The Weekly Standard takes a look at some figures on Thanksgiving weekend shopping as reported by the National Retail Federation:
“A record 247 million shoppers visited stores and websites in the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday weekend this year, up 9% from 226 million last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation released Sunday,” the CNN reports reads. The headline reads: “247 million shoppers visited stores and websites Black Friday weekend.”
This would seem to mean, according to these statistics, that basically all Americans over the age of 14 went shopping this past weekend…
That means, if you subtract those who are too young to shop, 0-14 year olds, from the total U.S. population, there are 247,518,325 people in this country. The number of people CNN reports who went shopping this past weekend…
CNN’s numbers, however, include those who visited “websites.” The numbers [are?] so loose it could even include news website or the same person visiting multiple shopping websites.
Even if there is some double-counting in this data (and tracking across websites is difficult to do), these figures suggest a large majority of Americans went shopping after Thanksgiving. I’ve written before about the difficulty in getting 90% of Americans to agree about something but perhaps we could add the value of Black Friday shopping to the list. These figures also may add to the idea that shopping is the favorite sport of Americans.
In the beginning of a film review, a British reviewer highlights a sociological study about how people treat and interact with single women:
Apparently, couples still shun the female singleton, fearful that she’ll wreck their marriages or at least their dinner-party numbers. One survey found that half of its sample never had single women as visitors, and 19% knew no single women at all. Casual disregard for this social group goes unremarked. Our prime minister insists that marriage must be prioritised and rewarded. The last government repeatedly identified “hard-working families” as its abiding concern. WAGs, meanwhile, are celebrated as much as manless Anistons are pitied.
In a world centred on cosily coupled units, leftover women labour under an enduring disadvantage. When they’re not ignored completely, they’re expected to provide tireless but unrecompensed support for people who matter more than them, as babysitters, carers or shoulders to cry on. When a mother is called upon to bunk off work to attend a nativity play, her unpartnered colleague is expected to take up the slack.
Cinema hasn’t done much for the benighted single woman.
The sociological study in question included 48 Australian married people. It is an interesting area of gender roles to consider; the norm in society is still to find a spouse or partner by a certain age. Cultural values and norms plus supportive public policies put pressure on people. This is particularly the case in many churches where singleness is frowned upon.
But hasn’t there been some pushback in the cultural realm on this front? Perhaps not in movies but television shows like “Cougar Town” have taken up this issue. Some of it may depend on the end goal: is the message of such films and TV shows (and books and music) that single women need to find men/husbands to be complete?