Sylvia G. sent in this image of an ad for online degree programs that popped up in her browser. It is a stunningly gendered (and White) depiction of occupations:

As Sylvia says, “nurturing/caring professions are for women, all other professions are for men.” So female icons accompany, therapist, social worker, teacher, psychologist, child caretaker, HR officer, patient advocate, and health care manager, all careers that involve caring or advocating for others or a reliance on a lot of “people” skills. On the other hand, science/tech, business, and the criminal justice system are coded male. It appears that jobs aren’t gendered individually, but rather by the group they fall into, so that all counseling/therapy jobs have the same female icon and all the business/management ones have the same male one.

It’s a very clear example of the ongoing gendering of both occupations and the college majors that prepare people for them.

UPDATE: Reader Cee says,

You are really failing on the intersection of race with this, which I would point it is even MORE pressing than gender in this case. Given that ALL of the professions are uniformly white, white hegemony (and privilege) shouldn’t be relegated to mere afterthought.

NEW! (Jan. ’10): Ryan sent us another example with the same basic issues (gender segregation, White as neutral) as the first one:

Also see our post on default avatars, Facebook’s “neutral” icons, a vintage cartoon about what classes women enjoy, and who gets science and engineering degrees?.

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