States Are from Venus:

There surely must be a good answer to this somewhere, but I just don't know where — why are states sometimes referred to as feminine? The most common usage of this is "sister state," but I also recall seeing references to states as "she" (albeit in older contexts). Sounds like some sort of literary affectation, but I'm curious just how it came about. Of course there's a similar pattern with regard to ships, but I don't know if there's any connection.