Friday, April 1, 2011

The Survey that Cathy Wrote by Alex Snider

Given that I have no money, so little that I can't afford groceries right now and was reduced to eating a package of Poka Sticks from my stocking (yep, my Christmas stocking) for lunch, I don't regularly (i.e. ever) read the financial or business section of any paper. My eye was caught, however, by this article today in the Toronto StarWhy won't women give up their cell phones. Curiosity was peaked and, like a frat boy in a library, I decided to try something new and clicked the link to the Moneyville section (their tag of Welcome to Financial Freedom made me feel like I was somehow trespassing, not at all like the Debt is Manageable ads for a bankruptcy company I see on the subway which always fill me with a youthful optimism). 

Elle MacPherson, photographed by Sharif Hamza for Love Magazine
For some reason the headline really stuck in my craw, probably because of the paternalistic and condescending tone, like they're saying "we've asked and these irrational women have refused to give up their cell phones unlike men who have more important things to focus on". And, the whole all encompassingwomen as a stand in for some specific group within the female gender because, let's face it, there is no way that they are asking all women of all ages, of all income levels, of all backgrounds and demographics about their cell-phone use; being a newspaper geared manly to middle-class professionals one has to assume that the women they're referring to are the middle-class professionals who read TheStar
Blair Waldorf: Not Without My Daughter Phone
The article went on to explain that in a Mastercard-sponsored survey, 2000 Canadian women were given a list, compiled, it would seem, by Cathy, of things to go without and cell-phones were deemed to be more necessary than morning coffee, chocolate, exercise and clothes. That's right, women who said that they'd give up female stereotype staples before giving up their cellphones got an article decrying in a hyperbolic Mrs. Lovejoy kind of way, that WOMEN WILL NOT GIVE UP THEIR PHONES FOR ANYTHING EVER IN A GAJILLION YEARS!

I for one am really glad that The Star broke this story -- Toronto, nay, the world needs to know that women would rather have their phones than a chocolate bar. 

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