Gender and Identity : A summary of “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”

In the article, “His and Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”, Suzanne Tick observes the gender phenomenon that is happening around us today. She looks at the idea that gender is an evolving thing and “identity is no longer clearly defined as female or male, but by increasingly visible manifestation of sexuality or lack thereof.” She goes to explain that it is the fashion designers who need to zoom in on the issue of gender equality.

According to the author we are led by a predominantly male perspective called “Modernism”. The things created around us such as the male office, are primarily designed for the needs of a male and the women secretaries are only offered supporting areas. The issues about gender in the workplace have calmed down due to women taking control in the workplace. Women like Emma Watson, have conducted a movement to promote feminism and gender equality. The LGBTQ community has also taken notice to this phenomenon, especially with the idea of same-sex marriage being legal.

The author believes it is important for the designer to think about “how they incorporate gender sensitivity in their work.” The author states the the architecture and interior design are “slower processes”. Fashion designers such as Alexander Wang, have created women coats that look more masculine.  Annemiek van der Beek’s has makeup that appeals to male customers. The author says that “gender roles” are making “outward appearances” confusing. Genetics your sex at birth, but people “can decide what gender to identify with”. The author mentions there are colleges and children in elementary school, who are standing up to gender identity. Some are not very accepting, which is why the author states that it is important to not fall beyond when “embracing” these trends.

Maritine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, states “There are five billion people on the world and there are five billion unique sexual identities.” Many facilities have caught on to this and have change their interior designs. An example from the article would be that bathrooms are now unisex, they have no distinct gender. Google has also made their work environment “gender neutral”. These accommodations have been created to ensure individuals a “comfortable”, “safe” and “included” in their workplace.

The author compares the gender experience to those who are disabled, but she makes it clear that you cannot handle this issue in the same manner. She insists that the first step is to make sure people have a “safe” place “to do what they need to do no matter who they are.” In the end she states that there is a need of design to accommodate “different human beings” for their “different needs” and “creating an environment in which they have their own individuality.”

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