POST 10 – A Fair Go: Collectivisation could be key to social betterment

James Meland-Proctor

In class I spoke with Nathalie about her proposal for her issue, which focused on the pay gap and gender imbalances in workplaces. She explained that certain industries are either feminized or male dominated and that perhaps mentoring was a way to address that. Her proposal was for an app, which networked employers with people for mentorships in the hopes to focus on women more, but overall address gender issues in the workplace head on. While she maintained that women did not have their fair share of work opportunities, she was hesitant to make it a solely female focused issue – with her desire to help male teachers and nurses, whilst still providing a means to give women a leg up in important business roles. If there is one thing I have learnt from my colleague is that my design solution is not something that will end the issue all together, rather just lessen the effects of a small facet of that issue. It becomes difficult sometimes to remind yourself of this, but at least when focusing super close on a small part of the problem, it creates traction and leads the path for other innovations and ideas. This was especially evident through idea sharing in class as my own design proposal improved after my peers heard about it.

Earlier this year in September, Falzon (2016) wrote an article titled ‘Australia does not have a welfare problem’. Now that title aptly summarizes my positioning on social inequality in Australia, in that every year the gap between rich and poor Australians widens with certain groups of people being disproportionately affected by these changes. It has been overall a growing global phenomena that the level of opportunity in developing countries is not as good as it used to be. In Australia particularly, we see this through the privatization of tertiary education, the rise of graduates trained in areas where there are few jobs, and politicians attempting to welfare services and public money where they can. Honing in on social welfare as a response to addressing a very large problem, I have envisioned why it is there are problem surrounding welfare payments and why it is so easily overlooked by politicians and the public. There exists the perception that people who take welfare payments are somehow bludgers and scammers. The main reason I have deduced for why this is, is that because while corporate welfare for businesses, hourly rates, salaries and bonuses are all things that are determined by the market while welfare is taken from tax payer money. Understandably, people may disagree with how their taxes are spent, however a study showed that more money was spent giving money to corporate welfare over lifting people out of poverty.

 

In deducing the reasons for stigma surrounding welfare, I thought that what if there was a welfare system which instead of being government and tax payer funded that it was entrenched in the market. There exist hundreds of insurance, superannuation, and other companies which work to invest and make money for their stakeholders. By empowering young people on youth allowance or single mothers on Newstart to take an active participation in their financial situations, you are starting to remove the stigma and even dissolve the ideas around social welfare payments as being a cop out. The service would still act as a way for people to pool their resources, but like people on these payment systems they are not getting resources for free, they still have to work to make what they would ordinarily earn from a lower income job. While I am still figuring out how exactly the service would work.

  1. You would pay a fee, the business then trades with other business and earns a premium/profit for themselves and then doles out payments to people when you need them
  1. You join, you purchase a scheme that is right for you and your needs, the businesses harnesses the buying power of all members, and offers things like health insurance and other deals (OurGo, 2016)
  1. People come together to use their collective purchasing power to negotiate and unlock things that were inaccessible to them individually, such as housing or certain medical and health procedures.

In this sense, financially marginalized individuals are taking their economic futures into their own hands by participating in market systems together like an institution.

 

 References

Falzon, J. 2016, Australia does not have a welfare problem. We have a poverty problem | John Falzon, the Guardian. viewed 27 September 2016, <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/20/australia-does-not-have-a-welfare-problem-we-have-a-poverty-problem&gt;.

OurGo | Join a new campaign to help young Australians take back their economic future 2016, OurGo. viewed 27 September 2016, <https://www.ourgo.co/how-it-works&gt;.

 

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#BEYOU

POST 10

 

Lara Meacock

 

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(Meacock, 2016)

 

PROBLEM STATEMENT: Enforcing gender is a large inhibitor to gender equality. Any kind of gender stereotype can create unrealistic expectations that inhibit individualism.

 

So what’s the problem?

Gender is a social construct and it does not have the same meaning as sex – although it is often seen that way. Gender can make people who don’t t into the stereotypical binary (male/female) genders feel as though they are sub-par. Gender stereotypes also de-normalises people who do not associate with either gender, or do not believe their sex represents their gender.

What’s the potential change?

Gender becomes optional, and stereotypes surrounding these genders become eradicated. It becomes widespread considered ‘normal’ for a person of any sex to assign to either gender or to none at all. Expectations around: how people of each gender “should act”, and the roles they partake in; diminish.

THE DESIGN ACTION

My preposition is for a service design. The main aspect of the design will be a support forum page, which will be supported by a launch event and promotional hash tag – #BEYOU.

THE SERVICE

The service is providing young adults (18-24yo) who may be struggling with their identity and understanding equality – particularly in terms of gender – with a website that inhabits a safe space for people to express their issues with gender, dispels myths around gender and shares stories of people nding and exploring their individualism.

