Post 10: Constructive Idea Discussion

By Basilia Dulawan

Reflection + Summary

Sharing my draft proposal with a few peers as well as Jacquie was a really beneficial exercise as it challenged me to think about how I would actually approach the design proposition, what parameters I needed to include, and shown what needed to be stronger in my proposition.

Initially the generative system I proposed was going to rely on data generated from Twitter, catching tweets that used the phrases “He is a…” or “She is a…”, but the problem that Jacquie highlighted was that it was too generic and the responses can be taken out of context. Jacquie suggested that I instead create a survey with a series of semi-specific questions that participants can answer. Additionally, to avoid skewing the results toward people who share similar mindsets to me, it was raised that I shouldn’t just post this on my Facebook page, but use Reddit and other survey forums to allow a greater variety of people to respond. This was a critical realisation for me as I wanted to be able to produce a variety of honest answers, but didn’t think beyond the way in which I know how to scrape the web for data, which is Twitter. The next challenge was writing semi-specific questions that didn’t probe at a certain response.

Another key moment that came out of this discussion was Jacquie suggesting that I speak to Chris Gaul and Thomas Ricciardiello about ways in which I could make the generative system update in real-time, and use processing to make sense of the data generated. Overall, through this discussion I was able to distill what it is I wanted to investigate further, and how my proposition would respond to this.


Project Title: RE-THINK. 

Practice Type: Generative System (with a side of Data Visualisation)

The Issue: Gender Inequality in Language

The Possible Change: Awareness about the gender inequalities that exist in society’s everyday language and the realisation that it is through language that we support the continuation of Gender Inequality. With this awareness, people can make a conscious change in the words they choose to use toward Women and Men. 

Design Action to support change:

A key moment in my research was listening to filmmaker and documentarian Lauren Greenfield emphasise the power of words, and how they shape the development of young girls. I was particularly inspired by her work for Always with the initial #LikeAGirl Campaign which she aimed to change the perception of the ‘Like A Girl’ phrase, from an insult to an empowering compliment that girl’s can own. Coupled with another key finding of the way in which we raise boys and girls that made me question –  Why is it that society raises boys to be brave, but girls to be cautious, and lady-like?

The common element throughout my research was, language. How women refer to other women, how women refer to men, how men refer to women, how men refer to other men and how we describe ourselves. For my design proposition I want to explore gendered language, and how it is used, if used, by 18-25yr olds on social media. I aim to create a generative system that aggregates data/user responses, then visually plots these words on screen. As the data grows over time, the visual produced will update in real time – increasing the size of words that are more commonly used, plotting new words and changing the colour of the text depending on what gender it was used to describe. What I am hoping to achieve is a visual that illustrates the gendered language we  as 18-25yr olds use, and with this, bring an awareness to the change that needs to occur in our everyday interactions simply by the language we choose to use. I hope that this generative system that can be visited online, makes everyone – specifically 18-25yr olds, more aware of the words that support the continuation of Gender Inequality and thus more conscious about the words they choose to use toward men and women.


Post 9: Stop. Collaborate & Listen.

By Basilia Dulawan

Working collaboratively with two other students also working on Gender Equality, it was an interesting process having to explain the specific issue you wanted to explore within the broader issue of Gender Equality. The biggest strength of working collaboratively on brainstorming design ideas was that we had the opportunity to suggest, generate and build up someone else’s idea from fresh eyes. Additionally, being given the IDEO Brainstorm rules especially: Defer Judgement, was something new and when generating ideas for my own issue or for someone else’s I kept that in mind because I find I will judge the idea in my head and never write it down. What this process taught me was to write it down no matter what, filter and sort through later.

This was one of my first ideas, however I couldn’t find a way to connect it to a Data Visualisation, Generative System or Service Design. But using this as a starting point I was able to re-think what I was trying to communicate with that approach. 
While trying to brainstorm an idea for Service Design (while not completely understanding what it actual was), I started to list the areas ‘touch points’ that parents would frequent with their children. Initially my issue statement was about up-brining and the way in which we interact and develop our children, therefore I wanted thought the audience should be Parents. The issue here when discussing it with my tutor was that this was not the target audience. When I tried to brainstorm what were the touch points for 18-25 year olds, it was social media and outdoor posters/screens near train stations or universities.
An example of an idea I came up with that wasn’t great, but wrote down anyway. 


Input from one of the other students. One of the weaknesses of this process was having everyone understand your issue completely as we were only given a short amount of time before we begun brainstorming. Therefore, it maybe wasn’t as productive as it could have been. 
In between thinking of new ideas, when I would get stuck I would write down objects and places that the audience would use and visit. The strength in doing this was that it allowed me to keep the momentum going, and think about other areas/mediums I hadn’t previously considered. 


The second time I tried this method was at home, I grabbed some post-it notes and set the time for 15 minutes. I found that I was able to produce more ideas in that 15 minutes alone that I was when I had 15 minutes with the group. This could be because I’ve had more time to think about it, or also because I think it can be daunting to be given an big sheet of blank paper to fill up, so working on small post-it’s was less intimidating. I also feel that because I was alone doing this exercise I wasn’t worried about if other people understood my issue currently, or thinking about why they weren’t writing anything down.

This is what I came up with:


Clearly there is a strong presence of Data Visualisation ideas. This is definitely something I’m excited about exploring further and possibly even combining code+generative systems to create these Data Visualisations. 

When the roles were reversed and I was the one contributing to another’s design ideas, I treated it as if it were my own. I tried to think of as many ideas as possible and even building on what they had written down.

Post 8: It’s all in the language

By Basilia Dulawan

In this week’s session what I found most beneficial was being able to work individually on our own issue before brainstorming as a group for design possibilities. Going through each of the questions ‘Who does the problem affect?’, ‘What are the boundaries of the problem?’ and specifically ‘When + Where does the problem occur?’, made the design problem seem a lot clearer. Language was something that kept coming up in my answers to the questions, and that’s what I based the brainstorming of possibilities around.

