This week, The Washington Post spent two days, three articles and over 1,500 words (some of which manages to quote itself) explaining that air conditioning is sexist because sometimes, in the summer, women think offices are too cold while men do not.
“Air conditioning is another big, sexist plot,” revealed WaPo local writer Petula Dvorak in a Thursday column.
Then, on Friday, Dvorak claimed one man wants to hold menopausal women responsible for cold offices but he is wrong, see, because the real problem is men who dress in suits.
“Every single woman I talked to in downtown Washington on a hot, humid July afternoon was thawing out,” Dvorak initially explained after her investigation into sexist air conditioning which involved speaking randomly to some people at lunch.
For example, 64-year-old Ruth Marshall’s hand “felt like a cold steak” as she sat on a park bench outside her office recuperating from a hyperborean office climate. Marshall blamed “testosterone-toting people” for the frosty office air.
However, a “guy in a navy suit eating a taco” said he felt his office temperature was reasonable.
Dvorak then did what any columnist for the Post would do, she contacted Emily’s List — a group dedicated to expanding abortion rights.
The abortion advocates at Emily’s List told Dvorak their office is too cold and they are unable to control the thermostat in their offices.
Then, on Friday, Dvorak doubled down, calling air conditioning “the Manspreading of Summer ’15.”
She wrote that she had received plenty of correspondence from readers on the subject. One male reader, for example, blamed “fat, menopausal women” for cold offices (and hospitals).
“I’m not buying the idea that it’s menopausal tyrants seizing control of thermostats, especially not in corporate settings,” the WaPo journalist contended. “It think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that men control the temperature around them to keep them comfortable in the business attire they feel bound to wear.”
After bleating about how women were once expected to wear attire that was as conservative as the clothes men in office settings must still wear, Dvorak asserted that women in offices are now free from “many of society’s sartorial expectations.”
The answer is shorts, Dvorak has argued.
In both of her columns, she suggested that men should wear short sleeves and “adorable” suits featuring shorts because “we’d all love to see your knees, guys.”
In a related Washington Post story with a poll (and with several recycled paragraphs), over 70 percent of self-selected readers say their offices are too cold.
Dvorak describes herself as someone who writes about “homeless shelters, gun control, high heels, high school choirs, the politics of parenting, jails, abortion clinics, mayors, modern families, strip clubs and gas prices.”
Follow Eric on Twitter. Like Eric on Facebook. Send story tips to email@example.com.