I need some help with my attitude I think ...

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Interesting replies. There is definitely a different vibe being tall or short and dealing with men. You need a whole lot of extra chutzpah to look someone square in the eye during a disagreement, with your eyes level with his chest. I've known some tiny women who are 10x more hard arsed and scary than I'll ever be.

The crux of the whole issue is individuals. Good, bad and both. Some guys, usually due to stupidity and unexplored insecurity, simply have a bad attitude towards women. Women and boofheads are like oil and water in a band setting. Been a long time since I've had to put up with boofheads in a band.

This has been good experience, Daisy. You'll pick up the warning signs earlier now.
 

Soupy

Silver Member
In my last band, the frontman would insist on telling the crowd our names at some point in the gig. (I know, cheesey, but I was a lone voice there too ....). When he got to me he would always say "I know you can't see her, because she's very very small ...." He thought it was hilarious.
That's when you throw a stick at his head. That's why you have a bag full of sticks.
 

SticksEasy

Senior Member
I deal with a similar problem. I play in an area where the majority of bands play classic rock, country, and some more modern rock stuff, but not much. I played with a band of older gentlemen, all of them in their mid 50s.

My mother had given them my number because I was looking for paid gigs. I showed up four times to practice with them. They acted like I wasn't even there, and I always talked to like a small child. I'm 22 years old, and I've been playing for nearly eleven years, and I played every single thing they asked me to play. But no matter what I done, I couldn't earn their respect, so I finally just stopped going to practices.

I told them that if they ever needed a fill-in, I'd gladly sub for their drummer, but playing for them regularly, I couldn't do it. I felt like an unwanted guest everytime I was around them.
 

drstrangefunk

Senior Member
i've always preferred to have a woman in the band. it tends to chill the boys out so that they aren't so knuckleheaded. left to their own devices, boys will do some dumb stuff.

it also makes the boys less gross, kinder and gentler. the women are respected and protected. sometimes they prefer to just do their part and sometimes they are more vocal and sometimes they are leaders.

i agree that it's about finding a good fit for you. Bermuda breaks down the landscape very well in his first post.

in fact, i've preffered to work for female bosses in general. the workplace is usually neater, cleaner and the workload more organised. and no, i am not referring to the women doing the cleaning. men don't usually care how chaotic a workplace is as long as at the end of the day, the numbers are where he wants them to be. women emote order and cleanliness. (some more than others, and some less than others, of course).

but even the most obnoxious madwoman has a calming effect on the Knucklehead Nation.

somewhere, there is a band that will appreciate you. keep doing what you do to the utmost until you find each other.
 

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
i've always preferred to have a woman in the band [. . .] the women are respected and protected [. . .] i've preffered to work for female bosses in general. the workplace is usually neater, cleaner and the workload more organised [. . .] women emote order and cleanliness [. . .] even the most obnoxious madwoman has a calming effect on the Knucklehead Nation
I sincerely hope the irony of all that is not lost on you.
 

Toolate

Platinum Member
Seems to me that you should include female in your description of yourself (talent ads or whatever) just to be totally honest. I think most people, women included, who read an ad for a drummer assume that its a man and it seems like a little indirect for people to have to find out when they call you or meet you for the first time.

You might get less calls but they might be more of the calls you want instead of what you have been dealing with.....
 

opentune

Platinum Member
This band I auditioned for, there were two in their 40s, one in his 60s, and (the "leader" and the one who gave me the grief) was in his 50s. Strangely enough (or not?) he was the least accomplished musician of the lot of them.

Ah yes, This is called 'insecurity'. You would ultimately be compelled to drop them anyway.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Seems to me that you should include female in your description of yourself (talent ads or whatever) just to be totally honest. I think most people, women included, who read an ad for a drummer assume that its a man and it seems like a little indirect for people to have to find out when they call you or meet you for the first time.

You might get less calls but they might be more of the calls you want instead of what you have been dealing with.....

Disagree completely. Does one see many ads for 'male drummer'. Musicians should judge people by their playing, not their sex.
I agree with Bermuda above that image may be uber- important for some bands, but in that regard do we see ads for 'thin guitarist' or 'fat drummer' etc? No.... Its mostly about age or maybe look.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I just don't know how to deal with men in this business. Or they don't know how to deal with me. I've never been girly, I worked in a predominantly male profession all my life and never experienced any difficulties or problems or prejudice. I don't go looking for sexism, and I pretty much despise women who blame all their problems on perceived sexism ... but I'm getting exasperated trying to figure out how to deal with men in bands.

I'm 62, and female. I've been in two bands and in both of them I felt more than a little patronised. I felt I got off to the wrong start with both of them by being perhaps a bit too pleasant, obliging, I'm not imagining this - in the first band I even had one of the guitarists trying to tell me how to set up my kit, the bass beater was too far from the head, my toms were "too flat" etc. With both bands, they sort of dismissed all my input as if I didn't know what I was talking about. With both of them, singer didn't know where the 1 was, couldn't come in on my count, didn't want to listen to me explain that they came in on 2 or whatever .. (Also, with both bands, to start with whenever anyone swore they'd look over at me and apologise, but me responding "Oh, for ****'s sake" put an end to that).

