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bristol ozturgut


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Is there something inherently masculine about playing an instrument?

I was listening to Artie Shaw's "Stardust" and realized the rich timbre of the lead trumpet was the same as any heart-on-sleeve singers.

So then I was made curious by the feminine - vulnerable, sensual - characteristic of the trumpet. How is that men can afford to be so expressive? I wondered if male expression is made more masculine once it's removed to an instrument - tool. And then, in turn, does that say something about the instrument?

And then - hang on, the giant extrapolation - is there perhaps an inherently-masculine nature of tool-based skills?


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    Jan 10 2013: If one can characterise playing an instrument as masculine - it is due to social constructions.

    There is a dynamic between the genders that one has to look at in order to understand it. A lot of human choices are influenced by our attractiveness towards the opposite sex. It is an dominant factor in how we measure social success.

    Sadly females are taught from an early age that their skills, achievements or intelligence aren't important in this context - it is even perceived as a disadvantage. Their social success is influenced by their appearance. They are even taught that intelligence is a disadvantage. I don't know about you, but I've met a lot of women who've admitted to "dumbing down" in situations involving the opposite sex.

    Boys however learn quickly that skills is a way to gain social acceptance and attract the attention of the opposite sex.

    What I'm describing is not absolutes; it is tendencies that are subject to a statistical spread, which is why you can find examples of the opposite as well. But it explains the disproportion.

    Why can't men "afford" to be expressive? By dividing genders into these boxes you reinforce these social structures and the result is that we limit ourselves to fit into them.

    Being vulnerable or mastering the guitar isn't inherent to just one gender – it is human.
    • Jan 12 2013: Faisel,
      Perhaps the women you have met are from a certain small section of society? No woman I have met has ever said they have 'dumbed down' in situations with the opposite sex. Then again, my contemporaries have all been to university and have careers, maybe you should broaden your horizons a bit?

      You have just reinforced an outdated stereotype. The idea that men can't be expressive and woman can't be strong is very sexist.
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        Jan 13 2013: Hi (Hej?) Mette

        I think you have completely misunderstood my comment. This is the first time in my life, I have ever been called sexist. I find it hurtful, because it is in complete opposition to my views.

        Have you read the original question by Bristol? I think that Bristol is asking a question that in its nature reinforces the destructive (sexist) social constructs, that I was was trying to address.

        I don't believe that any knowledge, interest or capability is inherent to any particular gender. The reason why we see a disproportion in the amount of male instrumentalists is due to social structures - structures that I do not in anyway agree with.

        When I talk about women "dumbing down", I present it as a tendency in imperial knowledge that I have obtained throughout my life. Do I condone this? No - not at all. On the contrary, I see this as a major problem! The fact that you haven't come across this, I interpret as good news; but sadly it is probably limited to the small section of society that you interact with - your contemporaries at university.

        I hope that i have made my point more clear. If not, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


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