How to marry a millionaire: Tips for finding a wealthy partner are no joke on social media

The rise of the far right and the resurgence of tradwives has helped fuel an online trend in which women advise others on how to find male providers. Coaches say women are ‘investments’ and believe their sole objective should be taking care of their man

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On social media, there is a growing number of profiles of women talking about finding rich husbands.Alena Spasskaya / 500px (Getty Images/500px Prime)

“My name is Karla Elia, a relationship expert and public figure dedicated to empowering women leaders globally to connect with their purpose to attract purposeful partners. Every woman has the potential to have a united nuclear family, an abundant marriage, and a successful business by mastering feminine balance.” This is how Karla Elía presents herself on her website, which she launched after discovering that she could turn her classes on how to marry a wealthy man — like she did — into a real business. She insists that the right man must have a “provider mentality.” In an interview with The Sun, she said: “A man needs to understand he has to be in a financial place to invest in a woman. We are investments.”

The case of Karla Elía is no exception and is closely related to the resurgence of tradwives — women who leave their jobs to spend all their time on homemaking and argue that happiness comes from serving their husbands and children. In some cases, this message is mixed in with the rhetoric about white male supremacy of the far right.

In the digital world, there is a growing number of profiles of women who boast of being “maintained” by their partners. A good example is Sahar Khorramnezhad, a lawyer who left her job when she met her current fiancé. She says that women should not get too caught up with finding a very rich man, arguing a “good provider” is enough. Another example is Nath, who is also very popular on Instagram. In her profile @soynathc, she boasts about how she found a “gringo provider boyfriend,” while serving him breakfast or doing her makeup. Both women agree that they found true happiness when they began to serve their partners, who “spoil” them and support them so they don’t need to work outside the home. Inside, it’s another story. At home, they are always available to provide whatever their boyfriends or husbands ask for.

What is behind the rise of social media profiles, with thousands of followers, advising women on how to find a wealthy husband? Beatriz Ranea, a sociologist and professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, believes that both this and the tradwife phenomenon is part of the patriarchal reaction to feminist discourse and progress. “I think it is articulated as a response to the boom years of feminist mobilizations and how feminism is trying to crack the division between public and private. Now, with the rise of feminist mobilizations, there is a counterreaction to keep things as they are and an attempt to return to the patriarchal status quo of the past to place women back into the role of the perfect wife and homemaker,” she explains.

Economic violence

The luxury dating site Seeking has a total of 480,000 registered users in Spain, aged between 20 and 50, and reports that most of the platform’s users choose a luxurious lifestyle as the main characteristic of their potential partner, followed by emotional connection, i.e.: money beats love. It is striking that when answering about what they are looking for in a relationship, only 26% answer “true love” compared to 46.4% of singles who say they are looking for “a luxurious lifestyle.”

Diana Fernández Romero, Member of the Equality Commission of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, co-directs the Specialist Degree in Prevention and Awareness of Sexual and Gender Violence from a multidisciplinary approach. She says that women’s economic independence, rather than a struggle, should be a right. “If we provide girls and young women with diverse references, we will be helping ensure that they do not idealize or romanticize economic dependence on a man. In this way, we would avoid situations of economic violence that result in controlling what they spend, monitoring their financial management and hindering their work career. That’s in addition to the fact that it is impossible for women to break off the relationship, especially when there are children involved, precisely because of their dependence, because sometimes pensions or mortgage payments are not paid,” she says.

“Naturalizing women’s economic dependence on men implies that it is not necessary to socially question the distribution of roles or gendered power relations. It helps reinforce the dominant vision of the angel of the home, which seemed outdated, and is detrimental to transforming or projecting models of femininity that contemplate economic autonomy and connect with the possibility of developing a professional career and a series of skills and knowledge that favor said autonomy. There may be situations of dependency that is sought and negotiated, which is very different from seeing this shift as a response to an idealized model of romantic love and dedication,” she warns.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, the My Sugar Daddy application launched a huge banner in the center of Madrid. It read: “Start believing in love at first Visa” — a play on the Spanish word for “sight” (vista). As the firm states on their Spanish website, “The concept of sugardating has gained popularity in recent years in Spain, driven by a growing openness towards alternative forms of relationships and the desire for luxury experiences. My Sugar Daddy offers a platform for those seeking mutually beneficial relationships, where young and ambitious individuals (sugar babies) can connect with experienced, successful men (sugar daddies).”

But Diaconía España — a social organization that works with vulnerable people — warns that sugardating can be the gateway to the sexual exploitation of young people.

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