I have been playing the flute in band since I was ten years old. I noticed that some band instruments tend to be played by girls and some tend to be played by boys. I think this is because flutes, clarinets, oboes, etc. are known as the pretty and delicate-sounding instruments. They are thin and small and not very loud and therefore more "feminine." Brass instruments and percussion instruments, on the other hand, are bigger, louder, and more dominating in sound. They are thought to be more "masculine." It is silly to think that an inanimate object such as a flute can be attributed gender traits, however, it is the nature of our society. I remember going through grade school in a flute section that had all girls with the exception of one boy. This boy was always the outcast, ignored by the girls in my section because he was not thought to be manly enough and ignored by the other boys in band because he was thought to be too feminine. It's interesting though because the girls that played instruments such as the trumpet were never made fun of. Why is it that it is more acceptable for girls to cross gender lines than boys? Why don't band directors encourage beginning players to try out instruments that typically played by the opposite gender? Could our society potentially learn to see non-living objects such as band instruments in a non-heteronormative, unbiased manner?
What's sex got to do with...band?
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