When I was first asked to write about the topic of grocery shopping in this week’s He Said/She Said, I found myself confused to some degree. Is there really that much of a gap between genders as far as buying food goes? Is there something I’m missing here?
In response to my confusion, an editor explained, “Girls usually get healthier stuff and guys get chips and [stuff]. And when they shop, girls go every week and guys only go when there’s nothing left in the kitchen.”
I found this to be a stereotype that needed some serious debunking.
Let’s start by tackling the first part of the claim: “girls usually get healthier stuff and guys get chips.” Frankly, this one made me laugh. Off the top of my head, I can list off several male friends of mine that are either dieting or are general health-nuts who would not be caught dead buying a bag of chips, a bar of chocolate or a cookie. Conversely, the female editor who made the initial claim that girls usually get healthier food orders a massive chocolate chip cookie with her dinner every layout night at The Keystone. I daresay the first part of the claim might be busted.
Now, I’m not a guy who doesn’t recognize that, for every man who eats healthy, there are several other men who have a burger every day. I can understand where the stereotype that men eat like pigs comes from; however, I think the blanket statement that all men buy nothing but junk food when they go to the grocery store is a bit of a stretch.
Next, let’s take a look at the second part of the aforementioned comment: girls go grocery shopping every week, but men only go when they’re completely out of food. Allow me to give a man’s perspective here. I shop once a week—typically on the weekend. When I go, I buy enough food to last me the week. By the time I go shopping again the next week, I’m fresh out of food and ready to resupply. Call me biased, but I’d say that is a pretty logical plan. You buy the food, you eat all the food and repeat. Am I supposed to go grocery shopping when I have plenty of food that is still good to eat at home?
Don’t get the wrong impression by my points here. I don’t mean to suggest that there are no men who fit the stereotype of buying junk food on a very occasional basis, nor do I mean to imply that there are no women who shop for healthy food on a weekly basis. What I mean to say in this piece is that both genders have individuals who buy very nutritional food and/or shop for groceries on a regular basis, and both genders have individuals who buy junk food and/or shop on a very occasional basis.
I think this belief is what caused me to have some confusion as to what to write about for this piece. As I have stated, I go grocery shopping weekly, and I typically try to eat healthy. Therefore, I think this discussion ultimately comes down to the individual and has as little to do with his/her gender as it has to do with his/her I.Q., astrological sign or hair color.
By AJ Simmons