ICYMI, it rained heaps in Sydney overnight.
Which means it's time for supermarkets to dust off the umbrella stands and make big $$$ with some good old fashioned ~gendered marketing.~
BuzzFeed News popped down to our local Woolies and there were so many umbrellas to choose from! (Also, Grain Waves on special. Get on it.)
The umbrella stand even came with a helpful guide so I wouldn't accidentally pick up the incorrect umbrella and get soaked when it refused to open in my calloused, masculine hands.
We picked up four different umbrellas designed for men, women and, crazily, both genders. (How would that even work?)
So we tried out the men's umbrella. Here's Brad (male), finding it as easy as all get out.
Alex, (female) on the other hand...
Her tiny lady brain just could not comprehend this man's umbrella.
Until a man came to help her.
Next we tried the women's umbrella and Alex ~nailed~ it. (It also matches her shirt which is such a lady thing to do)
But so did Brad, because unnecessarily gendered products are a one-way street.
Next we tried the unisex option and it's like Brad has opened an umbrella before. Look at him go!
Alex was also able to open the umbrella.
We asked each umbrella owner to detail their experience.
Brad: At first I figured this would be a regular exercise. Rob approached me and told me there were some umbrellas that needed opening. Not to boast, but I consider myself quite the umbrella expert. I border on being something of an umbrella flaneur at times. I was handed the first umbrella and immediately recognised its masculine traits. A hard, hooked handle - perfect for my manly hands, and a colour scheme which can only be described as "black." This umbrella was easy to open, and use, so much so that I gave it a good couple of swings to check its dexterity. It all seemed A-OK and masculine.
The second umbrella handed to me was beyond jarring. How would I, a man, open an umbrella so obviously designed for a woman? It was small and dotted, with a handle that drowned in the enormity of my palm. I struggled and stretched to open it, and when I finally did it didn't open all the way. Understandable given its design.
The third umbrella was probably the best. I unsheathed it, as one does, and knew it would be paramount to open quickly and in a crisp manner, engaging my masculine muscles and pushing the umbrella's canopy up and locking it into place. The umbrella was red. A rich red. A fine red. A red that summoned the aura of dominance. The aura of a man who had been places. And I have, and I will continue to - with this umbrella or not.
Alex: Too often have I been caught out in the rain, forced to use my handbag over my head (to protect my hair) because I didn't have a gender-specific umbrella. The black mens umbrella was SO HEAVY and BIG. Had I not been indoors I fear a gust of wind would have lifted my fragile body into the air and blown me away.
The ladies umbrella was polka dotted and perfectly matched my blouse, and the soft-grip handle meant that my manicured soft hands did not have to struggle with a cold, manly hook handle. Plus, closed and sheathed, it kind of looked like a purple dildo!
The unisex umbrella was fine.
The lesson, dear reader, is that when purchasing an umbrella, always remember the patriarchy.
Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Rob Stott at email@example.com.
Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Alex Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at email@example.com.
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