'Designed by men...for men'

(116 Posts)
YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Sat 09-Nov-13 21:23:36

I hear this a lot (specifically in regard to the workplace) and it does completely make sense to me. It explains that patriarchy IS society. Defined/designed by men for men.

But I was wondering if anyone could give me specific soundbites on this subject to argue my point (to my very sexist family) more coherently?

I don't necessarily think that men sat round and specifically 'designed' things to deliberately alienate women but what systems have subtley evolved to disadvantage women in favour of men?

I hope I'm being clear!

For example...the workplace: presenteeism and total dedication to a job is needed to excel which is obviously disadvantageous to women who want to bear and raise children (and men who want to be involved in child rearing). It was easy for this dedication and involvement to work equalling success to evolve because men traditionally have a woman to support their home life. So equalling up parental responsibility and what...changing working hours? increasing flexibility? in the workplace can equal this up...and what other measures?( help on this topic much appreciated...my ideas are barely half formed!).

What other aspects of society are designed 'by men, for men'.

sunbathe Wed 13-Nov-13 17:03:01

Flatpack furniture. One of my dc and I were trying to put together a bookcase. No problem reading/understanding the instructions, but we just hadn't got the physical strength necessary to finish it.

Dh did it easily. hmm

ErrolTheDragon Wed 13-Nov-13 20:29:00

In our house, assembling flatpacks tends to be my job (now with DD's help) - because of our ability to RTFI and find the screwdrivers.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 13-Nov-13 20:42:38

Wigeon - there is a British Standard relating to toilet provision which recognises that women need more loos. I think these are guidelines which relate to new facilities so we're probably stuck with the shortage in old theatres etc.

DadWasHere Wed 13-Nov-13 22:53:25

Why do you want this to be a non-issuedad, out of interest?

I dont want this be a non-issue nor do I want it to be a stupidly inflated issue with men (yet again) at the bottom of it. I made a specific observation about a specific blog complaining about a specific thing I thought was irrelevant to the topic. You wanted to widen that and for some reason felt compelled to invoke both the elderly and infirm to your side. The blogger just bought the wrong phone and even with the Nexus 4 she could have turned on video mode and pincer-held the phone above her head and it would have recorded everything. Perhaps in a press of people with tear gas raining down on her she had other concerns than thinking about the best way to do something with the tools she had on hand.

My younger daughter wants a computer gaming mouse for Christmas. She has small hands and there are not that many small gaming mice on the market- but its not like they do not exist. Amazon are currently shipping me two different ones, a Razer Orochi and a CM Strom Recon (which I mention for benefit of anyone interested in small gaming mice). There are other small gaming mice in the market but only those two are sold by Amazon itself.

Think interchangeable lens camera systems are overly large- buy a micro four thirds Olympus E-M5.

There are a lot a small solutions but people, both men and women, don’t like small because they associate it with being inadequate and weak. That poor woman with her large phone is a victim of women moving to buy larger phones, not men designing phones women do not want to use.

DadWasHere Wed 13-Nov-13 23:05:34

Why, at the theatre, are there always always long queues for the ladies' loos, but not for the gents? It's not equality to have the same number of toilets for both men and women - it would be fair to have more toilet cubicles for women. I think this is the perfect example of "designed by men, for men".

Oh lord, you probably already DO have more toilet cubicles!

This explains why it works faster for men:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKnWd3JVnfE

Grennie Wed 13-Nov-13 23:55:21

There are lots of reasons that women need many more toilets. Periods - you go to the toilet a lot more to deal with these, for part of the month. Women are more likely to be taking young kids into cubicles, which takes longer to deal with. And just taking down trousers and tights, and sitting on the toilet, takes longer than a quick unzip. But these differences are rarely taken into account.

DadWasHere Thu 14-Nov-13 00:17:51

There are lots of reasons that women need many more toilets.

Sorry, I was entirely wrong about saying you have more female toilets, wikipedia says the British code is a 1:1 ratio. The international code we follow in modern public places is a 2:1 ratio.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 14-Nov-13 07:42:51

The loos thing is a case where the problem has been realised and is taken into account (to some extent) in new facilities - old theatres esp some of the London ones don't have space for more.

The next thing the regs need (which afaik isn't covered yet) is Parent and Child loos.

BuffytheAnyAppleFucker Thu 14-Nov-13 09:14:09

Dad you're not listening. You're not listening to me or to the blogger. You are just dismissing us; clearly you feel you know better. <shrug>

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 13:28:17

Lol that women are choosing to buy the bigger phones. I'll just go and buy an imaginary phone that doesn't exist. That'll show those phone manufacturers!

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 13:34:28

Also the fact that "products for smaller hands do exist" but then you've actually had to go to the trouble of researching them and seeking them out and there are still hardly any compared to the reams of larger ones - er, you do realise being a woman isn't like being left-handed. Half of the population are women. It's not exactly a minority or special interest group.

I do realise that the mouse you are looking for is presumably for a young girl who has smaller hands than an average adult woman, but the point still stands that you are saying "But they exist!" as though this is a consolation, when really all it does is illustrates that, yet again, women are treated as some kind of "special interest" group.

"Bigger" may be "better" but explain to me why the most popular phones aren't just slightly too big for men to use? NOT counting phones which are designed to be oversized like the Galaxy Note.

BuffytheAnyAppleFucker Thu 14-Nov-13 13:51:43

Oh now Berstie, Dad doesn't want this to become a "stupidly inflated issue with men (yet again) at the bottom of it"

BerstieSpotts Thu 14-Nov-13 14:02:06

It's funny, because, you know, I don't recall blaming "men" but "the phone industries". smile

DixonBainbridge Wed 20-Nov-13 08:34:37

With regards to Wheel Nuts - they're all tightened by air powered drivers & a lot of men have trouble undoing them too. Bit if brains are used instead of brawn and people buy one of THESE as mentioned above, the problem goes away.

