Home > Gendering Technology, Isn't It Ironic?, Manly Men > “It’s Not A Kitchen Gadget, It’s A Tool!”

“It’s Not A Kitchen Gadget, It’s A Tool!”

Ladies, all these years you’ve been using blenders and understood them as belonging to the category “kitchen gadget”.
But when he uses the manly new stainless steel RPM blender, it’s not a kitchen gadget, it’s a tool!

rpm%20blender.jpg

Or so the manly man on HGTV’s “I Want That! Kitchens” informed viewers this afternoon.
It was a beautiful spot on the show. We saw the happy nuclear family at home, mom reading to the kids, and dad – dad practiced a few karate kicks for the camera. That helped establish his manliness for us, prior to us seeing him in the kitchen using that gadget – I mean, the new RPM blender tool.
The RPM Blender, we should note, comes not with a silly scale that reads “chop – whip – blend – puree”. That’s what you’d find on a girly-girl kitchen gadget blender. No, the manly man RPM blender tool comes with a tachometer! That’s part of how you know it’s a tool, and not a gadget. Also, its squarish, chunky base and the toggle switch help mark this tool as Safe For Men To Use – Will Not Cause Shrinkage.
It is touching indeed to see HGTV doing their part regender the kitchen. And nice to know that after it gets gussied up for the boys, the stuff that’s been marketed to women for years as gadgetry can now be classified as technology.
To sum up: Gadgets are for girls. Real MenTM use tools.

  1. Helen
    November 5, 2007 at 8:43 am

    “So the generally desirable outcome is for all participants to be able to participate using their own perspective, not just that one imposed by the majority.”
    In which case, reinforcing majority-imposed, artificially-created gender norms does the opposite of the desirable outcome.

  2. November 5, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Good question, PhysioProf. We should make some up and see who turns up to champion their cause.

  3. Calli Arcale
    November 9, 2007 at 11:22 am

    I have to admit that there is something strangely disquieting about this sort of marketing — on several levels. Part of it is the idea that blenders just weren’t adequately manly before, and part of it is the idea of making basic household appliances gender-appropriate. What, so it should appeal to only half of the household? That’s silly. (Good for sales, though, I suppose.) I get equally annoyed at the pervasive ads highlighting why women should like particular vacuum cleaners. It’s the same problem, but on the opposite side. As Zuska so eloquently said before, these tools should be equally appropriate for *both* genders, since both genders can reasonably be expected to use them. There’s also, of course, my general annoyance at marketdroid behavior; a perfectly good appliance has been redesigned purely to delude people into thinking that it’s new! Improved! And they must have it! But I’ll just have to learn to live with that particular problem. 😉
    There was an episode of “The Red Green Show” that addressed this “appliance versus tool” thing. Dalton Humphrey was addressing a meeting of “Men Anonymous” and talking about how he’d learned to use the washer and dryer. They weren’t so scary once he realized that he could think of them as his power tools! He called the dryer his “heat turbine”. Can’t remember what he called the washer. “Stand back, kids, dad’s using the heat turbine!” 😛

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