TIME: Silly Wimmenz and their Silly Spending!

So TIME magazine runs an article on their website, titled Why Women Aren't Richer. It boils down to this: Silly wimmenz, just stop and THINK before you whip out the credit card for that new designer purse!

The author starts out by discussing the 2-5% of Americans who are "compulsive buyers", noting that compulsive buyers are about equally split between men and women. But from there, she starts talking about the 12-15% of American women who can be classified as "excessive buyers" (basically defined as those who engage in retail-therapy shopping) with no mention of any corresponding figures for American men. Is there any percentage of American men who are classified as "excessive buyers"? Is it as evenly distributed as "compulsive buyers"? And because that's not enough gender stereotyping, she goes on to propose her own, totally unsubstantiated "theory" of wimmenz' spending: It's my hypothesis that an even greater share of American women are what might be called periodic excessive buyers. They buy things they later regret.

Because gods know, men never suffer buyer's remorse. Nope. Men make completely logical, rational decisions and never second-guess themselves later. It's only women whose silly ladybrains make them indulge in retail therapy. I'll admit, I do engage in retail therapy myself - more often than is good for my wallet, for sure - but you know? Among my group of family and friends, I'm not the only one who does so. And the tendency to retail therapy is spread pretty evenly between genders, in my experience. The author, on the other hand, doesn't deign to offer even the slightest shred of anecdotal evidence supporting her "theory". Just throws it out there, like it's totally self-evident and we need no convincing, cause women just love to shop, amirite?

So can we please stop acting like women are the only ones who act impulsively, already? Or like women are innately drawn to shop? For all that this article purports to be "helpful" in offering strategies for those who impulsively spend to feel better, it's just common sense wrapped up in sexist phrasing. Lazy "journalism" at its finest.


Anonymous said...

I know that I've definitely dated a couple of guys who rival, if not far exceed me in their closet collections. Shoes included.

Great post.

WitchWords said...

Very true - though it's not difficult for a guy to out-shoe *me*, given I only own like 6 pairs of shoes. ;-)

FilthyGrandeur said...

my brother definitely has more shoes than i do, some i swear are duplicates, and he refuses to pay under a certain amount for any article of clothing. i think this far outweighs my tendency to buy a $5 t-shirt (at the store where i work and get a discount) when i feel i've earned a little me-present.

WitchWords said...

Amen, FilthyGrandeur. One of my boyfriends is a gun collector, and he has a tendency to retail-therapy with gun parts/accessories and sometimes new guns, which run anywhere from $100 (for the parts) to $1000 (for the better handguns he buys). Me? I buy a $20 skirt at Target, or some makeup samples from Fyrinnae, or get myself a mocha at Starbucks. >.<

FilthyGrandeur said...

lol. yup. my stepdad's bad too. except he likes to buy cars and fix them up for the hell of it. well, he does sell them later, but still, it's pretty extravagant as far as impulse buying goes.


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