gender binary

An Argument Against Masculine or Feminine Interiors

Image on left via  Hunted Interio r and Image on right via  Life.Style.etc

Image on left via Hunted Interior and Image on right via Life.Style.etc

I've been  frustrated for years by the use of the words 'masculine' or 'feminine' to describe interior design. First off gender is a binary oppositional construct. You are either masculine or feminine. Except, in this day and age gender is fluid. We all fall somewhere on the continuum. There are some people who identify strongly as masculine or feminine, even though that may not be their biological sex, some who choose not to identify either way and some people who flow back and forth across the boundary. It is no longer black and white-in fact it never was, but society chose to ignore people who were more fluid then others.  

Yet, when we keep using an outdated way of viewing the world to define interiors then we are limiting ourselves. 

When a room or a list of things to buy is described as masculine then the inherent belief is that women, or people who prefer overt femininity, are not a part of that group. If I post the picture on the left and describe it as a masculine room (which someone did because I used the term masculine to search for it on Pinterest), then that room is not for me, even though I love that room. I'd wrap myself in its masculine darkness and fur throw all day long. 

On the flip side the same is true when we describe a room as feminine. There is no rule book that says men can't wear pink or have a pink sofa in their home. I actually don't care for the color pink but society seems to keep throwing it at me in hopes that it will stick. Color is a social construct. We have assigned gender to something completely benign like color. 

There are so many words in the English language and it is time to use them. Stop the limiting beliefs and let gender flow. 

I'd describe the room on the left as dark, moody and rustic. And except for the rustic part I just described myself! I'd describe the room on the right as modern, bright and artistic. Look at that! I didn't even need to resort to masculine or feminine. 

I could happily exist in either of those spaces and it doesn't matter what my sex or gender is. 

Sign Up For the Monthly Newsletter

Full of DIY Tutorials. Design Tips. And More, but never spam