The boundaries of the problem is representational – gender norms and stereotypes, and the language used.

Who does the problem affect?
Adolescent girls & boys particularly those going through puberty as this is their formative stage that influences their confidence, mindset and perspective.

What are the boundaries of the problem?
Boundaries are representations: Gender Norms and stereotypes as well as the particular language we use that can be skewed to one gender.

What if the problem was fixed?
Girls could feel as thought they really could do anything, additionally, once they transition into adult life, they would have less gender norms and stereotypes to influence their career choices. Additionally the perception of Boy and Men would also change and become more free and open.

Young girl’s lack of limitations in their mentality that they feel in their pre-pubescent stage, as well as their confidence, can therefore carry through to every stage of their life instead of dropping in puberty.

What if the problem wasn’t solved?
Society and the way girls loose confidence in their adolescent years, would just continue at the same rate as it is going now.

When does the problem occur?
During adolescence for girls, particularly through everyday interactions with adults, friends, parents and the language they use around and toward them.
i.e raising boys to be brave and girls to be proper, cautious and ladylike.

When does the problem need to be fixed?
Now ideally, but specifically in the early stages of primary school all the way through highschool. It requires education and awareness between young girls and boys – and even their parents.

Where is the problem occurring? 
At home, at school, in the media and entertainment, in the playground, in clothing stores, in books and in extra curricular activities.

Why is it important that the problem is fixed?
So that Women and Men have equal opportunity. So that Women feel just as empowered as men to do what they want. So that there is no or at least less pressure of how Men and Women should be.

Issue Statement

The root of Gender Inequality starts with the way we raise our boys and girls, particularly with the language we use when we address, encourage and treat them day-to-day. 

> Initially, I had forgotten about the target audience being 18-25, so this issue Statement was mainly targeting Parents, Teachers, Coaches – basically anyone who has an influence of the development of children. This issue is highlighted in this article and these case studies here and here.

[Amended] The root of Gender Inequality starts with language. The way in which we interact with men, women and children in our families, friendship circles and workplace – particularly with our choice of words we use to describe, compliment, encourage, or even put down, can be very different between each gender.

Five point summary of design possibilities:

  1. Create a generative system that looks at the language used when describing women and men on twitter. For example, every time the word ‘strong’ is used to describe a woman the size of the word is increased by 1pt, and more pink is added to it’s colour value, and if it were used to describe a male, more blue would be added to it’s colour value. In this way, we can identify the language which we have applied gender to, as well as language which isn’t separated or reserved for a specific gender. (Generative System/Data Visualisation)
  2. Inspired by the work of two Australian advertising executives Georgia Patch and Kiah Nicholas, who noticed that google’s definition for words like “housework” and “promiscuous” were only described as female “she was…” or “her mother…” and created a social movement on Instagram @redefineWomen #redefineWomen, I propose visualising the language used to describe women throughout history. I think it would draw out some insights in how the representation and perception of women has changed (hopefully), and possibly highlight how outdated these current definitions used by google are.  (Data Visualisation)redefinewomen
  3. Scraping social media such as Twitter on Instagram to generate data of three things:
    Men describing Women
    Women describing Women
    Women describing themselves
    Using this data I would create a visualisation of these words keeping into account how many times they were used and from which context (Men describe Women etc), and I’m not sure what the results would be, but based on this interview in which Taraji P. Henson says “When you [Women] embrace each other and you stick together, look at what these women [in ‘Hidden Figures’] were able to accomplish.”, I think what’s important to ask is ‘How are Women portraying themselves?’, ‘What language do Women choose to describe each other? Is it at all different to how Men describe Women?’. By visualising this, I think it would bring an awareness to Women that we need to support each other and to Men that it’s not ok to describe us in a sexist way – but in saying this, I could never be too sure that this is what the data would highlight. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to explore.
  4. Data visualisation of words associated with Gender Norms and Stereotypes as well as words that have been used outside of those ‘traditional’ terms. I think it would also be interesting to include the time/year in which these new words started to be used in relation to Women. The main thing here that it might show would be the progress we as a society is making in the perception of Women and their abilities.
  5. Researching influential Women throughout history and visualising the language used to describe them as well as the gender of the author who wrote the description. This would be another way in which we could see the progress society is making in the perception of Women and their abilities throughout history.


Draft Proposal 

Words are something we use everyday. When we speak to people physically or through the many possibilities of the internet, we use words the convey what we mean. But what if what we think we mean, isn’t actually our intention? Words are powerful. They carry meaning beyond their typical definition and through history, take on their own connotations. As history changes, how too have our words? The root of Gender Inequality began with the formation of traditions and gender roles, but what stems and supports it is language. The way in which we interact with men, women and children in our families, friendship circles and workplace – particularly with our choice of words we use to describe, compliment, encourage, or even put down, can shape the very people we interact with. That being said, I want to look at the language we use toward each gender and explore what words cross over and what words are more skewed toward one gender.

Therefore, considering the target audience of 18-25yr olds spend a lot of their time on social media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I propose that I create a generative system that uses data from a social media channel such as Twitter to bring insight into the words we use to describe males and females, in an attempt to understand in what ways Gender Inequality exists in our language. The generative system would be based on Twitter data that is generated over a 24hr period from users based in Australia or more narrowly, New South Wales, every time a word is used to describe a female or a male using the phrases “She/He is…” or “She/He was…”, the words at the end of the phrase will be plotted onto the generative screen. As certain words or phrases are repeated in the data, the word plotted with grow in size and opacity. Colour will be used to visualise what gender the word was used to describe – instead of using the typical pink and blue, I propose using alternative colour combinations such as purple and orange or pink and green. This is an important aspect of this generative system as it can really emphasise the results and possibly make these gendered words more clear.

