#Opinion

Shop Too Much | Can We Stop Downplaying Women’s Financial Choices?

High-End Brands
Women spend on shopping too much. You must have come across this stereotype more than once in your life. It is commonly believed that women spend their money on buying clothes, personal care stuff and make-up. Even though this might be true, the problem arises when it is used as a stereotype to downplay women’s financial choices.

They are labelled as thrifty, irresponsible and hence incapable of dealing with money matters. But is this stereotyping right? Is it right to judge and dictate women’s choices? Is it right to assume that women do not know finances? Do we question men about their financial choices? And is it right to cover every woman under the same blanket- that every woman spends on shopping?

Yes, women spend on shopping. Why question their choices?

Many studies have proved that women spend more on shopping than men. There is no denying the fact. Yes, women spend more on shopping. But do we ever try to understand the reason behind it? Women’s expenditure bends towards shopping because women’s products (clothes and personal care stuff) usually cost more than men’s.

A woman’s deodorant, for example, costs 30 cents more than men’s. A crop top will be much costlier than a basic T-shirt of men. Moreover, the overall cost of being a woman is higher. They have to spend, quite regularly, on personal hygiene products, different types of clothing, makeup and whatnot.

So is it right to assume that women are not good at managing money? Rather, shouldn’t we question the gendered pricing and marketing of products? Shouldn’t we also question the societal expectations that many women are forced to meet to look more feminine? And if women personally choose to spend on shopping, who are we judge their choices?

The problem is in our mindset

Also don’t we need to question our mindset that says shopping is feminine and hence derogatory? Don’t men shop? Don’t men spend on clothes, make-up and personal care products? Or do we assume that personal care is a feminine domain?

Moreover, not every woman chooses to spend her money on shopping. Some women spend their hard-earned money on cars, travel, stock markets, electronics, books and many other things that define a good life for them. But these expenditures are seen as something that men would be interested in.

The problem is in our mindset. We don’t want to accept the fact that women too have the right to earn, spend and save. We don’t want to accept that women can handle money and sometimes better than men. Studies have shown that the overall expenditure of single men surpasses those of single women. That women make better investors than men. Then do we question men’s choices about their expenditure? Haven’t we internalised the stereotype that men always spend carefully and on ‘valuable’ products while women waste their money on useless expenditure? Don’t we need to question our deep-rooted biases that portray financial management as a male domain?

And we often let these stereotypes determine whether women deserve to earn and handle money or not.

Women own their bank balance and choice to spend

It is time now that we stop questioning women’s choices. We need to stop assuming that women’s expenditures are always useless and that they do not know how to handle finances. Handling finances is not a masculine domain. A woman has equal rights to earn and choose where she wants to spend her money. Yes, there might be a need to analyse the reasons that influence a woman’s choice- whether they are her personal preferences or societal expectations. But what remains unchanged is the fact that women know how to spend their money. Stop dictating and stereotyping their choices.

The views expressed are the author’s own. You can send your articles to [email protected]