If you’re in New York City this week check out the I Will What I Want: Women, Design, and Empowerment show at the Parsons School of Design. It will feature the Make the Breast Pump Not Suck! documentary featuring Bayard Design LLC consultant Matthew De Remer in a non-speaking role.
I Will What I Want: Women, Design, and Empowerment explores the complex and sometimes-contradictory role that design has played from the mid-Twentieth Century, through second wave feminism, to present non-binary intersections in the pursuit of gender expression and equality for those who have uteruses, menstruate, and/or identify as women.
The exhibition features objects, interfaces, and clothing that have sought to enable those who have uteruses, menstruate, or embrace womanhood as independent and creative subjects in a material world largely designed by and for men but consumed by those who identify as women.
Design’s relationship with the individual and with societies is rarely uncomplicated. With the introduction of the contraceptive pill came the rise of laws designed to constrict reproductive rights for people with uteruses; for every breast pump that facilitates new parents’ choices about work and nutrition, there exists a poorly designed familial leave policy; and so many designs “for her,” even for very young girls, come with the baggage of implicit and explicit expectations about class, race, gender performance, labor, and sexuality.