With this approach it would be interesting to see what words are more commonly used to describe males as opposed to females and vice versa. With this focus on language, it could open up the conversation about the subtle yet impactful ways Gender Inequality exists in our society. One thing that I want to focus on in my design response is to be able to understand the human aspects of the data – this is something Jer Thorpe emphasises in his 2011 TED talk.




Redefine Women, 2016, Instagram, viewed 6 September 2016, <>.

Redefine Women, 2016, Instagram, viewed 6 September 2016, <>.

Redefine Women, 2016, Instagram, viewed 6 September 2016, <>.

The Hollywood Reporter 2016, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer “Power of Women Sticking Together” in ‘Hidden Figures’ | TIFF 2016, video recording, Youtube, viewed 10th September 2016, <>.

Post 7: Collaborative Issue Mapping

By Basilia Dulawan



While mapping the Polemic: Pay Gap and the emotions and motivations that come along with it (see first image), we realised how everything is connected. We felt it was important to map the emotions of Men as well as Women. Red lines were used to connect anything that refers to Women – they’re feelings and motivations, while the brown lines refer to Men. Although this is only a map of the Pay Gap, a lot of these emotions and motivations would also be used if mapping out the other polemics.

Resonant terms: Feminism, actually meaning Equality, but commonly misunderstood to mean man-hating or only women’s rights.


What was interesting here was the representation of women (top image) – words like ‘Bossy’, ‘Weak’, and ‘Timid’ and from the bottom image, the barriers that Women face. I would argue these barriers are influenced heavily or if not, due to the representation of Women.

During this issue mapping exercise, I worked collaboratively with Natalie and we had similar points of views, so while brainstorming and listing things we were able to bounce-off each other and build upon what one person was saying. At the same time, we also challenged each other particularly in the ‘Polemics, Emotions and Motivations’ map, while we would mainly be thinking from the perspective of a Woman, each time one of us would pull up on this and ask ‘What about the Men? What’s their view on this?’. Looking back, I think this was crucial for us to do to each other, as what I’m really learning from the course of my research is that, it is about Men as much as it’s about Women. And if we understand this, how much of our demographic (18-25yr olds), also know this to be the case? The lack of education, awareness and understanding is very much part of the problem that fuels the misunderstanding of the resonant term: Feminism and Gender Equality – which Jackson Katz highlights:

“This is also true, by the way, of the word “gender,” because a lot of people hear the word “gender” and they think it means “women.” So they think that gender issues is synonymous with women’s issues. There’s some confusion about the term gender.”

Therefore, this could be the design problem I try and find a design solution for. I think the possibilities for action to create change is to include Men into the conversation by changing the perspective of these terms: Feminism and Gender Equality – away from what people perceive them to be i.e Women only or Man hating, and toward what they actually mean – equal opportunity for all.




Katz, J. 2012, Violence against Women – It’s a Men’s Issue, Ted, New York, viewed 31/07/2016 <>.

Post 6: The Web is an honest place, it will call you out for your sexist remarks

When I initially scraped the web for data using Twitter Archiver, I had very general search rules like #GenderEquality and #LikeAGirl, and within a few minutes I had 10,000+ tweets which was completely overwhelming. Scrolling through some of the results a lot of it covered a broad range of the issue and many were re-tweets. My next search I narrowed it to tweets containing boys, girls, gender equality and/or the words feminine, masculine, masculinity, femininity, youth or adolescence. This search produced less results but because I had only had the search up for a few minutes the results were retweets.


Results of one of my twitter scrapings. It was interesting to look into the profile of the Twitter User who was being retweeted heavily. Additionally, some conditionals I used for this twitter search produced results I did not expect, like this one for example. 

Once I had gotten the hang of how Twitter Archiver works, I thought it would be interesting to see how people described or tweeted about Hillary Clinton in relation to her hair, makeup, and looks as this has been highlighted especially in the most recent Rio Olympics with female athletes. Then my next search I changed it to Donald Trump keeping the same words ‘hair’, ‘makeup’, ‘look’ and ‘pretty’. The results were not what I was expecting and once looking at the data and comparing the tweets from Hillary to Trump, there was no obvious patterns I noticed in how people tweet about the two.

My findings were:

  1. People take to twitter to call out sexist and minsogynst remarks made by people in the media – crucial actors in the issue of Gender Equality, and look to challenge their perspective. In this case, many criticised Donald Trump for saying that Hillary Clinton doesn’t have that ‘Presidential Look’ – which many pointed out was because she is a Woman, and all others before her were male.


  2. Looking specifically at the American presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, one of the main things that was highlighted in this scraping was the double standards that exist between the two, specifically with Hillary (which she speaks about in her latest Humans of New York interview), who the chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus told needs to ‘smile more’. The results revealed that people were not down for this comment which seems to only be used toward women. 


  3. Many people followed up their tweets to links to reputable articles from The Huffington Post, the New York Times and Think Progress. This was actually very beneficial for me as I found some interesting articles about Gender Equality throughout the presidential campaign.
  4. Using conditional formatting in google sheets, I was able to sort my results by each word I added in the search rule. It produced the following results:Trump: 9pgs of results for ‘hair’, 1/4 pg of results for makeup, 2pgs of results for Presidential Look

    Hillary: 5pgs of results for hair, 1/2pg of results for makeup, 24pgs of results for Presidential Look

  5. While looking at the tweets it was obvious who was a Trump or Hillary supporter, and in a lot of the tweets I highlighted, I was able to find influential stakeholders/accounts for each candidate. This could be very useful in finding and understanding crucial stakeholders for the demographic 18-25 for my design proposal.

Additionally, I learnt that search rules should be run over the course of a few days or at least a few hours. Because I only had the free version of Twitter Archiver I could only run one rule at a time, and as I wanted to compare the data as soon as possible, I only let the search run for 5 minutes. Therefore it generated results from the time that I started the search rule, up until two days prior to it. However, if I had left it over the course of a few hours it would search once per hour.


