What Was Designed for the Use of One Gender but Is Now Mostly Used by the Other? Here’s How People Responded.

Here’s a question you don’t see every day, but it sure did elicit a lot of interesting responses, as you’re about to see.

Some products are originally made specifically men or women but something happens along the way where they end up getting used to the other s*x for one reason or another.

So what are some of the things that were originally designed for one s*x but are not mostly used by the other one?

Let’s take a look at what AskReddit users had to say about this.

1. Interesting.


In the 19th Century they were almost exclusively ladies jewelry, tiny, delicate and feminine, with an emphasis on show over timekeeping: for a man to wear one would have been unthinkably effeminate.

A real man had a pocket watch, until WW1 when they proved to be too impractical and cumbersome on the front lines. Existing pocket watches had lugs and straps attached for conveniently wearing on the wrist, and the wristwatch as masculine accessory was born.

Now a complicated watch the size of a soup plate on the wrist is almost a sine qua non of masculinity.”

2. Let’s get flexible!


Joseph Pilates originally started out as a boxer and developed his exercise regime to rehabilitate injured soldiers at a military base during WW1.

While unverified, a popular advertisement for his routine was that none of his patients got the Spanish Flu when it hit their base.

After, he reluctantly began training ballet dancers where it then transitioned to being practiced predominantly by women.”

3. Pump it up.

“Viagra was intended to pump blood into the heart.

But during the trial they found out it pumps blood somewhere else.”

5. Trousers.


A woman could get arrested and jailed for wearing them under cross dressing laws in the UK. It was still illegal in parts of the US for a woman to wear them well into the mid 20th century, and I believe a student took her school to court because they expelled her for wearing trousers.

According to them, the bible says that men shouldn’t wear women’s clothes and women shouldn’t wear men’s clothes, and trousers are men’s clothes (yet another thing Christians seem to be able to to overlook at their convenience, but that’s not a discussion for here).

Historically, women wore trousers, while men wore robes in many parts of the world, like Greece, Persia and Rome, and some parts of Europe. But definitely not in the US, France or England.”

6. Put it on!

“Corsets were originally intended to help with proper posture in men. Designed with the gentleman in mind.

Then women saw how slimming it could be, and the rest is history.”

7. They’re missing out.

“Jumping rope. Originally it was a boy’s “sport”, but once girls got the interest in the late 1800s (I think?) boys got defensive and jetted.

After I studied this in a class, I deducted that’s when boys began using the “childhood chant” sol-mi to mock the girls’ jumping songs, but I can’t remember the full details because I was having “too much fun” that night.”

8. A good invention.


Originally created to fill bullet hole wounds in the 18th century, WWI nurses began using them when they saw how effective they were.”

9. Give it a shot.

“Apparently Thong underwear was originally intended for men got multiple reasons.

In Asia there is the fundoshi and 100 years ago it was for men in theater to appear naked without being nude.”

10. We should all be doing it.


In India, it has always been a spiritual practice traditionally reserved for men.

But now, here in the west, it predominately appeals to women.”

11. Hmmmm…


Just think about it from a functionality standpoint.

With that being said skirts were originally worn by men then taken on by women to add masculinity, which phased it out of male culture due to the prominence of cross gender use.”

12. Colors.

“Pink was originally incorporated into clothing with the intent for only men to wear it, but now it’s seen as a feminine color.

I personally think pink looks good on men…”

13. Guys like ’em, too.

“Rolling suitcases I think were apparently supposed to be for women originally.

It was seen as unmanly to use those as opposed to carrying your suitcase.”

14. Lookin’ sharp!

“High heeled shoes.

No, seriously. Shoes with high heels were originally developed by Persian cavalry, as the heels helped their feet stay in the stirrups while they rode and fired arrows.

In the West, women wore platform shoes to gain height. Catherine De Medici is the first European woman recorded to have worn heels, in the late 1500s, but heels wouldn’t come into the general European fashion consciousness for another 200 or so years, and the trend of women wearing any kind of height-enhancing shoes died with her.

In the 1600s, when the Persian Shah sent an envoy of soldiers to Russia, Spain, and Germany to form diplomatic relations, aristocratic European men started emulating the Persian soldiers footwear.

By the time of King Louis XIV’s reign in the mid 1600s, high heels were very popular among the male aristocracy. As were stockings. In fact, Louis would only allow favored members of his court to wear heels, and especially to wear certain colored heels. A red heel on a shoe was a big deal, as it was a sign of power.

You can look at old paintings of the era and actually see who held the King’s favor by the kind of shoes they were wearing. Anyone else caught wearing such footwear could risk having their head chopped off. The irony of this would take a little over a century to play out.

In the mid-1700s, men wearing heels would start to fall out of fashion, as they began to become more feminized with the advent of women’s shoes starting to grow heels of their own. The French Revolution is what really killed the male high heeled shoe trend, as any man wearing one was part of the aristocracy, and likely to lose their head.

Ultimately, if you wanted to avoid losing height from the top, you had to lose height from the bottom. Best not to dig your heels in on this fashion trend.”

Can you think of some other products that were originally designed for one s*x but are now used by the other?

Talk to us in the comments!

Please and thank you!