George Simpson is married with 2 kids, has worked in public relations for nearly 40 years, and lives in that town in Connecticut where The Ice Storm was set. And boy, is he cranky!
Mr. Simpson recently found out, in a column by Jim Gilmartin, that women (especially between 50 and 70 years of age) are the world’s most powerful single demographic. And that just won’t do, no siree! Because women are gossipy flibbertigibbets who can’t make up their minds, see. Simpson writes:
Who of the male persuasion hasn’t encountered two women who have abandoned their shopping carts in mid-aisle — causing backups like rush hour on the LIE — to “chat”? Gilmartin might characterise this as a seminal moment in marketing because they are probably recommending brands to one another — but no, they are instead expressing superficial, insincere interest in the educational progress of each other’s offspring. From my perspective, leave all commerce to women, and our GNP will be Greek-like in a matter of months.
That’s right, folks, ladies be shoppin’, but not actually buying anything, because we cannot stop talking. Gossipy harpies r us. A ladycentric economy would cause riots in the streets and endless shopping-cart jams! Even though women control the majority of household spending decisions, and eons of purely anecdotal evidence leans toward mums being informed and thoughtful shoppers while dads are impulsive and erratic, Mr. Simpson thinks chicks can’t handle financial responsibility. And really, you’ve got to feel sorry for this poor guy, obviously his wife once made him stand around for like, five minutes in a GAP or something, and he’s been forever traumatiazed:
But the real drag on female-driven commerce is the inability to walk into a store, buy precisely (and only) what is required to complete the task at hand, and walk out. I can buy a car faster than my wife can decide on what colour a sweater should be for one of our kids. It is entirely NOT necessary to weigh all the options, see it from every angle, consider every possibility and project entertainment circumstances that occur only once a millennium, in order to make a purchase.
Lemme guess, the car you’d buy faster would be a two-seater mid-life crisis mobile/sports car that costs way too much and depreciates instantaneously. Meanwhile, that sweater will turn out to be the perfect thing for your kid, who will wear it all the time and the ROI will be phenomenal.
Since when has careful consideration been a detriment to decision making? That makes no sense. I’d argue that while some men and women may shop differently and/or make important financial decisions differently, there’s no point in declaring one avenue better or worse than the other. But! Considering the fact that women are underrepresented in government and Fortune 500 companies, and the U.S. economy is floundering, it appears that those in charge (men) have lost control of the situation.
Since companies are better citizens when there are women in the boardroom, maybe we need to try something new and let the “weaker” sex run things for a while? Bet the pesky wage gap problem would get cleared up. Then again, I’ve got a feeble ladybrain, so what do I know?
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