I’m currently on the hunt for a nifty gift for a very dear friend of mine. In fact, he’s one of the closest, dearest friends I have. I’m doing it to honour the fact that our friendship is sixteen years old.

A few years ago, I sent him flowers, and he loved them. When I told someone I know about it, they quipped that it was a wholly unsuitable gift. I remember arching my eyebrow and wondering who decided we can’t send men flowers?

That’s bugged me for a while and, if you pop across to just about any online gift or delivery service, you’ll find very specific sections listed – they’ll denote "gifts for her" and "gifts for him".

Take a scroll through the "gifts for him" section and you’ll find the following: liquor, biltong, tools, gadgets, magazine subscriptions, soap-on-a-flipping-rope (WHO BUYS THAT NOWADAYS?), socks and – if they’re really "progressive" – plants.

Incidentally, this section of an online gifting site will – almost always – be smaller than the "gifts for her" section. In fact, it’s often the "gifts for her" area that will be the main focus of an online delivery site, negating the need for a specific section but you know, presents for the men in your life get a designated little area. 

The "gifts for men" section will always, without fail, be a tiny part of just about any online gift delivery service website.

Then pop your mouse along to the "gifts for her" section and a seemingly infinite collection of bouquets, perfume, lingerie and cutesy boxes of chocolates greet you.

I asked someone who works in the industry and they huffily replied that it was done to make things "easier" for shoppers. Really? So men enjoy receiving tools and socks to flowers? The sad thing is – they were right.

I then went on to ask a few male friends of mine how they’d feel about receiving flowers as a gift, for an anniversary or suchlike and…well, the results were interesting. Here’s what one of them had to say:

"You know, if they were from my girlfriend, I’d appreciate them. But I don’t think I’d tell my mates about it".

I can only deduce that sending a man flowers is viewed as "embarrassing". Funny, really, because we’re societally trained to believe that, when a woman receives flowers, it’s assumed that they’d feel enthused and adored. Strange how that works, isn’t it?

And, yes, I realise that many of us are taught, from when we are little, that "pink is for girls" and "blue is for boys" but, really, who decided that in the first place?

Well, to hell with that idea. I’m sending my friend a gift that I know he’ll like, and really, does it matter that it’s from the “gifts for her” section? No. Because the flowers are beautiful, and he deserves something beautiful for sixteen years of putting up with me, and not soap on a rope.

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