A gender-blind (or unisex) person is someone who adheres to not distinguishing people by gender. Gender blind people generally advocate gender neutrality in society such as activities undertaken and services provided without regard to the gender of those who participate. Those who identify as pansexual may also refer to themselves as 'gender-blind': however, pansexuality emphasizes gender-blindness in sexuality.
Choice of words
Unisex is an older term, and a misnomer meaning "one sex". It should not be confused with bisexuality. Gender-blind however goes against most tenets of heteronormativity by not looking at gender at all.
The National Student Genderblind Campaign
In 2006 the National Student Genderblind Campaign was created as a collaborative grassroots organization intended to educate college students, administrators, and others throughout the United States. The NSGC advocates for the implementation of gender-inclusive dorm room and bathroom options.
Mixed-gender hospital rooms
The use of mixed-gender hospital rooms has proved controversial in both Great Britain and Canada. Manitoba's Health Minister, Theresa Oswald, has campaigned actively against such rooms after receiving complaints from a Winnipeg patient, Ollie Ingram. Oswald said if humanity can "put somebody on the moon," it can find a way to honor gender requests without leading to delays for patients. At the same time, some medical ethicists have been critical of efforts to return to single-sex rooms. Jacob Appel, an advocate for mixed rooms in the United States, has written that opposition to gender-mixed rooms stems from "old-fashioned prejudice" and argues that: "Because some people have been brought up to fear or dislike sharing a room with a person of the opposite sex, or blush at the prospect of catching a glimpse of an unwelcome body part when a robe slips open, we enshrine and perpetuate this prejudice in social policy". Great Britain has agreed to phase out such rooms by 2010.
Gender neutral public toilets
The end of sex segregation is closely linked to the gender blind perspective. This includes ending the sexism in discriminating gender exclusive facilities such as public toilets in some cases.[where?]
- All-women shortlists
- Color blindness (race)
- Equal opportunity
- Gender-neutral language
- Third gender
- John Miner, Shared room sparks rage,London Free Press, June 17, 2010
- Bruce Owen, Oswald vows action to stop coed rooms in hospitals, Winnipeg Free Press, May 14, 2010
- Jacob Appel, Are We Ready for Coed Hospital Rooms? Huffington Post, June 18, 2010