Would you accept an inheritance under these sexist conditions?

(With apologies to Bob Heinlein.)

Let’s say that, on your seventeenth birthday, your parents sit you down and inform that you qualify for an inheritance. Here’s the sitch:

  1. The inheritance is set up in the form of a trust set up by one of your grandparents, a Z. Carter. The trust is worth billions; income from it is divided among all of the person’s who qualify. At current levels that means a yearly income of about a million dollars per participant. During the twenty years that the trust has been in operation, yearly income has been as low as $700K and as high as $1.2 million. Your parent of the same sex has already qualified.
  2. For men to qualify for income from the trust, they have to leave home on their eighteenth birthday (whether or not they have graduated from high school) and go off to make their fortunes without any help from any member of their families. By any legal means they can, they must accumulate a net worth equal to a year’s income from the trust. Real property counts, but only if it’s owned free & clear, not mortgaged. The first year a man does this, he is granted income from the trust in perpetuity. But he cannot have accepted any financial aid from any individual for any reason; nor may he have taken any sort of bank loan other than a student loan to pay for college (which, incidentally, his relatives may not pay for).
  3. For women to qualify for the same income from the trust they have to do absolutely nothing. Well, that’s not true. They have to be alive, but that’s it.

If you’re female, do you think you’d have taken the money at that age? How about now?
If you’re male, do you you think you’d have tried to qualify for a share in the trust, or let your parents (or another relative) pay for college, set you up in business,or what not?
Either way, do you see these terms as more sexist against women or against men?

The reason you don’t see a poll yet is that there ain’t gonna be one.

I’m never going to turn down money, but yes it’s sexist. The implication is that women can’t earn a living, which was somewhat true when Number of the Beast was written (I think… okay it was 1980… I’m not sure how well a woman could earn a fortune in 1980 - I’m sure it was doable, but much harder than for a man.)

Maybe. But note that I didn’t say that the ancestor who set up the trust was male. What if Z stands for Zelda?

As a man, no I would not try to qualify for the trust. I would just get married to a woman who took the money and ran. Win -win.

Yes, it is sexist, and yes, I’ll take the money anyway… and have gone straight to college instead of joining the Navy then, quit work and do college full-time now. At least I don’t have to be named Zelda!

Fool of an Arkansan! You’re marrying your cousin in that case. Or niece or aunt, or

:: shuddering ::

sister. Either way it’s ooky, and in most cases illegal except in Ancient Egypt.

As a woman, I would take the money, although if the obvious interpretation (that my grandfather thought women weren’t up to the challenge) is true, I may feel obliged to donate a chunk of it to an appropriate charity.

As a man, I’m not sure. If I can accumulate a legal, ethical $1m net worth, then that’s probably a good thing in itself. It would give me a greater ambition in life, which will probably turn out well. But there seems a significant chance I can’t. Giving up on university is a big risk[1] and by the time I’ve got to the point of getting the bequest, it’ll turn me from “well off” to “rich” which seems a lot less important that becoming well off in the first place.

[1] Or maybe I can pay my way or get disinherited, I’m not positive. If I can pay my way without crippling my studies (as many people manage to do), it may be worth the gamble, as I hope I won’t need significant assistance after that, and I can always give up on the bequest and get help from parents if I really need it.

Totally sexist, but I’d still take the money. If my brother were also eligible, I’d offer to split my take with him if he decided he didn’t want to go the silly “make your own fortune” route.

Random questions: it maybe doesn’t matter, but to whom does the bequest apply? To my grandparent’s relatives? Descendents? An explicit list of people? Any men in the country and some subset of women?

I deleted a bit of sarcasm, as it looked like the terms were going to prohibit any aid (eg. if I’m disabled, can the government buy my wheelchair) but I see that’s actually OK, it’s only talking about getting a start on life independant from my parents, which is a laudable goal, whether or not you think everyone should have to live that way.

In The Number of the Beast it’s all the grandparent’s descendants, and though I left out the male descendant’s first name must begin with Z bit, I think the rest should apply.

Never delete sarcasm. Sarcasm is to Rhymers what blood is to vampires.

To the persons saying this is sexist towards women: Why do you see the trust that way, as opposed to it being sexist towards men? It’s not women being oppressed by the terms, after all. Maybe Z. Carter just hated or distrusted the male of the species.

Whatever. Just give me the money.

Sure I’d take it. The person who set up the trust is dead, right? How would refusing the money fight sexism of any kind? I’d use the money to travel the world!.. and help orphans or something too, of course.

Who would have sex change to qualify?

As the character in the book said “I’d have both greedy hands out!”

Sure it’s sexist, but I’d never turn down free money like that. I could do a lot of good with it, for charities, if nothing else.

In fact, cousin marriage is legal most places other than some US states…
A lot of countries have no laws regarding incest at all, proving both people are adult.

Hey, if shackin’ up with the cousins was illegal in England, I wouldn’t exist. My family tree’s more of a thicket. Not sayin’ it’s not a bit ooky, but it’s legal.
I’d take the money, as a female. Blame the inbreeding for the lack of moral standing if you like. I don’t think sexism has to be ‘against’ either gender; if you declare all girls must wear only pink at all times, and all boys must only wear blue it’s sexist, but not against either gender. This is certainly sexist, but whatcha going to do? Tell dead grandparent where to stuff it?

If it looked like it might stand a chance under current law, I might try and spend a bit of the inheritance on challenging the conditions, to make them gender equal (preferably easier on both). Not entirely out of a sense of equality- certainly not all my male cousins would make the cut, and at least one would be harrassing me for cash if I got it and he didn’t. I’m not marrying him either :stuck_out_tongue:

If I were male, I don’t think I’d try. The risk of messing up my life is too great, and the chance of reward at a reasonable age too small. I watched my actual grandad save desperately, and waste years he could have been enjoying himself living in practical poverty, in order to become a very rich corpse- I don’t really want to emulate that.

People can be prejudiced against groups they are members of, as I’m sure you know.

Well, of course. But my point is that it’s not women who are being discriminated against here. I find it difficult to see how being given a million-dollar-a-year allowance with no conditions is an injury as opposed to having to go out and scratch. If Z stands for Zelda rather than Zedadiah, it seems more likely to me that Z. Carter didn’t think highly of the male of the species rather than was condescending to women.

Take your facts back to Wales where they belong, Cardiffian. :wink:

My thoughts exactly.

Of course I’ll take the money you silly sausage.

That’s one way of looking at it, however it’s not a likely one. I’ll cut you slack because you’re a man :wink: and because I don’t want to get into a debate about male privilege and sexism and other things that half the time are being exaggerated beyond what they are. (And I find such debates exceedingly tiresome).