Services are stigmatized because they are feminized.
A service-based business is a care-based business—to one extent or another. All that client care, relationship-building, and personalization? That’s women’s work.
This is interesting stuff to think about as I start my consulting business. Also interesting when I think of how many solopreneurs in my field are women — and that they are often offering direct outreach services.
Information products… are services with the care work removed, automated, or embedded within them. The care work—to the extent it’s there at all—is deemphasized or made invisible.
With few exceptions, a high-end information product with glowing reviews and a passionate student community incorporates a massive amount of care work… Understanding and creating systems for care work is critical to the success of an information product.
Like most people, Sarah Lazarovic covets beautiful things. But rather than giving in to her impulse to spend and acquire, Sarah spent a year painting the objects she wanted to buy instead.
Based on a visual essay that was first published on The Hairpin, A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy is a beautiful and witty take on the growing “slow shopping” movement. Sarah is a well-known blogger and illustrator, and she writes brilliantly without preaching or guilt-tripping. Whether she’s trying to justify the purchase of yet another particleboard IKEA home furnishing, debating the pros and cons of leg warmers or calculating the per-day usage cost of big-ticket items, Sarah’s poignant musings will resonate with any reader who’s ever been susceptible to an impulse buy.
I began to define my person by what my person wanted.
I see this too in the overstrong association of self with what you like: constructing an identity from your preferred intellectual properties and universes.
[W]e’ve long thought of shopping as frivolous leisure, when in truth it is real work.
Amen! And exercising patience in waiting for the right item — high quality, right price, not too trendy — is excruciating in a world of instant gratification.
(…this dismissal is also because women and shopping are linked in our society, and women are “responsible for” the home…)
The wanting never goes away altogether, even as you restrict your purchasing: I still lust after items on my wishlist years after adding them. The collector’s urge is strong in me, particularly when it comes to art, one of my exceptions for impulse purchases. I have also found what the author has: that my buying desires have been turned and concentrated on home goods. These I justify as making my house more beautiful and comfortable, my life easier and more efficient — but many are not necessary. (Yet, some are worthwhile: buying a handful of storage crates this year has made my home tidier and nicer to be in.) As with all of life, shopping will be an area of continuous learning and mistakes.