Female Drummer Project/Questionnaire

natdrums

Junior Member
Hi! I'm in my second year of a music degree, and for one of my projects I am investigating the question: 'Do female drummers face discrimination (positive and negative) that male drummers do not?'
I have a really short questionnaire that I would be very grateful if any female drummers could fill out; also it would be super helpful if anyone (male of female) could tell me about their thoughts/experiences on the matter?
Here's the link to my questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BTBY939
Thank you!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
You don't need a survey. Right above this click Search, type in Female Drummers and take notes. There is a ton there.
 

natdrums

Junior Member
You don't need a survey. Right above this click Search, type in Female Drummers and take notes. There is a ton there.
Thank you! I have had a look and found a lot of interesting stuff but the subject is 'Research Methods' so I need to conduct my own primary research also. :)

And thank you those that filled it in, it's so helpful and I'll definitely let you know what happens in my project.
 

Polska

Member
Just take a look across various drum forums and see how many threads on female drummers include the phrases cute, hot, attractive, easy on the eyes, good looking or just include "female" before the word drummer, as if it needs to be added as a disclaimer of sorts. I think there is a good deal of discrimination, even if not consciously intended.
 
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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Just take a look across various drum forums and see how many threads on female drummers include the phrases cute, hot, attractive, easy on the eyes, good looking or just include "female" before the word drummer, as if it needs to be added as a disclaimer of sorts. I think there is a good deal of discrimination, even if not consciously intended.
Absolutely. Any time we feel the need to qualify a person with what they're doing, there's a prejudice involved. We expect something specific from that person based on age, gender, ethnicity, etc. - a female drummer... a black drummer... and old drummer... a young drummer. Maybe the only acceptable label would be a young drummer, where a 4-year old stands out because their age doesn't allow for the kind of experience that a drummer playing for 20 years would have. But, that falls more in the category of cute, I suppose.

I took the survey, it was pretty limited (as many surveys tend to be) but I did my best to explain a situation I observed.

Bermuda
 

Dodeska

Senior Member
Absolutely. Any time we feel the need to qualify a person with what they're doing, there's a prejudice involved. We expect something specific from that person based on age, gender, ethnicity, etc. - a female drummer... a black drummer... and old drummer... a young drummer. Maybe the only acceptable label would be a young drummer, where a 4-year old stands out because their age doesn't allow for the kind of experience that a drummer playing for 20 years would have. But, that falls more in the category of cute, I suppose.

I took the survey, it was pretty limited (as many surveys tend to be) but I did my best to explain a situation I observed.

Bermuda
Most of the time the prefix label is totally unnecessary too. I think it's obvious if I'm looking at a female playing drums that she's female, without it having to be pointed out to me. We don't say "male drummer", so why the distinction?

I've had the same my whole working life. I'm a Nurse, & the number of people who say "oh, are you a male Nurse?" is ridiculous. You'd think the beard would be evidence enough!
I think most of the time people do it without thinking how silly they sound.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
I've had the same my whole working life. I'm a Nurse, & the number of people who say "oh, are you a male Nurse?" is ridiculous. You'd think the beard would be evidence enough!
I think most of the time people do it without thinking how silly they sound.
Reminds me of the time I got my colonoscopy. The nurse said "Don't worry, at this stage of the procedure it's quite normal to get an erection."

I said "I haven't got an erection."

"No, but I have," replied the nurse.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
Most of the time the prefix label is totally unnecessary too. I think it's obvious if I'm looking at a female playing drums that she's female, without it having to be pointed out to me. We don't say "male drummer", so why the distinction?
Yup. I had a discussion in a FB group with somebody who described herself as a "female drummer". I pointed out, in my usual diplomatic way, that either she was a drummer or she wasn't, surely? She replied that she'd been rejected before by others before they'd even heard her play, simply because of her gender.

What saddened me immensely was the fact that she was about 25 years younger than me, and the world she is living in isn't hugely different to the world I was living in 25 years ago.

Oddly, though, as an older woman, I haven't encountered any prejudice whatsoever. People seem to assume that I've been playing for decades. Or maybe I'm just dead scary.
 
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Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Ya, well, I'm described as a fat drummer. Fat drummers face the same "discrimination". We're not just drummers, we're "fat drummers". What's the first thing you think of when I say Abe Labrionel Jr? He is a fat drummer. It's just human nature. That's part of the reason Black Sabbath didn't want Bill Ward to tour with them. Ozzy said he is too fat now. I think Ozzy sucks now as a person, but that's my problem.

We have old drummers too. Discrimination is accepted in the music industry. It's one of the last bastions where discrimination isn't really questioned, unless you're female. Then all the sudden it is a big deal. People just want to be around other people that they can identify and feel comfortable with. I accept that. I would rather not be around people who don't accept me anyway. If it is that big of a deal to them, I agree that I will not fit-in with that particular band.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
It's one of the last bastions where discrimination isn't really questioned, unless you're female. Then all the sudden it is a big deal.
Gosh, you sound somewhat bitter. And you're my friend, so there's nothing personal either way.

Discrimination is ALWAYS a big deal. Ask anybody who isn't a slim white Anglo-Saxon Protestant straight young beautiful able-bodied male, and if it isn't questioned, it damn well should be.

I've never seen you, I don't think, but if I had, it wouldn't occur to me to describe you as a fat drummer. I probably wouldn't notice. I'd listen more than I'd look. I hope, I very much hope, that you wouldn't describe me as a greying, spreading, female drummer.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I don't think he sounds bitter, I think he's calling it as he sees it.

I like the French girl, Emmanuel Caplette. She is a great drummer and will run rings around most guys.

I think Meytal is propped up by her appearance.

I don't know if any women are at the level of 'the greats' but that's probably just down to numbers.

*waits for someone to pick apart that last sentence*
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
These female drummers who are potentially being discriminated against...does anybody have any pictures of them?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
I think Meytal is propped up by her appearance.
Well, she's an ok drummer, definitely not real-world ready judging by the dozen or so drum cover vids I've seen. She's attractive, if you're an 18-yr old male. Cheesecake for the sake of it is really kinda sad.

I don't know if any women are at the level of 'the greats' but that's probably just down to numbers.
Heck, most male drummers aren't at the level of the greats! (I assume you meant technical heroes like Buddy, Vinnie, Terry, etc.)

But it would be interesting to know the ratio of female-male drummers at any given level though. Certainly on the touring scene, males almost completely dominate the drum chair. Apart from Prince, The Bangles, The Go-Gos, The Donnas, and possibly Kid Rock, I can't think of any artists currently active or touring with female drummers (sorry, but Hole and White Stripes are done.) If there are 500 bands touring - I'm being conservative here - that's only 1% females behind the kit. It's probably less than that.

Bermuda
 
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