Sometimes when I’m reading stories I like to genderflip the characters to see if it still seems balanced. It generally doesn’t. A few examples off the top of my head include: The Avengers (4 F, 1 M), Harry Potter power trio (2 F, 1 F), LOTR (9 F, no M), the Hobbit (assuming we mean just the main cast, 15 F, 2M). What’s the moral of that little story? Partly that I can never just watch films/read books, but also partly that apparently there is way more M in the world than F, or that F is less inclined to adventure than M, and that it’s perfectly normal. #wtf
And then I started doing it in real life. In orchestra, in lectures, on my own in the kitchen, the results came back the same: more F than M. So… RL =/= fiction, that’s one conclusion we can draw from that data.
I even started breaking it down by section in orchestra:
Woodwind: 2M 6F
Brass: 1M 1F (Brass wins! yeah, go brass)
Cellos: 3M 1F
Violas: 2M 1F
Violins: 2M 7F
so overall that’s: 10M 16F
It’s a chamber orchestra, in case you were worried about the terrible attendance record at RHUL. “But Charli, there’s no-one there!” you might cry, anxiously. And I would reply reassuringly, “It’s ok, it’s a chamber orchestra.”
I even have a lecture where out of about 50 people only 4/5 are male. It’s kind of hard to say, because the rest just might not be turning up. I can’t imagine why, MU1115 is the best lecture we have. But it’s very odd, or seems odd to me, that music is so imbalanced when it comes to gender.