Reading Analysis #6: His or Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society by Suzanne Tick

In her article His or Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society, Suzanne Tick argues that we need to create all inclusive spaces due to the gender revolution. The gender revolution is changing the way we see identity and challenges the way public spaces have been built. In other words, Tick believes that society’s design landscape has relied heavily on Modernism, which was created mostly by the male perspective. According to Tick, the design of major spaces are geared towards male needs and women are a minority in the tech and design industry.

A picture of Emma Watson’s most famous quote from her HeForShe speech

Suzanne Tick discusses examples of the gender revolution such as Emma Watson’s internet viral speech promoting the He for She movement and how feminism is becoming a more mainstream concept to encourage men to join the trend. Tick argues that acts like this are helping women’s issues seem more prominent in the workplace and are starting to influence designers in terms of gender sensitivity in spaces. Fashion and beauty took on this movement first, embracing androgyny and men’s tailored clothing being found in Alexander Wang’s 2015 women’s collection. Tick makes an excellent point that even colleges aren’t requiring students to identify their gender on formal papers. Tick’s examples of mainstream media accepting the gender revolution add to her point of how built environments creations need to catch up.

Tick identifies how transgender people use to be seen as outcasts in society and are experiencing triumphs in multiple workplace settings. Suzanne Tick examine’s Martine Rothblatt’s role as the highest-paid female executive in the United States and how she broke traditional barriers being born biologically a male. Martine argues in her book after her success that “There are five billion people in the world and five billion unique sexual identities.” Also, many big companies like Google are starting to have gender-neutral bathrooms to create a more inclusive environment. But, in some cases, men and females have started to their supervisor saying that don’t feel comfortable having someone in “their” bathroom who has had a sex change and this effects the workplace because colleagues are suppose to work collaborately with one another.

Lastly, Suzanne Tick ties all these examples back to her main argument of creating gender-neutral designed areas. By creating inclusive spaces, we create safe spaces for all to thrive no matter their gender identity. “We are only at the very beginning with gender-neutral design, but having safe places for anybody to function and do what they need to do, no matter who they are, should be our first step.” Tick believes that we are making progress in some realms surrounding gender and that spatial design should be the next step to create an all-encompassing environment. The gender revolution has begun and we need to start creating more environments that aren’t designed for a certain group, but rather all individuals no matter their gender or physical disabilities.

 

WORKS CITED

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis, Metropolis, 15 Feb. 2017, via.hypothes.is/http://www.metropolismag.com/ideas/his-hers-designing-for-a-post-gender-society/.

Macleod, Duncan. “Emma Watson Launches He For She Movement.” The Inspiration Room, The Inspiration Room, 26 Sept. 2014, theinspirationroom.com/daily/2014/emma-watson-launches-he-for-she-movement/.

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