Pictorica: Where is gender taking us?

Elevator sign in a Finnish hotel & gender game label

Currently, I am holed up in a comfortable hotel north of Finland, where I was joined at lunch today by a woman colleague from Helsinki. As I was escorting her to the ground floor to send her on her way home over the frozen tundra, she called my attention to the sign on each elevator in the building – one woman, but two men. It struck us as curious enough to inquire of the hotel management at the front desk the reason for this unequal or at least unusual portrayal. They were as puzzled as we were. We jokingly guessed that it meant that men were on their way down and women were on their way up in Finland, despite the fact that it is already one of the more egalitarian societies of Europe. Hazarding another surmise, we suggested that perhaps one of the male-looking characters was in fact bisexual, transgender, or in some way non-cis, and that sign makers were still at a loss for symbolic representation.

In any case, the incident also served as a reminder to me to let my friends, colleagues and contacts know that a team of very savvy millennial's at the University of Bourgogne in Dijon have completed their work on an up-to-date game on Gender and Sexual Identity issues. You can now have a peek or even order a copy on our website at www.diversophy.com. This game creates an engaging and informative discussion about gender, gender identity and sexual orientation. Updated to suit a broader and more culturally inclusive perspective, the game fosters a safe working environment and tolerance of gender diversity in life and in the workplace. Actually, I will offer a 30% discount to the three best (or most entertaining) guesses offered to explain the mysterious elevator sign. Deadline for responding to this post–31 March.

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