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Thread: Gender and age distribution of mando players

  1. #26

    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    ... Google Analytics...
    My understanding [1] is that Google Analytics gender data is dependent on user-supplied info which may or may not be accurate, depending on whether the user chooses to supply their real name, real age, and real gender.

    There are advantages to having internet advertisers think you're male instead of female. I got tired of all the ridiculous stereotypical makeup ads and haircare ads and fashion/clothing ads and other foolishness - not all women have need for that type of nonsense and I found it insulting that they'd think I would just based on gender.

    So when I signed up for one of my Gmail accounts years ago I intentionally gave them the wrong gender (and a fake name as well) to see if the targeted advertising would change.

    Yep, sure enough, once they thought I was male they started showing new-car ads and higher-education ads... and ads for those pills which I definitely don't need.

    Nowadays I use ad blockers, so I don't care what useless products the advertisers think I want because I don't have to see any of their ads anymore. I'm not motivated to go check various sites' settings to see if they're real-world accurate. I don't do Facebook or any of that, so there aren't any issues with being misidentified among friends; if I want to talk with friends (real ones, not imitation friends online) we use the phone or text or do old-fashioned visits. Many of the people I know don't have internet nor smartphones anyway (yeah, we still exist, we're not entirely extinct yet).

    Until such future time when internet usage may require providing official state-issued picture ID with all the personal info included, one would suspect that the various current online analytics are not necessarily a particularly accurate reflection of reality.

    Of course, meanwhile, there are ever-increasing methods of data-slurping and data sharing/selling and various forms of 'privacy' invasion etc, so nothing is ever really 'secure' or private. But still at this point I wouldn't necessarily believe everything that Google Analytics says.

    -------
    Footnote:
    1. Based on stuff I've read over the years, such as this StackExchange ProWebmasters article titled "How does Google Analytics know the sex, age, interests of visitors?" If you use a fake name, fake DOB, wrong gender, don't do Facebook etc, they may not know the difference nor care... yet.

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    25 years ago I would have found it difficult to come up with more than a handful of female mandolinists I'd consider for a feature interview. Now, there are too many to count, and I doubt we'll ever get them all........... The music is far better off with the diversity.

    I think a lot has changed in the last 25 years. In a time, before there was a functional internet, George Gruhn made a bold statement in one of the guitar magazines. Something to the effect of, "there is a simple way to double the vintage guitar business -- get women interested in vintage guitars!" Seems so simple, but there was a lot of truth to what he said. Not mandolin specific, but I noticed the same thing myself while working the vintage guitar show circuit -- basically, a bunch of older dudes. The same thing could be said of age -- get younger people interested in vintage guitars. Another observation was that minorities, in general, were not interested in vintage guitars. I found this odd, since vintage guitar buyers were not representative of musicians, in general. Food for thought.

  4. #28
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    I think it would be interesting to look at the mandolin world in Europe and ask this question. Take a look at this video of the Dutch Mandolin Orchestra and view the number of men and women. Also, in Europe there are many, many unbelievable female classical mandolinists such as Caterina Lichtenburg. Japan is also ďmandolin crazyĒ - it would be interesting to know the gender/age distribution of these countries. We might be surprised, but I donít know that for sure.
    The UK fits in a bit awkwardly in this as it's subject to heavy cultural influences from both continental Europe and the US (and influencing them, of course). As a broad brush, I'd say the classical mandolin scene is more aligned with continental Europe and the folk/Celtic mandolin scene more aligned with the US.

    My own personal experience is that our weekly mandolin practice group on the Wirral is about 75% female and also about 75% aged above 60. However, we are playing fully-harmonised multipart arrangements from written scores. The age and gender profile may be quite different among mandolin players in an Irish or bluegrass session playing by ear.

    As to gender of Cafe forum participants, my experience of more that 25 years or so in online discussion forums (back from the old alt.folklore.urban and rec.music.folk days in the mid-1990s) is that female members are much more reluctant to reveal their gender, and unfortunately often with good reason (although the Cafe is fortunately one of the most mutually-supportive and inclusive communities on the web).