Power Tools - you can buy a small drill, jackhammer etc, but it'd only be good for minor work. If you want something that can do heavy work, it has to be large because of the size of the motor, weight needed etc. Our corded drill is fantastically heavy & cumbersome, so I've got a cordless for convenience when the power isn't needed.

As for phones - sorry but I'm with the poster above - buy a smaller one if it's too big, or think about how you're using it. There are loads of "normal" sized phones out there, just scroll past the "must have" ones. (it does depend if you're a mobile snob though).

All of these phones are really popular in the Indian and Chinese markets - and the male build/size in these countries is much slighter than the UK average, yet they love them!

As for use - I work with a 5'2" guy who has a Note 2 phone that is nearly as big as his head & he loves it - for what it's designed for. If you want to hold it above your head & take photos/videos either get a smaller phone or even use a compact camera, rather than something that isn't really designed to be used like that.... I've got a smallish phone for phone stuff, a camera for anything nicer than a snap & a tablet for anything else....

Toilets - glad they've finally started dealing with this as Mrs Bainbridge gets quite narked when all 3 of the males in the household have been, washed hands & are drinking 2nd coffee by the time she gets her ablutions completed!

WRT flatpack - Mrs B is Queen here!! Not a swear-word is uttered, things are laid out in the correct order & then calmly fixed together. I'm terrible & even the dog knows to hide when the allen keys come out!

BerstieSpotts Wed 20-Nov-13 15:32:49

I feel like I'm going around in circles here, but:

1. The problem isn't that smaller phones don't exist. They do. The problem is that high end phones are ALL big. I'm not personally interested in a top range phone, but TBH, that's in part due to the size. The problem is that women are faced with the choice "Buy a phone that's too big" or "Don't buy the top range product".

2. The Galaxy Note and Note II are a totally different category of phone which are too big for anybody to use. They are an ALTERNATIVE. Not THE ONLY phone with the specs it has.

3. The Indian and Chinese markets are a minority when compared to the world. Women are not a minority!

BerstieSpotts Wed 20-Nov-13 15:33:04

*to use one-handed.

BasilBabyEater Thu 21-Nov-13 13:45:52

Lawn mowers.

Mowing the lawn the other day, it's A) v. heavy and b) designed for someone with the height and breadth to conveniently put their hands on either side of the handle to easily shift it along. If you are not that height and breadth you cannot shift it easily, it's difficult.

DixonBainbridge Thu 21-Nov-13 15:55:48

Hi Basil, Our current lawnmower & all our previous ones have a handle that can be raised or lowered to accommodate height for the Titchmarsh-esq user, I thought they all did TBH.

A quick search online shows plenty of choice if you don't want a large one - Small Lawn Mowers so is it a case that they're not available or simply that you have the wrong one? One downside I suppose is that they're all labelled "for small gardens" so if you have a big garden it'd take longer, but they're restricted by the size & power of the motor they can fit in I would imagine.

Berstie - It's fashionable to make big phones at the moment rather than any direct attack towards smaller people in general. I remember several friends & myself complaining a couple of years ago when it was fashionable to make small phones & big old male fingers were hitting several keys at once (virtual and physical keys). It never occurred to us to blame it on women though!

I'm sure it'll even up again in the near future as they all decide to show off their miniaturization skills again....

BasilBabyEater Thu 21-Nov-13 18:21:07

My garden's huge. Great for kids playing, but not so good for maintaining.

I wish they'd invent extremely lightweight ones which would actually cut the grass...

ChunkyPickle Thu 21-Nov-13 21:29:48

re phones - they can be big, with huge screens, they just need to adjust things like the onscreen keyboard so it doesn't take up the whole width.

In the pregnancy assessment unit the toilet cubicles all had little bumpers to stop the door banging into the wall - unfortunately that meant the door didn't open wide enough to admit a heavily pregnant woman without a lot of squeezing.

Pregnancy raises loads - peeing into a sample pot with a 2cm neck (machine needed special pots apparently), in a cubicle crowded with toilet roll dispenser and sanitary bin - you're skilled if you manage it without getting pee over yourself and the floor and without bruises from the aforementioned obstacles. I complained every time... goodness knows why such simple things can't be fixed.

jess400 Mon 25-Nov-13 22:52:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

jess400 Mon 25-Nov-13 22:55:06

I feel like I'm going around in circles here, but:

1. The problem isn't that smaller phones don't exist. They do. The problem is that high end phones are ALL big. I'm not personally interested in a top range phone, but TBH, that's in part due to the size. The problem is that women are faced with the choice "Buy a phone that's too big" or "Don't buy the top range product".

iphone's of all marks, galaxys s3 and s4/mini versions, Nokia 520 through to 820. All top end, in some cases flagship phones.

scallopsrgreat Mon 25-Nov-13 22:56:45

As opposed to you just appearing on a random thread to tell us what's wrong with us?

Great use of time. Great purpose.

Blistory Mon 25-Nov-13 22:57:25

That's a helpful contribution, Jess. Thanks for that.

jess400 Mon 25-Nov-13 23:00:50

Lawn mowers.

Mowing the lawn the other day, it's A) v. heavy and b) designed for someone with the height and breadth to conveniently put their hands on either side of the handle to easily shift it along. If you are not that height and breadth you cannot shift it easily, it's difficult. Sigh. Lawnmowers. Buy one that fits your build. Their are many different sizes and garden stores often have them on display for you to try. Or if a man bought your mower, unless they were buying it specifically for you, why should they buy one that's right for you. Bottom line, if its clumsy to use, its your fault.

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