Reading Analysis: “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”

In her article, “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” Suzanne Tick argues that gender neutral designs in the workplace, specifically in it’s restrooms, would comply with our culturally changing society. With the recent increase in feminism, designers must move away from a Modernistic landscape.

Gender equality in the workplace has been an elongated debate for years. With a new wave of feminism, “the barriers and hierarchies have started to come down as women have become more prominent,” meaning that Mother Nature has become more accepted into the workplace. Because of Actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s speech promoting the “He for She Movement,” men have jumped on the cause for gender equality. With an effort coming from both men and women, a change is likely to be seen. Recently, changes we’ve seen include the acceptance of same-sex marriage.    

Emma Watson giving her speech on the “He for She Movement.”

Emma Watson giving her speech on the “He for She Movement.”

Society presently is more accepting of androgyny than in the past, outward appearances make gender roles more confusing: boys look like girls, girls look like boys. No one should have to decide on their gender depending on their sex in order to use a restroom. This is why “big companies like Google are adopting gender-neutral or unisex bathroom,” allowing for a comfortable, safe, place for their employees. Bathrooms in particular are a touchy issue when it comes to gender neutrality. Some people are uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with someone who is transgender, even though they classify as the same gender as they do. The article mentions a case where an employee who underwent gender-reassignment was excluded from using the all male and all female bathrooms. In other words, they had no bathroom. If a gender neutral bathroom had been installed, this problem would not have risen in the first place.

The 2016 Democratic Convention provided gender neutral bathrooms.

The 2016 Democratic Convention provided gender neutral bathrooms.

Like those with disabilities who fought for the Disabilities Act, transgender people are fighting for a workplace where they don’t feel excluded. However, gender issues cannot be resolved through just regulations and compliance. The problem must be first addressed with gender neutral designs. Because the definition of masculinity and femininity aren’t as clear in 2016, society must comply with this unclarity. The needs of individuals are constantly changing. For example, the need for a smartphone has led to everything becoming smartphone-friendly. When using public parking, instead of using a meter, one can now simply pay through their smart phone. Environments must also change to allow for individuality and freedom of gender.  

Works Cited

“Crazed Conservative Calls DNC’S Gender-Neutral Bathrooms ‘Rape Rooms.’” query.com.

N.p., July 2016. Web.

“Understanding HeForShe.” Into The Gloss. N.p., 2014. Web.

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis. N.p., n.d. Web.

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