I’ve heard a new phrase lately used by many to deride and sneer at conservative females: Wal-Mart Woman.
Oh no you di’in’t.
The undertone is, of course, that a Wal-Mart Woman is an ignorant, uneducated, racist, fat redneck with a passel of kids hanging around her buggy as she trudges through the candy isle searching for a bargain bag of Butterfingers.
The Wal-Mart Woman isn’t the Soccer Mom the media followed in elections past. Oh no, a Wal-Mart Woman isn’t anything like a Soccer Mom, that svelte upwardly mobile liberal woman with a PhD in the humanities and two children in private schools who spends her day shuffling her well-behaved, perfectly attired children around from breakfast to school to tutor to music lesson to play date to soccer event to home to bed.
The Wal-Mart Woman of these tales is lucky if one of her kids goes to community college. The Soccer Mom enrolled her child in a preschool that practically guaranteed entrance into an Ivy League tower.
The Wal-Mart Woman clips coupons and keeps her eye on the Wal-Mart sales ads. The Soccer Mom shops at the ever-so-chic but more expensive Target when she wants to go slumming.
If the Wal-Mart Woman works, she gets paid by the hour at a greasy spoon. The Soccer Mom is on salary at a prestigious firm or school.
The Wal-Mart Woman buys pictures of Elvis on velvet. The Soccer Mom buys art prints and vintage theater poster reproductions.
The Wal-Mart Woman makes casseroles and eats out a fast food restaurants often. The Soccer Mom watches the Food Network.
It’s all bullshit.
The whole notion is offensive. Identity politics have become out of hand. Modern politicos again and again reduce us all into pre-packaged stereotypes so they can sell candidates to us wholesale without putting too much thought into the person to which they’re trying to appeal.
Does it work? I don’t think so. I know that I’m not the best example, but I’m nothing like and everything like both the Soccer Mom and the Wal-Mart Woman.
I know how to shoot a gun. I can (usually) tell the difference between a Matisse and a Picasso. I cook in a crock pot. I can quote Gilbert and Sullivan ad nauseum. I think Elvis on velvet is art if you get something out of it. I watch Food Network. I love Taco Bell. I love most kinds of theatre. I clip coupons. I love vintage poster reproductions. I’m a civil engineer. I love casseroles. And I shop at Wal-Mart.
To tell you the truth, I fucking love Wal-Mart.
So am I a Wal-Mart Woman? Hell yeah.
And it pisses me off when women, other Wal-Mart Women specifically, are reduced to some insulting stereotype to dismiss or to exploit.
You know what this reminds me of? Bitter xenophobic religious rednecks. It’s elitism. And, for crying out loud, if there’s one thing guaranteed to make me unhinged, it’s elitism.