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Friday, June 03, 2005

The iron is king

Was I the only one to find this article in today's Western Mail disturbing? It seems that the world of ironing is to be given a new masculine identity in response to growing demand from male customers.

Terms such as "Turbo Pro Express Steam Generator", "Power Steam" and "Ultimate Control" are used to describe irons costing up to £229 in the current Argos catalogue. The new edition, published next month, will contain even more of these "male" phrases although traditional descriptions aimed primarily to appeal to women such as "quick", "convenient" and "easy iron" will still feature.

According to Argos' "iron buyer", Eddie Kemp, "Women want to get rid of creases while men want to destroy them. "Men see the iron as a power tool and so demand features which emphasise power, control and force. Women, on the other hand, just want to have crinkle-free clothes."

I don't think we even want to get into 'extreme ironing', in which people tackle creased clothes whilst perched on top of a cliff or in some other perilous situation. I mean it is a chore, right? Something we all have to do. What is the big deal?

Perhaps we will have product placement next. When was the last time anybody saw Clint Eastwood wielding a Murphy Richards Turbo Pro Express Steam Generator whilst squaring up to Lee Van Cleef?
Hmm... rebranding an Iron as power tool seems about as sexist as a mobile phone that includes a diet calculator, and menstrual cycle monitor- and surely they wouldn't dare bring out a gadet like that would they?
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