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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Feminine Mystique » » Women vs Men (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

yazz
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A question that has been sitting at the back of my mind lately, is do you think that the general public perceive female magicians differently to male magicians? If so how or why?
Anatole
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I think it's basically a cultural thing--not just in theatrical magic but in "real" magic across cultures--a matter of stereotypes. I think historically there has been a great disparity in the number of sorcerers compared to sorceresses. I would not be surprised if, when you look up the translation of "magician" in various foreign language translation dictionaries, you see the masculine form of the word but not the feminine. In fact, usually the feminine of a noun is the male word with a femine-suffix (e.g. Spanish "senor" vs "senora" or "senorita").

In Arthurian literature common to the general public, everyone knows the name of Arthur's court magician, but not many in the general public know the name of the enchantress known as "The Lady in the Lake" who gave Arthur his sword Excalibur.

It's like that in many professions. Say the word "doctor" and the first image that pops into most peoples' minds is a male doctor. Likewise when you say the words "soldier" or "police officer." It sometimes works the other way as well. Say the word "nurse" and the image that pops into most peoples' minds would be a woman nurse although there are many male nurses.

This quote that I found on John Bannon's website is another example of the stereotype:
"And although this art is so wonderful, still it is held in no honor . . . The reasons are various, it seems to me; first, the art is concerned with useless matters; second, it is practiced by men of low degree."--Cardano on card tricks, De Subilitate, 1554
Retrieved from http://johnbannonmagic.com/intheworks.html

I don't hear often of "women of low degree."

And why are there two male court cards in a deck but only one female???

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Peter Goldfield
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John Lennon said it best: http://youtu.be/OSycnQPeuSg
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” John Lennon
magicusb
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Add to this discussion is that magicians are moslty men in cultural references, but witches are mostly women, as are fortune tellers, and in lesser way mediums. Psychics possibly half and half.
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