Womens Shopping: An Obsession the Men Dont Get

By: Lavinia Ching

“Men are hunters and women are gatherers” some scurry to relinquish that notion, others graciously embrace it. Now, though the question of what its relation is to shopping is not particularly obvious, at least the ever debatable issue of gender roles is.

It is a hypothetical that women should assume the role as “gatherers” while the men align themselves with the “hunters.” In ancient times women are found mainly in the fields gathering crops and materials for warmth while the men are usually out there in the wilderness to hunt or engage in combat with males from different clans. This innate instinct of gathering and hunting is still prevalent in our times; and the modern societal construct un/knowingly encourages these base instincts.

Firstly, take a look at the stupendous rise in the number of shopping malls, from the city centre to the residential New Towns, which all acts to facilitate most, if not all, women's obsession with shopping and sales. The number of stores out there catering to women significantly outnumbers the kind of stores that caters to men, the range of apparel options vastly surpassing to that of men, it is no wonder our male counterparts cower at the thought of embarking in another shopping excursion with us.

Sales are the worst of all because despite the hoards of people scampering around at any one time to gather the best bargains, in very enclosed and stuffy locales, the women prevails in the fight, while the men wither and drop like flies in no time flat; establishing the fact that this is simply just not their battle.

Us women tend to spend an obscene amount of time and money on whatever is deemed as reasonably priced (which we justify in our minds) and appealing to our eyes regardless of its functionality or practicality at the moment— we tend to think of future “needs” that may very well end up as pretty junk taking extra storage space. This behaviour often baffles and frustrates the men who strive for obvious essentialities and practicalities instead of subjecting themselves to things pretty. This more often then not can cause a probable dent in his or her pockets may cause a rift between the females that concerns them.

Perhaps understanding a little bit about the male psyche we can do something to comprise and amend relationships that might have suffered in the process of fulfilling this need to gather. Men are so used to having in mind what they need or want (usually never in excess), and go straight for it, spending no time at all in obtaining it and when they do, they usually purchase them in multiples, therefore, finding it hard to understand the pleasure that women derive from purchasing a wide range of singular products, we often do not need, at the annual war-of-the-shopaholics sales and suchlike.

However, the above are just inaugural instances. The current time shift and people evolve, together with it, the emergence of gender equality is becoming widespread as men are beginning to the catch up with us women in this little endeavor. Subtly partaking in this activity as society does its best to increase the availability of products catering men. Various clothing stores, for example, Pull and Bear, Topshop and New Urban Male etc provides a simultaneous shopping experience for both parties. Even, Strip a well known waxing salon, often associated with women, have opened unisex outlets to accommodate the needs of men without discarding them from what's supposedly a “women's world.”

I guess as independent individuals, it is evident that in society these days there is really no need at all to blatantly distinguish gender roles and expectations at the times and the maturing of the people's mentality has headway with what is only seemingly hereditary.

This may just pave the way to better bonding sessions between both genders, finally a common ground.

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