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Tom28
11-11-2008, 05:53 AM
I've been studying for a couple of years now-small class.

I managed to convince a timid female friend of mine to join. Things were going well for a while then the instructor started making comments. Just little things at first. You're a girl you should be flexable! You're a girl you should this or that. Common comments guys make. They started getting more and more personal and I could tell my friend felt awkward. She would try and call him on it by saying "hey cut that out you're a pig" in a half joking way but this had no effect. Once or twice he slapped her ass- she ended up stopping attending class after that.

Fast forward to a year and a half later, I introduce another female friend to the class. Extremely good looking and fit. I warn her about what happened in the past but she swore she didn't get that vibe, and if she did she would put a stop to it right away.

Sure enough after a while he started making little comments during class, nothing really bad or out of control. Once again I warned her about it but she passed it off citing she gets those comments every day at her job.
After a while however she started to realize the comments were getting out of control. He's always calling her pretty, beautiful, georgeous making comments like you're a girl you should be able to roll up off your back better. You're a girl you should be able to spread your legs more!
He says it in a joking manner but it's clearly becoming a problem. Sooner or later I expect him to start slapping her ass or becoming more bold.

Aside from the whole girl issue he's a great guy. Also another problem is that I haven't been to the school in a long while because I'm busy with my job.

I keep pressuring my friend to confront him but she keep coming up with excuses not to. I know she's becoming upset about it but she seems to think that she can just avoid it and it will stop or she's convinced that one of these days she's going to confront him.

I forsee her either getting fed up to the point here she too quits class or worse where the other male students quit because their tired of the constant comments and attention inflicted on her by the instructor.

Some might suggest I just email him and let him know what's going on but I really don't think he will see it as an issue and just pass it off. Especially coming from another guy, who hasn't been in class. I think it needs to come directly from her for it to have any lasting effect.

So how can I convince her to stop being shy, stop being embarassed and tell him to stop making those kind of comments in class? How does she impact on him the seriousness of it and how it's effecting her and likely the rest of the class.
I know if I was one of the other guys training I'd sure as hell be resentful.

Anni
11-11-2008, 10:54 AM
I think you should talk to your instructor about it nonetheless, and the others in the dojo should do it as well. I think the message will sink if a lot of people complain about it. Then he might see that it is generally seen as a significant problem, that it is bothering not only the woman in question but also the others. I think this should be dealt with as quickly and directly as possible since it would probably affect the atmosphere of the dojo in the long run, as well as the students' respect for their instructor. Good luck, hope you get it solved! :)

Marie Noelle Fequiere
11-11-2008, 11:02 AM
I think it's time for you to look for another school. Honestly tell your instructor why you are leaving. And honestly tell your friend that you have warned her enough, and that you can do no more for her. She's an adult, and responsible for her choice. Wish her luck, and leave.

Voitokas
11-11-2008, 11:16 AM
I don't think it's up to you to convince her to confront him - and it sounds like confrontation may not help anyway. He may be a "great guy", but he's obviously not great enough to be teaching. It might help your friend more if you made a list of other dojos in the area and suggest that she try them out. Once she is happy at another place, you might then go see the first instructor (or the dojo-cho, if the grabby instructor is not the sensei) and say, "John (or Sensei), I am never going to recommend a female student to your dojo again, and this is why... You might not know that this is an issue, but it is, etc." And if it were me, I wouldn't go back to that school either. I'm sorry there's a guy like that out there ruining it for students, and I hope that your friend has good luck finding a place she feels comfortable!

SeiserL
11-11-2008, 11:57 AM
You open with "small class". Perhaps now you know why.

Larry Cuvin
11-11-2008, 12:09 PM
Look, just be a man and talk to your sensei! Tell him that you are getting annoyed with his sexist comments and he needs to stop. Tell him also that this is a pattern that you've observed before and that you are not letting this pass. You choose the manner on what tone you want the message be delivered but deliver it so he would understand. Simply doing nothing will not cut it any more. If you truly care for your friend and your sensei, get this resolved as soon as you can. Harassment is harassment. just my 2 cents.

Ron Tisdale
11-11-2008, 03:46 PM
I hope that if I observed this continuing harrasment in a dojo I attended I would:

A) tell the instructor in private I don't like the comments, and it doesn't matter whether it bothers her or not.

B) tell the instructor in public the same thing, and that I will be leaving the dojo if it continues

C) leave the dojo.

Take your friend with you (if she is willing) and find a better place to train together.

Best,
Ron (what a jerk)

aikidoc
11-11-2008, 08:06 PM
It sounds as if your sensei has issues with personal or sexual boundaries. A good course or someone confronting him is necessary before it gets out of hand.

Amadeus
11-11-2008, 08:10 PM
Confront it as a man. Don't be such a girl.

I know, my humor phail...

Buck
11-11-2008, 08:38 PM
I don't know why anyone would recommend a Sensei who is seen as offensive, or is offended to someone else that maybe offended.

As adults we are responsible for our own decisions for not doint what others think is best. She is staying with a Sensei who is seen as offensive fpr her reason. Therefore, warnings and advice may not get the person to leave. There is a reason why she hasn't left it necessary to leave am don't think it is shyness. Like maybe she feels the needs to over come the situation, or feels she can handle the situation. That feeds into the Sensei's remarks that are seen as offensive. All the advice, from the outside, in the world will not change her mind, when she is ready, she will leave on her own terms. She is an adult and has made the choice to stay and put up with what is said to be offensive.

Or things aren't what they seem, maybe it is their way to hide the fact they are doing something like dating, for example.

Tom28
11-12-2008, 09:09 AM
Be a man, I suppose to be a girl means not standing up for yourself? ;)

One large issue is that I have not even been to class to train with my friend, I have not seen or heard any of his comments. This is from her and another student whom I spoke with.

If worse comes to worse I'll email or call him but I still think it will have more significance coming from her.
"I know I haven't been to class in close to a year but I heard you were making rude comments" is pretty sketchy.

I'm afraid of my friend just hoping the issue goes away which I think is not only unfair to her but especially unfair to the other male students in the class who may feel too awkward to say anything.

As for the size of the class I'm from a small city, the class has been small since the first one, never more than a dozen people.
It's also the only Aikido school for 60 miles.

gdandscompserv
11-12-2008, 02:24 PM
Aside from the whole girl issue he's a great guy.
:confused:

gdandscompserv
11-12-2008, 06:57 PM
If it's really as bad as you say, I would 'out' this guy publicly. Virtually nobody should be treated in that manner, period. And especially not in the dojo! Like I said, if what you say is true, shame on him. I would not train in such an environment.

