Femmes fatales in finance, or women and the city

This paper concerns the representations of women working with finances in popular culture. Popular culture retrieves plots from a common repertoire, and in this way transmits ideals and furnishes descriptions of reality, but it also teaches practices and provides a means through which practices might be understood. Apart from portraying its own era, it also perpetuates strong plots, i.e. established and repeated patterns of emplotment. One such strong plot seems to be persistent in popular culture’s representations of women working with finances. Their fate is depicted along the lines known best from Euripides’ tragedies: they transgress `women’s place’ and commit heroic or mad deeds. By doing so, they might save the city (Athens in the case of Euripides, the City in finance stories), but afterwards they must either die or be sent back. The later part of this paper is dedicated to the case of the banker Robin Saunders that has been reported in two different ways in the UK and Germany, one supporting the strong plot and one defying it, which offers material for reflection on the complexity of both the influence of popular culture and the fate of women in finance.

Read More
X
X