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May 29, 2012

Consumerism = The Rise of the Female?

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It occurred to me that consumerism is closely linked to women and their rise in society.

The Victorian period ended sharply with the beginning of aggressive capitalism. Sure, it came about because of the rigorous industrialisation that was occurring at the time, but the consumer culture started to grow as women's cultural power did.

Think about it... Much of the advertising today is focused on women - we are bombarded with adverts about everything from how to get your bathroom and toilet spotless and germ-free to how you can dress up yourselves and your family, what to give them to be healthy, and even what kind of car you should buy. Enter any retail clothing store, and you'll battle to find a men's section that's larger or even equal in size to that of the women's section. Toiletries for women have wider ranges and more producers. Women need to indulge in sweet treats, slim down and exercise, plan the meals, decorate the home and garden, and even prevent time from marking their faces with wrinkles and sags.

Women are responsible for everything in society, the advertisers would have us believe. Women must be the largest consumers. And if we're the largest consumers, don't we drive consumerism? Was consumerism and the capitalist lifestyle invented because women - the gender of which there is the most in the world - are the most gullible?

PS This idea occurred to me while reading this on AlterNet.

{Photo: Dreamstime.com, Parrus}

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