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Friday, December 14, 2012


It has been some time since I have alienated anyone with my stupid opinions, so I am going with a sure-fire subject.  Women readers will of course assume I am a misogynistic jerk; I assure you that is not the case…except for the jerk part.

Several times a year TV news shows do documentaries on the unfair high costs of consumer products for women.  These shows do comparison shopping for men’s products and then show how the same products and or service is much more expensive for women.  I assume these shows are well received as they are run as often as the ever popular wardrobe make-up and hairdo before and after makeovers.

Are these comparisons really fair?

Are men conspiring to fix prices and over charge women?

Let’s see.

Women’s haircuts cost more than a comparable trim for a man.

Women’s clothes cost far more than men’s clothes.

Women are charged more for dry cleaning than men.

Surveys and comparison shopping will demonstrate these facts every time in every part of the country.  How is it businesses can universally conspire to charge such high prices to women?  Why don’t enterprising women step in and provide similar products and services at “fair” prices and break the “Men’s Cartel?” How is it that the law of supply and demand is suspended when it comes to products and services for women?

The answers are: They don’t, they can’t, and it isn’t. 

The truth is, products and services for women cost what they cost because if they cost less the providers could not make a profit.

The truth is these TV shows do not compare comparable products and services; they compare similar products and services.

Let’s look at the products and services these TV shows typically survey.

Clothes: These surveys love to demonstrate that a man’s dress shirt can cost $50 while a women’s blouse at the same store will cost $75.  Clearly this is unfair right?

Well…men’s dress shirts typically come in three or four solid colors and 75% are white.  Men’s shirts come in long sleeve or short sleeve, button down or stayed, and buttoned sleeve or cuffed.
Women’s blouses come in an infinite number of styles, different collars and different ruffles and sleeve styles. Women demand a style that is unique.  Women’s blouses come in an infinite number of colors and patterns.  Women’s blouses costs more to manufacture because they cannot take advantage of the economies of scale.  Women are different from men…women demand differences in their clothes; women’s demands are more expensive.

If a woman runs into another woman who has the same dress, they both get embarrassed and upset.  When a man runs into another man wearing the same suit and tie, they both give each other a high five!

  “Dude, nice suit, nice tie!  I see you got the memo.” 

When is the last time a man bought a suit, wore it to an affair and then returned it and demanded his money back? Never!  When is the last time a man ever bought a suit and then demanded a rebate when the same suit went on sale one month later? Never!

Men and women are different; the difference makes women’s products more expensive.

Haircuts:  This is easy.  Women are pickier about their hair.  Make a mistake and the salon will get an earful and may not get paid.  If a man does not like a haircut, he will pay up, wait a week for it to grow out and then go to another barber.  It is simply cheaper to service a man.

Men and women are different; the difference makes women’s products more expensive.

Dry Cleaning: Once again ladies you demand more service and you are pickier about the services you pay for.  Are you wrong to be picky, no, but it does cost the providers more to meet your standards. 

Watch a women pick up her dry cleaning.  They go through every piece with a fine tooth comb and if a garment is damaged or not cleaned properly the dry cleaner will be held to task.

Watch a man pick up his dry cleaning.  He counts the number of garments to be sure they are all there, he pays, says thank you and he leaves.

Men and women are different; the difference makes women’s products more expensive.

OK ladies have at it.  Cranky Old Man has not been beaten up for his opinions for some time.  I am either masochistic or misogynistic.  I’ve been called worse.


  1. I don't think I can beat up on you for your opinion because I pretty much agree. My husband-like person made a very good living for a long time based on what he called "women's insatiable desire for change and perfection.".

  2. Supply and demand can explain a lot, can't it?

  3. Great post! I have to agree with what Craig says on this Supply and Demand plays a big part! :) Happy Holidays!

  4. Re the haircut thing--women's brains are larger so their hair has to be styled more carefully so that their heads will not look misshapened!!

  5. Here's my peeve. Womens clothing is not made to last. Probalby part of the change and perfection thing noted by Jeanie. But I can buy a pair of courderoy slacks in the women's department. They will shrink in the laundry. Or seams split in the laundry. I can buy a pair of courderoy slacks in the men's department. I am still wearing fifteen year old men's slacks. Something needs explained there, Lucy.

  6. You're right on most points. Women are different and demanding customers. Sometimes they are too swayed by fashion and labels. Personally, I've found shopping for non gender-specific things like jeans and hiking boots is better done in the boy's department of a store.

    Most guys just want to get in and out of a clothing department. This sometimes results in their wives having to shorten pants legs and return stuff that wasn't tried on their guy until he got home, though.

  7. I actually agree with you except I will add to it and say that men would NEVER pay what a women would for a similar product. Men are more sensible when it comes to stuff like that. So sorry Cranks I can't beat up on you for this one either. :)

  8. I've always just thought women were suckers, but I think you're on to something. You make a lot of sense.

    But answer me I got an email coupon from Barnes and Noble....30% off. K also got one that was for 25% off. Because they can?


  9. You are obviously a man who likes to live on the edge.