MikeLogan
11-12-2008, 08:05 PM
If the entire class said something it would have impact. If you believe that other male students don't consider the teacher's behavior all that bad, or "in good fun", then that should have an impact on you. Perhaps this is why you attend so infrequently?

As long as female #2 is aware that female#1 left after inapprpriate contact initiated by the sensei, you've done any duty you can reasonably claimI keep pressuring my friend to confront him but she keep coming up with excuses not to. I know she's becoming upset about it but she seems to think that she can just avoid it and it will stop or she's convinced that one of these days she's going to confront him.Plain and simple she is doing all she needs to do if this were only a matter of learning Aikido, and that is simply to show up, and show at least the common americana respect most people still grow up with.

It then becomes easy to see that she's going above and beyond what the so-called men in your dojo are asked to do. They show up, and are taught; they are not told that: since they are men they should be able to "handle a jo" like they were born with one attached.

This lout does not deserve the respect that should be afforded a teacher, simply by the lack of respect he is exhibiting.

Really, how can this not seem outrageous?

Joe McParland
11-12-2008, 10:38 PM
It seems to me that the instructor really has nothing to do with this. What if Tom28 is jealous?

Hypothetically: In spite of the potential hazard, Tom28 invites an "extremely good looking and fit" female friend to the club where he practices. (Why?) He warns her, inadvertently putting the idea into her head that the instructor may try get closer to her over time. She says she'll be on the lookout. He sees it happening again... "How can she not see it?!" he wonders... And now work keeps him away---he's not there to protect this hapless girl, to prevent this injustice. Angst comes from expectations not being met; this is not going anything like he intended...

Who knows? Do you?

Jesse Legon
11-13-2008, 05:28 AM
What is the matter with some people?! He sounds infuriating. I found the comments that sensei made relating to 'you're a woman, so you should be able to *xyz* better' especially irritating. Ass-slapping is bad behavior and loutish, but the former is just sexist! (Did he really say 'you should be able to spread your legs more'?! If I ever heard anything like that, I wouldn't even wait till the end of class to leave)

Very disappointing to hear of a sensei who behaves like that :(

AnniN
11-13-2008, 03:49 PM
I'd say that regardless of how rarely you attend classes you and the other dojo members should talk to the sensei about this immediately. This seems to be the sort of problem that needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible to prevent both losing members and the respect for the teacher. If he doesn't realize he's acting inappropriately, he should be told about it. If that's the only dojo within 60 miles, are there any dan-grades willing to set up their own dojo? The most important thing is that this kind of situation must not be allowed to continue.

Mary Eastland
11-13-2008, 04:40 PM
Confront it as a man. Don't be such a girl.

I know, my humor phail...

Not funny. :yuck:

And to the thread initiator...why would you train would someone like this?
Just one more comment ...women over the age of 18 are not girls.
Mary

Buck
11-13-2008, 10:19 PM
Not funny. :yuck:

And to the thread initiator...why would you train would someone like this?
Just one more comment ...women over the age of 18 are not girls.
Mary

Mary, Mary, Mary.... neither is farting out long n' loudly while in mist of taking ukemi during a demo, but people laugh anyway. It's the stuff comedy is made of. :D

"Girl"- possibly a semantics hot potato?

Webster says:

Main Entry: girl
Pronunciation: \ˈgər(-ə)l\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English gurle, girle young person of either sex
Date: 14th century
1 a: a female child from birth to adulthood b: daughter c: a young unmarried woman sometimes offensive : a single or married woman of any age
2 a: sweetheart sometimes offensive : a female servant or employee.

What is neat about this definition, is the word sometimes. and not all the time. :)

I never liked bullies
Bullies, well they come in all sorts. The stereotypical school yard boy, to the more passive-aggressive cogent popular girl on the internet.

Is this a bully situation, words use to intimidate from a power position. The sensei is the bully, the student victim. This is what we assume automatically in these types of situations that are told to us. We are asked to take a sides on these situations told to us openly, fossils not fleshed out with all the facts. Prime stuff to manipulate, persuade, and convince, all the stuff in politics.

Are such relationships between sensei and student conditional?

I was bullied, am a wimpy kinda of guy, the stuff bully targets are made of. I get and have been pushed around, intimidated by others, including women and men; construction workers to professors of both sexes. As adults choosing a relationship we decide, we shop for a Sensei. No one forces us to choose and the choose really isn't an important one, say like a spouse. We decide, we have the power to decide to go or stay, etc. no matter who we are.

What is left of the battle of the sexes is the slapping down of the power egos. - I don't remember who said it.

Template used: Sexist sensei (assumed and always male) preys on vulnerable female student. Student can't leave because a) small, or b) only dojo in town. How does student fight back, deal, with situation. Provides opportunity to persuade readers to side with student victim.

Template used to changes public opinion in favor of women slapping down a male ego. As many more senseis are male then female. More men in dojo than woman.

The question then is why more men in Aikido than woman, and why pander to women. That I think is the real injustice, placing women as victims, making them weak looking and, pandering to them.

I like to hear stories of strong women, successful women as templates in Aikido, instead of those who use them as victims because I don't like bullies.

Food stuff for real thought.

Tom28
11-14-2008, 02:40 AM
It seems to me that the instructor really has nothing to do with this. What if Tom28 is jealous?

Hypothetically: In spite of the potential hazard, Tom28 invites an "extremely good looking and fit" female friend to the club where he practices. (Why?) He warns her, inadvertently putting the idea into her head that the instructor may try get closer to her over time. She says she'll be on the lookout. He sees it happening again... "How can she not see it?!" he wonders... And now work keeps him away---he's not there to protect this hapless girl, to prevent this injustice. Angst comes from expectations not being met; this is not going anything like he intended...

Who knows? Do you?

I really don't see the point of this post Joe? Even hypothetically it seems more an attempt to be a dick than anything constructive?

There shouldn't be any type of hazard inviting an old highschool friend to the school where I practiced. Being a girl (woman/lady) shouldn't be a factor. The fact that a previous friend received the same comments and physically "slapped on the ass" really leads away from the silly jealous angle. I'm not sure if you were trying to make a joke but rally man, it wasn't funny nor helpful at all. Maybe you should save your adice for another thread because to me this is a serious issue, thanks.

