女性是如何走向破产的

正当世界经济努力挣扎着从去年秋天的崩溃边缘中恢复过来之际,我们的社会中却有一个亚群体正以破纪录的数量滑向收入水平线以下:这些人就是那些昔日的中产阶级妇女。最近新鲜出炉的一份报告显示,美国将有一百万中产阶级妇女面临破产。对此经济学家伊丽莎白·沃伦( Elizabeth Warren )则指出,这个数量比“从大学毕业,得癌症或者申请离婚”妇女数量还要庞大。而这些妇女的困境,作为世界各地妇女所面临的各种困境的一种代表性问题,值得我们去深刻反思。

这些濒临破产的女人要比同龄的男性受到过更好的教育,她们中的大部分人都上过大学,超过一半的女性拥有自己的物业。而她们之所以从中产阶级的生活水平沦落到收入仅高于贫困线的境地,归根结底可能是以下三个因素(或者其中之一有关)。其中两个因素是经济上的,第三个因素对于大多数女性来说可能是情感上的。

首先,这些女性都是负债累累。虽然在近年的泡沫经济中,几乎每个人都在以超过其承受能力的水平四处花费,但中产阶级的女性与债务则有着一种更为特殊的联系。其中许多人因为工作的原因必须维持大量透支的生活方式。而另一些中产女性则被奢侈品生产商和信用卡公司成功地锁定了,大众文化把某些消费主义(如最新潮的时装,当季的流行背包,各种首饰或是时髦的运动型跑车)与成功女性的典范形象捆绑在了一起,而这些生产商和公司则从中大肆渔利。

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