Final Proposition

Project title: How does she do it all?

Emergent practice: Social action

The issue: Women are far more insecure and take less risks in the workplace and hold themselves back due to societal perceptions that women’s main role should be in the home, the fact that men do less work at home making women lean back in the workplace and the double standards for women.

The possible change: To “end the self-fulfilling belief that “women can’t do this, women can’t do that” (self-doubt too) through inspiring young women to master confidence in the workplace through solutions such as “keep your hand up and sit at the table”(take risks, negotiate) and “fake it till you make it” strategy (body language).

Design action: Empowering advertising video that uses voiceover of successful women leaders around the world such as Sheryl Sandberg small personal stories to show these solutions at play and that they have worked successfully. Or possibly posters that use quotes or stories of the woman who overcame these issues using such techniques.

By Koshila Perera

REFINED PROPOSITION

Rebecca.S.

Project title: Let’s talk about SEX(ism)

Emergent practice: Social Action.

The issue: Our digital and social media circulate sexualised imagery of women presenting to young men a ‘normal’ idea of what women should look like and how they should behave. Currently, regulating the Internet is an impossible task with a lack of legislation in place to maintain a healthy online space for women and men. The current depiction of women does not represent gender equality, or the ideals of feminism that we believe to have achieved, but instead presents women negatively. This normal depiction of women as objects is supported by viral commentary many women have personally come such as ‘Tits of GFO’ or ‘Go back to the kitchen’. With a lack of education on the effects of these comments and views, young men of our society believe that this is ok, not realising or being taught the detrimental effects. Feminism is not a new topic and has been ingrained in history, but the growth of the Internet and social media has made it a current issue of today. There have been 3 waves of feminism but in the 21st century is our society moving backward?

The possible change:To draw attention to gender inequality, that will inform the young male audience about the detrimental effects of the normalised depiction of women in digital media.

Target audience:

  • Males 18-25 who are receiving a tertiary education.
  • Men who would not normally be involved in gender equality discussion

Goals:

  • Reach males 18-25 through an anonymous campaign
  • To educate the target audience by directing them from promotional material to the informational content
  • To change the social standard of slandering women online
  • To initially utilise satire to gain attention to a serious issue

Design Action: I will be generating a campaign idea starting from branding identity to promotional content and informative collateral. The title of this campaign ‘SEX(ism)’ will play on the word ‘sex’ to gain male attention through provocative language where the ‘ism’ would visually appear small and insignificant. The promotional campaign will be in the form of posters that will be designed for the 18-25 male age group and will be viewed in places of tertiary study. This first point of contact is removes this campaign from the overwhelming digital space and draws in the audience’s attention when they least expect it. For example having the posters around the UTS campus and in areas of recreation on the campus. These posters will be ambiguous in nature in order for the viewers to want to find out more on the website. The imagery created will also appear online as a secondary source and will be advertised on male dominated sites. With this initial satirical approach I will be attempting to unarm the male audience and make them reflect on the way they engage with women directly and online.

Final Design Proposition: Build Your Own Feminist

(Blog post 10, Keira Scurry)

Project title:

Build Your Own Feminist

Emergent Practice:

Social Action

The issue:

Feminism is a rising issue in contemporary culture, however due to a lack of interaction among feminist movements and ideas surrounding gender expectations, feminism is regarded as an offensive topic. To most of society, feminists are regarded as being masculine, loud, and violent, therefore their true values are disregarded and undermined.

Goals:

  • To eliminate the negative connotations associated with the word ‘feminism’.
  • Open up a healthy and educated discussion on feminism to society.
  • Provoke thought surrounding preconceived ideas of gender expectations, and how these expectations have impacted individual opinions of feminists.
  • Feminists to be defined purely by their values and relieved of the ‘masculine’ and ‘violent’ stigma.

Target market:

  • Young millennial aged 18-24, in the Sydney region.
  • The primary target market are those who are active in general feminist discussion (particularly on the Internet where most of the negativity occurs), and have negative perceptions on feminists.
  • The secondary market is those who have little interest on the whole issue, yet hope to expand the discussion and provoke thought.

Design Action:

Feminism has no face, only a definitive voice.

In order to combat this stigma and increase awareness on feminism, I am giving the term ‘feminism’ a much-needed re-brand through an interactive web platform. This platform combines various facial features from people, in order to form randomly composed faces. This generative platform will allow users to not only upload their own face for the brand, but also play around with different features and essentially “build their own feminist”. The artworks and faces produced will then roll out into a poster campaign, with accompanying definitions of feminism. If possible, I am aiming to avoid using the word ‘feminism’ altogether in the posters, in order to establish a valid opinion from my audience, without preconceived ideas of the term tainting their interpretation of the campaign.

The facial features used will be more than just photographs; the final compositions will have a highly playful and collage-like aesthetic. It is integral to make the campaign gender-neutral through incorporating both male and female facial features, and also avoiding stereotypical colour schemes. The most important component to this design action is emphasising the fact that a feminist does not act, sound, or especially look a certain way – they are purely defined by their voice and values.

In defacing feminism, audiences are stripped of any predetermined opinions on the matter and instead are inclined to participate in the cause in order to gain a more holistic understanding.

Proposition

Rebecca.S (blog post 9)

Project title: Make me Instafamous (not refined yet)

Emergent practice: Social action in the form of an experimental process to make my audience rethink the social construct of women in the digital age.

