Itís Only Money! is a first book designed to eliminate the taboo associated with discussions about money. In particular, this book presents the financial obstacles that are unique to women, and encourages them to seek out female friends to discuss and demystify financial issues.
The bulk of this primer presents alarming statistics designed to educate women about the dire need to gain a financial education and achieve financial independence. According to the text, one out of seven American women lives in poverty, and they represent 80-98% of workers in lower-paid jobs. Further, women are plagued with large credit card debts, little retirement savings, and fewer opportunities for advancement. Along the same lines, women are less likely to secure favorable rates on mortgage applications and are chronically uninsured, a condition particularly significant in light of the fact that women routinely outlive men. Perhaps most worrisome is the fact that in 2002, women reportedly earned between 70 and 74 cents for every dollar earned by men, a figure which has remain unchanged for more than twenty-five years.
Allison Acken's book offers a convincing explanation of what she sees as the pervasive and systematic gender inequalities that exist in our society. From there, rather than suggesting methods to rid our society of these inequalities, she suggests ways women can thrive within the confines of the conditions that currently exist. Since men and women are not working on a level playing field, it is the women who must acquire a superior financial education to compensate for the impact of these differences.
Interspersed throughout It's Only Money! are quotes from financially successful women who have managed to achieve varying levels of professional and financial success. Although some words of wisdom are mildly amusing, few add any real benefit to the message of this text. One significant criticism, however, is that the book virtually ignores the possibility that women could learn to achieve financial success in this environment while continuing to work to eliminate, or at least minimize, gender inequalities. Instead, the text presents gender inequalities as absolutes, suggesting women should accept this reality and work to succeed in spite of it.