I recently splashed out and bought myself a new pair of gumboots for my birthday. I’m over all this chicken poo being tramped through the house. I also got a new schmick new Apple Mac and a pair of actual lace up winter boots for my birthday this year, but I don’t want to be a cliche and wax lyrical about migration from PC to Mac because I’m sure you’ve heard all that before. However, I think the gumboots are worth blogging about.
This is them:
There was surprisingly little choice at Big W considering it’s the middle of winter. It was black, black or black.
They cost $25.
The rest of the crew also needed new gumboots. The six year old found pink shiny ones (which she hasn’t taken off since, except for a mandatory few hours of school athletics, for which she begrudgingly wore trainers) and the girls’ gumboots were only $10. This seems about right, because there is less overall gumboot required for such tiny feet.
My husband also needed gumboots. The men’s gumboots were on the shelf above the women’s gumboots.
As you can see, the men’s gumboots are pretty similar to the women’s gumboots, except women’s gumboots have a dinky little strap on the side. I’m not sure what this is for, because if I want to feel pretty, I’m generally not in the mood for wearing gumboots (though I did just wear my gumboots to the supermarket which is a new low of slovenly country living, even for me.)
As you may also note, there is more overall ‘gum’ in a man’s gumboot owing to their larger feet.
So I ask you, why were the men’s black gumboots $10 while the women’s black gumboots $25?
You may then wonder why I bought the women’s gumboots and not the men’s, because what the hey. Except even the smallest of the men’s gumboots were still too wide for my feet, so it wasn’t really an option.
This experience takes me back to the start of the month, when Aldi had their annual sale of ski gear. I don’t actually ski, but snow wear comes in handy around here. I bought a bunch of woollen socks (irrelevant to this discussion) and also two zip up jacket type things. One is for men and the other is for women. They were exactly the same price. Five cents short of forty dollars, if I remember correctly.
It wasn’t until my husband put his on that I realised the ‘men’s’ version has an extra zip up pocket on the chest. The women’s jacket is identical in every other way, except for the more ‘feminine colours’ (yes, pink). If a man wanted to buy a man’s jacket in pink he was fresh out of luck.
I’m going to feel more sorry for myself than for pink-loving men, however, because I find pockets with zips on them very handy. They’re good for keeping an iPod in, or a bit of change, or a receipt.
One might argue that women don’t really suit breast pockets owing to the fact that we have breasts. This is one argument, and I’m pretty sure the designer would argue that way, but if the man’s version was going to come with an extra pocket, I would have expected it to cost an extra few dollars, to account for the cost of the zipper. But no. These jackets are exactly the same price, and you know what that means in effect? It means that when women buy clothes, we are subsidising the men, who get more overall value for less money.
I’m not yet sure what I can do about this state of affairs. In the meantime, when my husband and I are out in public, in our (almost) matching black gumboots and our (almost) matching zip-up cardies from Aldi, then I will ask him to hold the little annoying shit that tends to accumulate on outings. He has an extra pocket, after all.