There’s an article in the BBC lamenting that the whole world is designed for men and, having succeeded in their demands to access every workplace in the land, women are finding they’ve not been tailored to suit them.
From police stab vests that don’t account for breasts, to safety goggles too large for women’s faces, to boots that don’t fit women’s feet, Ms Criado Perez says the list is endless.
This reminds me of the oft-heard complaint that there are not enough female film directors, in response to which Tim Almond among others likes to ask: “So what’s stopping them?” The complaint isn’t so much that women are being prevented from making films, it’s that Hollywood studios aren’t handing directing duties on blockbuster films to women. Which isn’t the same thing.
Similarly, what’s stopping a bunch of entrepreneurial women spotting this giant gap in the market for women’s stab vests and safety goggles and touting their wares around every organisation (meaning, all of them) which boasts about their gender diversity? Surely the management would welcome them with open arms and submit an order tout de suite, if only to stem the flood of complaints being submitted to HR. But no, the demand is that people already out there doing stuff should consider their needs more. The individual female employees who’ve been forced to use unsuitable kit have a genuine complaint, but when it’s presented by the BBC as an example of widespread patriarchal indifference it sounds like a bored wife complaining her husband is inconsiderate and doesn’t notice her enough.
Democratic Congresswoman Niki Tsongas at the time called out the military’s unresponsiveness to the needs of female service members, citing the “alarming” disadvantages for women, including being unable to properly fire a weapon, Military.com reported.
Yes, there are women in the US military who can’t fire a weapon properly. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. Of course, the implication here is the weapon should be redesigned to suit women, or women given a different weapon, which would be interesting in a war to say the least. I bet none of this was discussed during the debates over whether women should be allowed to serve in the first place.
From apps to the actual size, there are a number of design features that have made some women say smartphones have been designed with only men in mind.
Women’s hands are, on average, around an inch smaller than men’s – which can make the industry’s ever-increasing screen sizes problematic to use.
Texting one-handed on a 4.7-inch (12cm) or bigger iPhone can be difficult to impossible for many women (and small-handed men).
So they can buy the smaller-sized phone, can’t they? Or do they want the version with the big screen but an option to defy physics during text messaging operations?
“The comprehensive health app on the iPhone that didn’t have a period tracker; the way Siri could find a Viagra supplier but not an abortion provider – that’s what happens when you don’t include women in the decision making process,” Ms Criado Perez says.
Apparently if women are included in the decision-making process they’ll equate aborting a fetus with buying viagra. Could that be the reason why they’re not? And as Tim Almond would say, “Why can’t they build their own abortion app?” It can’t be that hard. What I expect is lacking is demand; how many women really want to arrange their abortions using Siri?
The formula for standard US office temperatures was developed in the 1960s, based on the metabolic rate of an average 40-year-old man weighing 154 pounds (70kg).
A 2015 study published in the journal Nature found that a female metabolic rate can be up to 35% lower than the male rate used in those calculations – which amounts to, on average, a five degree temperature preference difference.
Of course, this has nothing to do with men being required to wear suits in the office while women get to wear nice dresses showing lots of skin. But again, this is an example of women demanding access to workplaces and then complaining about everything once they get there. The old dinosaur patriarchs said that women wouldn’t like it, and it would make them miserable, didn’t they? The logical answer is staring us in the face, especially in the MeToo era: segregated workplaces. Is that what they want? Seems like it, doesn’t it?
“But it makes me so angry to think of all these women, living their lives, thinking there’s something wrong with them – that they’re too small or don’t fit or whatever it is.”
“It’s just that we haven’t built anything for women.”
The irony is that this is genuinely proof of how gender equality programs have failed, but not in the way she thinks. This is not the 1980s; women have occupied senior positions in every department of every large organisation for more than a decade now, so this “we” she’s referring to is as much women as men. But the power-skirts haven’t done anything about these practical issues women face, because power-skirts rarely get involved in practical issues. The actual design, manufacture, and supply of useful goods and services appears to still be done by men, while the power-skirts do…well, what exactly? HR departments are dominated by feminists holding seminars on sexual harassment and celebrating International Women’s Day but they’ve not even made sure their female employees have got the right kit. There’s a term for this sort of thing: abject failure.