The issue: The sexualisation of women in social media and its negative effects it has on women’s body image and men’s expectations of women. In today’s digital world we are been accustomed to viewing highly sexualised imagery of women, as well as the internet being a primary perpetrator of negative comments towards women. This is achieved through viral videos, trolling such as the ‘make me a sandwich’ comments that were used in 2009. There is a highly negative stigma attached to the term feminism or gender equality, this will be the challenge when attempting to appeal to a large audience particularly those known as the ‘keyboard warriors’ that use social media to comment on issues they would not usually be able to in real life.

The possible change: That men and women will be treated equally in their representation, and to change the views of young men. To provide information in a satirical way that informs people about gender equality rather than segregate the idea of feminism so that peoples negative understanding of the term is debunked.

The design action to support the change: Create a social media campaign in a way that will engage my 18-25 year old audience utilising social media techniques such as memes and viral imagery.

What next: In order to move forward I need to continue my research on what a successful social media campaign would be. I also need to continue receiving a greater insight into my audience from the male perspective as so far I have just interviewed women. By speaking to men I will be able to gain greater insights in the problem and make conclusions as to how change could occur. I look forward to discussing with my brief with my peers and tutor, as my current thinking is not refined.

The Feminist Rebrand

(Blog post 9, Keira Scurry)

 Project title: The Feminist Rebrand (new title to come).

Emergent Practice: Social Action

The issue: Feminism is a rising issue in contemporary culture, however due to a lack of interaction among feminist movements and ideas surrounding gender expectations, feminism is regarded as an offensive topic. To most of society, feminists are regarded as being masculine, loud, and violent, therefore their values are disregarded and overlooked.

To eliminate feminism as an issue, and open a healthy and educated discussion on feminist values. A shift needs to occur in how people perceive feminists; the end goal is for feminists to be defined purely by their values and relieved of the ‘masculine’ stigma. Feminism has no face, only a definitive voice.

Design action to support the change: In order to combat this stigma and increase awareness on feminism, I am giving feminism a much-needed re-brand. The feminist brand will be purely typographic in order to establish a powerful tone of voice rather than focus on faces and looks. As pointed out in previous blog posts, the feminist brand needs to be gender-neutral in a way that emulates sophistication and legitimacy, yet still highly playful. This does not mean straying away from blues and pinks, but instead designing the brand in a way that is thoughtful and completely separate from stereotypes.

The typography will be highly experimental and fun, ranging from hand rendered to crisp and refined, in order to create a personality for the brand. This way, viewers are able to construct legitimate opinions on their interpretation of the ‘personality’ being presented to them, and preconceived stigmas are abandoned.

The brand will contain posters, billboards, and a social media presence in order to appeal to my target market of a young, internet-active millennial. The posters themselves will contain definitions and exhibit the core values of feminism simply as they are – maybe even play on some questions for the viewer to answer.

The feminist rebrand needs to be executed in a way that does not associate or provoke any preconceived ideas of gender or masculinity, in order to truly contribute to a shift in the way society thinks and operates.

This is a mood board in order to demonstrate the kind of playful typographic aesthetic the brand will have.

mood board

How does she do it all?

Project title: How does she do it all?

Emergent practice: Social action

The issue: There are few too women in top leadership positions around the world even after a century later when suffragettes risked their lives to advocate for a society where men and women are treated as equals. This is due to several reasons embedded in society and culture most of which are implicit that needs to change, primarily the idea that a woman’s roles is the main caretaker while the man’s role is the breadwinner. It is breaking such stereotypes and negative attitudes that is at the core of this issue.

The possible change: Shift attitudes and perceptions of men so that they begin support women at work and home and also to empower women to speak up and lead without fear or guilt that society instills on women who should primarily be the main caregiver.

Design action: To empower and educate men and women on how far behind women are globally in the workforce in reaching leadership positions and inform them of practical and real solutions to overcome this through internalising more productive attitudes to start the revolution as Sandberg puts it.

Brief:

To realise this proposition I will use a combination of video and copywriting to convey an advertisement that educates whilst inspires men and women to shift their attitudes and seek out change in this issue. I will draw upon personal messages from real life stories such as Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter, powerful working women and mothers, to ultimately realise the main message that a stay-at-home dad should be equally valued as a women CEO and vice versa, thus normalising perceptions of gender roles at work and home which will help promote the idea that women should be ambitions while men should play a more equal role at home. I will also incorporate voiceover of famous quotes by famous women and men that help distill this issue to its core and allow immediate education and engagement from the viewer. I will also consider using illustration and motion to tell this story in a more fluid and fluent way for a large audience that includes men and women of ages 13 and over as it is imperative that even young boys and girls learn early on that the stereotypes of men and women are inaccurate and disempowering for both genders.

By Koshila Perera

Subtle but serious.

After reflecting on the findings of my brainstorm two design possibilities stood out for me as a possible starting point for Task 3. The first being the idea of using a video format that conveys statistics and using voiceover of quotes from famous feminists about this issue to immediately inform viewers, in particular women, of the credibility behind the issue. I also feel a video approach whether it be using animation or simply words can help garner empathy and emotion from a predominantly female audience.

A second design possibility would be using irony and paradox to flip the issue, where at first the design whether it be a poster or object, reveals what many especially more males feel about feminism in a work context and then subvert this using the design form whether it be a transparent layer to ‘reveal’ the real issue or using size or other visual elements in a subtle way on paper to show the hidden relatively unknown issue on a global scale.

Thus from both these considerations it is clear that the approach I am going for is in a serious but subtle way where using irony, video format, and subtle visual elements to flip the issue or simply argue the issue well, is what I feel is best to bring the matter to the surface quickly and allow it to be impactful in particular to women who respond well to emotional and empathetic designs.

By Koshila Perera