In 2010 we wrote about how gender ideology inflects even the most “objective” of spheres.  In this case, we featured four examples of anatomical illustration, portrayals of human beings used to educate viewers about biology.  In each case, while the man faced forward with his weight evenly distributed on his two feet, the woman placed her hand on her hip, cocked a knee, or even turned slightly sideways.  In other words, he was posed in a masculine way and she in a feminine way.

When we see this kind of gendered posing in drawings that are ostensibly neutral, we are being told that our particular historically- and culturally-contingent version of masculinity and femininity is natural.

In this vein, Courtney S. sent in a Design by Hümans Size Chart.  The chart is supposed to help buyers decide what size to purchase, but the accompanying images do more than just illustrate how measurements are made; by torquing the female torso, they send a message about gender too:

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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