Drummer, Vocalist, Songwriter
June 22, 2016
How old are you?
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Tallahassee, Florida.
Do you remember being told or taught anything growing up about behavioral expectations for girls?
Most of it comes from how to look and how you’re perceived based on how you look. I remember in high school we weren’t allowed to wear tank tops, no spaghetti straps, and of course no midriff and I don’t think guys had any sort of dress code. I always remember there was this guy who sat in front of me in my math class who used to wear skate company t-shirts with half-naked hula girls on the back. I thought it was really insane that it was not ok for me to show my shoulders but it was ok for this guy to walk around with a girl in a bikini on his shirt. I was very athletic and I used to wear my soccer clothes to school but every once in a while my mom would say “It would be so nice if you wore a dress.” And I get it but at the same time it’s confusing to hear. “It would be nice if you wore your hair down sometimes. It looks so nice when it’s down.” You hear those things so much and it gets engrained in you. It’s just so normal for people to say they want you to look nice all the time. “That’s not very ladylike.” Really? People still say that? What does that even mean anymore? It’s the same thing when random people on the street tell me to smile. That happens to me all the time and it is so maddening. I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know if some people think they’re being endearing or complimenting you but why would you think that’s going to work?
Can you define sexism as it presents itself to you?
I have a tough time figuring that out honestly.
How does being treated in a sexist way make you feel?
Bad! That’s a pretty concise answer. It’s pretty frustrating. I think the unfortunate thing is that it does happen so often so you learn to brush some of it off. Some of it is engrained and you can’t tell if it’s sexist. I played soccer really competitively for a really long time and I would hear stuff all the time so part of me just got used to it. It’s unfortunate that you have to do that but you have to pick your battles.
Have you noticed that some of the words used to address sexist issues have now become offensive themselves?
Feminism is not a bad thing and it now comes with this visual image of this uptight, bitchy lady that is a prude and doesn’t have fun. I think young girls think of feminism being this rough around the edges lady they don’t want to be associated with but feminism is why we’re having this conversation and why I’m able to go play music on the weekends. I think there has been a bad connotation associated with the word feminism but I think social media is doing a lot to combat that and bring awareness to social issues which is one of the best things you can say for social media.
Can you recall any specific occasions when you experienced sexist behavior against you?
In school music programs, each instrument tracks a different kind of person. You see a lot of female vocalists, pianists, and violinists and not a lot of female bassists, drummers, or horn players. Jazz programs tend to be pretty dominated by guys. In college, I never saw any girls in their drum line. A lot of people will come up to me at shows and say “Oh you’re in a band, you must be the singer.” Oh yes, because girls don’t play instruments? I remember working my butt off for a show that I put together. I promoted it, I did the marketing, I booked all the bands for it, I was communicating with the venue owner months before. I hustled a lot and it was a really great successful show. But I remember showing up and messing with my drums and the guy that was running sound said to me, “You know, there’s an opening band that’s going to start soon so I wouldn’t move the stuff around.” Is there? Tell me about that. Tell me about this opening band. Because I hired them, I booked all of this, I am the reason you are here working right now. Someone just sees a girl and assumes she is compliant and inexperienced and she doesn’t know what’s going on. That’s one of the most frustrating things because they’re not even assholes. They’re nice people but sexism is so engrained in their perception of things. I can’t tell you how many times I play a show and even though I book it, someone will hand my boyfriend the money. We’re called Daria and The Hip-Drops, why would you give it anyone but me? It is baffling to me how much people assume that because you’re a girl you must be nice and easy to work with and you probably don’t know as much so they can push you around more. I am nice but I still want to be treated with the same amount of respect as a guy or someone who isn’t nice.
Are there any particular stereotypes of men or of women that drive you insane?
Amy Schumer has one sketch where she talks about ladies saying sorry too much. I really related to that because I do that. I get in these moods where I’m very concerned if I’m being nice enough and if people like me. I don’t want to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings but I’ve being working on trying to be more assertive.