Reading Analysis 6

His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society

In His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society, Susan Tick argues that due to the ever-changing view on the acceptance of gender rolls, designers should help promote this change in society by being more neutral in their designs. The first thing that comes to mind when reading this article is the reinforcement in the idea that everything has a rhetorical effect. In this specific article, I realized that even clothing is carrying a message. When I thought about this more, I realized that this was obvious, so obvious in fact that I took the rhetorical meaning that clothes carried for granted. Even something as simple as the mens or women’s section of a clothing store says something about how our society labels the aesthetics of the person rather then their true gender identity. Tick proceeded further in her essay to describe the current trend with clothing design today. With design being rooted in modernism which is heavily shaped by the male perspective, the result of our clothing and art has the same attitude. The solution prompted by Tick is to design clothing and spaces that have a more gender neutral tone to them, just like gender neutral bathrooms. She urges us, as a society, to lean in a more post modernism direction. In the art world, post modernism is described as an amalgamation of different narratives and cultures that don’t necessarily have a meaning, intend audience or message behind them. One of my favorite post modernist Artists is Rene Magrite. His paintings question the preexisting assumptions that society holds. Magrite questions phenomenon such as the meaning behind language, the power of assumptions and life as we know it. The common thread between Tick and Magrite is the idea that we shouldn’t think in a straight line. Nothing is to be assumed. Everything is subject for closer examination and questioning. Thats the meaning behind Magrites paintings and Ticks opinion on design.

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