Rampell, C. ‘How Hillary Clinton can get that ‘presidential look’ thank you, .’ Twitter post, 8 September, viewed 10 September 2016, <;.

Ruberry, E. ‘”Smile more! Be more upbeat!” Hillary Clinton is running for President, not Miss America.’ Twitter post, 8 September, viewed 10 September 2016, <;.

Ryan, E. ‘Imagine being an adult in 2016 and still not knowing how obnoxious women find it when you tell women they should smile’ Twitter post, 8 September, viewed 10 September 2016, <;.


Post 5: Ethnography, discovering the unexpected

By Basilia Dulawan


Alya H.


As I identified one of the main stakeholders in the stakeholder map to be media, I wanted my interviewee to take photos and screenshots of how women are portrayed in media in whatever she came across i.e billboards, posters, ADs, Instagram, Facebook posts or headlines etc.

Once she had documented this over 3 days, I asked if she could sort them out in what she thinks is an empowering/positive portrayal and a Negative/degrading portrayal of Women.


“I noticed that women in my social media were not portrayed in distinctive ways. It was pretty negative. Mostly just women in bikinis, sexual objects kind of thing and just on the Instagram like stereotypes about us eating salad and crap. Even the fashion shoot…super sexualised. I didn’t see any like empowering posts or anything.”

Instagram: Izi Simundic

Instagram bio reads:
LONDON Blog: Editor of @the_editorialist • • THEEDITORIALIST.COM.AU

Babe, The Tab. 
Instagram: Windsor Smith 
YouTube + Facebook: Alan Tsibulya
Instagram: Nympha London

What I found from the results of my probe was that the main source of exposure of the portrayal of Women is in social media, specifically Instagram. My participant not only followed individuals but also Australian stores such as Windsor Smith which she interestingly included a quote that they posted on their Instagram account. A lot of the things I noticed was that the portrayal of Women, which Alya points out, had a lot to do with food and body image – something I was not expecting to realise/find.

I think next time I would set a more specific task for example: Here is a polaroid camera, a marker, a small notebook and some sticky tape, I would like you to bring this around with you for today wherever you go. As you go along your day, please take a photo whenever you see Women displayed or referenced on ADs, Magazine stands, TV, Social Media etc. Stick these into the notebook provided and included where you were, what time it was, what you saw and how you thought the Women were portrayed. Additionally, was there any language used to accompany the visuals? If so, what did it say?

The task wasn’t overly successful in providing numerous and varying insights in the portrayal of Women in the media, but I do think I gained some insight into how a young woman perceives Women portrayed in media – something that I wasn’t expecting to get out from this probe.

Next time, I would also ask 3-4 females from different age groups.

Additionally, what I did find beneficial for my ethnography was the semi-structured interviews. Before the interviews I had 4 questions prepared:

  1. What do you think the word “Feminist” means?
  2. How do you feel when you hear the word “Feminism”?
  3. As a Man/Woman, do you feel pressured to act a certain way – follow a certain career path?
  4. Is there anything you feel you can’t do because you are a woman?

I found this created a good foundation that allowed the conversation to develop naturally.

Overall she had positive associations with the word Feminism and said it just means that everyone is equal – which I agree with. I think it was good to start off with this question as it definitely set the tone and helped me understand how she understood the issue of Gender Equality. She also explained that she had always held this view of the word feminism, but understood that not everyone understands it to mean equality. Alya points out that a huge factor to the term being misunderstood is education, upbringing and where you were born. It’s important to note that she was brought up in a very open-minded community (the inner west), and raised with the belief that men and women aren’t different which her parents live out. She says with her parents there is no distinction between who does the cooking, cleaning or housework.

When it comes to feeling pressured to act a certain way, she has never felt pressured, but has received negative reactions from others when she vocalised that being a mother and having children is never something she really wants to do and that her career comes first. A lot of the time people say “Oh you’ll change, you’ll get that motherly instinct” as if it’s something that as a woman, you need to get. Additionally other people say “Well you can do both” as in a career and have kids, but Alya’s perspective is that you can’t, not if you want to be at the top of your career and if you did both you could do a mediocre job of both, but she would rather do a great job at just one – her career.

On another note one of the insights I found when I spoke to Alya was that Women in a corporate world such as Alya’s mum – a lawyer, dress in a certain, professional way to be heard. When Alya questioned why her mum wore heels to work when she had bunions and sore feet, her mum explained that as a small woman, she needed to have that extra height to command authority and be heard, it was about dominance physically.



In summary I found:

  1. You can’t anticipate what you will discover
  2. Active listening and not interrupting your participant is very important, especially during the semi-structured interviews
  3. Providing a more specific probe task for the participant with physical tools/materials may improve the depth of results and insights found
  4. Social Media is one of the most important/relevant sources of media in the portrayal of Women
  5. Women are portrayed in not necessarily a positive or negative way, but are definitely portrayed in reference to their body image and food choices.

Post 3: Adjust the focus. Gender Equality is a Men’s issue too

By Basilia Dulawan

Mapping Participants (human + non human)

Week 2 Map

Stakeholder Map created in collaboration with Anna Carmody, Camilla Ahlstrom and Andrew Vuong.

Which actors share the same values, views (worldviews) and which do not? 

While looking at our map and thinking about which actors share the same values and worldviews, I found that a lot of my answers were that some stakeholders within the categories identified would share the same values with other stakeholders and others in the same category would not. This is probably a reflection that our map was too broad/general. For example, society and the media were two of our stakeholders and we identified that they held the most influence (alongside the UN, Policy Makers and Men), however some people in society would hold the same values and views as the media, and some of course would not. The one thing that was made clear, was that one stakeholder would not have it’s influence if it wasn’t for the other – they directly feed off each other – society has the power to decide where their values lie and the media will respond to that, but at the same time, the media has an incredible power to sway society, and place specific perspectives, worldviews and values into the minds of their audience – who then again, get to decide what is of value to them and what their perspective is. It is a constant feedback loop between these ‘actors’.

