In "Wall Street Wives Had the Richer, Now They've Got the Poorer" (LAT, Oct 25, 08), we learn:
And the whole story is really about how a lot of upper middle-class people are shocked -- shocked! -- to find out that they're not really rich after all. But in reading the story, days after looking at the stories of people who spent themselves into crazy debt and hours after reading about bargain-mad people who trampled a man to death, then lunged for the sales ... I am beginning to detect the construction of a new stereotype. It'll depict women as craven, pennywise and pound-foolish, and somehow, they'll be to blame for whatever consumer spending issues roil the economy. While their husbands, the poor fools, all work their fingers to the bone just trying to keep the spendthrifty harpies happy.
Some might argue that it makes sense to point the finger at women: Women allegedly determine how to spend 83% of American consumer dollars. But it still makes me uncomfortable to paint a portrait of a nation in economic crisis where the culprits are primarily female and fixated on silly little concerns like homekeeping. That gets a lot of other parties -- the ones controlling banks, for example -- off the hook.