In herarticle, “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” Suzanne Tick explains how the design industry and the private sector as a whole is leading the way in tolerance of other genders. Our current society often doesn’t accommodate or even recognize those individuals who don’t identify within the gender binary. This situation has caused confusion for many who are trying to design for the coming acceptance of genders other than boy and girl. Designers and private companies are spearheading the movement for gender recognition.The fact that alternative gender practices are becoming mainstream is a breakthrough in our modern world that has the potential to change history. Throughout all of human history, culture and community has been based around the roles of male and female. This is changing. As Tick puts it, “We are living in a time of gender revolution.” Many individuals, especially those of a younger generation are coming to terms with the existence of differing genders and gender identity. Historically, certain tasks, attitudes, and demeanors have been associated with male/female roles, but now the walls of this binary are crumbling. This has led to confusion among not only those who don’t identify with the common genders, but every interaction can be made awkward and uncomfortable. With this newfound freedom in sexuality and identity, many businesses and individuals must work towards understanding and incorporating these issues.
The job of cooperating with this “gender revolution” has become especially difficult for the design industry due to deeply entrenched social norms. Everybody knows the stereotypes of girl and boy design. Boys have blue, girls have pink. Boys wear jeans, girls wear skirts. Boys like violent action toys, girls like dolls. The list goes on and on, but for many, they don’t identify with these patterns. Design has been working hard to incorporate these an androgynous view into their products to cater towards these outcast members. These changes can be seen in fashion from products like “Alexander Wang’s women’s coat,” that has a “has masculine tailoring with a military look”(Tick). The article also describes the introduction of makeup lines designed specifically for men. The design industry is changing how society views gender.The private sector as a whole is having a significant impact on gender relations in the United States. Companies are doing this in a variety of ways, but the most important is the inclusion of gender-neutral bathrooms in the office. The inclusion of these allows for people who identify with other genders to “feel comfortable, safe, and included”(Tick). In order to reach true equality in the workplace, these companies must be willing to include non-binary people into discussion. Other institutions such as colleges are challenging the gender norm as well. Many students are refuting the binary and refuse to put their genders on applications and papers. The fight against gender norms is strong in the private sector. As many people feel disillusioned by the breaking of gender norms, the private sector along with designers have taken up the burden of catering towards these individuals. By allowing an outlet for these people to identify with, it allows them to feel more included by society at large. No more are they outcasts because of how they feel, and are able to operate normally within society. This is all thanks to the hard work the organizations are doing for the non-binary community.
Sources: Tick, Suzanne. “His &Amp; Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis Magazine, Metropolis, Mar. 2015, http://www.metropolismag.com/march-2015/his-or-hers-designing-for-a-post-gender-society/.