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Thread On How Our World Was Not Built For Women Proves We Need More Inclusivity In Our Engineers, Scientists And Testers

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Indian parents and grandparents love to plaster that “Yeh toh duniya ka dastur hai, beti!” dialogue on us women. Whether it is over girls having to change everything their homes and last names and signatures and a million documents after marriage. Or conforming to gender norms like unequal pay, curfew, and non-pleasurable sex. But what if I told you that the world was just rigged in a way that was beneficial to men and not women? Not just societal customs, but also actual physical contraptions that we’ve been using for years are made keeping men’s bodies, comfort and pleasure in mind. At least that’s what this one Twitter user’s thread points out—our world was not built for women. Would it hurt for it to be more inclusive of, like, half of its population?

Twitter user @kbarley66 wrote a 20-tweet thread (ballpark) explaining how various things, from cars and mobile phones to voice recognition in AI and drug dosages are all designed keeping men and their needs and behaviours in mind. And what she says, makes sense! In fact, it actually makes you think if the reason women are said to be not as good at certain things as men is because the game’s rigged against us!

Take, for example, driving cars!

Not that PPE kits aren’t already a hassle for female doctors and medical professionals, especially during periods. But turns out, they aren’t even built keeping women’s body sizes in mind.

Smartphones not being built for women might have more to do with the fascination for a bigger screen size than gender. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that they are often too big for the average woman’s hands, and of course, our jeans pockets also! Which reminds me, pockets are not made for women either! But also, military equipment.

The COVID-19 vaccines are going to have some precedented and some unprecedented effects on people’s healths. But women, with our hormonal complications, we cannot fathom how it will impact something like fertility.

Seriously, though. Why do men’s loos need the same amount of space as women when they women spend more time inside and therefore, we’d need more stalls? Most bathrooms forget to provide hooks or shelves to place women’s handbags when it is evident that women usually have something or the other, even a small wallet or their phones, with them. Plus, we don’t have pockets to shove it all in. Can you imagine the discomfort of having to change your pad or tampon in a cramped up bathroom that has no place to keep your stuff?

Artificial intelligence is supposed to be neutral, right? But no! There’s gender bias there too, apparently! Hey Siri, tell me why?

Also Read: Twitter User Points Out How ‘Women Mature Faster’ Is Used To Excuse Problematic Behaviour In Men. Twitter Concurs.

Whether it is walking on glass floors or training for CPR, it’s a man’s world and we’re just gliding on it, hoping it works!

This particular one is something a lot of working women will feel vindicated about! We’re always made to feel like we’re being overdramatic about the air-conditioner’s temperature in the office! But no sir, that thermostat is meant to serve you, and it is indeed the Tundra for us in there!

What @kbarley66’s also mentions at the end of her thread is why all the above things indicate that we need more inclusivity in our teams of designers, engineers, scientists, and testers so that we can conduct a more expansive research that incorporates women’s bodies, needs and comfort too, as well as anticipate any issues that might arise from their lifestyle. They also pointed out that the same lack of inclusivity applies to other differential factors, such as race. And the solution to that, my friend, is also more inclusivity!

The thread garnered a lot of attention on Twitter, with some agreeing and some pointing out some errors in judgement in the OP’s (Original Poster) musings. However, the fact that the thread got everyone to examine their world in a new light, and really look at how everything is optimised for one half of the population, thereby negating the needs of the other half, is really crucial. Is this out of laziness to really put in the hard work? Is it because of gender bias? I’d like to think both.

Someone pointed out to the OP that what she was talking about has actually been written into a book called ‘Invisible Women: Data Bias In A World Designed For Men‘ by Caroline Criado Pérez.

Personally, I see a lot of that in very tiny, inconsequential things in my routine life. We don’t give this much thought but when something like this comes up, you can’t help but think about it. For example, I am a huge pop-culture nerd who loves fan merchandise. As a journalist, I get lots of fan merch too, most of which includes t-shirts. And almost always, they never account for the fact that women have breasts of varying sizes. Most pop culture merchandise clothing items are tailored to men’s bodies, and it is lowkey disappointing that there’s no inclusivity for women’s sizes.

So yes to this Twitter thread opening our minds. And yes to having more inclusivity in our thoughts, practices and designs!

Study Shows That Women Are Judged On More Dimensions In A Job Interview As Compared To Men. Even The Selection Criteria Is Biased Against Women

 

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