Gender

reading analysis #6:

You used to be given a choice. Male or Female. Now, those two words that used to separate people, actually bring us together. Suzanne Tick, author of article His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society, explains how our corporate world is not only changing, but evolving for our new “post-gender society”. A society that is accepting of those who don’t identify male or female, and a society that actually builds each other up rather than tear one down. Tick gives examples such as women becoming more prominent in the work force and acceptance of gay-marriage. She goes on to say that fashion and beauty are the first to adopt this trend and keep it going, mostly because their at a more fast pace than architecture and interior design, “with 85 percent of tech workers at the top companies being male”. This is just one circumstance that is already beginning to change. And again as Tick said, “we are only at the very beginning with gender-neutral design, but having safe places for anybody to function and do what they need to do, no matter who they are, should be our first step”. While there is now a blur between male and female, some can become confused. Companies are transitioning into this new era and being extra careful not to offend anyone.

A perfect example of this is the American University bathrooms. There are certain bathroom not only throughout the dorm buildings, but other buildings on campus too that are open to gender neutrality. I think it’s a wonderful thing here on this campus to show our support for the LGBTQ community. Another personal example is the other day when I was creating a new email account specifically for work, and when asked about my gender it gave me more options than male or female. There was trans and a choice not to answer.

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis. N.p., 15 Feb. 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.

Bathroom sign at American University

 

The song, Same Love, by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis came out a few years ago and was created to support marriage equality. While I was reading Suzanne Tick’s article, this song popped up in my head so I thought I’d share.

NKLA

Commonplace 13:

http://nkla.org

This summer I wanted to give back at volunteer at Los Angeles’ No Kill Animal Shelter, also known as NKLA. I’ve been to this shelter many times before and tried to volunteer in the past but was too young. Now, being 19 years old, the sky is my limit, I can even run as a front desk position. When applying to volunteer, I found the process very easy to navigate. You fill out a form, confirm your email, set up an account, and sign up for a volunteer orientation that is 2 hours long. The volunteer orientation ensures that you know exactly what you’re signing up for and how to do it. If you are volunteering to play with the dogs and take them on walks you must know which ones get along and how to properly walk and handle a dog outside of the shelter. If you are volunteering at the front desk you must have excellent communication skills and be as informative as possible when visitors come.

I also wanted to mention the website and persuasive it is. When you open the link the first thing you see is a cute, sad dog, his eyes begging and his heart heavy. The picture then slides to the left and a kitten appears, so innocent and vulnerable. The website is very well organized and easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

 

A ‘Party’

Political influences of my CLS:

Washington D.C. is mostly a blue “state”, although we all know it’s a district. However, there are areas, as one would expect, that fall short of that norm. But Shaw is not one of them. When I visited my site, I noticed many rainbow flags hanging from windows in condo’s or outside buildings, resembling the LGBTQ community and the neighborhoods support. To my surprise, I saw more caucasian people than African American even though Shaw used to be a prominently black neighborhood, especially being near Howard University. Because this neighborhood has been gentrified immensely, people of different race and color are moving into the neighborhood and changing the political views. Because younger generations are moving to Shaw, the area has become much more liberal. Older neighborhoods, as in older people, in Washington D.C., at least from what I’ve noticed, are more conservative. Although what is pictured is not an LGBTQ flag or democratic donkey flag, it shows Shaw’s appreciation for their history and past by creating signs that point to the historic places or interesting sites for tourists. But with a mix of the wealthy newcomers and the lower class long-time residents, the political influences in the Shaw area continue to change the community.

A day in Shaw: ( Photo taken by me 2/15/17)

Outside

Exterior of my CLS

The area of Shaw has changed tremendously in the past 30 years. And as I’ve visited the area of my site more and more throughout this semester, I’ve noticed that Shaw reminds me a lot of Adams Morgan. The area is very trendy, up and coming, and filled with young adults. Which is exactly why the exterior of my site is so significant. My site is a home, belonging to the same family for the past 10 years, information which I had found online. This complex has not changed since the day it was built in the 80’s. It is one of the only older buildings left. It almost stands out like a sore thumb however brings character to the area at the same time. When walking down bustling 14th street on a sunday afternoon, something about looking down S Street and seeing that old building makes the neighborhood feel so much more divided. The exterior of my site changes the neighborhood, like it’s still holding onto the past and all that came along with it.

Corner of S Street and 14th Street: (photo taken by me)

Acai Bowls

Commonplace 12:

 

https://southblockjuice.com

 

Today I walked to Georgetown with my friends and we ended up getting acai bowls because it was such a hot day out. They were delicious and refreshing but quite empty for a wednesday afternoon. SouthBlock is located right off of M street on a street called grace street. It shares a building with Grace Street Coffee and Sundevich Sandwich place. The 3 restaurants all have a common sitting area and trendy music playing. I was curious as to what SouthBlock’s menu looked like and how they advertise themselves on social media. They’re acai bowls are very photogenic and all over instagram, but I wondered if they ever took it a step further. So after I googled their website I found that it was a very accessible and easy website. In seconds I figured out how to navigate the various locations around Washington D.C. as well as Virginia, and what their menu was. However, at the top of the website they call themselves a “micro juicery” which could throw their audience off because cold pressed juice is different from fresh smoothies and smoothie bowls. But as you scroll down they advertise all their acai bowls. The website is very well put together. It’s organized, interesting, and fun.