Week 5 Map

During this mapping exercise, now paired with other people who are exploring the same issue of Gender Equality and Women’s Rights, we took a slightly different approach and created sub-headings of factors that have contributed to Gender Inequality and Gender Equality, and listed the stakeholders underneath them. For me this was a really interesting exercise as the factors and stakeholders the other group members came up with broadened my understanding of Gender Equality.

While looking at this new map, I can see again that the Media – specifically mainstream Women’s and Men’s Magazines as well as social media, hold a negative impact on Gender Equality, as are driving forces for Body Shaming and Body Image issues, and defining what it is to be feminine and masculine. However, I do feel that media is changing with the rise of social media and celebrities/women in media such as Jennifer Lawrence, Tavi Gevinson , Emma Watson and Jessica Walsh are speaking up about Gender Inequality and through their own work, showing other girls that there is no one way to be. Women can no longer be restricted to what Men, the Media and Society has told women they should be. Therefore, as lot of these stakeholders have the same values and worldviews, there are a lot more stakeholders peppered throughout this list that are coming up to challenge and hopefully change their perspective on Gender Equality.


Categorising 21 words associated with Gender Equality and Women’s rights from Emotive, Inflammatory, Factual, Antagonistic, Divisive and Disruptive.

Another exercise that I found really interesting was categorising 21 of the 100 words associated with Gender Equality and Women’s rights which we came up with as a group. From these categories we plotted the words onto a line between two different variables i.e Simple and Complex, Positive and Negative and Active and Passive. After doing this we took the words plotted along the Simple and Complex scale and turned them into (somewhat) a poem.

Male Advocacy, Like a Girl.
Misogyny, Contradiction
Voice and Capability
Masculinity and Motherhood. 
Consent – Victim Blaming
Slut, or Princess?
Male Privilege, Double Standards.
Self-Esteem and Confidence.
Objectify, Perspective. 
Pay Gap, Rape Culture. 

After performing this in front of our peers as a group, the pairs we drew from these words simply by following the way in which we plotted the words along the scale from Simple to Complex created a real depth to understanding the issue of Gender Equality and Women’s Rights. What it highlights for me is how important the role of males are in the issue.


10 Images + Annotations

We are Equal

In this poster designed by Kevin Aderland titled ‘Facial’ he depicts two specific character traits of Men and Women – Masculinity, the moustache and Femininity, the bright red painted lips. As each are of equal proportion Aderland’s poster represents Gender Equality underlined by the words ‘we are equal’, typeset without the use of capitalisation or uppercase letters, further emphasising the idea of Gender Equality, that no one holds more power than the other.

Women’s Voice in Power

This poster design visualises what I’ve found most true in my research. Above in the stakeholders map I mentioned that the actors that hold the most influence in achieving Gender Equality and Women’s Rights was Policy Makers i.e Men in Power. This is also true when I read this report for one the 25 articles I read when I first started researching this issue. What it highlights is that Men are the majority who hold positions of power – in Government, in the Workplace and in the Boardrooms, therefore if they are the majority of voices – who is being heard? Who’s issues are given priority? Who’s policies are most likely to change? In saying this, I would like to see how many of those male voices are too standing up for Gender Equality.

Canada’s Cabinet Members 2016

Which leads me to the great Justin Trudeau – Canada’s current Prime Minister, who appointed for the first time in Canada’s history, a Gender Equal cabinet with 15 Women and 15 Men. He is a man in power using not only his voice but his actions to empower society. This photo represents a step toward Gender Equality especially at a global level.

The issue of Gender Equality needs to put it to Men, get them involved in the conversation – adjust the focus.

When I found this poster design, I resonated with me so much. After listening to these Ted talks by Michael Kimmel titled “Why Gender Equality if Good for Everyone – Men included” and “Violence against Women – it’s a Men’s Issue” by Jackson Katz, they shared the same sentiment that Gender Equality is a Men’s Issue, but we need to invite men into the conversation. If we adjust the focus, and get men engaged with understanding the issue and educating them on how it influences them too, then we can truly start to implement some changes, specifically attitudinal ones that switch the conversation from being seen as man-hating/women loving feminism, to what it is actually about: Men and Women being equal.

Rio Olympic Headline exemplifying how men are glorified over women in Media.

During the recent Rio Olympics Gender InEquality was definitely highlighted by the way in which Media portrayed female athletes. From crediting Women’s success to their husbands and celebrating Men’s success over Women’s. In this case this headline captures that explicitly as Katie Ledecky a female US Swimmer, had set a world record and won gold in her event yet her headline was placed below Phelps who had tied for silver. When I saw this image circulating around Facebook, I started to notice these subtle differences in the portrayal of Men and Women through the media coverage of the Rio Olympics. After finding the actual source of the image, and looking at the reaction from other twitter users, many were divided – one person arguing that this wasn’t a case of Gender Equality, but just the fact that Phelps was more of a household name. Besides the fact that Phelps is an incredible athlete who has reached enormous success in his sport, is the reason Ledecky isn’t a household name (until now), because Women aren’t covered as much and given the same amount of exposure in the sporting arena?

Headline that speaks about male Olympians the way media talk about Female Olympians

Although, when they are covered by the sports media, they are given a very different treatment to male athletes especially when they are interviewed. In this video #CoverTheAthlete, it shows what happens when Male Athletes are asked the same questions female athletes are asked. I think what this video depicts is the clear gender inequality in sports media. Therefore, I thought this image below was incredibly powerful in exposing this inequalities as it’s sub-title reads “…if we talked about male Olympians the way we talk about female athletes.” – speaking about them in reference to their famous/successful partners rather than using their actual name in their own right.

