The It Was Never a Dress campaign is not only taking social media by storm, it is also changing the way we view the traditional women’s bathroom sign. We see that the men’s figure wears pants and the women’s symbol wears a dress, but what if it was never meant to be a dress in the first place?  Tania Katan launched the popular #ItWasNeverADress campaign at last week’s ‘Girls in Tech‘ conference with the idea that the female figure is instead wearing a cape, asserting that women can be superheroes or anything else they choose to be.”


These restroom signs are so ubiquitous that we might fail to realize how they are a part of the gendered landscape in which we live.  This takes that well-known icon that was designed to generically represents women and makes us see the sign (and women maybe?) in a new light.  It’s delightfully playful and yet powerfully subversive; it challenges us to see beyond what we’ve been told to see and what society tells us what we should see.  The designers called this “an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day.”

Questions to Ponder: what other elements of the cultural landscape convey gendered messages? What impact do these message have? 

Tags: perspective, cultural norms, culture, gender, popular culture.