Mary, why would I train with someone like this? I didn't see this behavior until a woman came into the class (and even at that point I was a few classes away from my year or so leave of absence).
My other friend was interested in doing some kind of martial arts but was always too shy/timid to go to class. I convinced her to try and she wanted to do the same one I did, Aikido. Before hand I warned her about what happened previously and she assured me if it happened she would put a stop to it right away so I said sure I'll make the introductions. Believe me I have serious doubts about going back to the school in light of all this even though it will effectively stop my Aikido training until I move into a city that has it
.
[Also I think the whole girl/woman thing is semantics. When you call it a girls room it doesn't preclude women from using the facilities. In the case I used it it's interchangable with all words female]

I'm going to speak with her tonight and mention this thread and ass on the comments and advice from all sides.
(I'll also invite her to come post here about it)

My sensei IS a good guy. He's not a bully in my opinion at all. He's jut one of those guys who at inappropiately around women and doesn't realize what he's sayng is too much/too far. Some guys just turn into different people near women, we all work with guys like that.

My goal is to create a balanced training environment where everyone is happy, enjoying their training and lastly attracting new students for me to learn from. His actions are alienating half the population and pissing off the other half. Know what I mean?

Joe McParland
11-14-2008, 04:29 AM
I really don't see the point of this post Joe? Even hypothetically it seems more an attempt to be a dick than anything constructive?

There shouldn't be any type of hazard inviting an old highschool friend to the school where I practiced. Being a girl (woman/lady) shouldn't be a factor. The fact that a previous friend received the same comments and physically "slapped on the ass" really leads away from the silly jealous angle. I'm not sure if you were trying to make a joke but rally man, it wasn't funny nor helpful at all. Maybe you should save your adice for another thread because to me this is a serious issue, thanks.

There's no joke, Anonymous User. It is a serious issue and my advice was very direct. Your perception of my intent was wrong, so you assumed I was a "dick" and responded as you did. You could have asked what I meant, but you didn't. You could have clarified what you meant, but you did not. You afforded me no respect, assuming I had ill intent. You presumed to know my mind and you consequently showed your own quite publicly.

So, all of the above notwithstanding, why should I, or anyone, automatically trust your perception of events in your dojo? Are you not behaving the same way in handling your dojo's business as you just did in handling me?

The same hypothetical message naturally was directed to anyone who was instantly inflamed by the picture you painted and jumped to any conclusion without examining the entire situation clearly. [See Buck's post for a more verbose explanation.]

If your mind is clear and your motives are pure, then you already have all you need to make your own decisions. If you have any doubt, then expect the people you confide in (insomuch as we are your confidants) to explore the source of your doubt.

Tom28
11-14-2008, 06:22 AM
Thanks Joe but like I asked, please save your 'advice' for another thread. You're the only one who responded the way you did. Maybe I'm wrong, it seemed so far off course of everyone else that I couldn't imagine you doing other pissing around. Now you're turning it around into an "But I was serious post"

Why not really run with it? Maybe I'm actually the woman in question and I'm too embarassed to ask and I concocted this story of being a worried friend?0
Maybe I'm actually the instructor in question and I'm trying to snoop around and ask the forum about the situation so I can cover my tracks better. Hey you never know, right?

Assume for the sake of my thread that everything I say is honest and accurate. If you want to play the what if game and call my integrity into question do it somewhere else. Second time I've asked now. Respectfully Joe, I'm not looking to play the red herring game.
Not only am I married and not the least bit "jealous" of my sensei making rude comments to my friend the moderators have my ISP and can tell you that I've been actively posting on this forum for a few years now. Any senior members like Ron, SeiserL or Mary (to name a few) can ask and I will PM them and have them verify my integrity and maturity. That of course defeats the idea behind an anonymous thread mind you. And you can spend the whole time what if-ing every thread in here to death.

So like I asked,for the sake of the thread not spiraling into silliness, red herrings and what if's, assume what I'm saying is accurate and honest or please save it for someone else's thread.

Buck
11-14-2008, 07:05 AM
Mary,

I think the joke really is that post-demonizing of that 30 year old male chauvinistic pig sexual stereotype that we are to believe all men are. And the stereotype that the victimized women under such a man. You know that old women's lib stuff. This stuff no longer applies today.

So then, when I read this post I look at it with fresh eyes, and not those stuck of the past. In that way, the issue isn't laughed, or poked fun at. :)

Tom28
11-14-2008, 07:12 AM
My post may have came off more angry than I intended. It's a serious issue for me that effects myself, my friend, my classmates and IMO the school's future. A coworkers entire school closed because a male instructor ran his hand down a womans back, butt and legs (while doing the same to the rest of the class I'll add) to explain some kinda straight line apparently. I doubt my friend would go to that extreme but I can't speak for future women who may join the class and I want a class to come back to.

Speaking to my friend a few minutes ago shes going to wait until he's alone without other students present and bring up her concerns and issues with his behavior. I'm hoping he just doesn't realize his behavor is wrong and addressed, he corrects it.
If he doesn't stop I'm going to fire off an email or make a call and tell him he needs to stop or I won't be returning and likely she won't continue to train either.

gdandscompserv
11-14-2008, 07:34 AM
If he doesn't stop I'm going to fire off an email or make a call and tell him he needs to stop or I won't be returning and likely she won't continue to train either.
Don't forget to identify him, publicly.

Ron Tisdale
11-14-2008, 08:25 AM
This is a rare case for me...this is an anonymous forum for good reason and it needs to stay this way. But...

I have *some* familiarity with the anonymous user here. He and I have had conversations in the past, and we don't always agree on everything. But I take his perceptions of this situation seriously and at face value. And I think he deserves respect for trying to find a solution in what is probably a no win situation for him personally.

I also think people taking pot shots at him is disrespectfull and ill-advised. But then, I look at the posting histories involved, and shrug my shoulders. Just more of the same.

Best,
Ron

Joe McParland
11-14-2008, 11:18 AM
You're the only one who responded the way you did. Maybe I'm wrong, it seemed so far off course of everyone else that I couldn't imagine you doing other pissing around. Now you're turning it around into an "But I was serious post"

You don't have to imagine. That is the point. :)

Examine without preconceived notions -- shoshin.
Remain unwavering in the face of passions and delusion -- fudoshin.
Engage free of ego -- mushin.
Act in the moment to restore this mind -- aikido.