_06Always #likeagirl
Smashing stereotypes. Unstoppable #LikeAGirl campaign

This still from the follow-up campaign to Always #LikeAGirl titled Always UnStoppable #LikeAGirl represents a young girl literally and metaphorically getting rid of the restrictions that society places on females that in essence, box them in. It’s powerful to see that she is kicking the box on which she wrote “Can’t be Brave” – something she’s noticed in fairytales and films – that the Women are the ones who always need saving, and it is the Men who come to rescue them.

Auto complete sexism from the Auto Complete Truth Campaign

Based on actual Google search results that creators Memac Ogilvy and Mather Dubai say was in no way engineered to produce those results and it was in fact these search results when they typed in “women should”, that sparked the whole idea for the campaign as they were naturally shocked by the results. However, they mention that the campaign is so much about the Google autocomplete suggestions, but rather used the medium to highlight the issue of gender inequality that women face. These images are so simple, and so powerful. By covering the women’s mouths with a search bar which the words “women should” and their results, effectively communicates the idea that societal norms and traditions of Gender roles dictate what Women should and shouldn’t do. What it doesn’t represent is the other side of Gender stereotypes – Men, as this too would be a powerful addition to highlight that these stereotypes do exist and that by fighting to break these Gender traditions, Women and Men can achieve equality.

NotThereYet Campaign supported by the Clinton Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

NotThereYet Campaign co-opted 40+ existing advertisements to remove the women from their ad on International Women’s Day 2015 to highlight that women are “not there” yet in terms of Gender Equality. I think the concept is an interesting one, and the website is a great resource to find out more about Gender Inequality, however when I first saw it I thought “What do you mean we’re not there?” If you look at the magazine stand, 4 out of 5 magazines feature women on their cover, and there are enormous billboards that feature Women – so by removing them, it highlighted to me that we are physically there in terms of media presence. What I do think it was successful in doing, was starting the conversation by asking “What is not there?” and being prompted to check out the website that replaces where the Women in the Ads once were.

‘Stop Ignoring’ by Ruonan Yan

For me this image does well in highlighting two things:

1. That society holds Men as priority

2. Gender Equality cannot be achieved without the Men. We cannot have one without the other, we cannot ignore 50% of the population.




Aderland, K. 2012, Facial, Poster for Tomorrow, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Alsuwaidi, M. 2012, Gender Equality, Poster for Tomorrow, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Always, 2015, Always #LikeAGirl – Confidence Summit announcing partnership with TED, YouTube, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Cohen, C. 2015, Justin Trudeau names Canada’s first equal cabinet with 15 men and 15 women ‘because it’s 2015’, The Telegraph, viewed 20 August 2016 <>.

Ember, S. 2015, ‘Not There’ Campaign Removes Women From Ads for International Women’s Day, The New York Times, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Griner, D. 2013, After Viral Success of Inequality Ads, Creators Say They Will Expand Campaign ‘Auto-Complete Truth’ sparks global debate, Ad Week, viewed 20 August 2016 <>.

Lanigan, R. 2016, Congrats girl! France of former Miss California scoops his 25th medal, The Tab, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Leong, N. 2016, This headline is a metaphor for basically the entire world, Twitter, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Moralez Garcidueñas, C. 2012, Women’s voice in Power, Poster for Tomorrow, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Yan, R. 2012, Stop Ignoring, Poster for Tomorrow, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Post 4: The power that words carry

By Basilia Dulawan

When I started researching a design studio that works in an emergent practice context as well as one that responds or advocates for Gender Equality, I wasn’t so sure I would find one. However, the Always #LikeAGirl campaign that I have written about previously here, I realised fits in the emergent practice context as it is design activism. The film produced challenges the current perception of what it means when someone says the phrase “like a girl”.

The #LikeAGirl campaign was born out of Always trying to connect with the next generation of girls who would use their products – something their competitors had already done via social media (D&AD, 2015). The campaign was a collaborative effort from Leo Burnett Chicago and Toronto, Holler – a creative agency in London, and most significantly, documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield who has studied ‘Girl Culture’ since 2002. Together they identified that “More than half of girls lose confidence during puberty – and a contributing factor to that drop are societal put-downs based solely on gender.” (Kauffman, K. 2015) In response to this, they created a social experiment aimed at challenging and changing both men and women’s perspective of the usually derogatory phrase “like a girl” (D&AD, 2015) which John notes, has “been around forever”. With this social experiment they recruited real women, men, boys and pre-pubescent girls and asked them to act out what they thought it meant to run like a girl, throw like a girl and fight like a girl. While filming these live responses Greenfield was able to capture authentic reactions and insights into what these people perceive to be “like a girl”. It is interesting that the semi-structured interview approach of their research which was filmed is actually what became the finished product for the campaign. There is no doubt that they did an incredible job analysing the responses they got from each interviewee to notice the shift in perspectives from the pre-pubescent girls who were seemingly unaffected by the phrase, to the men and women interviewed who held that negative association with it. Moreover, it was how they then edited and pieced together each question and response that allows the audience to experience the same insights they found while conducting this research.

I think the reason this campaign went viral in 2015, was because they weren’t trying to design anything new, but they basically found a creative way to put up a mirror to the audience and to allow them to see what we’re really doing when we say phrases such as “Oh, you run like a girl!” and the power that words carry. But instead of just leaving it at that, Greenfield has the great skill of then challenging her subjects and in-affect challenging the audience’s own perspective when she asks the questions: “When did doing something ‘like a girl’ become an insult?”, “So do you think you just insulted your sister?” and “Is ‘like a girl’ a good thing?” All in all, this design response is a true success in redefining the phrase ‘Like a girl’ from an insult, into an expression of strength and confidence in themselves.




D&AD 2016, Case Study: Always #LikeAGirl, London, viewed 15 August 2016, <>.