The website will promote equality and show that gender shouldn’t de ne what people are able to do in life. All people should be treated the same – no matter what they identify with.

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(Meacock, 2016)

THE FORUM PAGE

There are many current forum websites for people struggling with mental health and being victims of assault – however the main issue I have with these websites is that they are poorly designed and uninviting. I want a beautiful simplistic design that explores liberating stories of people who have overcome the pressures of society by nding themselves – including inspirational pull quotes and photographs to outline that these issues are human – and they are totally real.

In addition to these inspiring stories there will be a forum section in which people can either post their stories or questions publicly or anonymously to the admins of the page and other people visiting the site. There will also be contacts to helplines and additional services for people who need further assistance.

Here are some examples of the kinds of people who I would want to feature on the website:

  • People who resonate with a gender, feel strongly about their gender, but

have not let society inhibit their actions and opportunities in life.

  • People who have felt as though their characteristics have undermined them

within their gender & have tackled with con dence issues to understand that not tting into a neat gender box of societal standards doesn’t in any way make them sub-par.

  • People who do not identify with a gender and how they found con dence through that
  • People who have found liberation through transcending genders

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(Meacock, 2016)

THE EVENT

In order to create awareness and hype for the site I wanted to organise a free event creating awareness and promoting the issue.

This event would be a conference style event with many speakers sharing their stories of how gender stereotypes have been hurdles in their lives and what they have done to overcome them. These speakers would be some of the people featured on the site in the “OUR STORIES” section. Each of the speakers would have an allocated time to speak about their experiences and then sit upon a board for a Q&A.

Some of the people I’d consider having as speakers are; Ruby Rose, Kate Bornstein, María José, Rain Dove, Dr Susan Carland, Clementine Ford, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Mr Tura Lewai, Sam Killermann, Roxanne Gay, Andi Zeisler & Ivan Coyote just to name a few!!

Here are some links to some of these speakers talking about related issues:

SAM KILLERMAN

https://youtu.be/NRcPXtqdKjE

 

RAIN DOVE, KATE BORNSTIEN & MARIA JOSE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POtRwpGmdPM

 

ROXANNE GAY & ANDI ZEISLER

https://hammer.ucla.edu/programs-events/2016/09/bad-feminism/

 

IVAN COYOTE

https://www.ted.com/talks/ivan_coyote_why_we_need_gender_neutral_bathrooms?language=en

 

RUBY ROSE (This isn’t her speaking, but is a film she made exploring what it means to be gender fluid. She has also spoken in interviews about this topic but I thought this creative reflection was more expressive of her experience)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFjsSSDLl8w

 

There would be several take-aways from the event to promote the hash tag and create awareness for the website. This would include stickers, t-shirts, badges and a yer with information and excerpts on speakers. There would also be other promotional effects such as a snapchat lter, photobooth, instagram page and other social media outlets.

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(Meacock, 2016)

 

Meacock, L. 2016,  #BEYOU, Preposal,  University of Technology Sydney.

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.


Presentation

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.

Reflections & Proposals [ Post 10 ]

 

Reflection

Since post eight my direction has slightly changed. Or my wording rather. After my session last week testing my idea on my class mate Camilla, we discovered the title ‘Stand Up For Women’ wasn’t really appropriate when the idea was to change define masculinity. She suggested that the idea of asking men to stand up for women suggests they don’t already and that they are the perpetrates which might deter them from even coming near my project. It was decided to change the project to ‘Stand Up For Men’. The move is to ask men to focus on themselves, their mental health and ‘manly’ expectations. Camilla made some really interesting points about Australian society. Camilla comes from Sweden and commented that the masculine expectations are very different there. She noticed how Australia is a young country and that they are heavily dependant on sport in their social atmosphere. Sports athletes have become heroes in Australian society. They have become role models for society. We agreed that I need to use them as endorsements to encourage others to be involved.

In post eight my concept was to ‘Stand up for women’ to change males behaviour in group mentalities and settings. To overcome the stigma that standing up for a women makes you a ‘WOM’*or ‘whipped’. My concept has grown and evolved to ‘Stand up for Masculinity’, a social media campaign which asks you to define masculinity and reconceptualise it. It gets to the root of ‘Stand up for Women’ and addresses it directly ‘so what is masculinity?’.

It has a feminist undertone without ever using the word. It makes men turn inward on them selves and think what kind of man they want to be. Females play an important role in that they can prove wrong common conceptions of masculinity.

 

Project Title

Stand Up For Masculinity

Practise Type

Generative Design

The Issue

 

The Possible change

Creating a new understanding and definition of ‘masculinity’ one which does not box males into gender stereotypes and hopefully leads to better treatment of them selves and subsequently women.

Design Action to support change

To create a social media campaign which utilises peoples opinions to shape a new understanding of masculinity which supports gender equality. Influence by the #itsokaytotalk campaign the aim is for ‘I think its masculine’ to become a hashtag  and building social media campaign.

