Well, continuing my research into where all those well dressed women that populate the streets of Taipei in the absence of men come from, I consulted with a new all female class that I just started to teach. I decided that since they seem to be the people I’m talking about, I should just ask them. To a degree, they were as perplexed as I was as I laid out the situation, and one of them stepped up to bat to point out to her classmates that I was indeed right, there was a disproportionate number of women in the streets of downtown Taipei during the working hours. But, as a group they came up with an answer, which was that what I’m seeing is the result of Taipei being such a huge city. With millions of people living in Taipei and her suburbs, and with the Asian female focus on fashion, what I am seeing they decided was an influx of women shoppers from the suburbs. There aren’t malls in Taipei like there are in Canada, people here come downtown to shop in fashionable stores, and so while their significant others and family members worked they are here making their shopping trips. Because of the sheer number of people living around Taipei, it only takes a very small part of the female population making the trip to fill the streets on a daily basis.
Your average woman is indeed working or involved with her family like any other place, we concluded, but others are enjoying their extra time shopping. The men, it seems, just have no reason to leave their air conditioned homes and offices to come downtown.