Are you Average?

19 Sep

While doing the washing up this morning I became aware of the warm, damp, clammy sensation that tells me that another rubber glove has sprung a leak. It was the right-hand glove, of course; it’s always the right glove. (I’m right-handed.) This time it was sort of my own fault since I had bought a very cheap variety. It lasted about three days and then split between the thumb and index finger because it was cheap and nasty, and if it had come in a pack of 50 instead of a pack of two you would have assumed it was disposable. It is now.

Usually, however, it’s at the tips of the fingers that rubber gloves break, because that’s where there’s a loose bit, and it is about this that I wish to moan: why do rubber gloves only come in medium?

I understand, of course, that not all products can be produced in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit every customer. It wouldn’t make economic sense. So, you would think medium was a fairly sensible size to bring rubber gloves out in, if limited to one size. Not so. “Medium” seems to refer to the size that fits the average human hand – not the average female human hand. Call me sexist, but in my experience women do the vast majority of work that calls for rubber gloves, from washing dishes to scrubbing floors to cleaning toilets. So why bring the gloves out only in a size that is too large for most women? I do not have petite little mitts, but I am left with quarter of an inch of useless rubber at the end, preventing me from picking small things up and getting itself caught when I try to clean things. And then breaking, so I have to buy more medium-sized rubber gloves.

Now, it is not strictly true that rubber gloves only come in medium. I have also seen them in large. Large! Why large? A size that doesn’t fit most women complemented by a size that fits no women. I have no objection to men wearing rubber gloves (especially if it means they’re doing the housework) but why can’t rubber gloves come in small and medium, or small and large if need be? Why can’t I have a pair of rubber gloves that fits me, and therefore won’t break at the fingertips after a few days or, at most, weeks of wear?

Admittedly there must be places that you can get small rubber gloves. I haven’t explored all avenues. But frankly I don’t want to go to specialist shops or pay postage just so I can do the washing up in comfort. As I see it, barring specialists, I have three alternatives. The first is to buy those latex, single-use gloves that come in a variety of sizes, making life easier but costing more money and helping to destroy the environment. The second is to grow very long finger nails. This would mean that my fingers would reach to the end of the medium-sized gloves, although I don’t really think that having long, sharp tips to my fingers would help with the problem of rubber gloves splitting. Thirdly, I can just buy another pair of medium gloves that don’t fit and will soon break, while muttering under my breath, and relieve my feelings by writing a blog post about it.

Can you guess which I will choose?

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4 Responses to “Are you Average?”

  1. Christina October 25, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I’ll get you a pair of small gloves for Christmas. Tescos do do them (only in pink), but they don’t last very long. Wilkinsons, however, do some good sturdy small rubber gloves. 😀

  2. kcmurdarasi May 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Update: I have now discovered Dermaluxe rubber gloves. They are tough, comfortable, and come in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra large. And the medium fits me! They are expense for rubber gloves but I don’t see them breaking any time soon. In fact I’m so confident that I gave one of my spare pairs to a friend who loves to wash up. (Yes, she does exist. No, I’m not telling you where she lives.) Their only failing seems to be that the white surface stains easily, and I can live with that. They are available on 3 for 2 at Lakeland.

  3. Daniel July 14, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    “Large! Why large?” Sure why not make sizes that will only fit women’s hands! Oh please! Do you still believe that only women wear gloves? They make rubber gloves based on the average human hand, it’s the only sensible way to contemplate both genders. Yes, you’re being very sexist, rather you like it or not. You may not realize, but you’re perpetuating old stereotypes based on the way you presented your argument.
    Don’t get me wrong, but your article is not fair. Guys today help women with chores, and certain tasks do require gloves for protection. Assuming that guys do not need gloves, is quite sexist and selfish. You’ve mentioned wearing gloves even to wash the dishes. Well, many people hate chores, why do you think all guys would prefer to go bare hands? Maybe, I should follow your line of thought, and sit back and watch the game, instead of helping.
    Furthermore, not everyone is blessed with dainty small hands and that include women. My mom wears medium/large and not all large will fit her properly. You did the right thing in the end, if you have small hands look for alternatives, instead of blaming others!

    • Karen Murdarasi July 14, 2014 at 10:40 am #

      Hi Daniel, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry you found the post sexist but I can only speak from my experience, and the vast majority of people I’ve seen using rubber gloves are women. I’m glad things are more equal in your household!

      By the way, I really don’t have dainty small hands. Probably a little larger than average – for a woman.

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