Why are women missing in the cryptocurrency action?

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First, try to set aside the current sentiment regarding the downturn of current conditions of crypto for the purpose of this issue.

Starting with the basics: What is Cryptocurrency?

“Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology—a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers.”

It might be hard to get one’s head around all this terminology– not unlike a new language. I do get a strange thrill, asserting some understanding of this concept, some. My usual repertoire lives in the art realm. But science and art share abstract realities, making for a vague understanding of the science/art commonality.

I love the precision of technical vocabulary unique to individual industries. How many times have you heard or read an art review and thought, eh??? Same difference.

Back to Crypto. Each currency name has a provenance based on an entirely different form of currency, got it. Even with a limited understanding, there is the suggestion of added value, evaluated with only a basic knowledge of the tech world. Cryptocurrency is “secured by…. and is nearly impossible to counterfeit” would likely reach receptive ears. Security matters–in an increasingly impersonal world– where the mechanism to store one’s passwords takes place of vaults of coins, jewelry and furs.

That we are in the golden age of computers is a given; the magnitude of agency created by a network of computers is huge– capable of mind-blowing events– such as being witness to interplanetary events. For the purpose of the blogiary I am going to leave further terms for future investigation.

Women aren’t geeky. Really????

My nascent introduction with crypto, was anything but philosophical. The currency was required for a transaction ( look for a future Blogiary on that). As an artist and entrepreneur, all things new and inspiring, was part of my job description; the latest frontier (who can resist watching space discoveries and astrological events???) Crypto was on the horizon.

It recently occurred to me, why so few, if any women appear in news events surrounding crypto?

Researching the subject produced some interesting finds regarding gender differences.

Smart and astute women— perhaps under the radar of the baby boomers–have played key roles in the nerd culture. So why is this bias existing, that women haven’t played roles in nerd culture?

The real question is, which arena in nerd culture exhibits an absence of key women players evident? Speculative Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Gaming, Comics, Conventions, Superheroes…. all check. Geek girls have an important presence often, 50/50.

Look at the host of authors alone, in alternative worlds: Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter Series), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games), Veronica Roth and so forth. Areas where women don’t just participate but dominate, they tend to be less commercial: fan fiction, art, book blogging.

Popular culture geek girl role models can be seen in several popular television shows; X Files, Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Criminal Minds. They are the antithesis of the adage “Boys don’t make passes with girls who wear glasses”. Dark hair and glasses….the signifier of nerdy, classically, and stereotypically–smart girls.

I wish I could locate the tune; Hots for girls who wear glasses. I redeemably good song, though a google search rather quickly dives into porn looking for it. Dorothy Parker is on record with ” Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses”. Tongue in cheek of course.

Some gender factoids regarding behaviors in finance :

Men are more likely to be the tech millionaires, venture capitalists, where a bias toward men is observed.

Women seem to be more responsive and pragmatic about the tech job market. Women were more likely to leave IT after the tech bubble in the 1990’s exploded and tend towards an investment in communal goals.

Women in computer science included such as Grace Hopper (1950’s Harvard compliers to UNIVAC), Ada Lovelace (first algorithm to be executed by a computer1843!!!), Margaret Hamilton (systems engineering at MIT), Mary Kenneth Keller (first PhD in computer science). The field is still dominated heavily by men with only 18% of computer bachelor’s degrees going to women.

However, women have been in the field doing kick ass stuff, as in many fields–the unsung heroes.

There are explanations, to support these events, gleaned from psychology and sociology.

Expectancy-value theory (or theory of motivation) purposes that an individual’s effort will be commensurate due to the belief and expectation that a certain behavior will result. In other words, the motivation of the behavior selection is determining the desirability of the outcome. It is about how the cognitive process results in the different outcomes, evaluation of factors.

Consequently, the results are affected by the confidence one has in one’s abilities.

Confidence, the commodity that has a way of slipping away as girls turn into women and make their way in a system of male bias.

For example, both genders, or all genders, tend to choose careers according to their strongest abilities, however, women are more likely to have a similarly confident level for several abilities, whereas men have one or two. (I find this alone fascinating!)

Many areas of competency

“I can do this, but I’m just better at that….” and her choices, being many, factors in subliminal message, I am the gender with a most complex and fascinating choice, that of creating lifea human life!

Finding choices/ interests which are compatible with motherhood is clearly occurring in the examples to come.

Back to the thread. Twice as many men as women invest in cryptocurrency.

That is sixteen percent of men to seven percent of women according to CNBC and Acorn’s Invest in You.

