Is it sexist to refer to your bass or another object as a female?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by SubHuman, Jun 22, 2020.

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  1. SubHuman


    Dec 29, 2005
    Good Old USA
    I know in today's ultra-sensitive world it seems so easy to offend and that is not the meaning behind this post. I'm just more curious since the social rules change faster then I can keep up!

    I'm just wondering if it is sexist in today's world to refer to an object such as a bass guitar or car, etc. in the female sense.

    I have always said things about my bass like She plays like a dream.

    Same with my car...she runs like a beast. Like the engine...she sounds sweet!

    I am using it in a complimentary meaning.

    What do all of you think? Should I start saying things like It plays like a is really is a beauty?

    Can you tell I'm bored on this rainy Monday in Ohio? Ha!
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Can't imagine this thread lasting long :), but...

    To me, absolutely not.

    To others, I'm sure its offensive.

    People seem to want to be offended today. They go looking for things to label offensive...

    I'll shut up now, so this can get past 1 or 2 responses.
    zie, Low8 and Clark W like this.
  3. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    Heck no.
  4. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    I never humanize any inanimate object, doesn't make sense to me. I use "it" or the say the type of object it is, "I just had a junior guitar converted to a bass, it's a beaut." "My computer has an eight TB NVMe RAID drive, it screams." "My compact minivan holds eight passengers, it's very versatile."
  5. This has been addressed many times before.

    In short, it comes from ye olde sailing days when ships were usually named in the feminine.

    That's about it.
    Winslow likes this.
  6. Malcolm35

    Malcolm35 Supporting Member

    Yes you are bored.

    Boats are females pickups are male. Guitars are females. Course this flips over if the owner is female.
  7. ZedLepp


    May 12, 2013
    Question for the OP. Do you think it's sexist when women call objects with a male name, or does the street only go one way?
    Rabidhamster likes this.
  8. SubHuman


    Dec 29, 2005
    Good Old USA
    Probably a generational thing too. I remember the Beach Boys singing "She's so 409" so I grew up during an era when people still used those types of descriptions openly.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. SubHuman


    Dec 29, 2005
    Good Old USA
    If someone wanted to say "He sounds sweet" about their bass it wouldn't offend me at all!

    2 way street!
  10. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Of course it is. It's only "complimentary" if you objectify females and value them for what they can give to you or mean to you. In my experience, the offended folks are usually the ones that can't wrap their minds around and accept that concept, not the ones who understand it, and challenge the inherent sexism. :D
    4 Strings Good likes this.
  11. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    I'm not sure about this at all.

    In my sailing days it was explained to me that women carry life. Any vessel that can sustain life in an environment that people could not normally sustain life functions without her body should, appropriately, have a feminine name.

    Ships without a name are presumed to be cursed because they are thought to be barren.

    Clearly basses do not sustain life in the same way vessels do, so I think the derivation to bass fails. As for referring to my bass, I haven't given a thought to anything like the thread subject since I started playing. It's a bass. I play it.
    Recon1342 and Polk Salad like this.
  12. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Well, I am interested in hearing from the ladies. If it legitimately bothers you then Let's hear about it. I could not care less what a dude thinks.....
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I think some people take things WAY too seriously when it comes to things like this. I wouldn't worry.
    iammr2, ZedLepp, JKos and 1 other person like this.
  14. fretlessman71

    fretlessman71 Still beats havin' a job Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    FoCo, NoCo
    I have male instruments, female instruments, and androgynous instruments. They come into my life as they are and get what I feel are appropriate names. I have "Robert" sitting to my left, "Nubs" on my right, "Grunt" just behind me and "Dionne" in a soft case in the other room. Let 'em be what they are.
    zie likes this.
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Really depends on what kind of junk it's got. I know one of my Js is a boy bass because its case is always a mess.
  16. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    All of my basses are non-binary.
    inthevelvet likes this.
  17. Well English does not have gender on objects like Spanish or French and other languages. I always attributed the gender association as English's way of doing what these languages do

    Guitar is a feminine noun in Spanish but the bass is masculine (la guitarra and el bajo). So a bass guitar should probably be gender fluid.
    4 Strings Good likes this.
  18. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    The Latin languages assign a gender to every single inanimate object there is. Is THAT sexist?
    ajkula66, zie and Low8 like this.
  19. sardocs


    Mar 31, 2013
    pender harbour bc
    "Gender Fluid" conjures up some images that might not be appropriate for this forum.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  20. I'm confused -- you say you're not sure about my explanation, and then proceed to give a similar explanation -- is that what just happened?
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