Gender roles

#chairchallenge highlights male/female divide

We live in a curious age in which the self-evident isn’t. So if you have a friend muddled about whether men and women are different, here’s some help. It’s the #chairchallenge already making its way around the Internet, and while women can do it, men can’t.

What’s involved? One easy-to-lift chair, one wall, plus at least one male and one female participant, both ideally wearing shoes.

  1. Stand facing the wall, toes touching it, and then move back two footsteps (not paces – just the length of your own feet). You should now be standing two full foot lengths away from the wall.
  2. Place a chair under you touching the wall (or have someone else do it).
  3. Bend forward over the chair at a roughly 90-degree angle and lean the top of your head against the wall.
  4. Grab the chair by its seat and raise it to your chest.
  5. Then, stand up!

That’s all there is to it! We tested this out at our house, and I found while I could almost, sort of, kind of do it in my socks, there was no way once I had shoes on, as that brought me just a smidgeon further away from the wall. Meanwhile, my wife did it with ease.

So why the consistent results? A number of possible explanations have been offered:

  • Men generally have larger feet, putting them further from the wall.
  • Women generally have a lower relative center meaning more of their weight is over their feet making it easier to move off the wall.
  • Women are generally more flexible than men, making it easier for them to shift the center of mass.

Whatever the reason, a sharp male/female divide is evident and that makes this not only a funny experiment to try, but also an important one. God says we are created male and female (Genesis 2:17) and for different roles (Ephesians 5:22-33). Our rebellious world dares insist the opposite: infinite genders, no notable differences between them. Now we’ve got an experiment that makes the self-evident obvious again.

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  1. Wayne Layton

    December 21, 2019 at 7:26 am

    It is actually the shoes that makes the biggest difference. Women’s shoes are smaller relative to the shoe size. Try the same experiment with socks on and the disparity is eliminated for most.

  2. Loretta O'Neill

    December 23, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    I am a 5’2″, 67 yr old woman, weighing 127 lbs. I cannot do this. I am fit, so strength is not the issue. But I am built fairly straight up and down, so don’t really have a lower center of gravity. . Whatever the reason, you can imagine my chagrin when, after gleefully calling my husband to witness something I could do that he could not, I failed completely! I guess our creative God makes men and women in all shapes and sizes, even as he makes them uniquely different from each other.

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