Appreciation to Alizee Defan for promoting women's drumming

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Reg Dewitt

Active member
One positive development in recent decades has been a huge explosion in women's drumming. It used to be female drummers were very rare, but now they're very common. I think there are a number of reasons for this, including feminism, online tutorials, the Hit Like A Girl Contest, and people promoting female drumming.

One of these people has been Alizee Defan. Alizee is a professional promoter, and as part of her work for over a decade she has run a YouTube channel (originally under the the name Alizee Lilly) that promotes young female musicians, mostly asian, with the focus on guitar players and drummers. Her favorite drummers include Senri Kawaguchi, Yoyoka Soma, Kanade Sato, Junna, Kalonica Nicx, Nur Amira Syahira, and Sina.

Her videos have gotten a lot of views and introduced a lot of people to great girl drummers. The Kanade Sato girl fools crowd at mall video got 30 million views, and it showed people a level of drumming most of them had never seen before. More generally, if you do a youtube search on girl drummer and set the filter to view count, 7 of the first 20 hits are videos she put up.

Some of the videos focus on a single drummer


But most of them are collections


I think everyone in the drumming community should be happy about the work Defan has done promoting women's drumming.
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Absolutely to be encouraged, however, this sort of over promotion is a bit of a turnoff

Screenshot 2020-05-20 at 08.49.37.jpg
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Only thing I'm not a fan of, at least in my part of the world, is the whole need for female focus in this way seems like some women's liberaton activism that isn't needed anymore. I think it's long overdue that we get past that approach as it's getting old. A drummer is a drummer.

If you live in a part of the world where that's not the case, things a e obviously different. Around here it can be argued that things have even gone too far in some ways.
 

Reg Dewitt

Active member
Andy, yeah, I agree she goes over the top sometimes. I think she does it on purpose to stir up attention and controversy, like one time she claimed Senri is the new Buddy Rich, and it got the outraged reaction from some people that you would expect. But on the whole what she does is just great.
 

Channing

Member
Only thing I'm not a fan of, at least in my part of the world, is the whole need for female focus in this way seems like some women's liberaton activism that isn't needed anymore. I think it's long overdue that we get past that approach as it's getting old. A drummer is a drummer.

If you live in a part of the world where that's not the case, things a e obviously different. Around here it can be argued that things have even gone too far in some ways.
I couldn’t disagree more. Just because there are a few female drummers who are well known doesn’t mean there aren’t still girls growing up with the idea that they can’t be drummers, or that certain activities are for boys, and girls shouldn’t or can’t be good at those things. Maybe it’s harder for a man to appreciate the internalized misogyny that’s instilled in a lot of girls and women growing up, but it’s definitely still a problem. There’s a need for women drummers to be more visible. Same for female carpenters, plumbers, electricians, any woman who does some activity that women are perfectly capable of doing but that is still thought of as something only men would do. I want little girls to grow up seeing women doing all the same things men do, and knowing that they’re able to excel at anything they put their minds to.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, even though if you ask anyone, they’ll tell you that women can be drummers, or auto mechanics, or truck drivers, a lot of ladies still grow up with this internalized belief that they shouldn’t do those things. So that’s what stuff like this is really for- influencing the minds of girls and young women and showing by example that not only are they allowed to do these traditionally male dominated activities, but that lots of women are already doing them, and that they should too if they want.

Those are my thoughts, as a female drummer.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Oh I remember getting youtube suggestions from that channel *all the time*. It hasn't happened in several years. I was always pissed because I just hate clickbait titles, and her channel was full of them. Like, I supported what she was going for (promoting female musicians) but I just hated the clickbait titles so as a matter of principle never clicked on it.

But there is still disparity when it comes to gender in the music world, and we need to continue to encourage female-centric showcases to encourage more women and girls to pick up an instrument. I'm sick and tired of seeing tambourine player backup singers as the token woman in a band!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I don’t feel that sexism is.
Sexism is defiently real and it goes both ways.

You see, there 's a reason why these female leaders are basically lagging one generation behind. It's not because they can't do better, but they aren't held to the same standard. They get away with tons of shit a man never would.

Hardships are not unique to women.

I thikn this attitude is the reason I wrote what I wrote.

I'll leave it alone. You proved my point.
 
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Channing

Member
Sexism is defiently real and it goes both ways.

You see, there 's a reason why these female leaders are basically lagging one generation behind. It's not because they can't do better, but they aren't held to the same standard. They get away with tons of shit a man never would.
Ohh there it is. Have a nice day.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
I always like to hear a woman’s perspective on this personally.