Keith Larman
11-14-2008, 01:57 PM
Don't feed the aikiweb troll...

Anyway, to the original post... Comments of that nature are totally inappropriate. Really there is no wiggle room there. Obviously not being there none of us can say too much, but if the original post is even remotely accurate then I would join the chorus and say it is time to leave. Give your reasons if you can, but.. in the end staying and not saying anything is (at least to some extent) implicitly supporting the behavior. And I certainly wouldn't recommend recruiting new students for the fella...

Walk away. Tell him why if you can. What you need to do may be difficult for you to do, but I don't find the situation itself particularly difficult to understand. So there isn't much more to say and the ball is really in your court...

My .02. And worth every penny of that... ;)

Mary Eastland
11-14-2008, 05:39 PM
You wrote:

"My sensei IS a good guy. He's not a bully in my opinion at all. He's jut one of those guys who at inappropiately around women and doesn't realize what he's sayng is too much/too far. Some guys just turn into different people near women, we all work with guys like that."

This makes it ok????

What would make a guy a bad guy in your opinion? That behavior is not okay...
I think training in another art with a good instructor would be so much healthier for you.
When a dojo isn't safe for women... it's not safe for the men that are training there either...That behavior and those attitudes perpetuate the myths that women are objects and violence against women is okay because it is just "good old boy behavior". Mary

Buck
11-14-2008, 08:12 PM
Tom28,

Your getting hammered from bothsides. :(

Buck
11-14-2008, 08:25 PM
You wrote:

"My sensei IS a good guy. He's not a bully in my opinion at all. He's jut one of those guys who at inappropiately around women and doesn't realize what he's sayng is too much/too far. Some guys just turn into different people near women, we all work with guys like that."

This makes it ok????

What would make a guy a bad guy in your opinion? That behavior is not okay...
I think training in another art with a good instructor would be so much healthier for you.
When a dojo isn't safe for women... it's not safe for the men that are training there either...That behavior and those attitudes perpetuate the myths that women are objects and violence against women is okay because it is just "good old boy behavior". Mary

I find your words and tone very offensive, dated, rude, insensitive, sexist, etc. You do a huge amount of injustice and harm to women with what you say and your opinions. Please rethink how you see women. They are not damned to being victims, and are the weaker sex etc. Things have changed. Just because you run into one bully situation (male or female) in the dojo doesn't make it a global crisis. Please think about what you said, it is really as offensive as the situation Tom28 in which you find just as offensive. Please don't stereotype all men as "Good O'l Boy behavior." And that all men see women as objects and targets for violence. All men are not predators, criminals, monsters out to harm women. . :mad:

Mary Eastland
11-14-2008, 08:38 PM
I find your words and tone very offensive, dated, rude, insensitive, sexist, etc. You do a huge amount of injustice and harm to women with what you say and your opinions. Please rethink how you see women. They are not damned to being victims, and are the weaker sex etc. Things have changed. Just because you run into one bully situation (male or female) in the dojo doesn't make it a global crisis. Please think about what you said, it is really as offensive as the situation Tom28 in which you find just as offensive. Please don't stereotype all men as "Good O'l Boy behavior." And that all men see women as objects and targets for violence. All men are not predators, criminals, monsters out to harm women. . :mad:

Then use your ignore button, Buck. :D
Mary

Buck
11-14-2008, 09:05 PM
Yea, sure. Just as you ignore all the posters, like Tom28. ;)

Buck
11-14-2008, 09:35 PM
Back OT...as sincere as Tom28 is in his posts, we are only getting an outside view. This issue is between the Sensei and the student, with a variety of different relationships and interpersonal stuff going on between them that no one else can see or is aware of. I then find it really hard to give advice, or place any kind of judgement on the situation or on Tom28 for that matter.

As I said before, joining an Aikido class isn't a heavy commitment like choosing a spouse. You as the student decide how you want the relationship to proceed and to what extent and level between you and the Sensei to happen. The student pays money to be instructed my a human, and not a stereotypical figure of a wise moral all knowing, infallible, parental, holiness of a sensei. That stuff is illusions and projections- the all mightily OZ of Aikido. O'Sensei may have thought of himself as a god. But that doesn't remove his human reality. Just as students should project upon the Sensei. The sensei has very limited power, and no special power over others unless it is given.

The Sensei is a human, who has agreed to teach a skill, like a physical trainer, a exercise class instructor, a person that instructs. They don't instruct you on your life, they teach a skill. They all have their own personalities and those personalities are not global.

If you see someone staying with a sensei and that sensei seems abrasive or abusive to a student you have to wonder why that student hasn't left after the first instance. Even if there is only one dojo in town that isn't an excuse to be treated poorly. Therefore, something unseen or not apparent to the observer is happening psychologically in that relationship between in the adult student and with the sensei.

Human's are complex creatures and how we deal with each other is very complex as well. You really got to read the whole book and not just the cover. You know get all the facts, observer first hand, etc. before you make judgements of who is, if any, the bad and the good. And if the relationship is anyone's business.

Tom28 brought up a concern. As sincere as he is there isn't enough factual information to be able to take sides and point fingers, or give advice. We don't know the personalities of the people or the dynamics of the relationship to offer sound advice, or blame, etc. The situation really is between the student and the sensei, and if the student feels wronged, again, they just don't have to come back to class. What I clue into is that the student hasn't left, therefore, accepts the relationship, and thus, no one else's business.

RonRagusa
11-14-2008, 10:54 PM
... she ended up stopping attending class after that.

What I clue into is that the student hasn't left, therefore, accepts the relationship, and thus, no one else's business.

One student, at least, has indeed left. How long before the second woman tires of the abuse and leaves too? An Aikido class is an exercie in group dynamics. As such when one individual's behavior begins to make others in the group uncomfortable it becomes the business of the group. This stuff doesn't occur in a vacuum.

Ron

Mary Eastland
11-15-2008, 08:10 AM
Tom28 wrote : So how can I convince her to stop being shy, stop being embarrassed and tell him to stop making those kind of comments in class? How does she impact on him the seriousness of it and how it's effecting her and likely the rest of the class.
I know if I was one of the other guys training I'd sure as hell be resentful.

Hi Tom:
It is not her problem...it is his.

