Designing "technology for women": a flowchart


The one (nontrivial; but comparatively easy to confine) exception that I can think of is device size.

At least when I was in college (definitely the best sample of people-carrying-the-laptops-they-chose, compared to either highschool, where people couldn’t afford them, or work, where you get what we issue you) women seemed overwhelmingly to prefer ~12-13 inch laptops, while men went with 13-14 (and geeks and people whose laptops never left their desks went for 15 and up). Given the modest sexual dimorphism in humans, the proportional willingness to put up with laptop bulk was pretty similar; but the absolute willingness was not. I’d imagine that finger length/hand size and cellphone screens would fit here as well.


This is a tricky one. Look at bikes. Boys’ bikes and girls’ bikes are differentiated mostly by the testicle-damaging top tube, which is lowered to allow girls to fit their skirt in front of the seat. Boys seem to really really want that tube up high, because riding a bike designed for girls marks a boy as a sissy. Yet the boys would be in less pain if they rode girls’ bikes.

I have no idea what it means.


I’d like to point out she’s taking umbrage with sexism from the United Arab Emirates, as if she expected otherwise. Oiligarchies aren’t real big on the whole “human rights” thing, so basic social expectations we have aren’t to be expected there.

I think the justification is that when you move the bar down you weaken the bike frame, and boys are expected to be harder on their bikes than girls. It’s still pretty archaic though, and it only makes sense if the bike also has a basket out back to prevent said long skirt from getting caught in the wheel.

Wasn’t the tube originally put there to give the frame more strength?

The comments on the article really aren’t making me think any higher of Arsians.

Not a direct quote but, plenty of


Persons really do enjoy missing any point while rushing out to defend their well-kept roles and try to pretend that evo-psych isn’t a huge heap of steaming excrement.

Of course some women enjoy pink and “traditionally girly” things. What’s stupid is releasing a separate line of product with gendered color schemes. Just release the same product in multiple colors, you don’t need to pretend that it’s a “computer for women” because it’s fucking pink.

Not entirely similar, but the concept is applied to men as well-

Obligatory Petticoat 5 link.


At least in adult bikes, the choice of step-through (“girls”) or diamond (“boys”) frame is becoming more a matter of taste than gender. A diamond frame makes a better bike, technically speaking; the shape is inherently stronger, so it requires less reinforcement, so it’s lighter and goes faster. Of course, the difference is fairly small, so more commuters are choosing the step-through frame for convenience and safety (if the bike falls over, it’s much easier to just hop off it instead of getting bruised or pinned by the top tube).




There is one occasion I will be caught dead wearing nail polish. And that will be if I end up having an open casket funeral against my wishes.

The problem with this flowchart is when you have a perfectly fine product that’s maybe a little overcomplicated or a touch ugly/functional. Your marketing research shows that it’s predominantly bought by men, and you think it should appeal to both sexes equally.

At this point you’re hosed. Anything you do will be labeled as sexist by this chart.


I’ll just leave this here.

(It seems a lot of “pink version of normal thing” stuff is supposedly to benefit breast cancer research, but there’s plenty that’s just because “girls like pink, right?”)


I wonder if that’s due to size, or weight. Laptops are generally carried in such a way that shoulders and arms bear the load.

About 35 years ago, I got an external frame hiking backpack which was specifically designed for women. It was green and blue, not pink. The difference was, it was designed to put more of the weight on the hips (this was back before hip belts were standard) rather than the shoulders. Now THAT was a well-designed product for women!


I don’t at all understand what you’re trying to demonstrate here. If it’s that nailpolish doesn’t fit in with your concept of machismo and strict gender roles, that ad campaign was strongly attempting to appeal to your demographic.

That pink camo print on the guns is great… in case the shooter finds himself in a big vat of uncooked, mechanically-separated chicken meat.


Let’s open a can of worms here. GoldieBlox is a dumbed-down, prettified “engineering” toy that’s about 0.00000001% as interesting for any kid as a old bin of Legos or an Erector set. To someone who’s got a little girl who loves building stuff, it’s insulting.


The worst thing about the Komen pinkwashing is that money donated is used to lobby against any public funding for womens’ health care and to sue other charities. I wish my marathon-running friends cared to learn more about what they support.


I don’t have kids so I don’t shop around much, but is there an alternative that’s useful for making rube goldberg-ish machines?

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It doesn’t have to be “strict gender roles”. I am not a musician, actor, or someone generally concerned with being seen in the public eye at that level of scrutiny. But there is still absolutely nothing that would ever make me wear nail polish, because I will never want or need it. I, personally, do not want it. I am not making a statement For The Oppression. I am making a statement for me, on the internet, the point of which is that it was as stupid as the Bic Pens for Her. Women don’t need “special” pens, and I don’t need nail polish. There is zero market for what they are selling. Does this make sense? I wrote it in a hurry since I’m on my way out the door.

If you could use it to make Goldberg contraptions, it’d be a cool product!

Have you looked at it? It’s a half-dozen spools, a board, and a ribbon, basically. And a storybook to tell you what to do. And little plastic animals you can make spin around. It’s also made like crap, which would be a bigger deal if anyone in the house cared to play with it for more than ten minutes.