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#ItWasNeverADress Campaign: Smashing Stereotypes While Shifting Perceptions and Assumptions About Women

We have all seen the stereotypical bathroom sign for women, the silhouette of what seems to be a figure in a dress. This assumption is almost always made, as dresses have historically been seen as women’s clothing. The #ItWasNeverADress campaign challenges this age-old ideology, creating images (featured and sold on mugs, shirts, stickers and more)  that depict a woman in a variety of attire ranging from superhero capes to graduation gowns rather than a dress.

#ItWasNeverADress is an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day.” -Tania Katan

Created by Tania Katan, activist, author and programmer, this campaign was created to encourage change in the way society perceives women, “through storytelling, community building, innovation and creative disruptions”. In almost every aspect of life, women are too often overlooked, silenced, or pushed aside, simply because they are women. The goal of #ItWasNeverADress is to spark necessary conversations about gender-related inequalities in society.

Katan hopes to get more young women interested in a career in tech through this campaign, as women are rarely associated with this field hence the symbolism of #ItWasNeverADress- breaking assumptions and preconceived notions about women. Using intellectual disruption, “creativity and instinct to visually represent injustices”, women can create the change they want to see in society.

After seeing the images #ItWasNeverADress has created, you will most likely never see bathroom signs the same again, just as you shouldn’t look at women and jump to conclusions based on her gender nor appearance. This campaign is empowering a socially conscious group of women who promote their views through their work, art, and actions.

“when you’re conscious and collaborative, you can’t help but be aware of what’s going on in the world of technology and other spaces that women occupy” -Tania Katan

If you visit #ItWasNeverADress’s website, you can submit your own story inspired by the mission of the campaign. Since it’s launch, the site has become a collection of countless women sharing their stories, creating change, and empowering each other through their unique experiences.

I myself have purchased some of #ItWasNeverADress’s stickers featuring their iconic logo, and if you submit your own experience at their site they will send you five free stickers to raise awareness and spread the word of the change women want to make in society.


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Hallie Sebastian
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Hallie is a 16-year-old student, artist, aspiring journalist, and ally from CNY focusing on the intersections of oppression in society.


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