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Sunday 17 December 2017

Colette Fitzpatrick: Your 'running away' money makes sense - if you can afford it

'Running away' money makes sense if you can afford it. Picture posed
'Running away' money makes sense if you can afford it. Picture posed
Millie Mackintosh
Harper Lee

Only women of a certain generation will know what 'running away money' is. Or perhaps only women who have a certain type of mother.

The mother who advises her daughters to always, always have a little stash of cash for herself. A little lump sum that he knows nothing about. 'Non disclosure' might be the technical term.

It is what is says it is. Running away money is to help you 'run away' from a situation that isn't working, for whatever reason. It's to help you make the best decision you can for yourself and perhaps your children, when things don't work out the way you expected or how you thought they would.

You see economic independence gives you just that. Independence. The freedom to go, if you have to. I guess it comes from a time, not so long ago, where women in a marriage had very little legal protection and possibly even entered marriages that weren't 100pc their choice.

When men went out to work and earned a wage and women across the county were handed some of it on payday to run the house. They were the lucky ones.

Many women, tethered to alcoholics and mean men were handed a miserly amount that meant they could never entertain the thought of any family savings, never mind have their own little pot.

I was delighted this week to find that modern Irish women haven't shirked off all traditions of the past.

A RaboDirect Bank survey revealed that almost one in five women keep secret bank accounts unknown to their husbands. The survey also found that fewer men stash money in secret accounts, with just one in 12 husbands confessing to having accounts their wives have not seen.

The 'get out now' money isn't exclusive to Irish women. Japanese wives have traditionally squirrelled away secret reserves of cash known as "bellybutton money" or Hesokuri, money that their husbands don't know about and meant for a rainy day.

Of course, there are those that will say that this doesn't say much about your relationship.

But I think that you need to be naive in the extreme to believe that nothing could ever go wrong. Being prepared is simply just smart.

The recession must surely had a massive effect on 'running away money' though. Many women would have just had to dip into or clean out accounts to keep up a mortgage or pay other bills.

But if you can afford it, and all other things being equal, it makes sense to have 'mine' as well as 'yours' and 'ours'.

So if the roof caves in on your relationship, and let's hope it doesn't, you'll be OK.

I'd feel really empowered by Millie's 'hairy legs'...if they were hairy that is

The problem with Millie Mackintosh's 'hairy leg selfie' is that they're not hairy.

The former Made In Chelsea star posted a snap of herself soaking up the sun in Marrakech.

The snap revealed some hair on her legs and led to comments that she'd essentially 'let herself go'. She responded that it was "empowering".

Empowering how, exactly? Her legs aren't hairy. They're just not. There's a bit of fluff on her thighs. As in she's not a Barbie.

By responding to the 'hairy leg' comments, Mackintosh actually implied that natural is not OK. Because the fluff on her thighs was a long way off hairy...in fact if anything her legs look smoothed and buffed.

Hair on women has always been at the frontline of feminism. Remove it and your pandering to men. Don't and you're a humourless feminazi.

The Armpits4August social media campaign encouraged women to get sponsored to grow their underarm hair for charity.

The aim was also to challenge beauty norms, with organisers stating: "we should be deeply concerned that we live in society where hair on adult women is seen as shocking and disgusting."

The issue for me is that feminists should not have to not remove hair. If they want to wax or shave, they should.

If feminism isn't about choice for women, what is it about?

But when we start calling someone who has the teeniest bit of fluff on their thighs, 'hairy', it's clear that the world we live in today has become so petrified of anything natural, being groomed to such a degree has become a byword for being duped.

An open and shut example of misogyny

THE best reaction to the news that Harper Lee is to finally publish a follow-up to To Kill A Mocking Bird, her classic novel about a black men charged with rape, must be the fact that so many people thought she was a man.

One woman on Twitter declared it was a testament to her internalised misogyny that she thought Harper Lee was a man until ten minutes after the news broke. Another confessed she didn't realise Evelyn Waugh was actually a man.

*The price of wine's going up again? Cue more middle-class angst, as people fret over the introduction of minimum pricing for a bottle of plonk. Meanwhile, you can buy a glass of wine or beer in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and other similar countries for a pittance compared to here.

It seems kind of ironic that we're increasing the price of alcohol to bring our consumption more in line with other countries which clearly have a better relationship with booze than us.

*AN anonymous donor has offered to fix the light on top of Dublin's Spire. It's been off since October and could cost €10,000 to replace. Why am I hearing Take That in my head?...Relight My Spire...

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