Silly women and their silly shoes

Oh hey look, here’s another “news story” based on a media release from a marketing company that says women are silly for spending money on some stereotypical thing: Some home truths about that shoe addiction of yours, by Jessica Martin. Well, it’s not by Jessica Martin. The article is by Bianca London for the Daily Mail and published a month ago. Martin did a re-write for Fairfax today.

The flimsy argument is that the amount of money women spend on shoes over their entire lifetime adds up to a house deposit:

Women wondering why they don’t have enough savings for a house deposit could do well to look in their cupboards for the answer. A survey has revealed women will spend more than $57,800 on shoes in their lifetime – almost $3400 more than the 10 per cent deposit needed for an average $544,000 mortgage in Australia.

So, if you never ever buy shoes, by the time you die you’ll have saved enough for a house deposit. Presumably so your corpse can rot in it for a month or so until the bank repossesses it because you’re not making any repayments because you are dead. Never mind the fact that you’ll have a hard time getting a well-paying job to save that deposit if you don’t wear shoes. ManFriend and I tend to have pizza on Friday nights (today, hooray!) – if we don’t do that for the next 70 years, we’ll have a house deposit. We’ll also have died from old age, but I won’t let that get in the way of the re-write of a re-write that I’m gonna pitch to smh.com.au.

There’s another problem with the calculations. From the PromotionalCodes website:

This results in an average annual spend of £570 which, over the course of 60 years, equates to a massive £34,200 spent on shoes.

It’s ridiculous to suggest that a woman in her early 20s who has bought 12 pairs of shoes in the last year will be doing that for the next 60 years. It just doesn’t make sense. Also, most flats will only last one season because they’re made of cheap pleather with crap soles, and don’t get me started on how hard it is to find a pair of boots that look like they’ll last more than a few months.

Mindy has a great take-down of this click-bait at Hoyden About Town:

To say that women frivolously buying shoes is the only thing between them and home ownership is really crap. Structural inequality might have a little something to do with it too. Also, for the majority of women just try and get one of those $100K per year jobs (I don’t have one) without being well turned out with nice shoes and see how far you get.

What Martin doesn’t mention in her re-write is that the survey was conducted by PromotionalCodes.org.uk – a URL that should have made a journalist think, ‘hmm, this survey is probably a load of bollocks and if I pretend it’s newsworthy then I’ll be adding to the whole pile of stinky bollocks that we call stories about women on news sites’.

12 responses to “Silly women and their silly shoes

  1. Worse than that, I think the original article is a rehash of a Sex in the City episode, where the main character Carrie realises she (oops!) doesn’t have enough money for a downpayment on her apartment, but calculates she has spent at least $40K on shoes in her adult life .. and then ponders her predictament for a while before accepting a loan from her friend – who only had the spare money due to a recent lucrative divorce settlement. I ground my teeth over it when I watched it .. but I still watched it *hangs head in shame*.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0698659/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

  2. I so so so agree with you about the total crap in this article. And to think that it is a woman actually signing her name to such bs. My son and I have to eat gluten free food for our health and a lifetime’s supply of that would probably buy a whole apartment building, but we prefer to live better and illness-free (relatively, mind you!) than have a fancy crib we are too ill to enjoy. Grrrr. My wan..r alert hit red just reading this article!!!

  3. Pingback: Maybe if we all went barefoot?

  4. Obviously no shoe companies advertise with The Age. Otherwise the story could be about how women are saving the clothing and textile industries of the nation.
    Women don’t wonder why they don’t have enough money for a house deposit: they bloody well know why. They’re paid less than men for the same job, get denied opportunities for advancement and better pay, and dominate the low paid industries and professions.
    But by all means, let’s pretend it’s because they have no sense of priority.

    Now I want to hear about how much money men spend on golf clubs and fishing tackle and toy helicopters and video games and how much of a house deposit they don’t have. What’s the bet it’s more than the figures quoted for Women And Their Shoes?

  5. I should probably state that I love shoes and have a pair in every colour of the rainbow. ( My legally/socially sanctioned partner and I make a very comfortable living and can afford to participate in the capitalist exploitation of the less well off. ) These are the boots I bought this winter.
    http://www.cinori.com.au/jimble/w1/i1040196/
    http://www.cinori.com.au/i-love-billy/mantra/w1/i1039468_1001478/
    I defy Jessica or Bianca to criticise my choice.

  6. Pingback: Maybe if we all went barefoot? | Hoyden About Town

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