It may be sexist, but men are known to be poor gift givers compared to women. Most men are not brought up in a way which trains them how to think what makes a nice gift. They’re told to think about meeting people’s everyday needs, putting bread on the table and macho stuff like that. They’re not supposed to know what colors go together, what different flowers mean to which people and why it’s a good idea to own dozens of pairs of shoes.
So, we shouldn’t be surprised when men buy gifts that their women just can’t get excited about. They get their information about this kind of stuff from TV and the movies, from songs and old wives’ tales, not from real people with real desires. That’s why the young mother, who is still breastfeeding, gets a romantic dinner date for two – meaning that she’ll be away from the children, have to pay for childcare and spend the evening wishing she could have a glass of wine, like everyone else in the restaurant. Or the mom, whose son buys her a cardigan or a pair of slippers, which serve only to remind her how she’s starting to look old, and that’s the box she’s being put into – the one with old people’s stuff like cardigans, prunes, walking sticks and bingo.
So what kind of gifts should guys be getting for the women in their lives? Well, perhaps the best way to think of it, is not to overthink it. Look at what she needs, where she’s at with her life right now and what might help her out.
For example, if you’re a young couple, celebrating your anniversary, and you’ve recently moved into a new home, don’t bother surprising her with something soppy and sexist like rose petals on the bed, candles (all of which needs to be tidied up later) and an expensive piece of jewelry, such as a diamond necklace. She might pretend she likes it, and smile as she puts it on, but underneath that veneer, she’s secretly cursing your thoughtlessness and irresponsibility, squandering money on something as pointless as a bunch of shiny rocks, which now needs to be insured and makes your home a target for burglars. The only redeeming thought is that you didn’t get an advance from work and take her on a romantic Caribbean cruise before presenting it to her.
She’s thinking that the money would have been spent on a much better gift – one which will help you to build a strong and stable future together. Your home needs some improvements to be made to it. You could have bought some power tools and building materials. If you don’t know what to look for, a simple search on the internet will do the trick.
Think about the kind of gift daddies buy their daughters when they graduate from college. They usually get things like handfuls and handfuls of $100 bills or a new car, jewelry and other things that they will be able to provide for themselves pretty soon. What is the point in giving your daughter – who you just spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on, for her to sit around I sweatpants into the early hours every day, smoking dope and eating cold pizza, in getting her master’s degree – money, when she’s about to walk into a job which pay in a month what you take half a year to earn? Buy her a car and she’ll be upgrading in six months. Buy her jewelry and she’ll be giving it her friends who went to community college.
What a smart girl like your little princess needs is realistic gifts. Luggage containers, Filofaxes, a cookery class – things that will help her get on her feet when she moves to the big city on the other side of the country.
The point is, don’t think of women as some kind of separate species. Women have been fighting for equality with men since the dawn of time and it is small prejudices and stereotypes that perpetuate the discrimination. Buy her what you would buy for a man in her situation. She’ll know that you really love her when you start treating her as an equal.