Creators question glamorization of financial dependence, financial abuse when relying on men to provide for women

Editor’s note: This article contains mentions of domestic violence. Please take care while reading, and note the helpful resources at the end of this story.

Creators are challenging recent comments made on a podcast that they claim glamorize financial dependence.

On July 6, the TikTok account associated with Unhinged (@thatsunhinged), a podcast hosted by Chloe Madison and Emma Klipstein, aka “the girls you became BFFs with in the bathroom,” posted a clip from an episode that has sparked discourse surrounding the concept of financial dependence.

In the 49-second snippet, Madison, who is the founder and designer of the swimwear brand Rheya Swim, admits that while she’s proud of her success and her ability to make her own income, she’s “tired.”

“But I am tired,” Madison says. “And sometimes I see the girl who gets to go to Pilates midday with a big fat ring on her finger and her G Wagon and live a little happy life and she doesn’t have to do anything, except go to Erewhon and make the home look nice. I’m like, ‘You know what, did I scam myself?’ Maybe.”

And while she says she is satisfied with her choices and “doesn’t trust any men,” Madison admits that “the grass does look kind of greener over there sometimes.”

Since the release of that Unhinged episode clip, which has more than 739,000 views as of reporting, female-identifying creators have taken to TikTok to share their thoughts about Madison’s sentiment as well as the revived “sprinkle, sprinkle” mentality.

On Aug. 16, Anastasia Aksiuta (@ugcbyanastasia) discussed the “sprinkle, sprinkle” mentality being adopted by women and asserted that it had a connection to domestic abuse.

“With the rise of the ‘sprinkle, sprinkle’ ladies and the narrative of finding a boyfriend that can take care of you financially for the rest of your life, people completely disregard the financial abuse that people go through,” says Aksiuta. “And that’s just terrifying to think that we’ve gone so far, and now we’re just reverting back to dreaming about a man saving you.”

“Sprinkle, sprinkle” refers to a catchphrase that was popularized by controversial YouTube creator and dating coach SheraSeven, whose real name is Leticia Padua and who’s been criticized for videos like “How to Level up to Girlfriend or Wife to a Wealthy Man,” “How to Make Him Jealous” and “How to Get your Man to Give You Money.”

Per Padua, whose teachings have been making the rounds on TikTok, “sprinkle, sprinkle” essentially means “blessings.”

“It’s just something I made up a long time ago on this channel,” Padua says in a re-uploaded clip. “And so it’s just like saying, ‘OK, bless your heart.’ You know, ‘Back at you.’ Whatever y’all need it to mean.”

Another reason creators take issue with the “sprinkle, sprinkle” mentality is due to the fact that Padua suggests she’s sprinkling knowledge that’ll aid in the achievement of a financially stable, albeit dependent, life that revolves around accepting financial security from men.

‘And that’s just so scary to think that they could be put in situations where they don’t have their own money, like ever’

Aksiuta notes that while there’s “nothing against stay-at-home wives and stay-at-home moms,” the idea of constantly being told that your life’s purpose is to fill a “housekeeper role” for a man isn’t to be taken lightly.

“I’ve literally met girls my age, like in their 20s, who just can’t wait to marry off and do their own little thing,” she adds. “And that’s just so scary to think that they could be put in situations where they don’t have their own money, like ever.”

Hypergamy, or “the act of marrying or dating someone you think is more successful and/or secure than you,” per Cosmopolitan, is a practice that appears to align with the “sprinkle, sprinkle” mentality and financial dependence. Some experts say this should prompt some consideration.

“I think it’s important to contextualize and define hypergamy, which seems to be the concept on display in the ‘sprinkle, sprinkle’ TikToks,” Shay Harris-Pierre, a licensed professional counselor and owner of Shades of You Counseling & Consulting in Austin, Texas, tells In The Know by Yahoo via email. “Financial abuse in relationships is less about how much or how little one person makes in relation to the other person and more about relationship rules, expectations, and communication about money.”

The best way to prevent financial abuse in hypergamous relationships, says Harris-Pierre, is to communicate with your partner as openly as possible.

“To prevent financial abuse in hypergamous relationships, people within couples and romantic partnerships should be open and honest about their expectations, desires, and needs,” she explains. “People should also pay attention to red flags or warning signs of power and control that they may notice in their partner (e.g, invalidating of your feelings, dismissive, restrictive or controlling…etc).”

According to a study conducted by the Centers for Financial Security reported by Verywell Mind, “99% of domestic violence cases also involved financial abuse.”

Financial abuse is the leading reason why some victims choose to stay in abusive relationships, yet “78% of Americans don’t recognize financial abuse as domestic violence,” per the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV).

What does financial abuse look like?

The PCADV also defines financial abuse as when “one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s ability to access, acquire, use or maintain economic resources, which diminishes the victim’s capacity to support themselves and forces intentioned dependence.”

Prohibiting a survivor from using their own financial resources, sabotaging a survivor’s capacity to acquire and maintain employment, and coercing a survivor to use their money in irresponsible ways are three “common tactics of financial abuse.”

‘I empathize, because things are just getting more expensive. but not having your own safety net is so scary to me’

Fellow TikTok creators have taken to Aksiuta’s comments to articulate their own thoughts regarding the mentality of “sprinkle, sprinkle” women, and the harmful ways in which financial dependence can impact a woman’s life. Due to the rising difficulty of making ends meet in certain cities, some creators are more empathetic to some women’s belief that they require a man to keep them afloat.

“Not just the risk of financial abuse… but financial independence is huge. It’s literally freedom,” @kompalgrewal wrote.

“So many women in my family have stayed in bad marriages because they couldn’t afford to leave its heartbreaking,” @griddleling revealed.

“I empathize, because things are just getting more expensive. but not having your own safety net is so scary to me,” @theblueclue commented.

On July 19, Mayssa Chehata (@mayssachehata) further elaborated on the “unspoken downside of the ‘sprinkle sprinkle’ relationship dynamic.”

“So there’s always been something that’s put me off about the rhetoric on this app around, ‘Don’t marry for love, marry for money’ or ‘sprinkle, sprinkle,’ and ‘If I’m gonna cry, I’d rather cry in a Lamborghini,” Chehata says. “But I saw someone bring this up in the context of the Keke Palmer situation, and I thought he put it so perfectly.”

After Keke Palmer‘s ex-boyfriend Darius Jacksonmom shamed” her for what she wore to a recent Usher concert, the “Nope” actress and the father of her child parted ways. Given that Palmer is a successful actress and her estranged boyfriend is a fitness instructor, fans are suggesting that Jackson lost his “breadwinner.”

Continued Chehata, “And it really just clicked for me, why I’m uncomfortable with this dynamic for women,” she says of Palmer and Jackson’s “boss-employee” dynamic being reversed from its traditional gender roles. “Because, yeah, you might have good pay and good benefits and a boss who actually is really nice and really respectful. But step out of line, and you’ll be reminded real quick that you’re the employee.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or concerning behavior from an intimate partner, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or use the hotline’s online chat feature. You can also connect with a Crisis Text Line counselor at no charge by texting the word “HOME” to 741741. Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website to learn the possible warning signs of domestic abuse.

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