COMPANION

Gender issues

F. M. Alexander

Marjory Barlow said that Alexander ‘thought women were terribly, terribly important. And hardly any men did in those days.’[1]

Articles

  • ‘The weaker sex?’ by Richard Gummere are musings on the fact that the majority of Alexander Technique teachers are women and his belief that ‘women could deepen the philosophy of the Alexander world’.[2]
  • ‘The role of women in the growth of the Alexander community’ by Alexander Murray pays tribute to some of the women who were instrumental in the success of the Alexander Technique during Alexander’s life time, in particular Irene Tasker.[3]
  • ‘Invisible women – Another look at “The evolution of a Technique”’ by Terry Fitzgerald is a reading of the chapter ‘Evolution’ from a feminist post-structuralist viewpoint, considering Alexander’s male-dominated choice of words, such as ‘control’, ‘dominate’, ‘combat’, ‘defeat’, ‘subject’, etc.[4]
  • ‘Alexander’s use of gender-neutral language’ by Regina Stratil argues that Alexander broke free of the linguistic habit of male generic language of his time in several instances.[5]

Discussion

An informal counting of teacher listings in various countries shows that about two-thirds of all teachers of the Alexander Technique are women.

See also Sex, Sexual Abuse.

References

[1] An Examined Life by Marjory Barlow, Trevor Allen Davies (Mornum Time Press, 2002), p. 73.
[2] ‘The weaker sex?’ by Richard Gummere in Direction vol. 2, no. 9 edited by Jeremy Chance (Fyncot Pty Ltd., 2000), pp. 1-2 insert.
[3] ‘The role of women in the growth of the Alexander community’ (F. M. Alexander Memorial Address) by Alexander Murray, AmSAT News issue no. 57, Fall 2002, pp. 10-12.
[4] ‘Invisible women – Another look at “The evolution of a Technique”’ by Terry Fitzgerald in The Alexander Journal no. 17 edited by Francesca Greenoak (STAT, 2001), pp. 9–11.
[5] ‘Alexander’s use of gender-neutral language’ by Regina Stratil in STATNews vol. 11, no. 3 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, September 2021), pp. 32–33, 51.

 

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