i suffered the most jaw-dropping sexism of my career this week. while my project team visited a lab in virginia, a scientist spent two days attacking my work under the premise that i have the mental acuity of a sea sponge. i later learned that this is his habit with women in a professional environment.
[go ahead and assume that there are expletives scattered throughout the text of this post. all the four-letter varieties.]
so… musings on the brainwashing of children into gender roles, part I. A. 1. a. i) Kids’ Rooms:
professional designers are behind the eight ball on this one. i regularly hear “i love this for a boy’s room!” in reference to a lego lamp or “this would be sooo cyooooot in a little girl’s room!!” in reference to floral curtains.
i love your work, candice olson, but this makes me want to inflict pain.
as long as we keep framing girls as delicate flowers, the boys around them will grow up believing that women are not qualified for serious work, and engineers such as myself will continue to be targeted for humiliation in a conference room full of men.
that sentence would have been insightful in a 1952 blog. i cannot believe i have typed it as if i needed to inform a modern day homo sapien of this fact.
girl vs. boy polarity is a direct cause of sexism in STEM fields. if you don’t know what a STEM field is, go jump off a cliff.
there are rare cases where a designer gets this shiz right. i’m feeling the mix of feminine and masculine in the cortney/robert novogratz approach here:
crystal chandelier and toile in a boys’ room? HECK YES. that is a home run.
the corresponding novogratz girl’s room is a collection of vintage stuff pulled together to reference femininity without screaming it. check out the balance between the weighty silhouette of the night stand and the ethereal headboard. my inner 13-year-old salivates.
the novogratz have a unique take on, well, almost everything. they really do nail it on the kid-friendly spaces.
stepping beyond the novogratz universe, i’ve noticed that the usual approach to gender neutral rooms is to go for bold shapes and colors in a mod flavor. i approve!
the core whimsy of mod is ideal for kids, and its place as a staple look in the history books will mean that this aesthetic will always be an option for parents even as trends change.
now back to the bottom line: say your son spends his childhood in a room full of blue plaids and dinosaurs and legos and toy flamethrowers while his sister prances around her lace canopy bed in a pink dress. if i catch him disrespecting the intelligence of his female coworkers twenty years later, i will put him in a WORLD of hurt. you better believe that i will be that person. and if it isn’t me, it will be someone else.
i am begging you all to think carefully about the rooms you build for your kids. they take notice.