Some people send me a ton of forwards, and for over a year I’ve been letting them accumulate in a folder in my email. Over the last month I’ve been going through them; I’m down from about 800 to 150. If I read one that’s really funny, I pass it on to a few select people. If I see something really stupid, I usually delete it without a thought. But every now and then I come across one that is in really bad taste, making me wonder why it was sent to me. Here is an email I just encountered which falls into the latter category:
A New Mouse for Women
Some women reported that their mouse ‘just didn’t feel right’ in their hands. Based on the research,a new mouse has been designed especially for women.
Various field tests have been carried out on the new design:
Julie from Hounslow said:-
‘It feels so much better. More comfortable, more like how it’s supposed to be’
‘I think mice were originally designed just for men, but this new type is definitely made for women. It fits right in with my lifestyle’
Hillary from Kent :said –
‘I took to it like a duck to water, every woman should have one’!
Sally From London Said –
“It feels so natural”
Now I know it’s supposed to be something stupid that you read quickly and then ignore, but I don’t want to let this one go. This email is problematic because it is perpetuating stereotypes about women. It’s women who are supposedly having this “psychological problem.” Yet I know of some guys who are more apt to iron something than I am. Why should they be excluded from this mouse which is supposedly just for women? And why should this mouse be designed especially for me because I am a woman, even though I do not iron clothes? I think I’ll stick to a normal mouse, thank you!
Here is an example of another mouse I found. You can bet money that this one wasn’t designed with women in mind:
There is nothing “natural” about the feeling of an iron in your hand, be you male or female. But by saying it is natural for women to be using an iron is perpetuating stereotypes about women being the ones to take care of the domestic work in a house. But really, why should I complain? Women can have their iron-shaped mice, and guys can have their sports-car shaped mice, right? This is another good example of just how robust patriarchy is. Both of these mice are stereotyping people, women as domestics and men as car guys. There is nothing wrong with a woman liking cars and a man liking ironing.
We need to be aware of such stereotypes and try to keep them from spreading.