Interrogating The Gender Binary

Charlotte Neilson

Interrogating The Gender Binary

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The gender binary is a cultural belief that there are only two distinct and opposite genders - male and female. This belief is up help by a system of power to create conflict, fear and division, not celebrate creativity and diversity. I used this project to interrogate gender and recognise gender is far more complex than any norm captures. My aim for this project was to be a celebration of differences and individuality.

My visual inspiration is flowers and plants as exhale metaphor. Taking characteristics that match that of the plants and genitalia, like frills and layers or bulge and veiny, and mixing these traits together to emphasise it doesn’t matter what body parts a person has, it doesn’t define who you are or your gender.

Fabric is not a living thing and has no gender so shouldn’t have rigid social and gender labels, yet it does. The likes of leather or denim are associated with males, as gender expectations assume them ‘tougher’, and lace or satin are associated with females as they are seen as ‘delicate’. I used this when choosing my materials, incorporating leather and tulle and once again mixing the traits.

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