Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

Men and shopping

In case you were wondering, this is what sexism looks like when it’s directed at men: Men and their holiday shopping battle. It reinforces all of those stereotypes about men who have no idea what to give their wives/girlfriends unless explicitly told by those same wives/girlfriends or helped by a sales clerk. (For a story written in New York, it’s also awfully heterocentric. Where are all the men buying for their boyfriends/husbands? Or are gay men just automatically assumed to be amazing shoppers?)

I know men whose wives leave the shopping to them because they enjoy it and are always looking for a bargain. I know men who give lovely gifts without any instruction at all. I also know women (myself included) who are like the men in the article: especially this time of year, I get in, buy and get out.

So it’s tiring to see these same stories year after year: men who are clueless about what to buy their families, women who have a gift picked out for everyone on their list. Why can’t reporters just write stories about shoppers they happen to come across instead of starting from one preconceived idea? I’d find it refreshing to read about a young woman struggling to buy for her girlfriend, or a boy who needs to find something for his dad, or a man who has the perfect present in mind for his grandmother. That would be a lot more interesting than the stories that usually come out this time of year.

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Comments on: "Men and shopping" (2)

  1. Lori Woody said:

    Well said. I also am annoyed by commercials that show the man the one sitting on the couch with the remote and the woman constantly nagging at him. Tired stereotypes…

    • I think part of it is laziness. Advertisers/marketers fall back on stereotypes because they can’t come up with anything new. I get annoyed by it, too.

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