I just auditioned for another band. I didn't specify in my ad that I was female. The guy who phoned me got my back up immediately on the phone by asking if I was sure I "could manage 2 x 1 hour sets, cos it's a bit physical you know". As soon as I arrived at the audition (early) the first thing he said was he'd "never known a woman who ever arrived on time". (It's a "female trait" according to him). And so it went on, various niggly little comments ... until in the break I had a word with him and told him I'm a drummer, I can carry my kit, I'd told him I'd gigged, I didn't appreciate all the sexist assumptions he was making etc. etc (Yes, I know I blew the audition right there and then). To which his only response was "some people just always look for the negativity" and I should "lighten up".

I honestly don't think it's me that has the problem. I've been playing with a blues jam band on and off recently, and was just "one of the guys" which is all I've ever wanted.

I'm feeling very confused at the moment. I wonder if an older woman in a "man's game" sort of attacks their masculinity or something and they can't handle it.

Any insights ? Let me have, I can take it. I won't run into the toilets and cry! I'm just feeling very confused about the best way to present myself.
I read stuff like this and I almost feel like apologizing for my entire gender. Some men are really stupid - throw in the fact that they're closet musicians who are being completely absorbed with themselves and it's worse. I don't know what it is about the sexism inherent in the male musicians but like I always say, 'my momma taught me better'. Don't change who you are, they should learn how to deal with it, and you should walk away from anyone who doesn't have the necessary social skills (musical genius far, far aside). All I can suggest is keep plugging away until you find the right people who have social skills and musical skills - they are out there. I my current gig, I'm the one male member, and the other three on this gig with me are female - and they're all talented and I don't treat them any differently. I do see some sexism towards them from time-to-time even in an equal-opportunity environment that we're in. It must be really rough in the outside world.
 

Netz Ausg

Silver Member
I will admit that in the past I have had a prejudiced view of female drummers, entirely due to the fact that the only one's I had seen were not very good. Since then I've seen the many many brilliant stickswomen there are out there and my view has changed dramatically.

One of the band's I'm currently in has a female singer (the first time I've been in a group with a lady, actually) and we all treat her exactly as we treat the guys. She gets just as much s**t as everyone!

Unfortunately, she does the gender no favours. She's a primadona and a diva and plays up to every stereotype there is going. Whilst I don't think that women in general are all this or all that, she definitely proves that the stereotypes come from somewhere, and that minority lives on. Course, it might just be a 'singer' thing (whole new area of prejudice?)...
 

Nickropolis

Senior Member
Saying things like "I've always done boy things" and "he would've never said that to a man" leads me to believe you have some underlying issues with being recognized for your effort, rooted in gender. Don't worry about who says what about your weak muscles, or your lack of ability to show up on time or that you suck at driving. It really doesn't even matter so don't treat it like it matters, don't make non issues like 'he asked me a question' and 'he doesn't like my gear' into more than it is.

My opinions are not always a popular choice and might tickle a few people the wrong way.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
I think any woman trying to make it in any sort of activity that is dominated by men, is inevitably going to have some "issues". You're bound to get comments. It's a matter of how you deal with it. It's not just with drumming, it's everything - like the time I was on a campsite with my head under the bonnet of my car dealing with something and got so much attention (mainly of the snorting type) from passing men I could have felt like a freak show if I'd wanted to be that sensitive. Or the times I've answered the phone at work to someone who assumed that anyone in my position must be a man, and I must be his secretary. I've mainly dealt with it by ignoring it, or making light of it, or joining in the humour (if that's genuinely what it is) and just getting on with what I want to do. That's usually the best way, I've found - but sometimes, just sometimes, it gets to be too much, and I get angry or just bloody fed up with it.

That said, I can see now that it's not just women who have the problems I've experienced - it seems to be anyone who doesn't fit someone else's stereotype, or falls into someone else's prejudice. Or just being the drummer. So I accept that I've been guilty of assuming it was all to do with gender, when it wasn't, not all of it.

I'm still not convinced about advertising myself as a female drummer. "Mature" yes, but not female. It goes against my gut instincts. I accept there's a matter of image in music. A girl, or a big chap, can have the right image for a thrash metal band, whereas grandma can't. Fine. No problem. I'm not going for those sorts of bands anyway and I assume they wouldn't contact anyone specifying themselves as "mature". If being a woman gets me an extra point at the audition for novelty value, then great. But I can't see anyway answering my ad just because I'm a woman. And if it bothers anyone when they find out on the phone that I'm a woman, then that's for them to deal with.

So, to return to my original post (which I have to admit now looks sort of whiney to me) I think I have got my attitude sorted out now.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
i've always preferred to have a woman in the band. it tends to chill the boys out so that they aren't so knuckleheaded. left to their own devices, boys will do some dumb stuff.
The Truth (my current band and present company excepted, of course :).


