Ya Dig?

Ya Dig?

Is gold-digging on the rise?

Years after Kanye West's hit single "Gold Digger" ripped up dance floors, gold digging has hit the papers once again. Sweet little Audrey Tautou, from the film "Amelie," stars in "Priceless," a French film that opens this week in London. In it she plays a woman who selects her boyfriends based on one thing: money.

One film hardly screams "TREND!" However, London's Daily Mail is noted for their scaremongering articles about sexual politics (women think about shopping as much as men think about sex, John McCain ditched his disabled wife for hot babe Cindy, etc.) But this time, the paper takes a surprisingly (for them) feminist stance against gold digging.

The author writes:

How depressing and how insulting to the millions of women who don't live their lives according to these mercenary rules.

While we are the majority, the sad fact is, we are all judged as a result of movies like this.

What bothers us most about names like "gold digger" is it is always its the woman (who is allegedly using men for money) is who smeared, never the man (who is allegedly using the woman for sex). The scorn is so imbalanced and anti-woman. Just look at Bravo's show, Millionaire Matchmaker where the women are smeared as gold-diggers and look at high-profile divorces like Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.

But what makes gold digging different from just plain "marrying up"? Is "gold-digging" really as widespread as the Daily Mail suggests or are minute groups of women and "sugar daddies" speaking for an entire gender?

If you'll excuse us getting all academic on you for a moment, the smear doesn't match up with reality. In America, while the men were off fighting in World War II, middle-class women flocked to offices and factories in unprecedented numbers. Then after the war, those same women were encouraged -- forced, even -- to return to home and hearth. The feminist movement of the '60s and '70s, as well as rising divorce rates, are responsible for women's economic independence, which is why today, women are almost half the workforce. Many a working couple will attest that two incomes is a necessity, not a choice! (We are unsure if Britain followed or is following the same arc as the U.S., but we believe the societal parallels are comparable.)

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Considering these facts, it seems to us that so-called gold diggers are a small minority of women who have access to wealthy men. "Being a human leech," as the Mail puts it, is much less common than sensational news stories would like you to believe.