- Posted by admin
- On september 27, 2015
- 0 Comments
- #accept, #classified, #female, #gender, #genderneutral, #HEMA, #hen, #identity, #jim, #men, #NOOKS, #socialmedia, #sweden, #transgender
Last week there was a lot of commotion on social media when Medialaan announced that JIM will be replaced by a new ‘boy’ focused TV station. Twitter exploded and emotions ran up high in favor for an outspoken gender approach versus a gender neutral approach. Do we need to address both sexes in a different manner? Or are we evolving versus a gender neutral society in which gender equality rules?
An interesting topic I started researching in Sweden last spring, a country in which a huge transition is taking place. Driven by the need of gender neutrality, they raise their kids in a gender neutral way. Girls can play with all ‘boyish’ toys, and boys can go to school in a dress if that is their wish. As a parent you are not ‘supposed’ to intervene in the ‘gender’ preference by your child. As a woman, it is not accepted to show of your ‘female’ aspects. So forget to dress sexy, wear high heels, color your hair or show off your cleavage in a too obvious way. It is all considered as ‘not done’. To officialize this, Sweden added to their dictionary last April the word ‘HEN’ to ‘HAN (= he) and ‘HON’ (=she). Hen refers to a person without revealing its gender. This idea was launched by a group of transgenders years ago, read more about it here. The Swedish government believes that this will help the children grow up without feeling the consequences and judgement of their gender.
But not only in Sweden you see an enormous gender neutral focus taking place. The Flemish government doesn`t want to distinct men and women anymore and has already drawn up a plan to become a fully ‘gender neutral’ government. Liesbeth Homans wants to introduce gender neutral toilets in the offices, and they will only allow gender neutral vacancies to be published.
Last February, also Facebook made it possible to choose between 58 different sorts of identities or to let you fill in your own chosen identity, allowing people not to be ‘stuck’ in their own sexe.
Also dating sites like OKcupid let you choose between your own or a different identity, that isn’t a male or female identity. A toy brand called NOOKS is only creating gender neutral toys. HEMA has used a transgender model to promote a push up bra. Yves Saint Laurent used a female model for their male winter campaign. Gender neutral clothes are popping up everywhere. Agender, a genderless shopping experience by Selfridges or the Swedish Nudie jeans are just a few examples of a genderless trend that seems to win importance. Female and male patterns are being seeing as less and less relevant. Being yourself is all that seems to matters and it looks like companies should definitely take it in to consideration. So looking at the decision of Medialaan in that perspective, a boys only TV station seems old fashioned and wrong. Time will tell if the genderless trend will become mainstream.