As you know, I have had a few opinions about some things over the past few weeks. Feminism, racism, aardvarks. I’m returning to feminism today for a little bit.
In my new job, I don’t have to wear a uniform. Smart casual only. I own some clothes in that region but I don’t want to be wearing the same things over and over. So I have been looking around to try and get myself some new little jumpers and jeans and stuff like that. Obviously, as with about 90% of customers, my first port of call is always Primark.
My local Primark has two floors. In relation to other Primarks I have seen, it is quite small. Though, as with all Primarks, in relation to most other shops in the area, it is quite large. When you walk in, on the ground floor, the first thing you see is women’s clothes. Tops, vests, work-out gear, smart clothes, casual clothes, winter clothes, summer clothes, going-out clothes. Then all the accessories – jewellery, make-up, nail stuff, all little bits of odds and sods. Right at the back of the ground floor – I don’t know. I’ve never been brave enough to venture that far.
There are escalators to the upper floor. Near the escalators is a sign that says ‘First Floor menswear.’ OK, that’s more like it. You get on the escalator and then get back off once you are upstairs and what greets you? Lingerie. More clothes for women. Turn left and you have children’s clothes, which are predominantly for female children. Through the children’s section you come to women’s shoes. Rows and rows of all different types of shoe. Strappy ones, flat ones. All the ones. Eventually, eventually you find some clothes for men. A small section. Some t-shirts, jumpers, jeans, smart wear. Not a great deal of choice. The shoe section is laughable.
All in all, the men’s section takes up about 15% of the entire shop floor, top and bottom whereas the women’s is probably closer to 70%. That’s quite the imbalance. And the story continues outside of Primark. There are more shops for women’s clothes only then there are for men’s. The big department stores like BHS have more clothes for women.
There are some, a small selection of clothes shops that are just for men but they cater to the type of people who like to go out and do the drugs at the weekend, and that isn’t me. True, some of the shoes are nice but you end up bankrupting yourself for a pair.
Women’s shops on the other hand are cheap, and I mean even compared to my unrealistic expectations of what cheap should be. A woman can a full outfit to go out in, or to go for an interview, or whatever she happens to need it for, for under £50. For a nice shirt, a man could be paying that. A man could pay that for one shoe.
The other day I even heard a woman on the high street have the gall to look into a shop that only had men’s clothes and complain that there were no women’s clothes in there. I mean, come on, you gals have got the choice of the entire high street. Do not begrudge us one shop every so often.
I say that, I still begrudge those shops because the clothes are awful. I end up having to go to charity shops most of the time.
So yes, typically, 15% of clothes in Primark are for men, compared to the 70% for women. And then there is a furore about only 25% of comedians on TV being female. Come on loves, calm down, buy some shoes and make us a sandwich. It’ll make you feel better. In fact, the shoes are cheap so I’ll treat you. Just don’t go mad. I still need to save up to buy the second one of my pair.
Here is a poem. the prompt was taken from #fieryverse.
Feet twist round, spinning
Dopplered laughter tornadoes
towards the sky. An avalanche
of woolly jumpers as they all