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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I think a lot has changed in the last 25 years. In a time, before there was a functional internet, George Gruhn made a bold statement in one of the guitar magazines. Something to the effect of, "there is a simple way to double the vintage guitar business -- get women interested in vintage guitars!" Seems so simple, but there was a lot of truth to what he said. Not mandolin specific, but I noticed the same thing myself while working the vintage guitar show circuit -- basically, a bunch of older dudes. The same thing could be said of age -- get younger people interested in vintage guitars. Another observation was that minorities, in general, were not interested in vintage guitars. I found this odd, since vintage guitar buyers were not representative of musicians, in general. Food for thought.
    A lot of truth to what you wrote. Most people don't realize that more babies were born in the millenial generation than the baby boom generation. It is a simple fact that the greater the population, the greater the sales of any consumer good. If interested, check out Kenneth Gronbach's books on demographics.

  6. #30
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    Among people I know personally it seems like there are about as many female mandolinists as male. There are quite a few a at the highest level as well, Sharon Gilchrist, Eva Holbrook, Marilyn Mair along with the two mentioned among others. Sierra Hull just amazes me. She may be the next Grismann or Thile. I think the smaller neck appeals to women because they usually have smaller hands. On the other extreme it seems like there is a disproportionate number of female string bass players. Not quite as much much professionally but at smaller bluegrass festivals and jams. Though Bryn Davies and Missy Raines set an awfully high standard.

    There do not seem to be proportionately as many women guitarists as men especially at the highest levels. I am not sure why that is.

    And not a lot of female banjo players except clawhammer. That may reflect well on their judgment
    Another female checking in. Hi! Yes, we're out here (total mando beginner though, but loving every minute of it)

    Bass is my primary instrument with a few decades of experience on it, so this comment made me laugh. You're right, there is a disproportionately large number of female bassists, both acoustic and electric from what I've seen. True not as much at pro level, and I also don't know why that is, but I can take a few guesses. There's a decent number of bluegrass combos around here and they seem to be about 50% female bassists (and fiddlers, too).

    And yes, Sierra Hull is easily making her way up there with Bush, Grisman, and Thile. Well, Chris Thile is in a class by himself; my jaw about hit the floor first time I saw a video of him. He is so "in the zone" - pure zen.

    P.S.: Check out Esperanza Spalding if you haven't already.

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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Yea, this is really an important conversation. I've been bothered by this question, too. I guess I chalk it up to there being fewer role models in the past, but i'm happy to see the tide turning on that. So many of the most interesting mandolin players, the most creative and inspiring, happen to be women these days. Eva Scow, Jenni Lynn, Sierra, Maddie Witler, Sharon Gilchrist, Eva Holbrook, and a few younger ones coming down the pipeline. It bodes well for the future, i think.
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  10. #32
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Simple. The young women are playing their mandolins; the old men are posting on forums.
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  12. #33

    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    I've known females who have been driven out of music forums by males who had terrible boundaries. There are also subtle pressures through which females get the message that they might be only considered as eye candy, even here on the Cafť, like the scattered commentaries on the looks of various female mando players, or topics like "Women with mandolins. As far as I've noticed, I haven't seen anything similar in the other direction here, on a forum ostensibly about mandolin and making music.

    If women are hiding their gender, might factors like all those be considerations?

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  14. #34
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Possibly the Mandolin Cafe forum is not representative of the overall gender makeup of mandolin players.
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    At her parents' request, I'm teaching our 5 year old granddaughter piano (which I'm marginally qualified for, at least for a while).

    I'd much rather be teaching her mandolin.
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Female. I don't play for a living, but for fun.

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  18. #37

    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Happy to see some nice discourse on this topic. More diversity in who is playing the mandolin will only make the music more interesting.

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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    I was undeer forty once and played mandolin then too.

