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-   -   You play like a girl! (http://forums.bobdunsire.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163975)

Imbusypiping 03-16-2017 08:34 PM

You play like a girl!
 
Can you imagine?

A piper friend's daughter played in grade 2 snare solos. She was/is an excellent player/instructor ( I lost contact with her mom years ago).

She played in a competition where a judge actually said she "played like a girl" I guess she wasn't hitting the drum hard enough for his liking??

piper909 03-16-2017 11:33 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Oh man, there are any number of "girls" that I wish *I* could play like!! Piping OR drumming. That's all I can say about such a silly remark.

CalumII 03-17-2017 05:09 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
All too easily, sadly.

Randy McIntosh 03-17-2017 05:09 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
What a stupid and sexist remark. There is no room in today's society for this.

The judge in question should be reported to the association.

Pip01 03-17-2017 08:37 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 


Greetings (and Musical/Social Condolences)... to All,

Playing (as I was greatly honored to have been asked) in
The Annual D-Day Memorial Ceremony held on Sword
Beach, in Normandie, France... I was part of a large band
whose numbers were drawn from France... and Belgium...
The Low Countries... The United Kingdom... Argentina...
and Spain...

And in this grand collective... were many fine Ladies... of
ages from their Teens... to the Middle Years... pipers... and
drummers... and several holding Certificates... in their field...
and all... of exemplary enthusiasm... and merit !!

Ergo... and... Res Ipsa_Loquitor...
("Therefore... and ... The Thing Speaks For Itself"...)

... This "judge"... should be... found... singled out... and...
... summarily dismissed... from any future competitions...
..............................(Oh!, please !!).............

This word... "judge"... pre-supposes... a lack... of "prejudice"...
which simply means... judging... before... the knowable facts!!

Perhaps... he might be relegated... to judging some agricultural
competitions... say... heads of cabbage... or some such... :)

And in that wise... good folk... may... and un-concernedly... and
without fear... of any quite... un-toward... gender bias... "carry on"...
with the music... :)

I rest my case....

Regards (and Condolences For This Unseemly Bollix)... to All,

Pip01


zarb 03-18-2017 09:49 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
An unfortunate comment. I have been guilty of unfortunate comments, though my intent was pure. It would be interesting though if someone with the correct information were to review the scoring histories and determine whether gender bias was informing the judge's scoring. If it were, then excusing the judge from future opportunities would certainly be appropriate.

We give our judges little credit and much grief. It takes a carpenter to build a barn, but any butt-head can tear one down. We need to support Pipers, Drummers and the administration that helps us to compete. We are not so many in the world that there is any reason to tear each other down, rather we should build each other up.

That doesn't mean we can't fix what's broken.

el gaitero 03-18-2017 10:14 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Not meant as a defence..But I'm going swag that the judge and competitor were perhaps 'friendly'...and the judge was driving a friendly banter point he'd made prior in a private conversation,instructional setting or on a score sheet about how to improve the performance.

As a credible grade 2 drummer it would seem likely they knew each other to an extent over time.

However, I have known pipe and drum students who persist on playing somewhat as if not wanting to mess up freshly wet nail polish....i.e. ornaments
at ca 1/3 the required speed, or arms/legs as stiff as in a cast. :shrug:

Pip01 03-18-2017 08:01 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Greetings to All,

With my apologies to zarb and el gaitero... I'm
sorry... I just can't buy it...

I wouldn't give tuppence were the drummer his
favorite niece!!

Those in positions of authority... and especially
standing in judgement... of any contestant... and
their performance abilities... needs be watchful
of the words... than come out of their mouths.

And... quite irrespective of any possibly attendant
circumstances... such a remark reeks... of a great
abundance of thoughtless arrogance... and simple
bad manners.

There are... so many ways... for those in their superior
positions... to help lead... those who are still learning
(as are we all)... to attain better technical abilities...
and greater artistic expression.

A kind word (but clearly given)... ever brings the best
result... what ever the field of study... ('Twas ever thus.)

At this point... please allow me to withdraw a previous
thought... offered in my Post # 5... as to this judge's
possible future employment...

I don't consider him qualified... to judge even cabbages.
(It is believed... in some circles... that even cabbages...
have feelings.)

And yes... "everybody makes mistakes"... but not this kind.

This position is too important... and he should be replaced.