When I first starting training...there was no way I would even think that kind of talk was wrong. I had been socialized to believe I was an object and that whatever guys said or did was ok. I would laugh along with the jokes too because I wanted to train and fit in. And because I didn't know I was hurting myself.
Now I could say something...I do all the time. Our dojo has a respectful attitude for all people. Men and women who act different don't stay.
Have you noticed how when we talk about these issues even on this forum people make fun of us and say we are overreacting.
A woman who has just started training in Aikido doesn't need the extra responsibility of changing an instructor's behavior.

Mary

Joe McParland
11-15-2008, 10:16 AM
Today we'll practice shomenuchi ikkyo omote. Demonstration, clap, pair up and practice!

A shomenuchi with a roaring kiai! Have you ever observed how different beginners respond? Some flee the atack. Some cover their heads and cower. Some stand dumbfounded. A few do something else, like an unrefined counter-strike. Whatever the starting point, over time we're going to work to make that beginner's technique become something like what was demonstrated. We'll practice shomenuchi ikkyo undo basic exercise again and again. We'll transform the slumped over cowering into the bright-postured shomenuchi ikkyo undo. We'll transform fleeing into fearless entry. We'll transform being dumbfounded, stuck in thought, into immediate and appropriate response. We'll transform the unrefined counter-sttack into fierce kiai and off-balancing atemi in the spirit of irimi.

Step outside the dojo for a moment, since this is "real life."

Where are you coming from? Here you are. There is no going back to change the circumstances of right now.

What is coming at you? What is it that you face? No wishful thinking will change the circumstances of right now.

The circumstances are set. Events are in motion: An instructor mindlessly makes a pass at a female student. The female cowers. A third-party male friend of both watches dumbfounded.

Where is the error, who is at fault, and what is aikido's path through this?

Does it matter in aikido's practice whether or not the attack has intent? Will we respond differently in the moment if it does? No, that is decidedly not how we train. We "protect" the attacker and act with "loving kindness." Why? Ultimately, we do not know the attacker's mind. We do not know the causes and conditions that led to this moment. We do not add our assumptions to the situation. We do not judge good or bad, right or wrong, or degree of fault. We simply act---or, perhaps better said, we act simply.

The instructor operated in habitual mind; he lost zanshin. It happens. Restoring harmony with the universe is to restore zanshin, his awareness. In the lucid moments, he may recognize that his behavior has a negative impact on the club; the goal for him and for everyone is to remain lucid.

The woman psychologically cowers. The friend stands dumbfounded. Are they at fault? Restoring harmony with the universe means what for them? Perhaps it means restoring their original minds (to borrow terminology) as well---examining what baggage they carry that caused them to fail to act when they sensed an attack and working through it until their responses start to look like aikido.

This is what aikido practice is for me. If your understanding of aikido is different, I will naturally expect different response. Through continued practice, hopefully we all meet in the same place.

Bow to shomen. Bow to teacher. Bow to each other.

Buck
11-15-2008, 10:51 AM
One student, at least, has indeed left. How long before the second woman tires of the abuse and leaves too? An Aikido class is an exercie in group dynamics. As such when one individual's behavior begins to make others in the group uncomfortable it becomes the business of the group. This stuff doesn't occur in a vacuum.

Ron

Ron,

I think you hit on something that I wasn't saying very well. First there is an assumptions; a template of abuser and victim scenario, based on the information given. Second, each individual women is different, in personality, background etc. All women are not victims or down-trodden weak, helpless, fragile mentally and physically, mute needing someone to champion for her; protecting her, standing up for her.

Third, for those like me I don't know who is being talked about. I have no experience or background with the people involved. I don't have that inside information.

Fourth, it seems one women felt abused, or powerless because the Sensei didn't respect her verbally. This was her personal experience it doesn't make it universal. There are women who are attracted to self-centered Condescending men, for various reason and thus aren't victims. These women can handle themselves with men as described. Let's get women some credit that they can handle a bad situation.

Lastly, for me, how bad is bad. This is being treated as if the Sensei is holding the women hostage against her will and criminally abusing her in the most horrible and torturous ways. Is this guy a serial killer, a predatory monster, or simple your average garden variety jerk. A situation blown out of proportions. Or is it simply a many of someone being a jerk or being perceived as a jerk.

Talking about jerks let's take my boss, for example. A women who is a professional jerk, a verbal bully, who enjoys intimidating everyone beneath her. She is just flat out mean. And there is no excuses for her behavior, and she bullies really well to avoid any harassment complaints against her. But, frankly, you can let it get to you or not. I deal with all and anything she throws at me. I still do my job, I still have a job. Life isn't perfect, and I don't see myself as a victim even when she targets me on those days she feels like it.

If I leave my job, I risk losing allot, it isn't like doing the same at an Aikido dojo. Which I have because I felt I didn't fit in.

Overall, the issue, I feel is being blown out of proportion, because simply it is a recreational hobby and activity; Aikido class.

Ron, you pointed out something else. I think when it comes the business of the group, people are taking themselves and what the do on an interpersonal relationship level way too seriously. It is like a cliquey petty high school drama thingy. People should be more mature. If the Sensei is involved in criminal actions against anyone that is a real problem and is everyone business, but in several cases of criminal abuse by Senseis people see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil.

And if this guy is really as bad as said, and she is really that helpless to be victimized and harassed by words, no one is holding her hostage to keep coming to the class over any period of time. She is free to leave the class when it ends, and has the freedom not to ever come back. Also, really, can any of us really do anything about it? SHE really has the power to do or not to do anything about it. Again, it ISN'T like she is married to this Sensei and he threatens if she leaves him, he will kill her while beating her. Is he physically assaulting her, beating her in class? Really it is a matter of words, and she hasn't been insulted enough to leave. He isn't the only Sensei in the world, and it is just an Aikido class. She can walk away. She has the power to walk if she feels the situation isn't a good one.

Buck
11-15-2008, 07:11 PM
Tom28 wrote : So how can I convince her to stop being shy, stop being embarrassed and tell him to stop making those kind of comments in class? How does she impact on him the seriousness of it and how it's effecting her and likely the rest of the class.
I know if I was one of the other guys training I'd sure as hell be resentful.

Tom28 I started a thread that is active on shy women. First you can't change her behavior, her shyness. If she feels embarrassed that is her issue; she has the power not to feel embarrassed. This is the core of the issue, her being embarrassed and not being harassed. The biggest impact she has is to go somewhere else. Why does she have to confront him verbally? Words are not always the most effective means of communication. A signal middle finger flipped upright, for example, can really gets the message across, a stern glare works well too.

