When I lived in Jamaica for a year I didn't realize I was getting funny looks when I whistled, until one day when a plumber came to my house. As he worked I went about my daily chores and soon started to whistle. He said: "Crowing cocks & whistling women are an abomination to the Lord" and told me it was from the bible. I had been raised in a strict church and heard many negative things against women, but never this! I dug out my bible, whipped through the concordance & could find NO reference to whistling women!!!

I've done some research on line and the best explaination I can find is in the following:


The proverb this gentleman quoted was probably a distortion of "A whistling woman and a crowing hen, Are neither good for God nor men".

After reading the womenfolklore pdf I'd say ALL of the proverbs about whistling women fall into one or both of the following categories:

  1. hens lay eggs & cocks crow, so when a hen crows she is ignoring her place in nature & trying to take on that of a her masculine counterpart's - thus going against nature, upsetting nature's balance, etc
  2. Whistling women and crowing hens are both feminine noise-makers who are drawing attention to themselves.

So, whether she is trying to take on a man's role or simply drawing attention to herself, the bottom line of these proverbs is that women should act lady-like. I can't answer the curious question of why whistling is seen as masculine (all the above points seem logical to me), but in the analysis of these common proverbs, I don't think it really matters. Throughout most of our history, most society's have had unwritten rules about women's behaviour and one that seems to have survived is that it is unlady like for women to have and voice ideas. I think THAT would be a great thng to research! Why is it that men continually try to silence women???