Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

One Little Sexist Boy At A Time…

When I transitioned I had to get used to existing in the world as a woman. Things change; sexism is still very much alive, and I had to get used to the world changing how it saw my worth as a human being and as a drummer (amongst other things) simply because I am a woman. Going from one side to the other gave me a pretty interesting perspective on where we stand on sexism; like I told and tell my women friends: “You know how bad you think sexism is? Well, it’s worse.”

Anyway, I don’t want to go on a sexism rant, I just wanted to relate a very small way in which being a female drum set teacher changes minds one at a time.

A while ago one of my younger students told me that “girls can’t drum.” When I said that yes, indeed, girls can drum, he said, “Well, boys are better.” To which I retorted: “Nuh-uh.” (Sometimes you have to talk to kids at their level.) This little boy still studies with me, and when he found out that the substitute that will be filling in for me while I’m gone is a man, he said that it was weird. Ha.

Then, today one of my regular students asked if a friend could sit in and observe. [I generally don’t allow this very much, it’s usually very distracting to both me and my student.] I said it was okay, and as we were all getting settled in the teaching studio, I heard my student whisper to his friend, ” See, girls ~can~ drum.”


[One of those changes I was referring to at the beginning of this post was that after my transition people started complimenting my drumming by saying that I was “pretty good for a girl” or some variation thereof.]

I remain shocked that drums are ~still~ considered something “just for boys.” But, by being a talented and unabashed female drummer and drum instructor I feel like I’m doing my part to put an end to that little pile of nonsense. And I get to combat sexism by doing what I love more than anything else. That’s pretty cool, yes?

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