Since when do women need permission to do anything?
Do you ever read something and think to yourself, “I must have not read that right” and then do a double take and realize you did, in fact, read it right and wonder how we as a society got here?
This is the reaction I had the other day when passing by a store in my Minnesota hometown. The women-owned business Giggle Gals caters to suburban moms and sells clothes, jewelry and small home décor items. In the window, posted in big bold letters, is a sign that reads: “Your husband called, he said buy what you want.”
I’m sorry, come at me with that one again?
Did that sign just imply that I need to check in with my husband before purchasing something for myself? Should I stop making his dinner and place his ironing in a neat pile before checking in to make sure I can buy myself this bath bomb? Did we suddenly time travel back to 1950 without my knowledge?
I tried and tried to contemplate all the ways the store owner meant for this sign to come off in a lighthearted, funny tone. But the thing is, it’s not really funny at all.
The sign implies that women can’t make a financial decision without the approval of her spouse. Last we checked, women are strong, hard-working, multi-tasking forces of nature. More and more women are the bread winners of their family and manage work, meals, doctors’ appointments, and after school activities. They run marathons, give to charities, and organize school fundraisers. They work full time (in or out of the home) and in spare moments, sit on boards, coach their kids’ sports teams, join the PTO and cheerfully agree to pitch in and help out other hardworking women.
If they decide to buy something from your store, they sure as shit don’t need anyone’s permission.
Women today get the majority of college degrees in America. It doesn’t matter what kind — associates, bachelors, masters, or doctoral. We make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, own close to ten million businesses (yourselves included). Seventy percent of mothers with children under 18 — the ones you cater to in your store — participate in the labor force, with over 75 percent employed full-time. The ultimate effects are richer families and a larger economy, for all of us.
This sign is offensive to all women, implying we need approval from our husbands before making a decision sets us back about 60 years, men included.
This is not to say women and men don’t jointly make large purchasing decisions together. But assuming we need to ask before making a purchase for ourselves is laughable. We are grown-ass women with brains, wallets and plenty of buying power.
We got this. No permission needed.