And the male bashing continues unabated

impulseaaI recently stumbled across a column entitled, “Gender Marketing Differences.”

The laughably generic tome was authored by Joseph Carrabis, founder and CEO of The Next Stage, a firm which helps companies improve their marketing efforts and understand customer behavior.

But, after reading the Carrabis synopsis on the fundamental shopping differences between men and women, methinks The Next Stage should be yanked off-stage. Pronto.

Here’s why.

According to Carrabis, women are cogno-emotional placial shoppers who make strategic purchases with the long-term use of a product weighing heavily in their decision-making (BTW, ya gotta love the term ‘cogno-emotional placial.’ It sounds like something you’d study in Paleoanthropology 101).

We Neanderthals, on the other hand, are dismissed as mere spatial shoppers who make immediate buying decisions to fulfill our of-the-moment needs.

To which I respond, hogwash!

The Carrabis piece not only reinforces generic stereotypes but, once again paints men as thoughtless, egocentric, shoot-from-the-hip buffoons (which, BTW, does describe Donald Trump to a T). It also continues the virtually endless portrayal of women as thoughtful, calculating, strategic and far-sighted visionaries (Note to female readers: Would you use those words to describe Sarah Palin?).

I have two immediate issues with the findings:

1.) They most certainly do not apply to any man I know. You won’t find any guy making a snap, impulse decision when it comes to buying a car, a home or a serious fashion item (Think: A brand new suit).

Indeed, this spatial male-cum-blogger thinks long-and-hard about everything from re-sale value and durability, to objective, third party reviews and the opinions of trusted friends and family before reaching into my wallet.

2.) The perpetual negative male stereotyping by pseudo experts like Carrabis as well as the depiction of men as stumbling, bumbling idiots by Madison Avenue and Hollywood, respectively, is doing a real psychological number on young boys and men.

Indeed, an entire generation of boys has been schooled to believe their female counterparts are smarter, more intuitive, and better communicators. And, Homer Simpson is their uber role model. Talk about emasculation!

Stereotyping of any kind is dangerous. Stereotyping one gender as being far superior to the other in so many ways (including shopping) is destructive. In many ways, it reminds me of 19th century thinking about minorities.

I, for one, would like to call out the people who are perpetuating these dangerous generalizations. I’m all for equality of the sexes, but not at the cost of making millions of boys and young men think they’re inferior.

I’d continue, but I just spotted a tie that I MUST buy. I guess I’m just embracing my inner spatial self.





10 thoughts on “And the male bashing continues unabated

  1. We’re always in trouble when we relegate an entire gender, male or female, into a singular adjective. Generalizations on that grand a scale should be taken with a grain of salt because it’s impossible for anyone to believe that a single term can encompass every male or every female.

    After a quick Google search, I easily found data on impulse shopping and it found that men and women impulse shop about the same amount. So women aren’t always shopping strategically and, as you point out, men aren’t always shopping “in the moment.” Men and women’s behaviors are nuanced and that’s why, as marketers, we need to look at more than a singular characteristic to know our audiences.

  2. I keep the house spotless, wash dishes often, AND do all the laundry, including ironing and sewing. Ironically, the Marine Corps (Infantry) is where I developed those habits and learned how to do all that stuff

  3. Totally agree, Peter. And, a colleague just mentioned that it’s even worse in Saturday morning cartoons. The little girls are portrayed as whip smart and their brothers as bumbling idiots.

  4. Thanks. In my household, I’m the one who wears the pants AND does a good deal of the cleaning, cooking, shopping, financial bookkeeping, child care and researches the major financial decisions.

    It’s outrageous that companies pay these people good money to perpetuate stereotypes of Dad as a witless, neutered buffoons because “Mom” is supposedly where the decision-making power lies. Then again, some idiots end up in Hollywood and hire accomplished, beautiful actresses to only play “the girl” and throw them out after 35. Meanwhile, aging hacks like Al Pacino continue to be cast as a romantic lead.

    Unilever’s Dove is one example of a major consumer brand that has run some great ads of fathers and their kids that turn this perception around a bit. For the most part though, the ad industry is stuck in brain-dead mode.