If you take one thing away from this funny look at life as a young millennial woman trying to work out your finances, its this: A man is not a financial plan.
Examining the gender pay gap and the gender super gap, how much it costs to have babies and the burden or motherhood, Elizabeth Davie is a rightfully aggressive and slightly angry powerhouse of information and comedy in her latest show Super Woman Money Program (which shares its name with a sort of condescending VicSuper program). Taking stand up commentary, sock puppets, song and dance to a sort of boring topic, money and financial planning, the show is delightful, shocking and deeply reflective on an issue that affects everyone.
Tax returns are due, super is a thing we need in the future and millennials are struggling to enter the property market without a loan from the bank of Mum and Dad, so the show is both deeply personal and very relatable to this young woman reviewer, who has been in shock all week and has promptly decided to work out how to make a financial plan for the next few years… or my whole life.
Those with HECS debts in the room can relate to her tale, although I’m not sure we all earned ours studying clowning and performance with Philippe Gaulier, Giovanni Fusetti, Philip Burgers and Deanna Fleyscher: the winner of the night being an over $50,000 debt for a master’s degree. She takes the piss on condescending super programs specifically tailored to woman (in that they have pink font and make us feel like idiots), but still manages to educate this crowd (myself included)
Through an illustrated version of the story by Jane Gilmore (which should be mandatory reading for EVERYONE- (read here) , Davie exposes the reality of the gender super gap and the cost of being a woman and a mother, in child friendly story time. Gendered roles and discrimination have a direct impact on a woman’s livelihood, the jobs that we are able to find, the wages we make… it affects (or maybe it should) our decisions to have children, and this is a strong theme throughout the show that Davie nails, as she talks about interactions with her ex-boyfriend, who just wanted to procreate with her. She actually could have entered the property market comfortably, but she chose her education and now the goal of owning her own home has never been further out of reach.
The show had really clear direction by Shannan Lim and Sharney Nougher, and despite long pauses and changes in scene, always felt kooky and amusing and not awkward. They manage to make money, super and financial planning sound kind of sexy (and I’m dating an accountant, so I know how difficult that is!), and they certainly impressed on me, and their audience that we should be taking our finances a lot more seriously. There’s no stupid suggestions like “give up avocado on toast” or “ask mum and dad”, only humour, a collection of songs like “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna and “Hey Big Spender”, and clichés like “marry a rich man” being torn apart.
This delightful and educational feminist show had a short run at the Lithuanian Club in North Melbourne, and also donated money from ticket sales to a women’s economic trust, so if that isn’t plenty of reasons to keep an eye on what show Davie puts on next, I don’t know what is.