‘Shop till you drop’ or ‘retail therapy’ are all smart little phrases used when it comes to describing women shoppers. The very term compulsive shopping has come to apply singularly to women.
Now along comes a British survey which says that it is men who are the real shopaholics, given to impulsive purchases of much higher prices than women. Food, beer and DVDs top the shopping list for men while clothes, magazines and wine feature on the women’s list.
Now that women have been put in a different shopping aisle, the truth will be out.
Women may give the impression of being inveterate shoppers but that is only because they are more discerning. While a man will buy the nearest thing irrespective of the price and term himself decisive — we could say lazy — a woman will pour over several racks or shops to get the lowest price.
The concept of value for money is somewhat alien to men while for women this is an article of faith.
We haven’t heard of too many men cutting out discount coupons from the dailies or periodicals, have we? Then there is the myth of how much shopping soothes the soul of a woman, how her affections can be bought by the right man with the right credit card.
But no, men are no different except that their souls are satisfied by things of much higher value like a car whereas the little lady will probably be thrilled with a pair of shoes.
This is of a piece with the earlier belief that women were addicted to beauty treatments when actually it is your hirsute colleague or spouse who is likely to lap up the facials and pedicures.
And when it comes to cosmetic surgery, it is not women alone who are partial to the old nip and tuck, men have no qualms about going under the knife to get rid of all those niggling problems that stop them from looking like Brad Pitt.
But we are glad that all this has come out in the open, it really gives a different meaning to equality of the sexes.