>I suppose this instinct is nature's way of preventing mothers from tossing
>the baby out the window after the 30th straight night of crying...
cf. The Onion's "Babies Are Stupid" article.
In practice, I find the question of a typeface's being masculine or
feminine as useful as determining whether my Palm Pilot would more easily
be classified as a shoehorn or a bulldog. Even if it were possible to
quantify every typeface's place on a masculinity-femininity gamut, it
wouldn't impact the way typefaces are used.
An example: HTF Knockout is used simultaneously in The New York Times
Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and YM. It's also used in the signage in
the local gay and lesbian center, and on my Mac's menu clock. All of the
typographers in the above instances have had cause to carefully consider
their audience, but ultimately,
masculine/feminine/bulldog/shoehorn/teacup qualities simply don't matter.
ps: I tend to associate those florid, excessive copperplate scripts with
overeducated 18th century (male) schoolmasters. Some men seem a little
too hung up on the theoretical notion of the lacy, fluttering,
ultra-graceful, overwrought female persona [see also men in drag]. Women
have to endure menstrual cramps, which in itself is sufficient to shatter
the myth for me.
The Hoefler Type Foundry 212 777 6640 x204
611 Broadway, Room 608 212 777 6684 (fax)
New York, NY 10012-2608 www.typography.com