Can furniture names be sexist?

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ikea billy bookcase Website screenshot

London - Ikea has an egalitarian, liberal image, but this week the Swedish home furnishings giant has come in for criticism for its seemingly sexist stance on household accessories.

A flick through its catalogue shows that heavy, solid furniture is usually given a male name, while the softer furnishings are given female titles.

There’s the ‘Billy’ bookcase and ‘Benno’ TV stand.

The soft furnishings department offers ‘Gurli’, the fluffy throw.

Critics complain that Ikea’s naming strategy implies that women might be more at home with floral cushions. At least it didn’t call its dishwasher brushes ‘Gurli’. Then it really would be in trouble. - Daily Mail

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