Is Office Air-Conditioning Sexist?
The debate the Internet can’t stop talking about
Well, this is somewhat of a mind-blower. A recent study found that office-building thermostats are set to an outdated and potentially sexist formula that favors the metabolic rates of men.
The Dutch scientists (who, yes, are men) claim that most buildings keep temperatures around 70 degrees--thanks to a “thermal comfort model that was developed in the 1960s.” The equation is based on the average metabolic rate of a 40-year-old man weighing about 154 pounds, which (you got it) describes the leaders of the workplace in the ’60s.
And the Internet is pissed. Here’s what everyone is saying:
Some women finally understand why they’re wearing blankets in July. The New York Times chronicled young women wearing Snuggies in a boardroom and making Game of Thrones office jokes on Twitter.
But some people think it has more to do with wardrobe bias. Men are crying foul that women are allowed to wear skirts and sleeveless tops, while they’re still bound by suits or long pants. A Washington Post columnist went on CNN to urge a shift in male fashion in the interest of climate change. (The study also encourages thermostat and fashion changes to lessen the impact on the environment.)
And some are skeptical because of America’s rising weights. New York magazine argues that these findings aren’t accounting for the ever-increasing sizes of people in general. The average weight of a woman now is 166 pounds (which is actually higher than the average weight of a man in the 1960s).
So, is it about men versus women or large versus small? We say neither. Shouldn’t it just be about people versus people? Some humans naturally run hot (this active, healthy 30-something PureWow writer included) and some run cold, regardless of gender or size. But somehow that point hasn’t been discussed much….