This gender gap exceeds the existing gap–in traditional investment vehicles, including stocks, ETF’s, mutual funds and real estate. More specifically, in ownership of exchange-traded funds (14% of men vs. 7% of women), individual stocks (40% of men vs. 24% of women), mutual funds (30% of men vs. 20% of women), real estate (36% of men vs. 30% of women), and bonds (14% of men vs. 11% of women).

Crypto is also the only investment vehicle that has a higher participation rate among younger adults than older adults: 15% of those 18-34 own crypto, compared to 11% of 35-64 and 4% over 65. Interestingly all races are represented about equally.

All said and done, crypto, in its early formation is well-positioned to avoid traditional investing draw backs. Todays would be investors are savvy in social media channels, online training and marketing; sources that are more under-utilized in traditional trading. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t volatile, which remains its middle name.

Why the gender gap?

Social psychology states that women are less risk takers than men and take more time to weigh risks. Therefore, women– who would most likely be participants–have been allowed a vantage point, to determine when the suitable risk has passed.

Women in finance are characterized for sharing their insights, taking advantage of self-employed–flex schedule, for a healthier balance of work/ life.

Historically, even in prominent IT positions, women have been denied public recognition for their work. Women tend to avoid being singled out as women, preferring attention for their achievements.

Of the millennials ‘aggressive/active investors’ women, only one in five take responsibility for the care of long-term financial decisions. A full 60% in partnerships, leave their finances to their partner.

Acknowledged discrepancy of income between men and women support the premise and inherent belief; men are more competent in the field of finance. Studies show that men are not necessarily better at investing, in fact, men tend to lower their success by excessive trading than women, who follow a more conservative “buy and hold” practice.

Women were left out of ‘old Wall Street.’ They want cryptocurrency to be different. Coders, analysts, and founders are trying to steer digital currencies toward a more inclusive future.

Also, contributing to this stereotyping, includes the dominance of men with math and science backgrounds, perpetuated in pre-college schooling. Therefore, to reinforce this concept, only 46% of women claim to have “knowledge” suitable for successful trading abilities: while men overstate their investment abilities.

Meanwhile, many early crypto market investors have been burned, while women, who have been patient, are crushing it in their own way. The pattern of crypto involvement parallels and affords some life skill lessons, such as patience and having more mental control over positive and negative emotions.

The pandemic has been beneficial to some investors, providing time to develop skills and insights into cryptocurrency trading. But like all fluid conditions, the ebb and tide of a new arena will take time to reach a stasis.

The behaviors of women in crypto prove to be aligned with past expectations; very much influenced by the human condition, full of curiosity, inventiveness, and flexibility. Specifically, though, women have been shown, by their nature, to possess some intrinsic differences. These differences are of a social not technical nature. Biological options, unique to women, to have a family, become a mother, seem to be still as strong as ever. Failing a dystopian future, this will likely reign true for a long time.

We as a culture, need to find ways to support these gender differences. As of now, women’s parity will likely continue to represent a gap.

Think Lysistrata…. a culture relies on gender differences, not at the exploitation of such, but in harmony.

Why you MUST know about your 401(k) and why you don’t.

Or Merely Advice to a Younger Woman — or Man — if you wish.

I have become an avid seeker of survival skills of late. This was less by choice than by chance and for this I write of some things that I wish I had such advice, years ago. Being at a point where, perhaps, I have some wisdom or at least experience to offer — looking at life backwards — I offer you this.

How we learn from our mistakes! Too bad our successes aren’t more useful. Women! Do not relinquish your finances to anyone but yourself — single, married, divorced or any state in-between.

That being said, I made some mistakes, big time. When the notion of an intense art career combined with an intense “stay-at-home-mommy” role, I knew something had to give.

The mothering couldn’t give — biologically inconvenient are us! Pregnancy aided by physician assistance — for the first two children, and a surprise third — made for the beginning of an intense ride.

The first 10 years are a blur; coveting a nap, I do remember. Fast paced life as a CEO of the home Greenwich-style-mother-do-thisdo the best at everything, children’s parties, sports, schools, camps, nannies, tennis teams at the club, corporate events — US Open in the IBM box, a few perks. Oh — and in your spare time — start an annual film festival, a product, service, event, or as I tried — buy a post office for a future art center. Many of the older mother overachieverssyndrome there.

Then the fairy tale spun apart…. Cinderella vs. Clark Kent.

Three years of divorce court — living under the same roof, trying very hard to keep the poisonous conditions from the children.

