I’d never thought about the gender of mountains, or of any particular mountain, until I encountered Erik Stensland’s photograph entitled “Longs and His Domain” (above). That’s Longs Peak, highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, and as much as I’ve loved it all my life, I’ve never thought about its gender. (There, see? I just wrote “its” without even thinking.)
If I were to assign a gender, perhaps if speaking admiringly or in awe, I’d probably have said “her” or something like “Isn’t she awesome?” I’m not sure why. Influenced by “Mother Nature” perhaps. Or maternal images. Or maybe because I live in the West and have heard the feminine “montaña” all my life.
Curious, I poked around Google a bit and found some comments on the subject. But I still can’t say for sure. I don’t know; I think of cars as feminine, too. Not often, but I did think my old Mazda MX-6 was feminine: “She’s a beautiful machine.”
What do you think? Does it depend on context? Do you think of mountains as masculine, feminine, or just asexual piles of rock? (Let’s not get into whether they are queer, non-bi, etc. I’d never say “Longs and Their Domain.”)
Banner image: “Longs and His Domain” by Erik Stensland. © Erik Stensland. Used with permission.