TWAGs - Tech wives and girlfriends | Why fight for change when you can just follow the money?

With the media having recently coined the term “TWAG” – tech wives and girlfriends – society is being told, “that it’s much for women to marry tech money than make tech money” feminist writer and author Daisy Buchanan recently noted.

Tech wives and girlfriends (TWAGs): Why fight for change when you can just follow the money?
Woman shopping - Via Shutterstock

In an opinion piece for website The Pool she said: “As long as we’re obsessing about the wives and girlfriends of tech billionaires, we are putting women off entering tech.”

Buchanan refers to a sketch in which the late Victoria Wood and Julie Walters play two women catching up over lunch. Discussing her character’s daughter Walters’ says: “Susan’s still assistant catering manager at Wilkinsons, she says in a couple of years, if she plays her cards right, she could become catering manager’s girlfriend!”

Buchanan said the sketch makes her laugh but also makes her sad that despite being from the 1980s, not much as changed and society is still very quick to limit women’s ambitions by labeling them as professional girlfriends.

She noted that a decade ago society started an obsession with WAGs – the wives and girlfriends of famous, highly paid sports stars – and becoming one was seen as a legitimate career goal. She said: “While there was much hand-wringing about what this was doing to the ambitions of young women, we didn’t stop lauding the WAGs for their choice of husbands, handbags and haircuts.”

Buchanan said she first saw the term TWAG in the Sunday Times, which also used “founder hounders” to describe women who date or marry tech founders.

She noted that Model Miranda Kerr has recently become engaged to Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, Lily Cole dated Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and that Amber Heard is seeing Paypal co-founder and tech billionaire Elon Musk.

With the gender pay gap currently standing at 13.9% for full time workers in the UK, and it taking an estimated 117 years to close, Buchanan questions: “Why fight for change when we could just follow the money?”

She also pointed out that the most prominent TWAGS are successful women with careers of their own. For instance Lily Cole is well know in tech industry as being a Cambridge graduate and a tech entrepreneur.

Buchanan concluded: “If we want to make way for women, something has to alter the way that we talk about ourselves, and what we achieve. We can’t be defined by our bodies and our relationships any longer.”

You can follow Daisy Buchanan on Twitter: @notrollergirl