After all my sneering about women and handbags in previous editions of this column, I now have to try and defend the male of the species. I’ve always found it extraordinary that women are prepared to pay as much for a handbag as the rest of us would pay for a small car. It isn’t that the bag itself is particularly expensive to make. Markups of 800% or more are routine. But clever marketers have persuaded women that an ‘it’ bag or a limited edition handbag are so desirable that the prices should bear no relation to the cost of manufacture.
I wrote, a few weeks ago, about one difference between the sexes in this age of androgyny and gender equality: the attitude to hairdressers. Now, I think I’ve found another one: Sex and the City. We’ve always divided popular culture into gender-based categories. Superman, Batman and Terminator are boys’ movies. Weepy films and such TV soap operas as The Bold and the Beautiful appeal mainly to women.