Kauffman, K. 2015, Leo’s Cannes Contenders: Always “#LikeAGirl”, Leo Burnett, viewed 15 August 2016, <>.


Marketing New Thinking Awards 2016, The Results: Brand Evolution, Sky Media, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.




Post 2: Building your expertise using scholarly secondary sources

By Basilia Dulawan

Article 1.

  • Novakovic, A. & Fouad, N.A. 2012, ‘Background, Personal, and Environmental Influences on the Career Panning of Adolescent Girls’, Journal of Career Development, pp. 223-244.

Featured in the Journal of Career Development from the Curators of the University of Missouri, this scholarly article is a researched based study that investigated the influence of background variables, personal variables and environmental variables on aspects of adolescent girls’ career planning. Authors Novakovic and Fouad hold PhD’s in Counselling and are practising Psychologists.

The authors take a neutral position from the beginning and have looked at many other studies before them to guide where they take their study. Throughout they reference previous authors/researchers and in their own research they acknowledge that “An understanding of the most important factors influencing women’s career development will assist the development of appropriate interventions aimed at helping women reach their full educational and career potential.” So they understand that Gender In-equality exists, but focus on studying why – specifically focusing on females which their research was based on 217 female high-school students.

The ‘Adolescent Career Development’ section of the report was particularly interesting for me as they write: “Adolescence is an especially important time for the study of women’s career development because adolescent girls may make career decisions that are influenced by gender stereotypes and experiences of discrimination in the educational setting. Decisions made during adolescence can profoundly impact women’s career trajectories.”

The report also declared that the authors had no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and publication of the article. Additionally they received no financial support for the research.


Article 2.

  • Patton, W. Bartrum, D. & Creed, P. 2004, ‘Gender Differences for Optimism, Self-esteem, Expectations and Goals in Predicting Career Planning and Exploration in Adolescence’, International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, pp. 193-209.

Study included 467 high school students. 242 females and 225 males.

This study examines males and females independently – and looks at each gender’s relationships with self-esteem, career maturity, career goals, optimism, career exploration and career planning, and how they effect each other. What they found is that males and females relate to these very differently.

It was hypothesized that the stable person inputs of optimism and self-esteem would predict career planning and career exploration through the variables of career expectations and career goals differentially for young males and females. For males, optimism and self-esteem influenced career expectations, sequentially predicting career goals, career planning and career exploration. A different pathway was identified for females, with optimism directly influencing career goals, which subsequently predicted career planning and career exploration. Self-esteem predicted career expectations, which then directly influenced career planning and career exploration by bypassing career goals. Results are discussed in the context of SCCT and CMR.

Reading through this article, one of the most interesting things I found was that “Females were found to score higher on measures of competency for career decision-making than males, whereas males scored higher on measures of vocational identity states and possessed a greater sense of optimism for the future.” What I begin to wonder is if the girl’s confidence crisis that begins to plummet during puberty (Always, 2015) has an effect on this result.

Furthermore, this study also showed that “…students with high levels of optimism showed higher levels of career planning and career exploration, were more decided about their career decision and had more career goals.” Therefore, as males possessed a greater sense of optimism, this means that they are more decided about their career decisions and career goals. This has me questioning is if this is why men are able to progress in their careers and hold more senior positions over females because they, at a formative age, are able to establish clear career goals and make career decisions. 

For males, the relationship between career goals, career planning and exploration was stronger than that for females, especially the relationship between career goals and career exploration. Having set career goals appears to contribute to males exploring and obtaining information about their career interests through sources such as family members, teachers and books. This relationship was not as strong for females. This finding suggests that the setting of goals directs and motivates behaviour for males and females differentially.”


Always. 2015, Always #LikeAGirl – Confidence Summit announcing partnership with TED, YouTube, New York, viewed 20 August 2016, <>.

Novakovic, A. & Fouad, N.A. 2012, ‘Background, Personal, and Environmental Influences on the Career Panning of Adolescent Girls’, Journal of Career Development, pp. 223-244.

Patton, W. Bartrum, D. & Creed, P. 2004, ‘Gender Differences for Optimism, Self-esteem, Expectations and Goals in Predicting Career Planning and Exploration in Adolescence’, International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, pp. 193-209.

Post 1: “we can’t fully empower women and girls without engaging boys and men.”

By Basilia Dulawan


“we can’t fully empower women and girls without engaging boys and men.”

Dr. Michael Kimmel is a sociologist, author of books such as ‘Angry White Men’, ‘Manhood in America’, and ‘Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men’ as well as the Executive Director for the study of Men and Masculinities at Stony brook University in New York. Recently he was interviewed on ABC’s Lateline speaking with reporter Emma Alberici.

Kimmel has been dubbed “the world’s pre-eminent male feminist” as his work includes advocating for men to joinhe conversation and support gender equality as he argues that “we can’t fully empower women and girls without engaging boys and men.” Which I completely agree with, as it is men who hold the majority of power on a local and global scale to effect change. Additionally Kimmel speaks about the gender stereotypes that are “coded” and ingrained in our minds, specifically what it is to be masculine. He mentions traits such as ‘Competent’, ‘Assertive’ and ‘Ambitious’ and notes that these are traits that are long-coded in our minds as masculine traits. Thus, Women who possess these traits are seen as too masculine, as if these traits were reserved exclusively for men and can’t possibly be traits of a Woman. I think questioning the idea of masculinity as Kimmel does is incredibly important to achieve Gender Equality for both Men and Women. As he mentioned in his TEDX talk taking a quote from an article written in 1915 titled ‘Feminism for men’ – “Feminism will make to possible for the first time for meant o be free.” Therefore, Gender Equality is just as much as issue for Men as it is for Women.


