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Gender bias in IKEA instructions?

gubydal

TRIBE Member
I knew it! :D

Gender bias in IKEA instructions?

Norway's prime minister says company should alter brochures that show only men assembling furniture.
March 10, 2005: 6:51 AM EST
http://money.cnn.com/2005/03/10/news/international/ikea.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes


OSLO, Norway (Reuters) - Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA is guilty of sex discrimination by showing only men putting together furniture in its instruction manuals, Norway's prime minister says.



IKEA, which has more than 200 stores in 32 nations, fears it might offend Muslims by depicting women assembling everything from cupboards to beds. Its manuals show only men or cartoon figures whose sex is unclear.


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"This isn't good enough," Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik was quoted Thursday as telling the daily Verdens Gang. "It's important to promote attitudes for sexual equality, not least in Muslim nations."



"They should change this," he said. "There's no justification for it."



IKEA stores are visited by 365 million people a year around the world. Many products have to be assembled by the buyer -- the "flat pack" concept saves the company huge amounts in transport, storage and sales space.



Bondevik added: "I myself have great problems with screwing together such furniture."



Verdens Gang quoted an IKEA spokeswoman as saying: "We have to take account of cultural factors. In Muslim countries it's problematic to use women in instruction manuals."



IKEA was not immediately available for comment
 
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Boo

TRIBE Member
So this is what people do when they have too much time on their hands.

This reminds me of University in Canada that had to spend thousands of dollars on a transgender bathroom, cause one student didn't want to use the mens or the womens...
 
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peko

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by gubydal
...."This isn't good enough," Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik was quoted Thursday as telling the daily Verdens Gang. "It's important to promote attitudes for sexual equality, not least in Muslim nations." ....."They should change this," he said. "There's no justification for it."

This gave me flashbacks to a major jeep-driving-tool our house took in one year. Ugh!! I walked my house to find the jeep-driving-fratboy sitting on the couch drinking beer with his dad - while his mom waves from his room putting his bed frame together with real tools.
..... this family's normal way of doing things - eek!

Bondevik added: "I myself have great problems with screwing together such furniture."[/B]
The best line!! IKEA should hire Bondevik as IKEA face and voice.

A professional man struggling with the allan key, measuring closets and cabinets to better organize and maximize storage space.

That's too bad - cause I have seen some IKEA print ads with same-sex couples, but maybe I was wrong.
 
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deevah

TRIBE Member
why do so many ppl have probs putting together ikea stuff? i only look @ the instructions to see which screws i'm suppose to use and it's pretty self explanatory...wall units, loftbeds, shelves, desks, done it all no sweat
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
true - it's a depiction of reality. I'm the IKEA assembler in my house. Not that my wife can't do it, just that it's my role.
 
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Yourmamas

TRIBE Member
I could easily build furniture from scratch, with a band saw, and a table saw.

That said, I sure can't build anything from those "instructions"
 

marcinm

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Yourmamas
I could easily build furniture from scratch, with a band saw, and a table saw.

That said, I sure can't build anything from those "instructions"

You probably thought that you have to go and dress up like a man to assemble the stuff, I can see how that would be confusing :p
 

Krzysiu

TRIBE Member
mmmmmmm... ligninberries and meatballs.

I hear tall, lanky swedish guys are hot.

and not always blonde. ;)
 

Sunshyne Jones

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by acheron
true - it's a depiction of reality. I'm the IKEA assembler in my house. Not that my wife can't do it, just that it's my role.

hmph.
not that i think the stoopid brochures need to be changed, and not that i'm the least bit offended by ikea's "gender biased" instructions or even plan to give it another thought ...

but i had to say
hmph to this post.

it's a depiction of your reality maybe. i've always been the token assembler / handy person - including ikea assember - in my environment. that includes in my family ... my dad used to ALWAYS get me to put stuff together 'cause i like it and i'm good at it ... in past living situations with roommates of both genders ... and to some degree in my current relationship - though now it's more shared than one sided as he is handy also.

anyway, it may be your role in your reality, but it's not necessarily like that in all households.

still - i don't care if there are men or women or bunny rabbits on the ikea assembly instruction brochures nor do i think it's necessary for this to be on the PM's agenda. i guess it could be looked at as an example of how insidious gender bias is, but i would never make a deal over it - there are other things to go after and get changed before this.
 
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peko

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by marcinm
not news for me.. everyone knows that women can't assemble IKEA stuff to save their lives :p

You obviously didn't read my first hand account of WASPy Canadian men sitting on the couch 'Al Bundy style' (one hand in their pants and a beer in the other), watching a woman singlehandedly put the useless son's bedroom furniture together.

Women just do it and not make a big deal about it.
 
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