The last place I will ever go to get an opinion on the difference in gender equality is a bunch of guys.

Thanks for your input, Channing.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Well, if you seen enough of the old women's club, you'll now that it's exactly the same as the old boys' club.

See, if these women had a problem with getting away with it that would be another issue. Then they would care about equality and also have integrity. Instead they are repeating/emulating what they claim to not approve of.

I do understand that Norway is not the US, however.

There are places in this world where women are truly being suppressed. My country is not one of them.
 
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oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
Regarding playing drums, here in my part of the world (The Netherlands), i doubt there will be girls not playing drums because they think drums are for men..

The problem is more that many other drummers always speak about female drummers as being female drummers..

No one ever refers to Colaiuta being a male drummer, but many people will refer to Nilles as being a female drummer..

Personally, i could not care less if a drummer is male or female and i will always judge their playing in an equal way..
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I do but I don’t see how the behaviour of elderly females (in your opinion, with you not being an elderly woman) has to do with promoting women’s drumming and any sexism female drummers receive.
The "old boys' club" isn't about being elderly, it's about privilege and discrimination.

I'm not talking about racism. Morgan's vid is there as a metaphor. One I thought would be easy to get.

No woman living today has spent one ounce of energy for a law passed 100 years ago. The story is also a bit more complicated, but we see what we want to see, right? This is not relevant.
Apparently, I'm supposed to be privileged for being a man compared to a woman my age. It's not worthy of a response.
Some things have gone to far in these parts and many men are too afraid to speak up out of fear of being called sexist even when critique is called for.


The point is, that if you want equal recognition, maybe it's better to play on the same field? Just an idea. Drumming isn't a sport and it's not about strength.

We probably have a few things more in commone with the Netherlands than we do the US. Helping with housework has been the sexy thing to do since the 80s. 🙃
 
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Channing

Member
Regarding playing drums, here in my part of the world (The Netherlands), i doubt there will be girls not playing drums because they think drums are for men..

The problem is more that many other drummers always speak about female drummers as being female drummers..

No one ever refers to Colaiuta being a male drummer, but many people will refer to Nilles as being a female drummer..

Personally, i could not care less if a drummer is male or female and i will always judge their playing in an equal way..
Female drummers being referred to as female drummers is just a side effect of the fact that drumming is male dominated and is thought of as such. In the same way you’d hear someone referred to as a “male nurse” or a “male flight attendant” because these are both female-dominated and without specifying a gender, would be assumed to be female.

In my mind, the problem is whenever a little girl asks her parents for a drum set or drum lessons and is met with, “why don’t you learn piano/the flute/ sing in the choir instead?” Which is unfortunately something that still happens, girls being pushed to engage in more traditionally female activities because of their parents or teachers biases and gender ideals. I’m sure the same thing must happen sometimes to boys who want to learn to sew or play flute or some other female dominated hobby.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
The "old boys' club" isn't about being elderly, it's about privilege and discrimination.

I'm not talking about racism. Morgan's vid is there as a metaphor. One I thought would be easy to get.

No woman living today has spent one ounce of energy for a law passed 100 years ago. The story is also a bit more complicated, but we see what we want to see, right? This is not relevant.
Apparently, I'm supposed to be privileged for being a man compared to a woman my age. It's not worthy of a response.
Some things have gone to far in these parts and many men are too afraid to speak up out of fear of being called sexist even when critique is called for.


The point is, that if you want equal recognition, maybe it's better to play on the same field? Just an idea. Drumming isn't a sport and it's not about strength.

We probably have a few things more in commone with the Netherlands than we do the US. Helping with housework has been the sexy thing to do since the 80s. 🙃
Exactly, play on the same field. But I’d counter that to say it still isn’t a level playing field currently, despite what some would claim. For someone to think it's level is laughable to me, as it clearly isn't.

Some examples, look at the line up of a drumming festival/trade show and look at who's been booked to play. Look at a few copies of Modern Drummer and see who's on the front cover. Close to home, look at any drumming forum discussing a drummer and see some of comments and/or threads.

As a father I want my daughter to have the same opportunities as everyone else, for her in society and professionally to be judged and rewarded on merit and skill as often as others. The way I see the world we have a long way to go on that.

If there are female focused campaigns to highlight drummers while the fight for equality continues they have my full backing and support.

And yes, society does reward men compared to someone else of another gender the same age. You may not agree with that but you/me are both privileged and that has been the way of the world for as long as time.
 
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