Run

Commonplace 11:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/540783867726605777/

I think this ad is very interesting. When analyzing just the image, I noticed that the bear faded into a wolf which faded into a human. But as I looked more closely, I realized that one could interpret it differently. The bear’s mouth is so open and wide it almost looks like it’s eating the wolf, a significantly smaller mammal. The wolf, has a closed mouth but looks angry and mean, to intimidate the audience. The sentence “if you’re not fast you’re food” encourages the viewer to look at what the company is trying to sell. The images draw the reader in, but the words keep the audience focused. Below the sentence are the timberland running shoes in bright orange, mostly to stand out from the black background and still get some acknowledgement compared to the aggressive bear at the top. This advertisement would not have the same effect without the sentence, the words are not only frightening and menace but also memorable. The audience will now remember timberland running shoes because of this ad. It’s very important to have a bold advertisement like this especially when competing with top brands such as Nike and Adidas.

Interior of 1340 S Street NW

Because 1340 S Street NW is a home to someone, I could not enter the premises. I could only imagine what the interior would look like. After researching online, I found that this home has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The total square footage is approximately 4,000 sqft. Because this building is one of the last to be changed in anyway, I’m sure that the interior of the building is just as old as the exterior. As far as the kitchen goes, I can imagine an 80’s stove top and refrigerator. As well as old wallpaper and flooring. It does not show the home’s selling history so it is unclear who and how long the people have lived in this home. I briefly spoke to the neighbor while she was outside watering her grass. She seemed to be in her mid 60’s and lived there for a while. These homes are now worth $1 because of their location, not because of their remodel. The original owners didn’t want to sell their home to the developers so they stayed put. Because they are very old fashioned I would assume that their furniture hasn’t changed.

Cultural Influences of 1340 S Street NW

As seen in the book S Street Rising by Ruben Castaneda, the building where the drugs were hidden was located at 1340 S Street NW. In the 1980’s, the area was not at it’s best, it was very drug and crime ridden. But as the DC drug epidemic passed, business men saw and took on the opportunity of gentrifying the area and providing a family friendly safe neighborhood. They began to buy out homes for a cheap price, pushing the previous residences out, in order to change the dynamics of the neighborhood. After construction, new families and young people began moving in and taking over. With a new group of middle class people moving in, the culture inevitably changed. There was no longer gangs, drugs, and violence. There was a different way of life, wealthier people, family values and beliefs. This area was reborn. It was as if the old Shaw/Cardozo never existed. If construction hadn’t happened, it would have been hard to change the type of people living in this area today. Middle class citizens do not want to live in a shady area, but the new, modern complexes and nice restaurants and shops opening convinced a new group of people to move into the area and therefore, gentrify it. 

 

Sociospatial Environment

Rhetorical Analysis #4: Fleming Chapter 8

Throughout the book, author David Fleming constantly argues that our built environment, along with civic public discourse and education, continually shape who we are. In this specific chapter, the first of section 3, Fleming examines the scenes he has talked about in previous chapters such as the ghettos, white suburbs, and mixed-income neighborhoods, as well as the overall built environment in the Chicago area.

As Fleming re-caps what he has mentioned in the past 7 chapters, he concludes that “we have failed, in other words, to help our young people appreciate and deal with the inevitable conflicts of living together in concrete space with people unlike themselves” (180). Referring to the teaching of politics in our country, teenagers are the most susceptible to learn and change our future than any other generation is at this point in time. And for Fleming to say our country, as a whole, has failed to teach the millennial generation life, growing up, and all the baggage that comes with it puts our future in a hold. And this is where the term commonplace comes to play because it could create a balance of a more unified and amalgamated public sphere.

By now it is obvious that Chicago is not the only one at fault here for segregating their people by race and class. The public housing was meant to provide shelter to the poor but instead completely separated the city. Chicago is not the only city that has done this, in fact, “Americans have not done a good job of making space for diverse peoples to come together, openly and fairly, to determine together their shared destiny” (181).Because of the economic divide in our country, it has become difficult for people of different classes to relate, especially on a political level. And it’s not the low-income citizens living there, it’s their environment. It wasn’t a voluntary choice to grow up poor or to be uneducated because the school system is bad, it’s the poor environment in which they grew up. Where they were constantly in fear because of crime, violence, and drugs that surrounded them. Which lead to poor education systems and joblessness. Their environment was toxic, sucking them in, and allowing them no opportunity to escape.

The one exception was 1230 North Burling Street located in Cabrini Green. The citizens created their own rules, security, and jobs in hope for a brighter future. They were successful for a period of time but “the only way to build a self-governing community in our society, a culture of argument that brings people together to work actively and discursively on common projects, is to make sure that they are all relatively similar in background and goals” (183). Because of America’s past, similar background means similar class which means similar race. The continuation of sticking with similarity will only create disconnections with the rest of the world. Diverse communities learn from one another and therefore grow from one another.

Work Cited

Fleming, David, “City of Rhetoric,” SUNY Press, 2009.

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