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A pen that 'looks like a CEO in a business suit': gendering the fountain pen

This article investigates the gendering of the fountain pen as a product category mainly used in the office environment. It draws on hobbyists' accounts and evaluations of fountain pen use from online forums. The accounts suggest that hobbyists perceive the fountain pen market to take executive men as its authentic user group, whereas pens that target women often reflect stereotypical femininities. At the office, this gendering process impacts users' everyday experiences especially with reference to the managerial norms that govern the use of suits and accessories, since the fountain pen is considered by its users as part of an array of men's status objects. The article contributes to the literature on the gendering of artifacts by describing a hegemonic manner in which artifacts are gendered, that is, as a range of products that target diverse masculinities and femininities in contradistinction to a single, masculine product type.