond this.”

    So glad these fierce ladies chimed in to help reclaim this word.

    1. Your nana warms the cockles of my cold, dead heart.

      I know some people who are really queasy about using the word. And that’s fine! I respect people for whom it’s still a painful pejorative. And I especially respect the number of men I know who absolutely refuse to use the word. I think there’s room for nuance in the conversation. Our right to reclaim the word is no more important than others’ right to decline to reclaim it and instead avoid it altogether.

  6. Hell yeah to all of this, and especially fuck constant niceness and politeness. I’ve got a long way to go to unapologetically being a confident bitch (or a rich bitch), but I’m so glad I’ve got so many amazing bitches I can call my friends and role models.

  7. My wife and I are nurses and the stark contrast in assertiveness/bitchiness showed when we took our last jobs.
    We both wanted ICU jobs, but neither of us met the listed job requirements. I applied, but even with pleading she still wouldn’t apply for the job she wanted.
    When we were offered jobs, she begged me to take whatever they offered. I still asked for 20% more and got it.
    As a father of two girls, I hope to teach the values you’re preaching.
    Be bold and Be unapologetic.

    1. Your daughters are lucky to have you! And as a side note, I heckin love nurses. I have a lot of friends who are nurses and paramedics and they’re universally amazing humans.

  8. I love everything about this! Still working on my inner bitch but I’m definitely more assertive than I was a couple years ago.

    Piggy and Kitty – keep doing what you’re doing!

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