Are mountains male or female?

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.

16 thoughts on “Are mountains male or female?

  1. i’ve named my car sylvia, so i’m going to say female in this case. as for mountains, i see them as female as well with all of their wisdom and strength, not afraid to stand tall in spite of danger

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever assigned a gender to mountains but you bring up a good point about people who speak languages that have male/female nouns. I wonder if they automatically refer to mountains, cars, boats, etc. as male or female? My car is named Gizmo, so can go either way… or none. 🙂

    1. I never actually named that car. I just referred to her as “The Green Machine.” The current car is simply “The Forester.” No gender comes to mind immediately.

  3. Like you, i haven’t really thought about male or female mountains. But then again, it’s Mother Earth, right? I believe i think of Rocky as a whole as female, but usually just say Rocky or ROMO instead of he or she/him or her or it. Now this is going to be bouncing around in my head for a long time!

  4. lol… You know, this is something that crosses my mind from time-to-time. Male sailors typically call their ships/boats “her/she” and often give them female names. Car-lovers often call their fast cars “she.” Hurricanes were women’s names for decades (centuries?). I hear mountains referred to as feminine. However, we have yet to elect a woman president.

    1. It will happen sooner or later, when the right woman appears at the right time. So far that hasn’t happened. It wasn’t/isn’t Hillary. And Kamala isn’t it either.

      1. I’m not impressed with Kamala. But then, the VP really doesn’t do much while in office. If she seeks to be POTUS, she needs to go above and beyond what is required of a VP. She’s not doing it. Honestly, I with Joe would retire, but I cannot think of a Dem that stands out to be the next POTUS.

        1. I can’t either. I’d prefer someone younger next time, but who? I’ve never thought much of Kamala, and I really don’t like Hillary. I’ve seen Pete Buttigieg mentioned here and there, but I don’t think he’s ready yet. And the Dems need to be grooming someone NOW.

          1. Good grief, hadn’t thought about the committee. Can’t lose that. The wheels of justice move slowly, but they’ve GOT to keep moving!

... and that's my two cents