Regards to All,

Pip01



Kittykat 03-21-2017 09:15 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Pip, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. Learning as a young child only to be told "girls don't play bagpipes", I thought we had come a long way from those days and it's important to ensure that those sentiments do not creep back into our language.

As for dry nail polish... well, its a matter of priorities! :willy:

johnsog 03-22-2017 11:12 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
In thinking of these insights, I've been reflecting that people have such varied ways of moving biomechanically. I've taught sign language for many years as well as step dancing and have noticed that there are commonalities in how people move based on gender. These observations are not 100% reliable by any means. Women TEND to be more fluid in movements while men TEND to be more forceful but that so often is not the case that I would never say anyone "moves like a man" or "moves like a woman". Even if there were a stronger correlation, what would it matter as long as the results are what was intended? As long as the music is good, who cares about the movement required to achieve the end?

Rooklidge 03-22-2017 06:54 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Imbusypiping (Post 1312203)
She played in a competition where a judge actually said she "played like a girl" I guess she wasn't hitting the drum hard enough for his liking??

The judge should be censured by the association for that comment, regardless of intent. There should be no room for that nonsense.

Besides that, I'm not partial to the whacking style that has become so common. Prior to Kevlar heads, finesse produced volume dynamics that are rarely heard by lower grade players anymore. Exaggerated arm movements and consistently loud playing produce a rather boring rattle. If playing like a girl means having some musical taste, discretion, and variation...play on.

Song Builder 03-23-2017 02:29 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
How do you stop an army on horseback charging at you at full pelt? With the Pipes and Drums, of course! I have told youngsters in my care to play with more aggression.
The battle is now o'er but we still want to make the audience jump out of their seats when the drum corps comes on.

EquusRacer 03-28-2017 02:43 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rooklidge (Post 1312435)
Besides that, I'm not partial to the whacking style that has become so common. Prior to Kevlar heads, finesse produced volume dynamics that are rarely heard by lower grade players anymore. Exaggerated arm movements and consistently loud playing produce a rather boring rattle. If playing like a girl means having some musical taste, discretion, and variation...play on.

I'm with you, Steve. And, as a piper, what gets my attention, are things like smooth roll-offs with dynamics; not the high-sticking whacking.

By the way, I'm curious where this competitor placed, notwithstanding the judge's comment!

Peter Finlay 03-29-2017 05:43 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
[Even if there were a stronger correlation, what would it matter as long as the results are what was intended? As long as the music is good, who cares about the movement required to achieve the end?[/QUOTE]

Very well said! The music is what we all strive to produce and when we succeed, the joy is in the music and not whether it was a man or woman who made it!

Green Piper 03-29-2017 07:40 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
It is unfortunate that the judge's comments can be interpreted in number of ways. While he may (and we cannot be sure) have been well-meaning, his comments could also be taken as a negative, sexist comment.

Maybe it would behoove judges to be cautious in their choice of wording.

Charlie

piper Q 04-02-2017 08:58 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
If only I could play as well as some of the Ladies, I've been witness to performing.

While, I'm adequate on the pipes (An Open Class Piper's assessment, which I'm quite happy with mind you) I still keep practicing and learning although Pub Piping and Funerals are what I do most. As for the Bodhran, I'm fortunate if I can keep a steady beat, I haven't the fluidity of movement in my right arm and wrist that many ladies have. Still to be that 'Chauvanistic' in this day and age to belittle anyone in such a manner is even below my Neanderthalic sensibilities.

David 04-02-2017 12:15 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
I learned from a 70 year-old Strathclyde "girl," who often called men "boyos" and women "girlies." Thankfully her goodheartedness and lack of prejudice went unquestioned. She liked men, but just didn't think they made good husbands. :grin:

LloydB 04-17-2017 02:37 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David (Post 1312831)
I learned from a 70 year-old Strathclyde "girl," who often called men "boyos" and women "girlies." Thankfully her goodheartedness and lack of prejudice went unquestioned. She liked men, but just didn't think they made good husbands. :grin:

The OP's information seems rather 3rd hand --
Did the drummer's competition score (and the
judge's comment) reflect a deficiency in her
technique? If so, yes, the judge could have
chosen a far more productive way to suggest
improvement.

And perhaps the judge did?
Were there additional comments?
We don't know.

Years ago I posted a quite obviously tongue-
in-cheek (and intentionally humorous) 3-page
commentary to an academic bulletin board.

It began "Dear Sirs" and was addressed
to a totally fictitious legal partnership.
The immediate response to this, from a
member of a different department, was
to write across the top: "Note the Sexism!"

