In “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” Suzanne Tick argues that by creating a more accessible and inclusive environment, human beings who identify differently will feel more accepted and welcomed to embrace their own individuality. Today, “we are living in a time of gender revolution” (Tick). Furthermore, Tick emphasizes that male and female qualities have shifted from the old gender roles. Because of this new change, society is forced to adjust its outlook on gender roles. As a result, designers of all sorts from architects to fashion designers must observe society’s changes and adapt in order to keep up with people’s needs.
However, despite today’s gender revolution in society, designed landscapes are still mainly geared toward males. Thus, in the workforce, men tend to be most dominant in comparison to women in the workforce who hold the position of secretary, for instance. In spite of the males being the leading power in the workforce, women are reconstructing feminism. For example “actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson [delivered a] speech [to] promot[e] the He for She movement” which empowers men to be more feminist to work towards equality (Tick). This trend allows men and the LGBTQ community to band together to create more “gender equality” around the world. Moreover, these initiatives force the leading gender to respect gender minorities who can now embrace their gender in the workplace.
In addition, Tick not only acknowledges that these gender equality initiatives create a more inclusive environment for all genders, but also claims that the physical atmosphere of the workplace also needs to be accommodating to all genders to make everyone feel more included. Tick states that designers have observed that “people are craving more softness in interiors… and [are] emphas[izing more] on tactile and textural materials like carpeting and textiles”(Tick). In making this comment, Tick urges us to see the gender shift in the aesthetics of the workplace.
Also, according to Tick, designers in the fashion industry are faced with the challenge of including inclusivity of all genders. Tick presents Alexander Wang and Annemiek van der Beek as primary examples. In an attempt to be sensitive of all genders, Wang designed “women’s coat from Fall 2015 [to have a] masculine tailoring with a military look” (Tick). Similarly, “Annemiek van der Beek’s Primal Skin makeup line has been designed to be appealing to the male buyer” (Tick). These two designers are breaking new ground in order to be inclusive of all genders by presenting women’s outerwear with a male design and makeup products that can interest men.
Tick claims that in today’s society categorizing a person’s specific gender is no longer based on “outward appearances” rather, people have chosen to define their gender for themselves (Tick). Currently, in the school system, college students will leave boxes unfilled on forms that inquire about their gender. The act of abstaining from defining oneself on school forms is extremely significant because students are protesting designed forms that imply the presence only two genders. Because of people who have chosen to define their gender in various innovative ways, businesses and schools are offering gender-neutral bathrooms. Tick suggests that these examples put an emphasis on the preliminary steps to designing a welcoming and safe public environment for all genders.
“Sex and Gender .” Formulate Information Design, http://www.formulate.com.au/blog/sex-and-gender. html.
Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis Magazine, Mar. 2015, http://www.metropolismag.com/March-2015/His-or-Hers-Designing-for-a-Post-Gender-Society/.