Think outside and beyond the concept of gender

October 9, 2013


In the passage <Feminist Practices: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women in Architecture> written by Lori A. Brown, Lori starts from her life and education experience that there are few female professors and students in architecture school. I think there is an assumption in her argument that the social paradigm tacitly approves that men are in charge of the “professional area” and career women are definitely led by the masculine power in “professionalism”.

And then Lori surpasses the barrier of gender issues and comes to a broader conclusion:

“Feminist does not necessitate the project to be female focused; nor be gender specific.”(Lori 2011, p.05) And Gillian Rose, a feminist geographer, also quotes Teresa de Lauretis :“the subject of feminism is thus constituted ‘nor by sexual difference alone, but rather across languages and cultural representations; a subject engendered in the experiencing of race and class, as well as sexual, relations; a subject, therefore, not unified but rather multiple, and not so much divided as contradicted.’” (Gillisn Rose 1993, p.138)

This kind of modern discourse, most interesting, as far as I am concerned, is what people living in ancient eastern countries always thought and did, thousands of years ago. The picture I show above is a couple named Nvwa and Fuxi, who created the world and made men and women in ancient Chinese myths. Nvwa is the goddess and Fuxi is her brother. Nvwa created the marriage system and she was the ancestor and also the leader human tribes and this represents matriarchal society of ancient age. Just look at this picture, you will see that this couple have human’s heads and snake’s bodies. Their snake bodies, are twisted with each other, and seems there is no definite difference between the couple. This picture also looks very harmonious, because they want to integrate with each other and become an integration of the world. You see the ancient Chinese people deliberately make the gap between men and women obscure. The founder of Taoism, the famous Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu also wrote in his theory that everything on earth comes from the mediation of Ying and Yang, and what’s more, women can breed both boys and girls, which is the base of the development of human society. That will help us a lot to understand and change the relationship between male and female nowadays.

In that case, maybe we can change “one of the primary goals of Feminist Practices” on page 6 a little bit: to think outside and beyond the concept of gender in order to broaden and expand architecture’s role and engagement within our everyday world for every people.



Feminist Practices. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women in Architecture. Edited by Lori A. Brown.


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