Other members of that same department
wrote: "What sexism?" (There was
absolutely nothing else in the posting that
could be remotely interpreted as sexism.)

My only observation is that sometimes the
reaction to a comment, is also not helpful.

el gaitero 04-18-2017 07:55 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LloydB (Post 1313458)

The OP's information seems rather 3rd hand --

.

...my same thot when this post first appeared....with due respect to the op ,..not enough data to bolster the scenario and or details ( e.g.was it tongue in cheek, friendly banter between two parties already knowing each other, no offense taken by the recipient,..etc etc) to make much ado.

bob864 04-18-2017 07:03 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Real world intrusion: My wife is a professional violinist. If you drop a needle on a random violin recording, she can tell you if it's a man or a woman playing with about 95% accuracy. The times she gets it wrong are almost invariably women who learned to play from strong male relatives.

The fact that men and women are different is a fact, and it manifests itself in all aspects of reality, including music.

If you don't want to play like a girl then learn to play like a man. If you don't want to play like a man then learn to play like a girl. If you want to pretend that there is no difference between men and women then more power to you, but don't expect the realists in the audience to go along with your delusion.

Macswegan 04-19-2017 04:09 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
For much of the 1900s, top-level orchestras did not have blind auditions, and the percentage of female musicians in these orchestras stood at 6% in 1970. When blind auditions became the standard, the number of female musicians in these top orchestras increased dramatically. Apparently until blind auditions began, evaluators thought a) women played differently from men and b) the way they played was worse.

(Source: Goldin, C. & Rouse, C. (2000), Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact of "Blind" Auditions on Female Musicians. The American Economic Review 90.4 (2000): 715-741.)

I can imagine a situation where "You play like an x" is a neutral statement. Perhaps in the keyboard world statements like "You play the harpsichord like a Spaniard" or "You play the harpsichord like an Italian" are neutral statements of fact. (Oh, everybody knows that Italian harpsichordists love their arpeggios, and that is a legitimate and beautiful style!) But in the world that I live in, "You play/talk/throw/think like a girl" is not neutral, and it is not positive, either. It implies that the way that a woman is doing something is less competent than the way a man would do it.

If I ever received a score sheet that said I "played like a girl," I would report that judge to my association in a heartbeat. Why? Because I would eat my hat if a judge saying "You play like a girl" meant "Everyone knows that women always phrase things so clearly!" or "Such confidence!" or "Damn, you have fantastic tone!" In my experience, when people say that a musician "plays like a girl," they mean "plays tentatively or uncertainly." If a judge wants to say that I play tentatively, he can go right ahead. But if he assumes that that kind of poor playing is typical of girls and women, he shouldn't be evaluating them.

colinmaclellan 04-19-2017 04:36 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
I can share two experiences of my wife Jenny, who is a well known piper. One she took as a compliment, the other less so.

One was when she played in her very first professional piobaireachd competition, it was at an Ontario games with the late great Ed Neigh judging. She played Catherine's Lament, getting a 2nd prize amongst all of the strong Ontario pipers of the time, and when she finished Ed told her that she had "played that tune as only a woman could".

The other instance was after playing in the World Pipe Band Championship in a prize winning performance with the 78th Fraser Highlanders in the early 1990's, she found herself in the company of one of the most famous Grade One Pipe Majors of all time. "Did you play today"? he asked, to which Jenny replied in the affirmative; his next question was "Really? All the way through"?

Klondike Waldo 04-19-2017 05:42 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Macswegan (Post 1313508)
SNIP

If I ever received a score sheet that said I "played like a girl," I would report that judge to my association in a heartbeat. Why? Because I would eat my hat if a judge saying "You play like a girl" meant "Everyone knows that women always phrase things so clearly!" or "Such confidence!" or "Damn, you have fantastic tone!" In my experience, when people say that a musician "plays like a girl," they mean "plays tentatively or uncertainly." If a judge wants to say that I play tentatively, he can go right ahead. But if he assumes that that kind of poor playing is typical of girls and women, he shouldn't be evaluating them.


"you write like a woman" :thumb:

CalumII 04-19-2017 08:53 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colinmaclellan (Post 1313512)
his next question was "Really? All the way through"?