“Companies prefer ticking boxes to breaking the glass ceiling”

Martijn Boersma is a researcher in Corporate Governance at the University of Technology Sydney and works for Catalyst Australia. His article “Companies prefer ticking boxes to breaking the glass ceiling” published on The Conversation, emphasises that although there is a worldwide trend to support Gender Equality and promote equal opportunities, the “progress made in the corporate world is slow and a change in pace is required”. He suggests improving disclosures as a good place to start – something I hadn’t really considered before. Boersma explains that research by Catalyst Australia of the ASX50 listed companies (Australia’s largest companies and industry leaders) shows that their “disclosures are limited and often do not include figures for management or the workforce.”

One of the main issues of the companies researched that Boersma highlights is the facilitation of career advancement of women into executive positions. He notes that although women make up nearly 50% of the Australian workforce they are lacking in management with only 1/3 of managers being female and only 26% of them being senior managers, therefore the very senior positions on the corporate pyramid remains dominated by males. With this being the case you again have males who hold the majority of power – to decide the work culture, influence work policies such as maternity and parental leave which highly impact the career advancement of Women and Men as well as the Gender Pay gap.

Boersma notes that “Catalyst finds offering flexible working arrangements is the most common practice among ASX50 listed companies to facilitate the ascent of women on the corporate ladder.”


“What if the next generation of young women were unrepentant, and we not conditioned to apologise for their place in the world? What if they were not socialised to be more concerned about being friendly and to ruffling feathers than getting what they want?”

Rebecca Shaw is a Brisbane-based freelance writer and co-host of the comedy podcast Bring A Plate. In February 2016 she wrote the article/opinion piece “Grant Every Women the Confidence of a Mediocre White Man” as a part of Ideas At The House and All About Women which are both presented by Sydney Opera House and powered by Medium.

Although this is an opinion piece, Shaw raises many great points about the imbalance between confidence in both Women and Men she notes this as the “gap in confidence”. For Women she finds there is a constant need to convince women that they are worth something, that they should apply for that job or to stop apologising for themselves or their ideas. While for Men she wants them to realise that their confidence has been gifted to them – whether or not they actually deserve it and emphasises that confidence is not gifted to Women in the same way. And I would argue that it is Confidence that is the foundation for career exploration and advancement.

Shaw urges “What if the next generation of young women were unrepentant, and we not conditioned to apologise for their place in the world? What if they were not socialised to be more concerned about being friendly and to ruffling feathers than getting what they want?”


 #Unstoppable Like A Girl

Lauren Greenfield is an American Artist, documentary photographer and documentary filmmaker who won an Emmy in 2015 for Best TV Commercial for #likeagirl – a commercial that completely redefined the phrase “Like a girl” (Goldberg, 2014.) Greenfield explains that she was motivated by the self-esteem crisis among girls which she documented in her book ‘Girl Culture’ (2002).

Greenfield expresses how important language is and that words hold the power to effect behaviour especially at a formative age. Therefore the phrase “Like a girl” which always held negative connotations was used in this campaign to flip the stereotype and change the perception of what it means to be “like a girl”. She highlights that is it during puberty that girl’s confidence plummets making her more likely to accept limitations. As a response to this Greenfield’s follow-up campaign for Always titled #Unstoppable highlights the issue of Girl’s being put into certain boxes based on gender, and feeling pressured to follow certain rules that don’t apply to boys. Therefore, in this campaign it is empowering to see young girls and young women externalise those metaphorical boxes that they felt limited them and in whatever way they felt like, completely combat those limitations to be #Unstoppable.

Although this is not an article, it is an important campaign that visualises Gender In-equality in such a real way, but also shows Women that they too have the power to choose their future. 


“Why do girls lose confidence when they’re leaving school, that they don’t enter into the music industry?”

Ange McCormack is a Sydney-based filmmaker, writer and journalist currently work as a social media producer and reporter for Hack on Triple J.  For this year’s International Women’s day on March 8th she wrote the article ‘By the Numbers: Women in the Music Industry’ which looked at the numbers on the representation of women in the Australian music industry. This article raised many important points for me specifically around the confidence of girl’s during puberty. Milly Petriella, the Director, Member Relations at APRA AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) told Hack that the issue [of the lack of Women in the Music Industry] is clouded by a lack of research, and that she was perplexed by the disparity between men and women in the industry as she has observed that it tends to be the opposite between girls and boys. Petriella notes that “when girls go to school, up to year 12, there seems to be a greater representation of some in music. In choirs, musical theatre, singing, school bands. And then somehow, from that point, from 18 to going into the workforce, it completely swaps around. It’s almost like it’s 80% women when girls are younger, and in school, and it swaps around to 80% men when we’re talking about the workforce.”

McCormack raises the question “Why do girls lose confidence when they’re leaving school, that they don’t enter into the music industry?” Could this be related to Greenfield’s research that a girl’s confidence plummets during puberty? Additionally McCormack includes input from Jane Slingo – an executive producer for the Electronic Music Conference who says the lack of female artists in the music industry may have to do with the lack of women working in the Artist and Repertoire departments of record labels and publishers. However, Slingo says that it isn’t just that department to blame for this inequality, but that everyone – managers and agents, also have roles to play in this issue.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2016, Interview Dr Michael Kimmel, Sydney, 31/7/2016, <>.

Boersma, M. 2016, Companies prefer ticking boxes to breaking the Glass Ceiling, The Conversation, viewed 31/7/2016, <>.

Goldberg, H. 2014, This Ad Completely Redefines the Phrase “Like a Girl”, Time, viewed 2/26/2016 <>.

Kimmel, M. 2015, Why Gender Equality is good for everyone – men included, Ted, New York, viewed 31/7/2016, <>.

McCormack, A. 2016, By the numbers: Women in the Music Industry, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, viewed 6/31/2016, <>.

Shaw, R. 2016, Grant Every Woman the Confidence of a mediocre White Man, Ideas at the House, viewed 31/7/2016, <>.