Seems to me that you should include female in your description of yourself (talent ads or whatever) just to be totally honest. I think most people, women included, who read an ad for a drummer assume that its a man and it seems like a little indirect for people to have to find out when they call you or meet you for the first time.
Disagree completely. Does one see many ads for 'male drummer'. Musicians should judge people by their playing, not their sex.
I agree with Toolate. I always say upfront that I'm a middle aged woman. It saves time. I think some bands are designed as an outlet for bunch of guys to be free of women so they can be as knuckleheaded as they like.

If someone gets back to me then I know they're either open-minded or would prefer a woman on drums because it's different. You still have to be able to groove. If the music's sounding good no one cares about anything else.


Saying things like "I've always done boy things" and "he would've never said that to a man" leads me to believe you have some underlying issues with being recognized for your effort, rooted in gender.
I've mostly done boy things too. The weight of history still deems drums "a boy thing". I mean, The Duchess of York is going to play piano or sing, isn't she? She's not going to be tapping out shuffle on her kit anytime soon. Poor woman misses out on the fun stuff, dashed on the rocks of decorum :)

I don't think you need to have an attitude to say you do boy things or that you notice it when you're being dissed. Stuff happens.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I just don't know how to deal with men in this business. Or they don't know how to deal with me. I've never been girly, I worked in a predominantly male profession all my life and never experienced any difficulties or problems or prejudice. I don't go looking for sexism, and I pretty much despise women who blame all their problems on perceived sexism ... but I'm getting exasperated trying to figure out how to deal with men in bands.

I'm 62, and female. I've been in two bands and in both of them I felt more than a little patronised. I felt I got off to the wrong start with both of them by being perhaps a bit too pleasant, obliging, I'm not imagining this - in the first band I even had one of the guitarists trying to tell me how to set up my kit, the bass beater was too far from the head, my toms were "too flat" etc. With both bands, they sort of dismissed all my input as if I didn't know what I was talking about. With both of them, singer didn't know where the 1 was, couldn't come in on my count, didn't want to listen to me explain that they came in on 2 or whatever .. (Also, with both bands, to start with whenever anyone swore they'd look over at me and apologise, but me responding "Oh, for ****'s sake" put an end to that).

I just auditioned for another band. I didn't specify in my ad that I was female. The guy who phoned me got my back up immediately on the phone by asking if I was sure I "could manage 2 x 1 hour sets, cos it's a bit physical you know". As soon as I arrived at the audition (early) the first thing he said was he'd "never known a woman who ever arrived on time". (It's a "female trait" according to him). And so it went on, various niggly little comments ... until in the break I had a word with him and told him I'm a drummer, I can carry my kit, I'd told him I'd gigged, I didn't appreciate all the sexist assumptions he was making etc. etc (Yes, I know I blew the audition right there and then). To which his only response was "some people just always look for the negativity" and I should "lighten up".

I honestly don't think it's me that has the problem. I've been playing with a blues jam band on and off recently, and was just "one of the guys" which is all I've ever wanted.

I'm feeling very confused at the moment. I wonder if an older woman in a "man's game" sort of attacks their masculinity or something and they can't handle it.

Any insights ? Let me have, I can take it. I won't run into the toilets and cry! I'm just feeling very confused about the best way to present myself.
You're right on all counts imho. What I have found is that since music at the amateur/semi-pro level is accessible to anyone, it is largely inhabited by egomaniacs, folks who have no idea what professionalism and courtesy looks like, rebels without causes, and loads of 40 yr old adolescents. It's hard to find people worth playing with.

Feel free to start your own band, with a list of songs you would like to do, and run the auditions. Pick out the people who are good to work with, and leave the rest.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Think of your gender as built in moron detection.

When it goes off, go away!

You deserve better than what you describe...and will find it with some persistance!


Imagine being one of us unfortunate males that have to wade through and find out far later when people are lacking in basic personality heigene.


Luck!!!..and keep us posted!
 

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
I am surprised and upset to hear this, I think you will notice that all of the posts come from drummers who probably consider themselves musicians first and generally that biased attitude does not exist within the community. All good comments; Bermuda's advice hits the mark.
It is not easy at any time gelling with band mates so to have this to deal with as well would be discouraging but I hope you do not give in; I have run into my share of discouragement and it is always Music that pulls me through, maybe look for players to join you instead of the other way around. Keep on Keeping on Daisy.

Cheers
 
P

plangentmusic

Guest
Here's one way of looking at it...

Stop regarding it as a gender thing. There are all sorts of a-holes with all sorts of issues and musicians and musician wannabe's are among the worst. You just have to deal with it anyway you think best -- confront it, be diplomatic, or walk away.

Being a female would give you more of an advantage than a disadvantage because it's more novel. When I was booking bands I always gave the edge to female musicians. I could sell a band of hot girls for far more than a bunch of guys.

But your age may very well be a factor regardless of your gender. Some people simply don't want older people. Men have to deal with that too. Even if you look good, a lot of people want fresh faces on stage. That's just a harsh reality of life.
 
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