I hope she left him some teeth!

johnsog 04-19-2017 09:36 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
This has been interesting to follow and not at all unfamiliar, unfortunately. I agree that men and women can have very different habits/ways in how they do things (playing music, speaking, signing, etc.) and these should be accepted and respected. Comments that can be taken as disparaging, however, should not be used anywhere. It could be the judge didn't mean anything he realized was derogatory; many people say things without thinking or are thinking only of how they would take them, not able to hear how they may sound to someone else. Hopefully the person is teachable and can be informed courteously that what they just said or wrote could be taken someway other than how they meant it, then given a chance to explain.

el gaitero 04-19-2017 09:52 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colinmaclellan (Post 1313)
"Really? All the way through"?

...with all respect.....it sounds like convivial beer tent banter ...unless it was indeed a malicious sneering gaff. Was it?

Rooklidge 04-19-2017 06:13 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bob864 (Post 1313502)
If you don't want to play like a girl then learn to play like a man. If you don't want to play like a man then learn to play like a girl. If you want to pretend that there is no difference between men and women then more power to you, but don't expect the realists in the audience to go along with your delusion.

I'm stunned that this kind of opinion is still openly expressed, let alone believed. "..learn to play like a man.." There is just no verbal response to this that would be regarded as appropriate.

Green Piper 04-19-2017 07:19 PM

You play like a girl!
 
Well.... there may be nuances of playing and interpreting music that allow a very discerning and experienced listener to identify the sex of the musician. If I had access to PubMed or some other academic search network, I'd see whether any peer-reviewed work has been published on the subject.

Whether that is actually the case, or not does not justify comments that are made in a disparaging manner. Only the people there at the time can gauge the intended meaning of the original comment.

Judges need to be mindful of their comments to ensure that their meaning cannot be misinterpreted, and if the judge in question intended the remark to be disparaging, then he needs to be taken to task.

Charlie

bob864 04-20-2017 07:03 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Macswegan (Post 1313508)
But in the world that I live in, "You play/talk/throw/think like a girl" is not neutral, and it is not positive, either. It implies that the way that a woman is doing something is less competent than the way a man would do it.

We live in different worlds.

When my wife says that a fiddler or violinist "plays like a man" it is not generally a compliment. Men, by way of nature, are more aggressive.

bob864 04-20-2017 07:04 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rooklidge (Post 1313541)
I'm stunned that this kind of opinion is still openly expressed, let alone believed. "..learn to play like a man.." There is just no verbal response to this that would be regarded as appropriate.

I'm stunned that so many people honestly believe there are not differences between men and women. We're not the same and pretending otherwise cannot lead to good outcomes.

Rooklidge 04-20-2017 07:31 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
For years, Ladies Pipe Bands were a way of encouraging women to play the pipes and drums. The Australian Ladies PB were treated as an oddity on their worldwide tour, and I admit being very impressed at the site of the Vancouver Ladies marching in heels. Some bands, including one of my first, did not allow women to play in their ranks until well into the 1990s. The view was held then, and apparently still by some, that women don't play in the same manner as men and would not blend seamlessly with the other male players. That and women were perceived in an all-male environment as trouble. It was simply misogyny then, and no matter the attempts to cover it in biology or tradition, it is misogyny now. Quite embarrassing that it lingers, but I suppose we should let the petard these men carry do its eventual duty.

3D Piper 04-20-2017 07:44 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
https://youtu.be/AoqNpXqHZSE?t=1m

I hope I'm not taken the wrong way, but unless we were there and witnessed it who is to say how the comment was meant (and how it was taken, for that matter).. It is easy to see words written here and get all riled up, but the actual even may have been much different.

Crazy to think our heritage is a martial one, the pipes and drums have been taken all over the world in battle and are so respected and revered..... and now we are so sensitive at a comment like this..

Girls can absolutely do as well as boys, if not better.. I have many more girls in my band than boys, and I wish I had more!


-Matthew

Macswegan 04-20-2017 08:21 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bob864 (Post 1313568)
I'm stunned that so many people honestly believe there are not differences between men and women. We're not the same and pretending otherwise cannot lead to good outcomes.

I really don't think this is the issue at all. Are there differences between men and women? Sure. But are these differences so large, regular, and consistent that one can say "this is how men play" and "this is how women play"? I don't think so.

