Women and Shopping


I’m sorry Zulily, but shopping is not a super power, any more than wearing Victoria’s Secrets will empower me as a woman. Nah-uh.

One of my favourite lectures of late is the witty, sarcastic, call-it-like-it-is Rebecca Watson, speaking at Skepticon.

Ooh, and here are two very cool people in conversation: my favourite interviewer Kim Hill, with Rebecca Watson, in a conversation called ‘Girls and Shopping’, in which she also talks about ‘Elevator-gate’.


With psuedoscience as recent history, I’m unlikely to pick up the book called Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping, but The Beheld has quoted a thought-provoking something from it in the post ‘The Impermanance of Beauty Work‘:

I’d never considered the ephemeral quality of beauty work… until it came up in a book I’m reading called Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. The author studies consumer behavior in the minutiae, working with teams that silently survey shoppers in retail settings. According to the book, when men grocery shop for produce, they tend to pick up the first, say, head of lettuce their hand lands on, and drop it in their cart. Women, however, are more likely to pick up the head of lettuce, examine it for suitability, checking out several different heads before deciding upon one. I recognized myself in this (why pay for a subpar avocado when there could be a perfect avocado next to it?!), but I really recognized myself in the author’s explanation: “Women…have traditionally understood the importance of the impermanent world—cooking a meal, decorating a cake, fixing hair and makeup.” Stereotypical, yes. But will you really be that surprised when I tell you that of the 16 students in my class at pastry school, 15 were women?

I can admit the possibility that women get stuck with the chore of shopping because women are well conditioned to accept that the fruits of traditionally female labour are by and large ephemeral, needing to be done all over again tomorrow. (Except for child-rearing, which is the most important job in the world, and somewhat permanent in nature. That’s why preschool teachers around the world get paid so handsomely, AMIRITE?!)