I think Mary is way off base in her perspectives, and opinions. She is doing a ton of assuming and projecting her own personal stuff/views upon this girl, woman, lady, female, etc. don't know how old she is, or she social status, situation. Mary needs healing of her own of some unresolved issues, she hasn't resolved. But that is Mary, and Mary isn't the woman, girl, etc being discussed. Just as I am not this girl, etc.

We really don't know anything about this person. In fact we really don't know anything about her. She may be dealing with the situation very well, but it is misunderstood by those looking in from the outside. She may like the Sensei and doesn't take him seriously. She may not have any of Mary's issues or concerns, or perspectives toward men and what this sensei is saying. We really don't know. This thing between the two is their issue, assuming she is an adult. Sure it may be done in public and it's uncomfortable to the other students that is the sensei's issue. Anyone can leave the class for any reason. But they are not at this point. Why?

Tom28, I think the issue is you are uncomfortable by what is going on because of the way you perceive it. Go up to the sensei and speak you mind. If you don't get the results you are looking for find a new dojo that is more comfortable. There are options. And not everyone fits in every dojo. I would feel harassed, and abused in Mary's dojo. But, maybe not in someone else who sees guys in a more positive and updated view of males, men, boys etc. Tom28, has she came to you and complained about how the sensei treats her verbally. If she has, why is she still continuing? People are complex, very complexed. Just like you may never really know another person, or what is going on inside their head.

anon110
11-15-2008, 09:28 PM
a note on the sensei in question. you say he is a "decent guy" but has committed some very indecent acts around women. i'd like to suggest that it is possible, through lack of experience, that he might not know how to behave around women. a friend of mine in college was damn near arrested because of this type of behavior. he was a shy, awkward guy with no sisters and little contact with his mother. what he knew of relating to women was gleaned from adolescent friends, x-rated movies and sleazy books. this was his"normal" and he simply didn't know any better. thankfully, campus authorities directed him to counseling, which probably saved his life. i bring this up only because so many seem to be assuming this sensei is a predator, and he may be. or he might be some guy who has had limited contact with women and just doesn't know any better.

RonRagusa
11-15-2008, 09:51 PM
Victimization - to single somebody out unfairly for punishment or ill treatment. - Encarta Dictionary

Victimization is behavior that is engaged in by the perpetrator. Regardless of how the recipient reacts to the behavior the perpetrator's actions are wrong and ought not to be condoned or excused away. It makes absolutely no difference what is known or not known about the person being singled out; the fault lies with the one engaged in the abusive behavior. The comments and the butt grabbing referred to by Tom28 are offensive at least and in the case of the grabbing could be considered a form of physical assault.

I am reminded of an instructor who made a comment about a female students' anatomy one day in front of a class full of students as she got up to uke for him. It was not the first time this instructor had engaged in this type of behavior. As I understand it, his senior students took him aside after class and told him in no uncertain terms that this behavior was unacceptable and had to stop. Their forthrightness was heard by the instructor and he subsequently ceased behaving in that manner.

An Aikido instructor is a person; not a god, not imbued with any divine rights, not entitled to any de facto respect that hasn't been earned on the mat. The instructor is no more important to the dojo than the students who seek to benefit from the instructor's knowledge. When a member/members of the group is/are singled out for abusive treatment as in the case of the two women in Tom28's dojo, the whole dojo suffers. It therefore becomes the responsibility of the group to exert its influence on the instructor in an effort to curtail the behavior. Groups looking the other way while individuals engage in unacceptable behavior is all too prevalent throughout history.

For those of you who seek to minimize the events described by Tom28, replace Aikido school with [organization of your choice], Aikido instructor with [leader of said organization] and unnamed female student with your wife/daughter/sister/niece. Does the situation begin to look a little different?

Ron

anon110
11-15-2008, 10:09 PM
When a member/members of the group is/are singled out for abusive treatment as in the case of the two women in Tom28's dojo, the whole dojo suffers. It therefore becomes the responsibility of the group to exert its influence on the instructor in an effort to curtail the behavior. Groups looking the other way while individuals engage in unacceptable behavior is all too prevalent throughout history.

For those of you who seek to minimize the events described by Tom28, replace Aikido school with [organization of your choice], Aikido instructor with [leader of said organization] and unnamed female student with your wife/daughter/sister/niece. Does the situation begin to look a little different?

Ron[/QUOTE]

agreed. but if a confrontation regarding the behavior is planned, it is important to consider the message being delivered. if the message is "you're a pig. cut the $*** or your classes are about to get a whole lot smaller", it doesn't give the individual enough information to facilitate change, particularly if this guy is just really clueless as opposed just being a jerk. if the message is instead, "we don't think you understand how your words and actions are seen by others" accompanied by some educational materials from a local womens' center, it 1)allows him to change without feeling bullied himself 2) gives him the benefit of the doubt, which even if he doesn't deserve it, might prompt him to live up to it and 3)allows him to save face, which again, he may or may not deserve.

Joe McParland
11-15-2008, 11:19 PM
Victimization - to single somebody out unfairly for punishment or ill treatment. - Encarta Dictionary

Victimization is behavior that is engaged in by the perpetrator.



flirt 2 a: to behave amorously without serious intent


Flirting is the behavior that is engaged in by the perpetrator.

There. Now I've made an assertion, too. So, it's true, right?

Of course not. I don't know this fellow's mind.


For those of you who seek to minimize the events described by Tom28, replace Aikido school with [organization of your choice], Aikido instructor with [leader of said organization] and unnamed female student with your wife/daughter/sister/niece. Does the situation begin to look a little different?


Imagine? Ugh.

Fine, why not---but why not go all out then?

That last girl who stopped coming? She died in a car wreck on the way to her instructor's apartment from the dojo one night. She was the instructor's lover, and he was devastated by the loss. The girl was my daughter's friend. My daughter had a romantic interest in the fellow years before, but put that aside when she went off to study at the Sorbonne. Returning for her friend's funeral, she saw the fellow again. Romance rekindled right away. She started attending his class after being invited by a coworker, from whom she wished to keep this relationship a secret so as not to cause angst at the office. My daughter warns him occasionally about his public displays of affection that others may consider inappropriate, as she is slightly embarrassed by them herself, but they've lost themselves in love. If you like, I'll send you an invite to the wedding this spring.