Consider a few of the differences between two purely hypothetical players (one of each sex):

1. Tune selection: Both of my imaginary pipers are going to learn a new piobaireachd. One loves "The Old Men of the Shells" and the other absolutely hates that tune and picks "The Red Speckled Bull."
2. The instrument: one favors a slightly brighter and sharper sound, the other a slightly flatter tone that (he or she thinks) sounds fuller with the drones.
3. One person noticeably slows down at the ends of variations.
4. One person has a greater contrast in tempo between singlings and doublings.
5. One person can always knock a regular taorluath out of the park, but sometimes struggles slightly with a taorluath tripling. The other has fantastic technique all the way around, except for (rarely) messing up a taorluath or crunluath from D.
6. One likes piobaireachd, but also plays lots of light music in a good band, while the other is madly in love with piobaireachd, and never plays light music.
7. One was taught by two great Scottish teachers, and the other by a great Canadian.
8. One is having great difficulties in his or her personal life, and the other is currently happy as a clam.
9. One has been playing for fifteen years and the other for forty.

Are the two of them going to play differently? I should think so. We bring who we are, and what we have learned, and where we are in life to the playing of music. Is gender the defining factor? I can't think why it should be.

johnsog 04-20-2017 09:45 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Despite the differences, to be professional an adjudicator should document those things that others would note as well, things that are objective. Stating something that all would noticed and agree to is fine. That one plays "like a girl" or "too aggressively", etc., are matters of opinion and not commonly held feelings so should not be included.

Paul M Burke 04-20-2017 02:33 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
And the winning Quarterback in the superbowl...oh I forget her name... Anybody????

Paul

wysper 04-20-2017 03:01 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johnsog (Post 1313580)
Despite the differences, to be professional an adjudicator should document those things that others would note as well, things that are objective. Stating something that all would noticed and agree to is fine. That one plays "like a girl" or "too aggressively", etc., are matters of opinion and not commonly held feelings so should not be included.

That is it though isn't it. Judging is subjective not objective.
It is how that judge on that day feels about that performance.
As I bet all judges are subtly different in what the hold most important.
Tone, timing, phrasing, musicality (what ever that might be) etc.

So then you get how that subjectivity is phrased.
The power of language is vast, as is its interpretation.

Some one might describe one passage as aggressive, the next person might describe the same passage as forceful, yet another heavy handed and so it goes on.

A performance isn't definitively measureable, unlike a race, where getting the winner is relatively easy.

And how you describe something is (as someone mentioned earlier) a product of who you are and what state you are in that day.

I think as a judge you need to be aware of how your turn of phrase might affect the person reading it just as their turn of phrase on the instrument affected how you thought of their playing.

Of course there is no other way of doing it, humans are fallible and that is part of the challenge and the thrill of competing I guess. You roll your dice, you take your chances.

el gaitero 04-20-2017 04:31 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
In the old days before email I used to seek out the judge afterwards to discuss what more exactly was meant if some written comment wasn't entirely clear to me.

Sometimes I'd even call by phone if possible within a few days while still fresh for both of us.

Being 'well read' is helpful...different euphenisms applied by different judges from around the country or from different countries all speaking different English
can spin your thoughts differently.

But perhaps I digress from the initial concept of this post...which I can't fathom we've filled 4 pages with much ado.

colinmaclellan 04-20-2017 04:50 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by el gaitero (Post 1313524)
...with all respect.....it sounds like convivial beer tent banter ...unless it was indeed a malicious sneering gaff. Was it?

The latter. And it wasn't in a beer tent.

el gaitero 04-20-2017 05:19 PM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by colinmaclellan (Post 1313611)
The latter. And it wasn't in a beer tent.

Then...onto his petard!...

CalumII 04-21-2017 08:18 AM

Re: You play like a girl!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bob864 (Post 1313568)
I'm stunned that so many people honestly believe there are not differences between men and women. We're not the same and pretending otherwise cannot lead to good outcomes.

I've had to delete the first response I wrote to this.

I teach the pipes, for a living. I teach men, women, boys, girls. There is no difference. Then they go out into the piping scene and they meet people like you and attitudes like this and I am sick to death of it. The little remarks. The silly little comments. You didn't really mean it. It was just banter. Women do NOT need your, or anyone else's, opinions on what they are and aren't capable of or how they perform.

Just don't do it. Just don't.

You know, I love the pipes and I love the music, but sometimes the people really depress me. It's not just you. You can hear this same nonsense spouted everywhere in the piping world. They don't tell you why they leave. They just get sick of the little put downs and the slightly creepy middle-aged married guys and they quietly hand their kit in and go while the rest of us just carry on laughing in the bar.

The piping scene needs to grow up.


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