The rising cost of matching chromosomes

OTTAWA (CUP) – I’ve finally realized why my bank account is consistently wiped clean and why my credit card is always pushing its limit. I’m broke because I’m female.

No, I’m not referring to the stereotypical shopaholic tendencies of the modern urban woman. Those tendencies may indeed be a threat to any chequing account, but I am well aware that shopaholism, if you will, transcends gender boundaries.

I’m referring to those fabulous products targeted solely to women – endless amounts of cosmetics and toiletries that only women are privileged enough to require.

Let’s take a look inside the average, well-stocked North American woman’s washroom. Taking into consideration the shower, medicine cabinet and any other cupboards or storage in the vicinity, you’re looking at quite the list of products present: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, regular soap, body scrub, a loofah, shave gel, razor, hairspray, maybe hair mousse, a hair dryer, an assortment of hairbrushes, perhaps a straightener or curling iron, nail polish, nail polish remover, nail clippers, nail files, a good selection of pain relievers, vitamins, contraceptives, perfume, another bottle of a different kind of perfume, moisturizer, body butter, body lotion, hair-removal cream, hair-removal wax, nose strips, face strips, mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, an eyelash curler, tweezers, a variety of mirrors, blush, lip balm, lip gloss, lipstick… the list is never-ending.

That list has to amount to at least $250, if not more. And to some extent, we women can justify owning everything on that list. It’s commonplace and almost expected that today’s western women are going to be curling their eyelashes and volumizing their hair and, well, stripping their noses.

I’m not going to venture into the “patriarchal mass media forces us to buy!” argument, but I will say that women have every right to enjoy looking, smelling, and feeling good, and really, we should be able to go about that as we please. It’s just unfortunate that we have to pay so much to do so – especially since so many of those products are actually legitimate purchases.

Take, for example, those other  “monthly requirements.” I especially love how stores label the necessary toiletries as “feminine products”. Like we need it rubbed in our face any more that we have to pay a good $40 a month to deal with our overactive uteruses.

The more I think about it, the more I realize it’s fucking expensive being a woman. I spent $75 at the drugstore the other day. That’s equivalent to a day’s worth of retail work, entirely dedicated to buying all these little things that I need to remain socially tolerable.

I guess I bring it upon myself. Sure, one could argue that makeup isn’t really necessary – but sorry, I like to at least think I have nice eyes and needed to replace my months-old mascara that was practically turning into a Petri dish of bacteria. And, you know what, I enjoy having smooth legs, too, while the weather is still warm – just like so many other women my age.

Is it really such a crime to enjoy looking good and smelling nice? Of course it isn’t. It’s just absolutely ridiculous that I have to pay so much to do so. I swear – any political party could clean up with a majority government if they considered implementing a women’s tax break for all this trouble we go through.

//By Emma Godmere
The Fulcrum (University of Ottawa)

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: