What’s something that was designed for the use of one sex but is now predominantly used by the other?

As a sociologist of gender, I was really fascinated by the following thread. User hodgepodge282 on r/AskReddit asked the important question, “What’s something that was designed for the use of one sex but is now predominantly used by the other?” There are a couple of ones that people may already be familiar with like general clothing items (leggings, skirts, makeup, wigs, etc.). Still, here’s some of the top posts:

Old Spice.

Old Spice was launched by Shulton Inc. in 1937. William Lightfoot Schultz was inspired by his mother’s potpourri and as a result, the first Old Spice product in 1937 was a woman’s scent called Early American Old Spice. The product was received well, and therefore followed with Old Spice for men in 1938.



I remember reading somewhere that Kleenex was made for ladies to remove their makeup, but their husbands were blowing their noses in them. And now we all blow our noses in them.



Filtered cigarettes in general, but Marlboro made the biggest leap in terms of gendered marketing. Once that whole conspiracy theory came out that like cigarettes are idk bad for you or something and more people switched to filtered cigarettes (it’s filtered, that means it’s good for you!) was around the time the the salt of the earth classic American Marlboro Man came into existence, trying to distance the brand from its previously woman focused advertisements.


And, in reply to the above comment:

Marlboro “Reds” referenced the color of the filter, which was red so that it wouldn’t show lipstick. Kinda funny that reds are considered manly now, and women are more likely to smoke the lights which have white filters.


Leg stirrups.

Those leg stirrups they use at the gynecologist were invented for removing bladder stones in men. They used to cut from below the testicles and cut right through the prostate. It had a very low survival rate and was not approved by the medical profession. The original Hippocratic oath had a section on “not cutting for stone” meaning they swore not to surgically remove the stones because of it. They later removed that section of the oath, otherwise a bunch of urologists would be out of a job.


Victoria’s Secret.

Victoria’s Secret was originally supposed to be a place for men to buy lingerie for their wives and not feel embarrassed, but now it’s almost exclusively shopped at by women



Cigarettes. They were designed for women, to be a more feminine version of a cigar.


You can read the full thread by going to https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/i7ulmb/whats_something_that_was_designed_for_the_use_of/ (or just click here).

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