His & Hers: “Designing for a Post-Gender Society”
In His & Hers: “Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” Suzanne Tick argues that in a society and era in which the line between male and female is becoming blurrier, and one’s identity is no longer looked at in the perspective of black or white, textile designers must do what they can to provide gender neutral environments in the workplace so that everyone feels accommodated.
Background information on the issue is important in making her claim that designers become more sensitive with their work. Gender has become a blurry line for many. Tradition has been broken and in this day and age, there is no room for unaccepting environments and this point in time, when women are finally beginning to play the more prominent role in society, would be the perfect opportunity to create just the opposite.
Often times, transgender people are overwhelmed with the feeling of displacement and exclusion due to the fact that there is no longer black and white views on the topic and society has yet to understand this. This is simply not okay, and there is no reason for them to have to feel this way. Tick mentions a woman named Martine Rothblatt, “the highest-paid female executive in the United States even though she was born biologically male”. Why should transgender people feel like they are anything other than human beings like the rest of us? Tick’s point in mentioning this quote is that being transgender should not be looked at as a disability, but rather just another sexual identity to add to the growing pile.
Not all designers understand the gender revolution, therefore Tick makes the argument that designers must work to understand. A work scenario is described in the article where in a person went through gender-reassignment surgery and other employees were unwilling to share a bathroom with the gender confused person. Due to the way in which she describes the scenario, neutral yet insistent, I believe Tick is not eager for design changes because she is blaming those who can’t comprehend one’s inability to know their identity, she is merely standing up for those unsure, unaccommodated people who can’t feel comfortable in their own workspace and insisting that designers help promote acceptance.
All in all, Tick is explaining that gender-neutral accommodations are highly important and designers cannot fall behind in their attempts to make them happen. Tick is not stating that designers are currently doing anything wrong, she is simply stating that society today is in need of their assistance in taking the first step to doing something rather than nothing about gender sensitivity.