Why don't women whistle?

(caveat: in my experience, anyway)

A couple of weeks ago, I was at work, hearing a (male) coworker whistling a tune, and it struck me that I couldn’t recall ever hearing a female do the same. I can recall a woman whistling for attention (ie, hailing a cab), or wolf-whistling (though only on a TV show), but I can’t recall ever hearing a woman whistling a tune, even on TV or in the movies.

Checking with my wife, she says she was never told specifically that it was wrong, unladylike, or anything like that - she simply never learned to do so. Same with some female coworkers.

So, is it just one of those unspoken societal things that have soaked into the cultural mindset? What gives?

Well, you know, I whistle. And I am a woman. And I have at least one woman friend who whistles. So evidently your experience is less than universal.

Women certainly know how to whistle.

“A whistling girl and a crowing hen are sure to come to some bad end.”

I’m sure there is some aphorism praising women who whistle, but I can’t remember one.

But are you any good? :wink:

Oh, golly, no. No, I’ve been pretty bad most of my life. Is it that only bad girls whistle? Because if that’s it, well, then, I am giving credence to that theory.

I think that’s kind of a given. :stuck_out_tongue:

But, in your experience, have you witnessed more women than men whistling, fewer, or about the same?

The people in my family who whistle besides me were/are my two grandmothers.

I often whistle, both around the house and when I’m out shopping-- everywhere in fact. I whistled some snippets of “Romancero Gitano” when I was at the grocery store today. I probably whistle every day.

In my family, I whistle (my wife calls me a whistling fool some days), my wife does not, my son does, my daughter does not, my mother does not, my dad does not, my grandmother did not, my grandfather did (I believe I inherited his whistling gene).

So, at least in my family, the boys do out-whistle the girls.

Perhaps because they sing instead?

I can both whistle and sing, but I never voluntarily whistle for fun because the position is so much less comfortable than simply singing. And I know a lot of women who randomly sing when going about their day.

Perhaps some of your whistling bloke friends would be singers, if they hadn’t internalised that it’s a bit ‘girly’

I can’t remember the last time I heard anybody casually whistle. I think the “reason” women “don’t” is because almost nobody does anymore.

I whistle often. No particular tune though.

I once had a boss (male) who would *constantly *casually whistle. You could tell what kind of mood he was in by how/what he was whistling. Some days, most days actually, you’d come in and he’d be whistling an angry tune, which meant stay the heck away from him. I’m sure he did it all sub-consciously, but it was really nice having a window into the kind of day he was having, and whether or not to ask him for something.

This thread made me think of him; he’s dead now. Very high-strung dude.

I can’t whistle - I’ve tried many times, and all I get is this tuneless little susurration. I’d love to whistle, if I could.

On the other hand, I have superior two-fingers-in-the-mouth taxi-hailing whistling skills - I can easily shut up a noisy room by letting loose with an ear-splitting whistle, an assertion I have proven on a few occasions.

Maybe we have good manners…seriously though I used to whistle lullabies to my babies. They seemed to appreciate it

The OP is evidently unfamiliar with Elly May Clampett.


My late mother-in-law was recruited to be a whistler for Walt Disney Animation Studios back in the 40s. She was pressured by my late Father-in-law to decline the opportunity, on the grounds that a married woman (a woman married to him, at any rate), should not accept paying work outside the home.

(He apparently changed his – heh, heh, heh – tune some time in the 60s, after he had drunk and gambled his house and business out from under the family.)

Cause they know better than to blow slobbers on sammiches , or else…

…Ducks and runs…

Obligatory Whistler’s Mother joke