Reading Summaries 3 & 4

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis Magazine. Mar. 2015. Web. 06 Feb. 2016. Writer Suzanne Trick gives her realtors insight on how “gender-neutral design” is bound to become the next big thing in the workplace. We don’t initially pay attention that how offices are normally designed from men. We are so accustomed to the masculine theme of workplaces because of men’s power roles throughout history. The males’ needs were deemed as the most important, so the design of the workspaces had been catered to their needs. There is an apparent new wave of feminism. With help from Emma Watson and the LGBTQ community, there has become a more gradual acceptance of unisex spaces. “In the workplace, the barriers in hierarchies have started to come down as women have become more prominent.” Designers have started incorporating “gender sensitivity “into the spaces that they’re designing. Because of the growing trend of the obscuring of gender roles the accommodation for those in transgender communities and androgynists has become more necessary. In the workplace, bathrooms have become the main focus of this new trend that we’ve been discussing. Some coworkers aren’t comfortable with sharing a restroom with a transgender coworker. Now the concern becomes how can restrooms in the workplace accommodate all genders while respecting each individual’s needs. Bazelon, Emily. “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating’.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Nov. 2015. Web. 06 Feb. 2016. In this article Emily Bazelon points out that the word “accommodate” is often used when discussing bathroom access and can be both welcoming and hospitable, and compulsive. It has...

Reading Summary #3

Bazelon, Emily. “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating.’” The New York Times 17 Nov. 2015. NYTimes.com. Web. 23 Feb. 2016. This article, written by Emily Bazelon for The New York Times, covers the issue of integrating gendered bathrooms and cites several examples where people are trying to make that push. One example is in Texas, where a law that would prevent discrimination in the workplace on the basis of age, race, sexual orientation and gender identity was rejected with a campaign that used fear to influence voters to vote against it. It also goes through two different examples of high school transgender students and their efforts to push for accommodation in the schools’ locker rooms. Bazelon helps to clarify what she means by accommodation: “‘Accommodate’ can have a compulsory aspect — it’s a word that involves moving over to make room for other people, whether you want to or not.” This article would be useful to anyone seeking to analyze the gendered built environment and how it affects where people are allowed to go and where they are able to feel...

Annotated Biography Four (Making Bathrooms More ‘Accomodating’)

In the article Making Bathrooms More ‘Accomodating’ by Emily Bazelon, there are a number of arguments made in favor of unisex (i.e. all-gender) bathrooms. Bazelon argues that the root cause of sex-segregated bathrooms occurred in the 19th century when women began entering into previously male-dominated areas like factories and libraries. At the time, people believed women were prone to fainting and so they required special rooms they could rest in. The sex-segregated bathrooms were also created to address privacy and sanitation concerns. In contrast, the modern-day woman isn’t concerned by such matters. Another argument by Bazelon is that sex should no longer be determined by biology, but by how people feel and express themselves. This is because a person who is biologically female may feel she is male—or express that she is male–and because there are other sex-chromosome combinations besides XY and XX. The third main argument of this article has to do with accommodation and feelings; the entire article is about accommodation, but Bazelon provides examples of US schools already accommodating the transgendered by using their preferred names and pronouns, so the question she raises are why not go further and shouldn’t we make everyone feel welcome? This article is interesting in the sense that it introduces the reader to new ideas, especially if the reader is conservative; however, I don’t consider The New York Times to be obejctive. Take for instance this article. A strong opposing argument is never offered (against unisex bathrooms or the idea of transgenderism), although Bazelon does bring up the Houston campaign against unisex bathrooms–which made use of the commonly perpetuated belief that...

Reading Summary 4

The most distinct and clearest visual marker that separates male and female are the signs on public bathroom entrances. Having Men on one door and Women on the other; people in society have to choose what gender they are every time before they enter a bathroom. In this new generation gender equality is slowly being adopted in all aspects of life in society. But restrooms being a public convince, freely available in most places and are open to all; are still a place where gender is separated. Restrooms are ultimately where we as humans go and obey the dictates of our bodies, therefore it is natural to feel vulnerable. Due to this, humans have created a standard were when someone confuses male and female and walk through the wrong door, that person risks discomfort or even real trouble. But now transgender people are asking society to rethink this old convention of signs. The world is not yet ready to idea of mixing male and female anatomy in multistall bathrooms and locker rooms. As evident in in the voters rejection of a broad equal rights ordinance in Houston. This  law would have protected individuals against discrimination in housing and employment, as well as public spaces, on the basis of several categories, including age and race along with sexual orientation and gender identity. The opponents won , by  nicknaming the law the “bathroom ordinance” also making a t-shirt and TV ad showing a sinister man threatening a girl in the stall, as a result successfully instilling fear in the voters. In contrary to Houston recent rejection for gender equality bathrooms. School...

Accommodation for Gender Equivalency in Public Bathrooms

In the article Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating,’ Emily Bazelon raises the awareness of the social restraints that derive from the evolving society in America—directly pertaining to the subject of gender. In particular, the author addresses the most obvious form of gender segregation in the interior design of everyday facilities: bathrooms. The separation of sexes through bathrooms, or locker rooms, has been accepted as a social norm since women entered the working world, but with the ascending awareness and population of transgender citizens, an aching issue is revealed: individuals find it difficult to enter a bathroom comfortably. A transgender woman identifies herself as a woman, and therefore she would prefer to enter the women’s bathroom, “but some other women can only see them as men, and so they don’t want to make room” (Bazelon). Today, the definition of male and female does not solely pertain to the physical manifestation of the body when a girl or boy is born, because now science and social-standards have progressed to a point where a person can choose the way in which to be called. Gender no longer has two simple options and has become a blurry subject. Therefore, instead of maintaining gender-specific bathrooms, the author calls to attention the need for accommodation. The author provides the reader with a clear explanation of what it means to accommodate: ”to adapt, to bring into agreement or harmony, to furnish with something desired or needed, to favor or oblige” (Bazelon). The author informs the readers that accommodations have already been made in order to accept racial diversity, individuals with disabilities and in terms of the freedom...
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