Fifty years ago, we couldn’t open our own credit cards. Over a century ago, women didn’t have banking rights separated from their husbands’. This meant that both legally and socially speaking, women had no financial independence from their husbands until, well, recently.

Today, having a credit card or a banking account is a no-brainer. However, few women realize the power and control money has on a relationship.

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That’s why influencer and financial advisor Vivian Tu insists on the importance of women having their own money, no matter their relationship status.

The former JP Morgan trader left Wall Street to empower and educate women on financial literacy and strategies, and she hits the nail right on the head.

Why money independence is crucial for women

Reacting on Instagram to a scene from the Bravo reality television series Summer House, Vivian Tu reflected on Paige DeSorbo’s experience with money. DeSorbo tells how, in a previous relationship, a man tried to trick her into how plane flights and money worked to discourage her from changing a flight ticket to go home earlier.

“If somebody has the power to feed you, they have the power to starve you,” Tu emphasized, explaining why every woman needs to have their own money.

“I believe every single woman needs to have her own money,” she continued. While the influencer recognized there are women out there who dream of having a sugar daddy, Tu blatantly said: “No, you don’t.”

“The reason divorce was lower in our grandparents’ generation is not because they were better couples or better marriages. It was because women weren’t allowed to have bank accounts in their own names until 1974,” she explained.

“Our grandmothers literally could not leave our grandfathers,” she added.

And she’s not wrong.

Women’s financial independence has been a hard-earned right

In the 1870s, the Supreme Court Case Bradwell v. State of Illinois banned women from holding a profession. The same court upheld a ban on women’s voting rights a couple of years later. In short, women had no rights and no voice to fight with.

In the early 20th century, women started gaining the right to work because most men were overseas fighting. However, there was a lack of oversight on women’s labor rights. Similarly, they were generally paid significantly less and worked under worse conditions.

While the Fair Standards of Labor Act was passed in 1938, women still struggled to earn a steady income. And while women technically won the right to open a bank account in the 1960s without their husbands’ approval, many banks still refused to let them do so.

It wasn’t until 1974, when the Equal Credit Opportunity Act passed, that women in the U.S. were granted the right to open a bank account on their own.

Makes you wonder why someone would want to waive those rights and go get a sugar daddy, doesn’t it?

In the end, money is control

As a “friendly PSA,” Vivian Tu is adamant about her advice: “I do not care if you are in a dual-income household; if you’re a stay-at-home parent… I don’t care what your situation is. You need to know four things in your money relationship.”

She goes on to explain you need to know how much you earn, how much you have, how much you owe, and how much you spend.

“Financial transparency in relationships is key,” she concludes. “The more we talk about money, the less likely it can be used as a tool to control us.”