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  22. #39
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    For a little extra data, I looked at the last 50+ video exchanges on Mike Marshall's ArtistWorks site. The female student percentage was roughly 40%. Closer to 50% recently. Ages ranged from kids to older folks.

    However, locally I can say within the local jam scene here I know of only one female mandolin player and the general age group of the jams are definitely in the senior category.
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    I have exactly no interest at all in knowing the sex or age of any poster on the forum. Why does it matter? Just saying
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  25. #41
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Buckingham View Post
    I was undeer forty once and played mandolin then too.
    You are lucky! I don't think I was ever fortunate enough to be under forty but I do play mandolin.
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  26. #42
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    There are also subtle pressures through which females get the message that they might be only considered as eye candy, even here on the Cafť, like the scattered commentaries on the looks of various female mando players, or topics like "Women with mandolins. As far as I've noticed, I haven't seen anything similar in the other direction here, on a forum ostensibly about mandolin and making music
    Hmm. This kind of thing doesn't really bother me, as long as lines aren't crossed. And I don't think they would be here; from what I have seen, people seem pretty respectful. Anyway, what a great thing to be talented AND attractive (regardless of gender), and of course, attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Plus, guys are guys, gals are gals - Venus and Mars. I worked in manufacturing engineering for a number of years, mainly among men, and heard many things I could have been offended at. I chose not to be, and had many fine friendships there.

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  28. #43
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Picked up my first mandolin (pawnshop Czech bowlback) when I was 18. It wore out in a year. No more mandos until I got my F4 from Mike Holmes ten years later. (Still have the receipts; took three months to get it paid off.)

    So, thanks Mike, (and Mr Cooder, who inspired the purchase).

  29. #44
    We're all mad here elbent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Just wanted to chime in and thank everyone for keeping it civil and respectful! I know discussions of diversity can sometimes push some buttons.
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  31. #45
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    When I started in group situations, women outnumbered the men by 2-1. In jams, I don't pay much attention to who's who except to note how they play.

    I can tell you the color, make and model of all the mandolins in a jam
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  33. #46
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Hmm. This kind of thing doesn't really bother me, as long as lines aren't crossed. And I don't think they would be here; from what I have seen, people seem pretty respectful. Anyway, what a great thing to be talented AND attractive (regardless of gender), and of course, attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Plus, guys are guys, gals are gals - Venus and Mars. I worked in manufacturing engineering for a number of years, mainly among men, and heard many things I could have been offended at. I chose not to be, and had many fine friendships there.
    I used to tend bar for a while many years ago. If you want to talk about any job where you'll hear all manner of offensive things, it's bartending. I developed a thick skin there, but I drew my line clearly and if the customer crossed it, I'd make sure the customer understood exactly where that line was
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

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    Last edited by DHopkins; May-27-2020 at 6:03pm. Reason: I misread to original post
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  35. #48
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    Quote Originally Posted by Erin M View Post
    I used to tend bar for a while many years ago. If you want to talk about any job where you'll hear all manner of offensive things, it's bartending. I developed a thick skin there, but I drew my line clearly and if the customer crossed it, I'd make sure the customer understood exactly where that line was
    I waitressed in a bar in one of my earlier lives, so I know what you mean.

    IMHO Women with mandolin pictures don't come anywhere near the line.
    Last edited by Sue Rieter; May-27-2020 at 6:14pm. Reason: Additional comment

  36. #49
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    The number one reason that this is the only social media site that I am involved in is because of how well it is run. Scott and the moderators do a great job. That helps with the diversity and making everyone feel welcome.

    Speaking of that, Sue, are you aware there is an entire thread devoted to cats sleeping in mandolin cases?.....

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ght=cats+cases
    Charley

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  38. #50
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gender and age distribution of mando players

    The number one reason that this is the only social media site that I am involved in is because of how well it is run. Scott and the moderators do a great job. That helps with the diversity and making everyone feel welcome
    I agree 100%!

    are you aware there is an entire thread devoted to cats sleeping in mandolin cases?
    I did not. Will be clicking there next

    Sue

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