I think Gedcom has it right here, it is Gramps not believing that dates and places pertain to attributes that creates the confusion. From Gedcom 5.5:
Some attributes of individuals such as their EDUCation, OCCUpation, RESIdence, or nobilityTITLe need to be described using a date and place. Therefore, the structure to describe the attributes was formatted to be the same as for describing events. That is, these attributes are further defined using a date, place, and other values used to describe events.
Since Gramps only wants dates in events, these things have to be coerced into events. Then people complaint that they are not "events". Of course they aren't. They're attributes.
The following paragraph from the never approved 5.5.1 makes this much clearer:
As a general rule, events are things that happen on a specific date. Use the date form ‘BET date
AND date’ to indicate that an event took place at some time between two dates. Resist the
temptation to use a ‘FROM date TO date’ form in an event structure. If the subject of your
recording occurred over a period of time, then it is probably not an event, but rather an attribute or
I cannot agree more with the above.