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comment by _refugee_
_refugee_  ·  1851 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How to Design a City for Women

You spend three paragraphs failing at rebutting a discussion of historical influences only to conclude by stating that before the 1900s or so, most cities and city-structures didn't exist and so don't matter.

First, every city of size on the East Coast begs to disagree. Every city of size in Europe (you know - subject of the article) just laughed at you. Second, you rebut my demonstration of a potential historical impact using modern data - that stuff about traveling for chores, etc? That's from the 90s. Applying it retroactively is, well, I don't know - anachronism. Third, I spent a precious load of time looking for sources about women in travel in historical eras (Colonialism, Victorianism, what-have-you) and while I was busy looking for my third I realized shit ain't worth my time.

Moving on, in your response:

Now we have agreed that general city improvements, by illustration of parks, are made not only when money exists for them to occur but also as a result of them being things people in general like. I do not disagree. If a city had the money to build a guillotine attraction in its park, it might opt not to, seeing as the citizens might not enjoy it - or worse, might get full use out of it. Cities don't build any old thing that people want - cities build things that their governance is comfortable with their people having.

Now you are telling me you don't see gender or gender accommodations and don't even really think the ones mentioned in the article are gender accommodations. Then what are we arguing about? You like 'em, I like 'em, we're all happy. The changes were based on polling/survey data. Not arbitrary, lots of facts, just perhaps a more specific look at a target sample that tends to use those areas perhaps more heavily than the population as a whole. In other words, a sub-population that in general is both more interested in the design of these places, and better placed to offer an opinion on their current state (and therefore, potential improvements).

There is a difference between "singled-out" and "forgotten," "not considered," and even "shunned." Example, I watch this great TV show, Better Off Ted. Long story short two guys work for MegaCorp in TV show. One's white one's black. Company, as a cost-savings measure, sets up motion-detecting lights. But wait! They don't detect black people! Not deliberate, black people not deliberately singled out, black people still adversely impacted. NO ONE MEANT IT! Still happened, still now a problem.

Back to you pronouncing that the only stated improvements made to the city that you read in the article benefit everyone. So I repeat, why are we arguing? If the changes made are good, and came about at the suggestion of a body of people which generally uses those areas of the city more, then how are they bad? Because they might change things to work slightly less well for the people who use those areas of the city less?

I feel like half your problems are with the article and half your problems are with this discussion.





bioemerl  ·  1851 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The point is that the design of modern cities is not set up in such a way that ignores or adversely impacts women.

There is nothing about a city that is set up in a way that puts down or puts women/people going out doing chores at a disadvantage. Nothing about public transport is negative for any reason other than costs and usages. These "cities designed for women" seem to be less designed for women and more designed for having better funded and designed things in general.

_refugee_  ·  1851 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sure, I'll grant that no one has consciously designed cities to ignore or adversely impact women.

However conscious choice isn't a requirement in order for potential discrimination to occur.

Since these women were able to suggest improvements to the transportation system it is easy to extrapolate that the transportation system was sub-optimal for their use beforehand. Therefore, one could factually state that, since the system was not optimal, the women were indeed "at a disadvantage" of some sort, although the magnitude of this disadvantage is not determined.

Like I said, I'm sure no one designed a city or any other public space with the intent of leaving out women, repressing women, causing women more discomfort, etc.

Lack of conscious causal behavior does not guarantee a fair impact.

If I gotta break the link down for you: if something you do impacts a group of people in an adverse manner, even if it's not intentional, it's still happening and it's still bad and, depending on the class of persons, can constitute racism, sexism, etc. This is not just my opinion. THIS IS YOUR COURT'S OPINION.

bioemerl  ·  1851 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I am not stating conscious design. I am stating overall design.

All systems can be improved. All regions can use work. The fact that a thing could be improved does not imply that that thing was ignored in the past.

You could use the same logic to say that men are disadvantaged by the fact that traffic exists on the five 0 clock commute. The city just doesn't care enough to put money into fixing the problems!

There is no part of modern city design that is disadvantaging women. You have given no serious examples of such a thing. The story in the OP hardly gives any examples of such a thing.

The only concrete example there is of the park. And even then, the contrast between the two parks sound like an issue of the park previously not being developed or added to, rather than the park being designed initially in a way that benefits men.

ratel  ·  1848 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Skyscrapers are giant penises.

bioemerl  ·  1847 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, if you are so inclined to attempt that...