A fine example of how gender stereotypes are maintained

Posted at 1:00 PM Apr 09, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

Women love shopping! They like, LOVE it. It's like, inborn in them since they are little tiny babies, just like it's inborn in little baby boys that they like trucks and being emotionally stunted assholes who only think about televisions and sports. In fact, we totally have proof that women love shopping! An online poll reports that women spend 3 whole years of their lives shopping!

Behold, a culturally constructed gender stereotype is maintained: women love shopping because nobody even thought to ask men about shopping!

Per the NY Daily News:

"I think it would be more than three years," laughed Sandy Mahadeo, 20, a sales clerk from Richmond Hills, lugging a huge bag from Macy's. "I love everything about shopping." "She goes every day!" interrupted her fiancé, Nicholas Ragbir, 20, echoing the belief of many men who feel women spend way more time than that shopping. "It's crazy. When I go, I go to one spot and get everything. Women have to go to every store." The study, by global online market researcher OnePoll.com, surveyed 2,000 women about their shopping habits.

Ah, I love a self-fulfilling gender construction prophecy. This kind of not-even-pretending-to-be-science, and the gleeful reporting thereon, illustrates just how invested our society is in maintaining gender roles. Men could spend 30 years of their lives shopping, but we'd never know, because we already believe women love shopping, so why even ask dudes about shopping? (It also illustrates just how banal the NY Daily News is.)

Further, it looks like the poll actually did conduct some kind of vaguely interesting line of questioning about non-frivolous buying patterns, like grocery shopping, and gender, noting with one closing line: "It isn't just hunting for accessories or clothing that sucks so much time - each year, women spend nearly 95 hours shopping for groceries, the study showed."

Interesting conversation: do women shop for groceries more or less than men? What does this say about the home life and relationships? What about in terms of careers, child-rearing, etc., and the amount of time women spend maintaining and shopping for the home versus men? All of these would be enlightening, conversation-starting lines of inquiry. But studies (and media) like this can't be bothered, because addressing those questions is hard, and saying that women like shopping is easy.



AmyV said:

Awww, someone needs a unicorn to hug. ;-)

Red said:

I, for one, hate shopping. Where's my study, damn it?!

Ruth said:

Last weekend I went shopping for clothes for the first time in 4 months. Before that I hadn't gone for about 8. I wore out my 5-year-old shoes, but I'm putting off replacing them as long as possible.

My hubby does all the grocery shopping.

I've probably spent 2 days of my life shopping...maybe another day in bookstores, but that's time well-spent. ;)

Stan said:

So they ran a piece that heavily implied a comparative assumption between genders although the survey didn't have any comparative data.... Congrats NY Daily News, you just set statistical research back 2 years.

Katie L. Droscha said:

I went clothes shopping for the first time in 6 years a few weeks back. An I mean buying outfits and accessories to match the damn things. Why? For the past decade I have been a student and grad student, and worked in my free time to pay for school. Soooo, I had a couple of dress pants and slacks and formal shirts to tie me over for formal presentations. But other than that, jeans and t-shirts or heavy stuff for the cold. An I am not alone. Most of the Grads and post-docs are poor and spend their money on those OUTRAGEOUS prices for higher education. Odd how being a scientist leaves you broke. The good news is that my not splurging means NO STUDENT LOANS~!!! YIPEEEEEE!

Shawn J said:

pfft 3 years? you better catch up ladies :-D
That would explain why so many dress horribly nowdays?

Lily said:

Yeah, I shop. What about it? In fact just the other day I was in the sporting goods section of the evil box store picking up four pricks of ammo to go out to the range to sight in my new rifle. I don't NEED four bricks to sight in, But it wont go bad sitting on my shelf and I don't want to go back too soon.
I'll be hunting small game this year to supplement my food budget.
Good article!

Not Guilty said:

I bet they wouldn't even count shopping for car parts and other stereotypical male things as "shopping". When I have money and I have a need, I enjoy shopping. But 3 stores and 1 hour and I am done. I like shopping because I like new things, which is why I even like grocery shopping. But I do not like the act of shopping itself. So stupid...

Bobbyskizza said:

Does online shopping count cause I 'window shop' online at least an hour every day and at least once a week I buy something. Plus anytime we go near a comic store my girlfriend has to put up with me meticulously working my way through the long boxes which takes a lot longer than all her stores put together. Unless we come across a store selling speicality teas, girl loves herself some tea.

prissy tomboy said:

When the economy was good and before I knew about credit management I could spend hours in the mall. Part of that was geography. I live in the urban core (grew up in what they've dubbed the ghetto, later moved to a trendy gentrified over-priced cracker box). There were no regular mall stores where I lived. So if I wanted regular mall things, a pair of kahkis, suit for first job interviews, name-brand panyhose, I had to drive to the burbs to the mall. Once there why just turn around and go back. Even when I grew up we took public transportation to major shopping areas. Once there you made the trip count. Also you might only have money enough to shop like that a couple times a month so you took advantage.

Now I am a burb dweller (long story involving marriage, etc.) I've learned to spend less on clothes and stuff. I shop at discount stores like Target. So It's more about going to get what I need when I need it or grabbing a little cute thing at a Wal-Mart or even the dollar store when I pick up groceries or toilet paper.

My husband is actually more of the shopper but he likes to get stuff for his collections and to tinker on the house but he loves clothes too (not too much dressy stuff but outer ware jackets are crowding us out). He also is great about the bargain hunting. He is the type that will hear about an outlet or flea market and go just to see if there is anything he or we can use. I've picked up that too.

SheffieldSteel said:

In other news, Siberians love salt-mining, based on historical records of how much time they have spent doing it.

And surprising though it may sound, astronauts don't really like space travel - in fact, the amount of time they spend in space is statistically insignificant.

Honestly :-/

Brian said:

My wife enjoys shopping, but she also enjoys a million other things, among them fashion. I attribute a love of shopping to appreciating art, things, and being unabashedly detail oriented.

Jessica Foster said:

I'm a woman and oh good God I HATE to shop. I only do it when I want or need something.

© 2016 Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy