I was shopping today at Target and had a strong emotional reaction to some gym shorts.
All the women’s workout shorts were very short. As in: my derriere would be hanging out the back if I weren’t careful. And none of them had pockets to hold my inhaler or my cell phone while I work out at the gym, or my keys if I want to take a long walk outside. And they were in cute colors, but also cut very weirdly in an attempt to accentuate my curves. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t care about my clothes accentuating my curves while I’m working out -that’s what the *workout* is for.
So I browsed over to the men’s gym shorts and—lo and behold—all their shorts had pockets. Some of the shorts had THREE pockets! They were also a bit longer, so I wouldn’t have to worry about flashing my undies at fellow gym-goers when I’m doing floor work. Plus they were all about 30% cheaper. That’s right: 30% less money for shorts made with more fabric and with more bells and whistles and, ultimately, which fit me better.
Woo hoo! I threw in a discounted sports bra (cuz I always look for sales) and went home with two new pairs of shorts… and my well-covered derriere (and my wallet) were happy.
But seriously, can we talk? I got in the car and started feeling irritated. After a few minutes, I was downright angry.
Why is it more expensive to be an as-healthy-as-possible woman? I already have to buy a sports bra (which men don’t have to do) – why are retailers also trying to make me pay more money for less benefits in the shorts department?
Hmmmmm does this sound familiar? I see the same baloney in health care and maintenance today. Let’s start with period stuff: Women, over their lifetime, will spend approximately $18,000 on pads and tampons and stuff. Women also spend WAY more money than men on contraception.
Plus the #wagegap. I mean, we start out at a disadvantage because most of us earn less than our male counterparts.
We also tend to go to more health care appointments, because we require ob/gyn appointments and breast exams, and because we tend to have more chronic illness so we’re generally at the doc more.
And much of that chronic illness hits us during our childbearing years, which are also prime income-earning years, so we lose out on all that money—and all that ability to save for our retirement, or build up cred in the social security system so our payments at retirement are less than most men.
Sigh. The system is a bit rigged against us, babes. It’s freakin’ maddening.
I’ve mulled this over all day, and I don’t have a ton of sage advice, except I want you to be savvy. As you head out there to do whatever you need to do to be as healthy as possible, remember to pursue every avenue you can to save money. Ask for discounts at every health care provider. Ask for samples of medications if your doc keeps them around. Check prices at competing pharmacies so you get the best deals. Get help from folks with more expertise when it’s time to shop for new health insurance and other benefits. Hit the thrift stores (I did, and got myself another pair of shorts for just $4 – score!). Use the discount apps for stores you frequent often. Read websites like Daily Worth and The Simple Dollar.
In all things, babe, get savvy, because I don’t want you overpaying when you’re already at a disadvantage. And yes: you can expect a lot more resources from me on this topic in the coming months, because today’s shorts shopping excursion kinda lit a fire under my derriere. My well-covered derriere.
Sending you lots of savvy, courageous vibes today, babe. I believe in you.