Monday, March 20, 2006

Changing Cultural Taboos About Income

Blueprint for Financial Prosperity wrote an interesting post last week about the cultural taboo against divulging annual income.

I just rented the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice this weekend, and it’s interesting to note the contrast in cultural norms between late 18th century British landed gentry and modern society. I found it fascinating that everyone in the story knew exactly how much everyone else was worth in terms of annual income and dowries (e.g., £10,000 per year for Mr. Darcy, £5,000 per year for Mr. Bingley and £30,000 for Georgiana Darcy).

I'm thankful that we no longer discuss annual salaries or inheritances on a regular basis and that we're no longer judged as eligible or ineligible for marriage on the basis of those two criteria. Realistically speaking, finances do play a part in certain relationships. But most of my friends married for love instead of financial security and social status.

1 comment:

Madame X said...

Very true about P&P-- I wrote about it a little in this post, too.
In real life, I think it does get tricky to reveal income and deal with the stereotypes and perceptions it can cause, but I think there are some arguments for more visibility on the issue... of course employers hate it, though!