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Saturday January 16, 1999
SOMEBODY has just invented three-legged pantyhose.
No, not for three-legged women and not (you rude people) for men.
This is an idea that only a woman could come up with.
If you get a run in your stocking in the middle of the work day, all you need do is switch legs. The `spare' is folded neatly and flatly into the top.
It's brilliant. And it's about time.
Imagine how different the world would be if more things were invented for women by women.
For one thing, there would be a lot more female toilets in public places.
The boneheaded (male) engineers who think it's fine to erect equal numbers of male and female loos have never seen the queue outside the little girls' room at a nightclub around midnight.
We take longer ? and it's not because of an inborn need to powder our noses.
There would be no such thing as high stiletto-heeled shoes. The drooling male inventor of these torture items obviously never had to take a step in them, let alone wear them for eight hours.
I'm not sure who invented G-string bikinis or push-up bras, but I suspect it was the same guy.
Footpaths would be much smoother if women had any say in the matter, for most of us have had to struggle pushing a baby in a pram at one point or another.
Affordable day care would be one of the top priorities on the political agenda.
This would be based on the wacky idea that women may actually be valuable employees worth keeping on after they reproduce, or that mothers have as much right (if they choose) to a fulfilling career as do fathers.
Feminine hygiene products would be much cheaper if men had to use them every month.
And someone would have tested the safety of birth control pills BEFORE they were used if it were men swallowing them every day.
They wouldn't have crossed their fingers and waited for 25 years, wondering if there were going to be any serious side effects.
I'm also fairly certain women would have invented an oral contraceptive for men a long time ago.
And they might have come up with Viagra a few years ahead of time too. No more headaches, hubby!
Inventions have always been of utmost importance in the push for female equality.
Many sociologists believe it was the invention of things like the washing machine and vacuum cleaner, along with the rise (pardon the pun) of bakery-made bread, that finally led to serious emancipation.
It's hard to imagine how women would have had any time to complain about men when they had to sit around bashing clothes against a washboard in a tub all day long.
If I had to come up with an invention tomorrow, I would like it to be a self-cleaning toilet.
Everyone knows this is the worst job in the house and, even if you allegedly share chores equally with your male partner, it's the woman who inevitably gets stuck with the toilet.
Men are blind to toilet dirt. Even though they stand and stare at the bowl quite closely several times a day, they cannot seem to see its condition.
My husband won't even touch the bowl. I think he believes the poo germs will infiltrate his skin by osmosis.
If I insist, he pulls out the brush with the two-foot handle. And wears rubber gloves to boot.
His answer, I may add, to the age-old dispute about leaving the seat up is this: women should be obliged to put the seat up for the men, not the other way around.
In the interests of equality I may be tempted to agree.
Except for one thing.
No man has ever lurched and splashed onto cold porcelain in the middle of the night.