The basic parameters for the generative design include:

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A detailed flow chart will be developed to help me find the best process for people to become involved and share their opinions.

 

*  WOM – A slang acronym standing for ‘Women Over Men’ used when A boy prioritises his girlfriend over his mates.

WRITTEN BY ANNA CARMODY

Post 10

Reflection

My chat with with my partner was very insightful and helpful. I found that they really liked my idea but thought that it needed a few touches to really make it much more effective. After explaining to them the concept behind the topic of prison rape, it was really good to see that they displayed a genuine interest in the idea. Prison rape is a topic that is often made fun of or is taken lightly. It is rarely taken seriously outside of context through mediums likes film, media and comedy. The ideas that my partner gave me involved improving my visual metaphor of dropped soap in terms of data visualisation and overall, making it more effective and relatable. Speaking to my tutor, I found that they also said the same thing and It was very insightful to hear what they thought. I thought it was a great idea to do a separate data visualisation for multiple institutions. Now that I have my solid idea, it is just a matter of creating it.

Proposal

For my design intervention, I would like to propose a data visualisation about prison rape and the lack of support for victims. The name of this project will be called ‘Don’t Drop the Soap’.

The piece will be multiple data visualisations representing the amount of prison rapes that occur in different institutions. I would also like to compare institutions with other countries to compare and show that it is a worldwide problem.

The key idea behind my data visualisation is using soap as a visual metaphor. This is playing on the saying “Don’t drop the soap” which is a line that is used to mock the act of prison rape.  Each bar of soap will represent a percentage of the prisoners in each institution. Some of the bars of soaps will have dents, cracks and imperfections representing the percentage of rape victims within the society. Certain bars may be smaller or missing to represent the projected percentage that have no reached out or open up about being victims. The reason behind using such simple imagery is to show how little we think about this topic and or how it is often brushed off.

I would like to make this data visualisation as an interactive micro-site as this way I could say a lot with less. In this case, I feel like having the data speak for itself will provide a strong and thought provoking message. I would also like to increase awareness by having posters of a single bar of soap with a QR code. The imagery of the bar of soap is a strong metaphor that does not instantly deter away the viewer on the topic.

Ideally, I would like my audience to feel shocked about the numbers of victims that go unheard. I want to get them to think and question why there are not many support for prisoners and why it is instead made fun of.  By creating this sort of awareness, I hope to be able to bring out the beginnings of support for victims of prison rape.

 

 

POST 10 – REFLECTION & PROPOSITION

REFLECTION //

For eight weeks now I have been researching and reading up on the topic of gender equality. As broad as this topic is, I have (only just) been able to (slightly) focus my efforts and grasp the areas that truly spark my interest such as the pay gap, child marriage and ultimately; women’s rights as human rights. Obviously these are enormous topics in themselves and my research barely scratched the surface but the results I found were shocking none the less. As the weeks rolled on and research propelled I continuously kept in mind that I really had to narrow these broad topics down to achievable solutions. To no avail was I able to land on one set problem until our studio tutorial in week six. As previously mentioned in posts eight and nine my research led to the discussion of how these gender equality topics (less pay, lack of emancipation and fewer rights) could be reflected in other ways. One such example was in the differing costs of gender specific items we use everyday, such as “razor cartridges and razors which cost more for women than men by an average of 11%.” (Hill, C. 2016)

INITIAL PROPOSAL //

From here my initial proposal was to create a generative system of design (that could also be an exhibition) within the supermarket to raise awareness of the up sell on products which are marketed towards a specific gender and as such they could alternatively be bought cheaper. This could be achieved through sale tags which are attached to the products, encouraging consumers to choose the product which is cheaper, regardless of its gender specificity. However I realised this particular angle involves a bit more of a mental shift in consumers to go from buying their pink razors they are o familiar with, to buying a gender specific “mens” razor just because it’s cheaper. Does a woman have to settle or change her standards because the market can’t provide sufficient products at the same rates for both sexes? This concept would not fairly communicate the issue I am viewing. My next concept was then to create an electronic billboard (and linked website) which tracks the purchase of gender specific products. This would highlight the price difference the person is paying as well as keep a tally of the days savings or spendings on gender specific products. I thought this concept would really highlight these differences to the audience. 

FEEDBACK //

I was unfortunately away for week sevens tutorial and as such did not get the chance to speak to a peer in my tutorial but I was able to discuss my proposals briefly with a fellow vis com student and my tutor in class today (week eight.) We realised my ideas were almost too specific that they weren’t really solving anything. For example, focusing on money isn’t relative as different stores are always going to offer different prices for items. Along with this, collecting the data to find the “average” would be quite difficult. This feedback helped in shaping my current concept as I realised I had to focus on something achievable that also, obviously, relates to an emergent area.

