Thursday, December 14, 2006

Stick persons

It's not that often that information design gets into the papers, but you might have seen coverage of the Spanish town of Fuenlabrada that is legislating against sexism in various areas of civic life - including the stick people on pedestrian crossings.
Debate has centred on:
• whether stick 'men' are actually genderless anyway, and represent both sexes
• whether, even if this is the case, it's still sexist, just as using the word 'man' to represent humankind betrays an underlying sexism in the English language (in the sense that 'woman' is a marked form of 'man').
• whether women have to be represented as wearing skirts and pony tails.

This sign outside a gay bar seems to take the view that stick men are in fact men... unless, of course, it is not a gay bar and the stick people are gender neutral.
(Original found at