Ah, my friend Nate.
We hung out at the Eagle Hotel last night while the rest of the kids crowded Arooga’s. Wasn’t our first pick, but there was no 45 minute wait. We sat and caught up. We’re both finishing up our respective degrees and are quite busy. The wings were good, the conversation was good, we were having a great time.
And then Nate asked me an odd question… “What do you think about my watch?”
I hadn’t even noticed Nate was wearing a watch. I don’t know that I’d ever noticed whether Nate was or wasn’t wearing a watch. When I see a friend, the wrist is not usually where I look first. But there on his wrist was a watch obviously made for a woman. It was a sport watch, but it definitely had the characteristics of being made for a woman… thin strap, small face.
I looked at him, “That’s a woman’s watch.”
“Wait, you can tell?”
“Nate, why are you wearing a woman’s watch?”
“What do you think of it?”
Nate went on, justification in his voice, “Well, ok, so, how can you tell it’s a woman’s watch? I mean, look at it, it tells time, it functons just like a men’s watch. Besides, who says that machines have gender? Why can’t this be a man’s watch?”
“Nate, I getcha. The first clue is the size of the strap. There are pink Nokias, and black Nokias. I’m not going to carry a pink Nokia because it obviously was made for a woman, and I don;t thinkI could carry it. So, I had the black Nokia.”
“See,” Nate said, “you moved to color. How does that even relate to a thin band? It makes no sense.”
“But it does. Pink, strap size, material… it’s all about the design. Some things are made, designed specifically for women… like a smaller strap because typically women have slighter, thinner wrists.”
“But it’s adjustable!”
Where did he get this watch? He found it on the stoop outside of his apartment. Seeing the watch, it didn’t cross his mind what gender this watch was made to accessorize… it was a working watch. Nor did he think that he may just be wearing the remnants of a mugging.
Ah, Nate. He wants everything to be efficient. He even has an equation to find the perfect bed:
Bed efficiency= body area/ bed area
He is a smaller guy, and so he wants a smaller bed, like a twin. He’s not sharing his bed with anyone, so why get a bed that would have so much empty space?
The thought behind him wearing the woman’s watch is that it’s more efficient… it’s lighter, and it doesn’t take up as much space. And, though everyone has noticed it, and has noticed that it is indeed a woman’s watch, he finds nothing wrong with it. It works just like a watch should (though he can’t figure out why there are three alarm functions. He figures it’s for eyes, hair, and makeup). Even him getting the watch displays his efficiency…
So, do machines, devices necessarily belong to the gender they were designed for? Can a man wear a watch designed for a woman? Can a woman wear a man’s watch?
(I’d asked about clothing, but I don’t want to offend those guys I do know who wear women’s jeans. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.)