In her article, “His and Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”, Suzanne Tick urges designers to make their work accommodating for everyone because in the Twenty-First century traditional gender roles havebecome obscure. To put it bluntly, in modern day society gender is no longer defined as just either male or female, but rather gender has become a wide spectrum of different identities. This change in how we view gender has become the framework for Tick’s argument, “In our post-gender world, masculine and feminine definitions are being switched and obscured. But this is a
n essentially human phenomenon, and we need to design for the accumulation of different human beings who are out there by being respectful to individual needs, and creating environments in which people can create their own individuality” (Tick). Essentially, Tick is saying that since gender roles are changing designers need to design in such a way that fosters individuality because we should be cognizant of a person’s individual needs.
Despite Tick’s call for gender inclusive design, most of today’s design is based in Modernism because of outdated gender roles in which men went to work and women stayed at home. The article defines Modernism as, “a movement shaped by a predominantly male perspective” (Tick). In making this comment, Tick urges designers to realize that most workplaces are designed with strictly men in mind. She then challenges designers to break free from the modernist movement because it no longer fits in a post-gender society. When the Modernist movement was first on the rise the workplace was a predominantly male space, however now the workplace is no longer predominantly male and should not be reflective of these outdated gender roles.
In addition to traditional gender roles no longer being accepted in modern day society, Tick argues that androgyny has become a societal norm, further smashing historical views on gender. She notes that historically transgender people have struggled to be accepted, but today it has become much more acceptable to be transgender. Between the rise of androgyny and the Transgender Rights Movement Tick explains that, “Corporations have taken note, and bathrooms have become the focus of this change. Big companies like Google are adopting gender-neutral or unisex bathrooms, in addition to conventional ones, to allow all individuals to feel comfortable, safe and included-and not have to choose a gender while in the workplace” (Tick). Tick’s point is that gender-neutral bathrooms
in the workplace serve to make a more accommodating environment because they allow people to not feel pressured to select a gender identity while they are at work. While Tick acknowledges that gender-neutral bathrooms are a monumental step in the right direction, it is not enough. She argues that gender inclusivity should be incorporated into the overall design of the workplace, rather than just the bathrooms because that is the only way to create a truly safe environment.
In her article, “His and Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”, Suzanne Tick urges designers to keep in mind the needs of all people when designing workplaces because today traditional gender roles are no longer valid. Designers should design workplaces that foster individuality and that reject outdated stereotypes. The way the world views gender has changed and it is time that the way designers design change as well.
“Gender Neutral Bathroom Sign.” http://maxpeoplehr.com/2014/07/30/closing-new-gender-gap-assessing-issues-gender-identity-workplace/.
“Gender Spectrum .” The Cornell Review, http://www.thecornellreview.org/cornell-university -assembly-votes-for-gender-inclusive-restrooms-and-locker-rooms/.
Pan, Landyn. “Gender Unicorn.” Trans Student Education Resources, www.transstudent.org/gender.
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/.