We can imagine anything we like to fit Tom28's account. Moreover, if we carry a banner (such as victimization, women's rights, men's rights, or anything else), then we're likely to see what we're looking for.

This is not to say that Ron's assertion is false, mind you. This is to say that asserting something does not make it true. The invitation to imagine different circumstances is an error.

I assert that Budo practitioners should strive for this mental clarity. ;)

Buck
11-15-2008, 11:38 PM
FWIW, am opening up some of my private life here. The jugular now is being exposed.

I am sure am not the only male who has experienced this. While undressing my bare butt was grabbed by a gay guy ( I do laugh about it) in the locker room and was told straight up what he would like to do to it. Being straight and taken by surprise I was shocked, and walked off. I also had several gay professor promised me better grades if I did. …well you know. One was very direct and explicit about it, where as the other was more indirect. Being on different occasions, I told both of them no. I paid the price for it in class for those semesters. I was belittled, and demeaned for saying no. And yes, lower grades then I should have, in both cases.

I was a freshman in college and construction was going on at the edge of campus. Walking home the construction workers started bullying me, poking fun at me, harassing me. for two blocks.

My family was on welfare when I was a kid for a short while as my father lost his job. For the first time I had to use food stamps at the supermarket, and the cashier harshly humiliated me publicly in front of everyone, getting other cashiers to join in. He was a guy, the others where both male and female. I was just a child.

I tried to play high school sports I was hazed and harassed by players and coaches. I was mocked, humiliated, emasculated, etc. I would cry so over-whelmed because I couldn't fight back physically or verbally, boy did it make things worse for me. Thank God, I didn’t get the worse of it, one kid was forced to drink out of a taped up athletic cup, and the cup wasn’t new. Or get my head dunked in the toilet and then flushed. One kid was sexual molested, mocked and abused very painfully. Swore to God, I would never go into the military, based on the stories of boot-camp.

I have had male and female teachers degrade me by verbally insulting me, harassment (sexual and not), and again emasculated me. I remember a female elementary teacher who was especially cruel and mean with what she said. She said I would never measure up to being a real man. I had a male P.E. make my life hell because I wasn't athletic, I couldn't do the allotted number of push-ups.

I have had women say some of the most sexist and vicious things to me who where angry and bitter about men. It started as a kid up until recently happening as an adult. I did mention my female boss and what she is like. It has happen and continues to happen to me.

And I have run across my share of a number of A.H. in the dojos I have been at.

Many of us guys, do and have experienced the same things women have. We don’t talk about really. We laugh it off, or go into shock when it is brought up. This makes me feel qualified in my opinions, people are complex, and have their reason for coming back to something or sticking with it, reasons that may not be made publicly despite public behavior.

This sensei people may know and classify him as a prime A.H. Others may not. Others may not take him so seriously, others my find it expectable. Others may be disturbed by it. But everyone has a choice in that dojo and that is their business and not ours. Until a crime is committed that requires an arrest or is a matter of civil court. My new question is has this women he is hassling call the cops, and how long has she been there. From what Tom28 tells us, I think 10 minutes is too long. If this sensei is that much of a threat why is not in jail? Don't tell me be cause he is too good to get caught.

I don't know the reason why this woman is staying in that dojo if the sensei is degrading her so badly. Again I think it is a matter of perspective, and we don't know this woman or how she sees the sensei. We only know how Tom28 sees it.

RonRagusa
11-16-2008, 08:27 AM
You're a girl you should be flexable! You're a girl you should this or that. Common comments guys make. They started getting more and more personal and I could tell my friend felt awkward. She would try and call him on it by saying "hey cut that out you're a pig" in a half joking way but this had no effect. Once or twice he slapped her ass- she ended up stopping attending class after that. [snip]

After a while however she started to realize the comments were getting out of control. He's always calling her pretty, beautiful, georgeous making comments like you're a girl you should be able to roll up off your back better. You're a girl you should be able to spread your legs more! He says it in a joking manner but it's clearly becoming a problem. Sooner or later I expect him to start slapping her ass or becoming more bold.

Flirting Joe? And whether it's flirting or not is irrelevant since the attention is both unasked for and, at least in the first case, clearly unwanted. The instructor's behavior would be illegal in the workplace, why should it be any different in an Aikido dojo? How many incidents with how many different women will it take before you're willing to admit that maybe this guy has a problem?

I forsee her either getting fed up to the point here she too quits class or worse where the other male students quit because their tired of the constant comments and attention inflicted on her by the instructor.

The spirit of this dojo is being adversely affected by the instructor's behavior.

Ron

Buck
11-16-2008, 10:22 AM
Flirting ... whether it's flirting or not is irrelevant since the attention is both unasked for and, at least in the first case, clearly unwanted. The instructor's behavior would be illegal in the workplace, why should it be any different in an Aikido dojo? How many incidents with how many different women will it take before you're willing to admit that maybe this guy has a problem?

The spirit of this dojo is being adversely affected by the instructor's behavior.

Ron

Ron,

you make good points, if we knew that really was the case, all the facts and details. We shouldn't assume what is going on in this case. And suspend judgement; innocent until proven guilty. Again we see this situation through Tom28's eyes, and not hers.

If being and offensive was illegal we (women and men) would all be in jail. None of us are saints, and we have to be careful of hypocrisy.

We really need to hear from the woman, the dojo, the sensei all first hand and see them in person before we can start championing a cause and public hangings. Reason over knee jerk reaction is a proven powerful human tool.

We also have to be careful in saying if it is true what the sensei did is illegal vs. inappropriate, rude, uncalled for, etc. The work place is different from an Aikido class as I pointed out before. This is different from having a personal opinion about the situation based on what Tom28 said.

Only two women have been associated with this sensei and discussed here in his small dojo. Nothing physically or criminally has happened. We know one women didn't physically his comments, etc. again she had the freedom to show her disapproval and not continue with the class. The same right all people have. I don't think the first women's situation is criminal, but someone who was insulted by the sensei. Especially if Tom28 brought in another similar women to the dojo, where Tom28 became offended.

I think something that the law would need to look at is if he was assaulting and abusing women physically and mentally via Aikido and Aikido waza. Say used excess force causing trauma to her body while doing a throw. Kicking her on the ground etc. to choking her until she passing out telling to use Aikido to get out of it. All excusing his actions as part of Aikido training. Or if he sexually abusing females/children as previous sanseis have done and been convicted of doing. If this sensei is sexually abusing women it is the responsibility of those who know of this and report him. Especially if the victims are unable to do it themselves. But it doesn't seem that this is the case.