REVISED PROPOSAL //

Project Title // Blue is for boys ~ Pink is for girls. (TBC)

Practice Type // Data Driven Visualisation 

The Issue // Products which are gender specific may appear harmless and increase optimism and ease when shopping but they also perpetuate the divide between men and women. This divide is one which is more then patterns, colours and shapes but also price. Researching into the divide of the market led me to further investigate how this can be extended to all aspects of life. Whilst focusing on the placement of products, their differences in price and conventional designs, I have also discovered how these stark contrasts appear in my everyday life. Gender stereotypes are all around us and whether we or not we are aware of them, they do effect our perception of people.

The Possible Change // Awareness of our implicit bias is paramount in effecting change towards gender inequality and stereotypes. Understanding the psyche and how certain ways society tell genders to behave and act as well as how well they may perform can affect your judgment calls and belief both in yourself and others. This could be detrimental to a majority of people who are unaware of such underlying ideals. An example includes the employment process of of orchestras. “As late as 1970, the top five orchestras in the U.S. had fewer than 5% women but by 1997 they were up to 25%” (Rice, C. 2013) A major change involved the use of blind auditions with a screen to conceal the identity of the candidate from the jury. Possible change could also be highlighted by showing the history of how stereotypes once were and have since changed. For example “The generally accepted rule was pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger colour is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” (Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department)

The Design Action to support change // I intend to support this change through the design of a document which focus on encapsulating gender stereotypes. This book would not only document what society expects from either gender but also how those implicit expectations and bias impact the individuals. I see this document as a small square book (plus a great opportunity to revisit old briefs and improve upon) which contrasts girls versus boys and the gender stereotype of each being challenged. Colour would be its prime communicator along with photographs, to contrast how girls and boys are constantly divided within society and how this division of the sexes have negative consequences in so many different aspects of life. The stark contrast of imagery would be elevated with accompanying statics that shock the reader.

REFERENCE //

Hill, C. 2016, 6 times it’s more expensive to be a woman, Market Watch, viewed September 25th < http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-women-pay-more-for-than-men-2014-01-17>

Rice, C. 2013, How blind auditions help orchestras to eliminate gender bias, The Guardian, viewed September 25th <https://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2013/oct/14/blind-auditions-orchestras-gender-bias>

Boulton, T. 2014, The Surprisingly recent time period, TodayIFoundOut, viewed September 25th < http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/10/pink-used-common-color-boys-blue-girls/>

BLOG X

Reflection on draft proposal feedback

In my feedback session with my colleague I proposed my draft with a number of options for the final outcome, with different options all based on the general concept of providing information and awareness of the cause and acting as a support organisation. We evaluated the different outcomes and decided that it needed to focus on the positive value of the matter, that paternity leave is a great experience for fathers, and promote this fact in an easy going and light hearted way. Therefore, the ‘Daddy Showers’ showed to be the best option, as it seemed to give an opportunity to reach out to the audience in a way that was high impact, low cost and could communicate the values we wanted to push in the target audience.

The question my colleague raised was how to actually attract your audience to attend these events. This made me realise that the detail of how this event is executed is very important, the employees won’t necessarily turn up just because their employers are sponsoring it. We discussed a few different scenarios where attractions like food and beverage or entertainment could gain attendance. We imagined themes like barbecue and beers or sporting events most effective as attractions, despite these all being representative of traditional gender stereotypes.

~

Proposal – Daddy Showers

In Australia today, fathers with new born babies gets no entitlement specific leave from the government after the birth of their baby. Long lasting and sustainable change to law is a difficult and slow process, for this reason the most efficient and effective stakeholder to target to effect change in this case is the employers. They have both the most to gain from a change in behaviour and the most effect on the attitudes of their employees. It’s apparent that the number one reason for men not taking this type of leave is fear of reprisal from their employer. If this culture can be changed, the rate of male parental leave will increase drastically, and a more gender equal society will follow.

The idea of Daddy Showering is to bring attention to upcoming or existing fathers, and the importance of their role as a care taker in their child’s early life. The ‘Daddy Shower’ will identify as a service design and will be working in collaboration together with progressive employers who would like to achieve gender equity in their work place. Sponsored by volunteering companies and employers, the service organises hosted events where information about the issue and the benefits of taking paternity leave is communicated to the public.

The key challenge with this event is to remove the typically feminine image of paternity leave and indeed of the role of caring for children in the early stages of their lives. To do this it is crucial that the event maintains a typically masculine tone while also communicating important issues and breaking down stereotypes. An interesting case study of how this could be delivered is the extremely successful Movember Campaign, which has used the typically masculine concept of growing a moustache to normalise discussion of men’s health issues. Ideally the tone, as well as the look and feel of this event would mirror this and allow men to discuss and approach these issues in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

By Camilla Ahlström