Bitcoin was the world’s first cryptocurrency and remains the most important because it’s entirely decentralized. There is nobody in charge of its management, and no one can produce it. When a party can produce currency as the government can in our current monetary system, that party transfers wealth from those who hold the currency to themselves.
Without diving into the technology behind Bitcoin, suffice it to say this means a currency that no one can produce has endless social implications. Many of these are positive implications for gender equality.
Financial Independence for Women
Historically, one of the biggest obstacles women have faced is financial independence. Due to the physical realities of childbirth, lactation, menstruation, and general lower muscular strength, women have traditionally been less productive than men since most labors in the past (and still much of the highest-paying work today) were primarily physical. As a result, they’ve had to rely on men to subsidize their livelihood, which has manifested itself culturally as the male provider role in the marriage relationship.
While modern technology has softened this dynamic, it still exists to some extent. Many feminists have tried to make up for this by promoting government-funded or enforced welfare programs like maternity and menstruation leave as well as tax breaks for women and grants for women-owned businesses. However, this doesn’t really change anything. It merely transfers the burden from a single husband to all taxpayers under the control of the government, which most feminists would be quick to point out is dominated by men.
It would be far better if women had a way to save their wealth and use it to build their own businesses and livelihoods. A hard currency like Bitcoin allows them to do just that. In fact, when the supply of a currency doesn’t increase but the economy expands, the value of the currency increases, meaning a woman could save a little and be more prepared for future obstacles.
Men’s Return to the Family in the Developed World
The government’s control of the money supply has been detrimental to the family unit in the developed world, especially in Africa. For example, when France granted independence to many of its African colonies, they stipulated that the nations must use the CFA Franc as currency. However, this currency is controlled entirely by the French treasury, essentially allowing France to print money as needed to purchase resources from Africa. Since France uses the Euro anyway, this monetary expansion doesn’t affect France but causes severe inflation in Africa.
This phenomenon has forced men out of the home because saving and entrepreneurship are nearly impossible. The only way to make any kind of living is to work in resource extraction that is ultimately sold to the French or get by as a migrant worker sending money home. Either way, men don’t have the opportunity to be at home with their children, and women have a more burdensome childcare environment.
Many citizens of former French colonies have begun switching to Bitcoin because it’s immune to this monetary manipulation. In the long term, this could allow African men to return to their families and build their own local economies.
Defunding Sexist Government Programs
When the government has full control of the currency, it can fund anything it wants, most of which is oppressive and atrocious. In my opinion, the worst example is the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision campaign or VMMC, that’s been forced on Africa by western governments. Based on bad research about AIDS, this program aims to circumcise as many African men as possible by providing African governments with financial aid based on the circumcision rate.
Many believe these programs are being pushed even more today because of the reduced number of men and boys in the U.S. getting circumcized, leading to a reduced supply of fibroblasts (penile foreskin) that industries utilize in products like cosmetics and research.
This obviously leads to a horrific situation. African governments mutilate boys under the age of consent and authorize dominant ethnic groups to forcefully circumcise minorities. This is in addition to sexist and misandrist advertising and psychological campaigning.
When people use a decentralized currency like Bitcoin, the government loses its endless funding for these atrocities.
Escaping Oppressive Regimes
Men and women both faced unequal gender treatment under oppressive totalitarian regimes. Two examples? There are ongoing mass protests in Iran over the nation’s “morality police,” who recently killed a woman in their custody who had been arrested for violating hijab requirements. Meanwhile, men in Russia are currently being conscripted for a war of aggression in Ukraine while Ukrainian men themselves have been banned from leaving the country since the war began in February.
These oppressive regimes maintain their power in large part due to their control of the nation’s finances and currency. For instance, protesters in Iran can have their finances confiscated. The Russian government can inflate away the value of the currency to the point that the only way to survive is to join the military. However, with Bitcoin, people of both genders can get around this control and the government-enforced gender roles in their countries.
Support Gender Equality Around the World
Naturally, people have varying levels of interest in Bitcoin. You don’t have to be a full-on crypto enthusiast, though, to use Bitcoin to promote gender equality. Merely divesting from national currencies in favor of Bitcoin loosens the control oppressive regimes have and transfers control to people so they can live their individual lives without the pressure of gender roles.
You can then also use Bitcoin to help fund gender equality movements like those in Iran without fear of repression. The fact that your investment will hold its value much better is just an added bonus.