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Thread: Sexism

  1. #1096
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    When people say there's no point to feminism, there's no sexism, blah blah blah, there are actual provable, unnecessary hurdles to being a woman. Insidious policies and best practices that endanger us or lower quality of things.

    The deadly truth about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes

    When broadcaster Sandi Toksvig was studying anthropology at university, one of her female professors held up a photograph of an antler bone with 28 markings on it. “This,” said the professor, “is alleged to be man’s first attempt at a calendar.” Toksvig and her fellow students looked at the bone in admiration. “Tell me,” the professor continued, “what man needs to know when 28 days have passed? I suspect that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.”

    ...

    For most of human history, though, that perspective has not been recorded. Going back to the theory of Man the Hunter, the lives of men have been taken to represent those of humans overall. When it comes to the other half of humanity, there is often nothing but silence. And these silences are everywhere. Films, news, literature, science, city planning, economics, the stories we tell ourselves about our past, present and future, are all marked – disfigured – by a female-shaped “absent presence”. This is the gender data gap.

    These silences, these gaps, have consequences. They impact on women’s lives, every day. The impact can be relatively minor – struggling to reach a top shelf set at a male height norm, for example. Irritating, certainly. But not life-threatening. Not like crashing in a car whose safety tests don’t account for women’s measurements. Not like dying from a stab wound because your police body armour doesn’t fit you properly. For these women, the consequences of living in a world built around male data can be deadly.

    ...

    On the face of it, it may seem fair and equitable to accord male and female public toilets the same amount of space – and historically, this is the way it has been done: 50/50 division of floor space has even been formalised in plumbing codes. However, if a male toilet has both cubicles and urinals, the number of people who can relieve themselves at once is far higher per square foot of floor space in the male bathroom than in the female bathroom. Suddenly equal floor space isn’t so equal.

    But even if male and female toilets had an equal number of stalls, the issue wouldn’t be resolved, because women take up to 2.3 times as long as men to use the toilet. Women make up the majority of the elderly and disabled, two groups that will tend to need more time in the toilet. Women are also more likely to be accompanied by children, as well as disabled and older people. Then there’s the 20–25% of women of childbearing age who may be on their period at any one time, and therefore need to change a tampon or a sanitary pad.

    Women may also require more trips to the bathroom: pregnancy significantly reduces bladder capacity, and women are eight times more likely to suffer from urinary-tract infections. In the face of all these anatomical differences, it would surely take a formal equality dogmatist to continue to argue that equal floor space between men and women is fair.

    ...


    There is plenty of data showing that women have, on average, smaller hands, and yet we continue to design equipment around the average male hand as if one-size-fits-men is the same as one-size-fits-all.

    The average smartphone size is now 5.5 inches. While the average man can fairly comfortably use his device one-handed, the average woman’s hand is not much bigger than the handset itself. This is obviously annoying – and foolish for a company like Apple, given that research shows women are more likely to own an iPhone than men.

    ...

    Voice recognition could be one solution to a smartphone that doesn’t fit your hands, but voice-recognition software is often hopelessly male-biased. In 2016, Rachael Tatman, a research fellow in linguistics at the University of Washington, found that Google’s speech-recognition software was 70% more likely to accurately recognise male speech.

    ...

    Men are more likely than women to be involved in a car crash, which means they dominate the numbers of those seriously injured in them. But when a woman is involved in a car crash, she is 47% more likely to be seriously injured, and 71% more likely to be moderately injured, even when researchers control for factors such as height, weight, seatbelt usage, and crash intensity. She is also 17% more likely to die. And it’s all to do with how the car is designed – and for whom.
    It might be outdated now, but in the early 90s there was a book called The Mismeasure of Women that went into detail about these kinds of things. And I get that there can't be a one-size thing for every human that ever existed, but we women are half the population. If we made things to fit average women and told men tough shit, there'd be riots on the street. That we're met with shrugs when we say that the status quo is unfair shows clearly how sexism is a daily occurrence.

  2. #1097
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    Oh and I forgot to add this fucking bullshit



    I don't just get a tummy ache and act like a baby. I have a crippling condition that renders me incapable of caring for myself for hours on end. It has affected my personal and professional life and my schooling. And if you think it's ok for me to be in debilitating pain for hours every month, you're a sociopath.

    Plus let's not forget for those in the US, birth control pills were often, if not almost always, excluded from health care plans while viagra was given out like Tic Tacs.

  3. #1098
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    I went years with an undiagnosed condition because no one took my pain seriously. Major, semi-emergency, disruptive surgery which removed some of my important pieces was needed by the time someone FINALLY believed me. And I wasn't thousands of miles away from home. One almost wonders if terrible medical care for enlisted women isn't more like a feature instead of a bug. We hear stuff like this so we won't join up and then they don't have to worry fixing their problems, like massive rape of female soldiers/sailors. (See the AZ Senator's stories this week)


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