Design Retirement | FiF
We introduced our Future is Female design in 2017 at the World Championships of Beach Ultimate in Royan, France. The story behind this design can be found in our What’s with the Shirts? blog post.
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE IS FEMALE
From the beginning, the reason we added messaging like “The Future is Female” in our designs – first on our staff shirts, and later on pieces available for sale to our community – was to spark conversations. In fact, this design collection is even called “Conversation Starters”.
We’re writing this to let you know we’re retiring the design that launched VC’s foray into social justice messaging.
While we still unquestionably believe in the need for equitable support for women’s sports and validity of the marginalization perpetuated by the patriarchal roots of sport (and society!), we think it’s time to push the conversation further.
As we discussed in our post The Future (of VC gear) is Non-Binary, we feel it is important to move past the constraints of the gender binary. Further, since that post, we are evolving past the use of the term “non-binary” to define a physical shape, since we now understand it as a gender identity in itself that encompasses many kinds of bodies.
Your jersey has no gender. It's a shirt. A piece of fabric sewn together by someone who's never met you. How can that person put a label on a shirt – a label on you, really – without even asking you first?
So, where are we now?
THE FUTURE (OF VC GEAR) IS GENDER-FREE
After much contemplation and discussion with community members, we've decided to keep that conversation going by removing the emphasis on gendered categories altogether.
So many things in society are so heavily and unnecessarily gendered, which results in a non-inclusive environment for folks who are gender-fluid, identify entirely off the “traditional” gender binary (nevermind at either end of it), or who simply prefer not to identify their gender, or share their gender identity, with others.
In order to be truly inclusive of all community members, we are working hard to evolve all of our designs, labeling, and communications to be free of gendered language.
Our commitments to equitable support for women's sports, trans and genderqueer athletes, and marginalized athletes of all gender identities will continue through practical, material initiatives and by sharing the thinking behind, and actualization of, our values. We will continue to invest time and resources in both thought and action to make sport more inclusive for all athletes, as well as provide financial support to non-profit organizations on the ground doing the work in their local communities.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
We’d love to hear what you think. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback for us on this.
The Future is Female design will always be true to our heart as it represents the beginning of our never-ending learning journey into equitable action. Pick up a piece of Future is Female apparel at an 18% discount – representing the last officially reported gender pay gap by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics – while supplies last.