Friday, September 17, 2010

Glass Staircases and Dangling Men

There's an interesting post by Joanne McNeil on the Tomorrow Museum blog, suggesting that a lot of stuff that looks like sexism could simply be an example of good old-fashioned stupidity. Some of her examples:

“This journalist has read so few books, he listed the top 25 novels of the decade and there are no women on it.” ...  
 “This conference organizer is so stupid, he couldn’t find a woman to speak for any of the seven days of panels.” ...

“The CEO is such an airhead, he held the office holiday party at a strip club.”

As her triumphant final example, she cites the glass staircases in the Apple stores. "A unique and eye-catching feature of Apple's high-profile stores," notes ifoAppleStore.com, the staircases "are engineering and architectural marvels, and made possibly by recent advances in glass technology that allows its use in more demanding applications."

There's just one little problem with these postmodern wonders: If a women walks up one of them wearing a skirt, people can, like, totally see her underpants. McNeil again:

Now, if I were commissioning the interior of any kind of store and someone brought me blueprints including glass staircases, I’d tell him to take a hike. I wouldn't give him a second shot. If he’s not intuitive enough to grasp that women in skirts will be uncomfortable walking upstairs, clouded glass or not, then what other errors has he made in his design?

But it turns out that she's overlooked something as well -- the men. Specifically, the men in kilts.

Just imagine. You show up at the opening of a new Apple store, dressed festively in a nice demure kilt and matching tam o'shanter, happily playing a lively tune on your bagpipe, and then you see it: THE DREADED GLASS STAIRS!

You freeze. If you walk up said stairs, everyone will be able to see your hairy, dangling balls! That's a problem.

Oh, wait, did I say problem? I meant, opportunity.

Glass staircase FTW!

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