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The sociohistorical process in which particular cultural forms come to be associated more with one sex than the other within a culture, generating gender connotations and playing a significant part in the construction of gender. Such forms include discourses, genres, shapes, colours, media, tools, and technologies. In the contemporary world, pink is so marked as feminine that this can feel a natural association, yet it was not always so. In June 1918, this observation appeared in a Chicago-based trade magazine called The Infants' Department: ‘Pink or blue? Which is intended for boys and which for girls?… There has been a great diversity of opinion on this subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy; while blue, which is more delicate and dainty is prettier for the girl.’ Nor is this an isolated source for the same sentiments in the early decades of the 20th century. This is a powerful example of how the gendering of cultural forms can change over time. See also brown goods; feminization; gendered technologies; masculinization; white goods.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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