Consumerist Fantasies: Women Buy for Independence, Men for Virility
The recession is over, to hear economists talk. Of course, in the land of Hollywood, it never really happened. But in the influx of escapist movies hitting your local theater, one trend has become apparent: chicks should totally buy more stuff.
Jezabel writes about two of the latest releases: the newly opened “It’s Complicated” and the soon to be released “Sex In the City 2.” Both movies are dripping in female consummerist fantasies, from accessories to household goods to kitchens, bedrooms and closets so opulently overdone they could rent by the hour. They also both feed the same message to women — owning nice things is a sign of your independence.
Post-feminism is indeed confusing, and the answer both SATC and the Meyers oeuvre seem to offer is to become the sugar daddy you want to marry, and then give yourself lots of expensive presents.
It’s a tempting message to want to embrace. Much like many people who have cut back in recent years, I would love an excuse to buy myself something pretty. To tell me that consumption is the greatest proof of my own feminism is like telling a dieter that he should eat a box of cookies to prove he can still appreciate good baking. The two are highly unrelated, but sometimes all we need is a good justification.
Men are also being given a similar message in an attempt to bait them into spending. To play on their manliness, they are being offered commercials explaining that buying things makes them more masculine. For example, driving a minivan is sign of their virility.
There are guys who will smirk at you for buying a Dodge Grand Caravan. For some reason, having a JD Powered dependability award winning 3 row minivan isn’t manly enough. Think about that for a second. Filling a car with 5 of your offspring isn’t manly enough?
It’s an interesting juxtaposition of marketing, however. For women, buying nice things means you don’t need a man. For men, buying proves how much you are one.