So, I speak with some authority. I made some very bad mistakes. For which I am also writing a post called “The Worst Time to Get a Divorce is When You are Getting One.” Stay tuned.

Today is a primer for women who are either divorcing or understand that the chance of divorcing is 50/50 and the awareness needed to prevent a similar state that I found myself in. (Men are not immune — for you too). Better to know the issues than face the consequences of ignorance.

Not unlike paying attention to living a healthy life, knowing the risks of disease.

Studies show that women have different investment patterns than men. They tend to be more conservative, less impulsive than men, resulting in the turtle who wins the race, syndrome. BUT, the big caveat is that women, though they may show an aptitude, still tend to defer to a man’s abilities — of the perspective that he faces more business world finance and is more closely aligned with “bread winner’s role ”. The results are that women often relinquish the major responsibility for long term financial goals such as Retirement Plans, Life Insurance plans, 401(k), annuities, Roth, qualified and non-qualified, pensions…. Necessary evils if you wish.

You may meet this advice with resistance but know that relinquishing your finances to your husband or partner leaves you volnerable; partnerships may change but your 401 (k) will not make amends. The allegiance he may have for you will change, if your relationship changes. Ex-spouses, you will find, are not as generous as spouses. (Your relationship to your mother-in-law will also change, big time, surprise).

Would you have trusted the most popular girl in your high school clique with all of your material possessions, granted that probably was not of great value then? The point being — relationships can and most often do change, without guarantees. YOU want guarantees, this is your future.

If you find yourself already too late for this advice — despite murderous impulses — your remedy is of a legal sort. Be aware that the courts, the legal system has a bias toward men, people that look alike often do. (However, women are granted superior intellect, ask scientists — our redeeming survival mechanism).

Legal where-with-all is not just for law school grads, though they will try to convince you otherwise. It is not as complicated as you may think.

Not having the funds necessary to hire a lawyer might be a blessing in disguise; you will be prevented from the huge bill at the end of your efforts to rectify the issues. Surprise! You CAN do it!

Law is like a foreign language, so learn the terms and google away. You would be surprised at the answers you can get, without paying for those sacred legal services.

Revenge, poverty, ethics, promises broken are bigger motivators than the commitment most lawyers make — at an unthinkable hourly rate.

Be aware that it is unethical, if not against the “Rules” — the lawyer’s book of conduct — to drop clients when their fees are unpaid.

If you are low income, apply for waivers for all fees and court costs, in making the necessary actions.

First common-sense reminder — you DO know this, after all, you have been around boys then men for some time now — figure out what motivates who ever you are up against.

Here is a good example. Victims of some professions have a process for making grievance complaints about the services hired, say, a legal practice. Now think about the motivation principle. How likely will it be that a panel of attorneys will find a peer group of attorneys culpable?

Attorneys will only betray their tribe in cases of really stupid, criminal-like desperate financial malpractice thefts. I laid out two sound cases and the responses that came back from these esteemed authorities had enough mistakes to make the most checkered clerk look good.

Lawyers against lawyers, not happening. Same goes for Citizens Police Review Commissions — don’t waste your time (like I did).

What really counts is what motivates the courts. I have had a Perry Mason-likedialogue in my head for months. It makes for an interesting rant but only with myself— so, write it down (for the 12th time, if it will make you happy). By the twelfth time it will start to become less convincing and perhaps even whiny. Why? Because it is your passion, not that of anyone else’s concern.

What are the concerns of the COURT? To keep the dockets moving along at an acceptable pace. Remember that the court officials report to a score keeper too. This is the area that a lawyer does have it over you. The acts of making of the correct motion (a call for action), can seriously harm or aid your strategy. Think chess game, not Dostoyevsky.

Study the Judgments (decisions) of similar cases in order to understand the chess game moves of the legal system. The Court will have natural biases that are not in your favor, so you need to be twice as good (we’ve heard that before).

Don’t expect a ruling based on common sense or based on the obviousness of the case. Judges will make decisions based on case law, local, state or federal laws and the RULES of the courtroom.

Self-litigation is going the way of many do-it-yourself activities and gaining more support. Website to help you include Courtroom 5, Self-Representative Litigants Network or SRIN.org, or IAALS.du.edu; even the AmericanBar.orghas self-litigation information.

Remember there are many pros for self-litigation: lawyers are expensive, spread too thin, have less at stake than you do, and you know the case better than anyone — or you should.

Now go, enjoy your youth with this awareness in the background!!!

— -Debra Sherwood

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