Cynthia Nixon is gearing up for her first debate in the New York governor race. The former actress and current progressive candidate will face incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo in a televised debate tonight, August 29th. And if Nixon has any say in the matter, the event will be heated (literally); the challenger has requested that the thermostat be set to 76 degrees.
The New York Times reported yesterday, August 28th, that Nixon’s team made the request because of the current governor’s preference for cold rooms. One of Nixon’s top strategists reportedly took the opportunity to call this out, suggesting that icy office temperatures are “notoriously sexist.”
According to Science Magazine, many offices still use a model developed in the 1960s to determine what temperature is most comfortable for their workers. This model used the metabolism of the “average office worker” at the time (a 40-year-old man) and came to the conclusion that 70 degrees Fahrenheit was the optimal office temperature. But, as the article notes, women tend to have slower metabolisms than men, meaning they get cold easier. This also means that modern offices, which largely consist of both men and women, are still catered to the male body (if you’ve ever worn a skirt or sleeveless blouse to work, you probably already knew that).
L. Joy Williams, a strategist for Nixon, implied via Twitter that the Nixon team is hoping to meet Cuomo in the middle.
Whether you think 76 degrees sounds perfectly reasonable or unbearably tropical, the fact remains that office temperatures generally cater to men rather than women, and we love that Nixon and her team are calling this out.