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Friday, April 26, 2013

Clothing allowance

I've been getting increasingly angry at little things recently.  Partly because I'm beginning to move out of the fog of, "Oh Jesus Christ, I've got a baby" and am actually able to look at other things in the world.  Partly, I think, I get angry at the little things because these days, that's what my life is made of.  So whilst in the past I might have to deal with a knob-badger at work, nowadays my ire is reserved for Postman Pat or - in this case a report on the BBC.

The article itself is very interesting, and is here if you wish to read it.  Essentially it's about how difficult it is to get by on benefits.  The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (known for work on poverty) has done a survey, and listed the necessary clothes every man and woman needs to own as a bare minimum.  The below is taken directly from the article.  Italics are mine.

"items its panel considered necessary for the average man were 10 pairs of boxer shorts, 10 pairs of socks, five pairs of jeans, two pairs of trousers, two suits, 26 shirts of various types, two pairs of smart shoes and two pairs of trainers.

"For women, the list includes 10 pairs of knickers, three bras, four pairs of tights, 10 T-shirts, two jumpers, two pairs of jeans, four pairs of trousers, four skirts, two formal dresses, two summer dresses, and two pairs of heels, one of flats and one of trainers."

Two things rub me up the wrong way here.  Firstly, why do men get socks and women don't?  What the hell are we supposed to wear with our trainers?  Oh, thank you Male Rulers for allowing us trainers, by the way.  I should probably thank you for allowing us trousers while we're at it.  Seriously?  No socks for women?

The main thing that irritates me though, is whilst a woman has to get by wearing four pairs of trousers (without socks) and some t-shirts, men get 26 shirts.  TWENTY-SIX!  And women get a few t-shirts and a couple of jumpers?  No shirts for women?  Or blouses?  Or even tops?  Just t-shirts and two jumpers.  Well, I'm going to be honest, I'm not going to manage to get a job very easily turning up for interview in my summer dress and / or t-shirt, and no socks.  No wonder these people are in poverty!

And is it me, or is 26 shirts actually a bit excessive?  Let's assume said man needs shirts for work (because I think we've seen it's already implied that the little lady stays at home in one of her two pairs of heels and cooks dinner).  There are five days in a week.  I reckon the absolute most work shirts a man is going to need is seven.  Ten at a push.  And OK, let's say a choice of five casual shirts for the weekend.  Which I think is generous, seeing as we're talking about poverty here.  That's a generous total of 15 shirts.  Where on earth did 26 come from?  I don't think TheBloke (TM) and I have that many shirts between us.  Plus most of ours are covered in baby vom.

Clearly we are a striking example of poverty.  Please send cash.  Usual address.


naina d'souza said...

Hi, not comfortable sending cash (not a judgement on the trustworthiness of postal workers), do you accept credit card / PayPal? Is it tax deductible?

Why doesn't the list include pyjamas.

Laura said...

I guess it assumes we're sleeping naked. I'm not. It's too chilly.