We are currently in a revolutionary time, a time that future generations will look back on and judge us; it is up to us to decide if that judgment will be in light or disgust. Throughout history we have segregated many, all walks of life not just by race but also by gender. The “typical” woman has their place in the kitchen, or as a secretary, they are to wear a dress and look pretty at all times. Men are not held to the same set of standards as they are the ones writing the rules. In today’s day and age, that is slowly dissolving, through the work of architects, actors, designers and CEOs- all types of activists- gender is becoming more trivial. In Suzanne Tick’s article, His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society, she discusses the large stall in progression towards gender inclusion in today’s society, as we are still rooted in a predominately male perspective.
Gender, today, is much more complex than the traditional “male” and “female” labels that we put on people. Even in today’s society, as we think of ourselves as a very progressive group of people, the office space is still predominately male. The fastest way to infiltrate the male dominated world is through fashion and design. Womens clothing has a more masculine edge to it, while there are new beauty skin care products that are tailored to the male-buyer. Tick points out that, “With the confusion of gender roles today, outward appearances are often confusing. Boys look like girls, girls look like boys, and androgyny has become commonplace.” There is no limit to what you can do or wear, as there is no limit to the gender that you can identify as. As children we are exposed to gender-stereotyping, where our parents and others would treat us as our given gender.
Once we grow and start to develop a sense of who we are you will see more and more kids start to decline these constricting gender roles and identities. With mass support in the LGBTQ community and movement we see more fluidity at younger ages. Kids from the young ages in middle school all the way up to college students refusing to identify with one gender or the other. We see these children and future generations leap forward, progressing society tremendously, and we as designers and the leaders in this country cannot fall behind on that. Tick notes that, “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” With this advance in inclusion to the fluidity that gender is today, there are still those who do not comply and hold our country back. We see that bathrooms are only a single piece of the gender inclusion puzzle, but it is a step in the right direction.
There is a lot more work to be done in the United States to keep progressing forward. There have always been speed-bumps, such as the devastation that has fallen upon the Disabilities Act, and the lack of accessibility for many disabled community members. Gender is not the only issue that still needs to be fixed to make our society more inclusive. Tick does a brilliant job at putting these issues to the forefront of our attention, forcing us to think on the issue and how it affects our lives.
Tick, Suzanne. “His &Amp; 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/.