BETA
Close

Four Books To Help Kick Your 2018 Finances Into Gear

Finance

One of the most challenging things about starting your own business revolves around your very own cold hard cash. When you're starting out, you may scratch your head over how much you should pull from your savings account and dump into backing your idea. You may even head on over to the bank to chat about getting a loan to help fuel your mighty business plan.


Once the money starts pouring in, the head scratches over your money become even more confusing at times. You'll start to wonder how you should do your business accounting, pay taxes correctly, and even attempt to figure out how much of a salary you should take for yourself every month.

The best places to look for some of those answers are right inside books written by other fierce and fearless female entrepreneurs. Here are four of the best financial advice books to pick up this month:

1. Get Your Advice from a Shark

Book: Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business

Author: Barbara Corcoran

If you've ever tuned into ABC's Shark Tank, you'll know Barbara Corcoran for her poise, determination, and at times, ruthlessness. But, you may wonder how she became a major player in real estate and the owner of a $6 billion dollar business. Her book tells her real-life story of how at age 22, she borrowed $1,000 from her boyfriend, quit her job as a waitress and started a small real estate office in New York City. Through her stories, you're able to watch her journey unfold and see how she took a small amount of borrowed cash and created a well-known empire.

2. Build a Relationship With Your Cash

Book: Worth it: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms

Author: Amanda Steinberg

Who better to take money advice from than the founder of a financial site for women, Dailyworth.com. Amanda Steinberg's book dives deep into the relationships that women have with self-worth and money. The book outlines the key financial information that women need to know, while also cracking down on why women feel stressed and anxious when it comes to their own finances. She allows readers to feel as though money can be a source of freedom and independence, and that alone is why the book is worthy of a read.

3. Become a Badass With Your Cash

Book: You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

Author: Jen Sincero

You may have already fallen in love with Jen Sincero after reading her first book, You are a Badass, a couple of years ago. But she's back and this time; she's here to spew money advice that you've never heard before. Jen explores her own money transformation through personal essays with bite-size concepts and digestible advice. She helps readers tap into their natural ability to become rich, relate to money in a new way, and uncover what's holding a person back from making money.

4. Learn How to Go Big Instead of Going Home

Book: Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big

Author: Julia Pimsleur

If you're looking for a book that gives advice from a handful of women entrepreneurs, who have raised capital, created powerful networks, and built multimillion-dollar companies – from scratch – this book is the one you should check out. It gives you the tips you need to secure funding, scale up and make the right connections. Plus, you'll find exercises at the end so that you can start working on your own money plan and strategy before you flip to the final page of this book.

Culture

A Modern Day Witch Hunt: How Caster Semenya's Gender Became A Hot Topic In The Media

Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.


Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.

That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.

Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.

Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.

With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.

The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.

Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.

As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.

Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.