Sunday, December 05, 2010

Time Magazine on the "Sheconomy"...was there an "aha moment"?

A couple of weeks ago Time published a piece: Woman Power: The Rise of the Sheconomy.

The first two pages of the three-page article states something I actually thought was obvious, well-known, old news: Women control household spending. Even in segments thought to be electronics or car repair.

The third page is about how the advent of social networks has harnessed women's buying power and their natural inclination to compare notes and turned their individual spending power into collective commercial power.

Again, possibly I'm a little more up on that since, well, that empowerment is what BlogHer's publishing network business is partially built around. But even so, I didn't think this was news either.

The description of this intersection is, also not surprisingly, somewhat condescending And more than condescending, Time continues the mainstream media's ongoing habit of focusing on this myth that bloggers are just waiting for the next company to bring down with their "wild west" mob mentality:
"A cross between a girls' night out and the mother of all organizing tools, these networks have given women the kind of muscle that can be a blessing or a bloodbath for those it's flexed upon."

Interesting that Motrin Moms is still the go-to anecdote, given it was two years ago.

Ad it looks like Old Spice may be the positive go-to anecdote for at least that long!

Bottom line: I don't feel I learned something new in the article...and excitement over the "sheconomy" is somewhat tempered by reading a post from six months ago by BlogHer' Feminism editor, Suzanne Reisman: "Why I'm Boycotting the "She-conomy". Turns out that women may indeed be making gains at the top, but we also comprise the majority of those at the bottom of the economic pile.

As Reisman points out:
"I want to be excited about women's economic security, I really do. It's just hard for me to get behind these indicators of progress when they don't include most women. If that's what the "she-conomy" means, I'd rather try and improve the regular economy for everyone."

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