Tom28 seems to have stayed with the dojo in face of what is going on with his female friend that he brought to the dojo despite his previous knowledge of the sensei. He values more the class and the sensei over the situation, and he hasn't quit the dojo in protest. Nor has he confronted the sensei about the situation. Instead has brought up the issue to an Aikido internet group.

Assumptions are dangerous it has convicted wrongly many innocent people and allowed guilty people to walk. Not to mention hurt and embarrassed allot of people. I think that is why reason, facts etc. are a better tools to evaluate a situation over assumptions and hear-say. Slavery is full of such stories where slaves where beaten, or killed over the slightest rumors and assumptions, and unfounded accusations. I suspend my judgement on what Tom28 says. In his eyes it might be a crime. But he isn't the sensei or the women involved. Or unless Tom28 isn't a male, and really is the woman. If that is the case she should have left the dojo and approached this subject differently to get better results, like providing us with the facts that we can use to make an accurate evaluation. honestly to get the best results isn't asking an internet forum like it has been done here, but going to professionals or asking the net to be directed to the right professionals to contact. :)

Buck
11-16-2008, 10:52 AM
If someone is being harassed or insulted in a dojo, my advice would be

1.) stop going. Sure you may have feeling of anger, victimization, etc. and you might want to get back at that person any way you can.

2.) Don't get back at them. It the best way to do things. Seeking revenge isn't justice when someone insults you. Walking out and not coming back is.

But, if you do seek revenge for an insult or sexist remark it is a reflection upon your character. Think about Rosa Parks, MLK, Gandi, etc. where their injustices where graver, did they have revenge in their hearts, no they didn't. And that was what made them so strong to carry on to change the world.

Joe McParland
11-16-2008, 11:11 AM
Flirting Joe? And whether it's flirting or not is irrelevant since the attention is both unasked for and, at least in the first case, clearly unwanted. The instructor's behavior would be illegal in the workplace, why should it be any different in an Aikido dojo? How many incidents with how many different women will it take before you're willing to admit that maybe this guy has a problem?


It is clear to me that your hair is on fire. I don't know why you don't see it.

Fall goes, Winter comes,
Regardless of any want.
What are you to do?

Tom28
11-17-2008, 04:15 AM
Flirting Joe? And whether it's flirting or not is irrelevant since the attention is both unasked for and, at least in the first case, clearly unwanted. The instructor's behavior would be illegal in the workplace, why should it be any different in an Aikido dojo? How many incidents with how many different women will it take before you're willing to admit that maybe this guy has a problem?

The spirit of this dojo is being adversely affected by the instructor's behavior.

Ron

Ron I think you got it.
If this was in the work place there would be a serious shit storm brewing.
You suggest a coworker or someone your in charge of wear a lower cut sweater or slap them on the ass and you would be looking for a new job.

Philip, I can take it getting it from sides not to worry :)
I realize there is blame to go around. Me for not addressing the situation when it first happened, my friend for ignoring it and the instructor for initiating it.
I feel responsible because I didn't address it the first time. I invited someone back to the class knowing what happened. I doubt anyone will accuse me of being the bad guy here but I still feel like I brought this ont he class (with help) which is why I feel so strongly abount correcting the situation.

My friend in this case has attended class for 2 months maybe once or twice a week, sometimes missing a week here and there, and has never socialized with him outside of the Dojo having tuned down offers to go for a drink. Yes philip she has approached me on the issue saying 'you were right he's starting to make inappropiate comments and it's getting worse'. Why is she continuing? I don't know. By her nature shes shy. She has a jerk of a coworker she deals with but refuses to confront him. I guess some people just hate confrontation and drama. If I had to guess why she continues in class she loves aikido and for the time being the pros outweight the cons. She's hoping it will go away.

gdandscompserv
11-17-2008, 06:49 AM
She's hoping it will go away.Not likely.

Mary Eastland
11-17-2008, 08:51 AM
When it happened in the organization we used to belong to... some of the teacher's senior students found a way to make him hear what he was doing. His behavior did change...at least on the mat.
Mary

Joe McParland
11-17-2008, 09:01 AM
I feel responsible because I didn't address it the first time. I invited someone back to the class knowing what happened. I doubt anyone will accuse me of being the bad guy here but I still feel like I brought this ont he class (with help) which is why I feel so strongly abount correcting the situation.

[...]

Why is she continuing? I don't know. By her nature shes shy. She has a jerk of a coworker she deals with but refuses to confront him. I guess some people just hate confrontation and drama. If I had to guess why she continues in class she loves aikido and for the time being the pros outweight the cons. She's hoping it will go away.

This is a really nice post!

First, Tom28, everyone will happily jump in and tell you and your friend how you are not to blame. Regardless of the truth of the statement, perhaps particularly from a legal standpoint, you still have an internal conflict or two that you have to see. So may your friend, and so may your instructor. Secondly, you said, "I don't know." You follow with an "if I had to guess," but you're open to fact that you may not know. Keeping that sense of doubt keeps your mind clear of the assumptions and guesses that may cloud the issue.

You were off-balanced by the situation and your own part in creating it. You lost your center, but you're regaining it. Once you're centered---once you've identified the different thoughts and feelings that have complicated any response and you see the for what they are---you'll see the situation clearly and you'll be free to act without regret.

Buck
11-17-2008, 10:17 PM
Tom28, from all we discussed I can't really see that she is being a victim. More like at worse at this point she is being mildly annoyed by a Sensei who is trying to pick up on her like a bad 70's movie. If an instructor of a martial art or exercise class says or does something that truly offends me I leave the class A.S.A.P. and don't come back. No matter how much I like the activity. If I am victimized I don't stay to be further victimize. Even if she is shy, being shy doesn't mean you can't stop going to the class.

Therefore, really this isn't a women being victimized by a evil sexist sensei. I don't think the energy should be on that issue. I have a feeling the women isn't as weak, helpless, shy, down-truly and vulnerable oppressed1950's house wife screaming for help as some see her. That is an injustice when a situation is turned into some things more then it is. It is a cry wolf situation. That is my concern. I am about keeping the situation in perspective. Women today our very different from those oppressed stereotypes of the housewives, Brontes, and Dickensons of yore.

There is nothing like stirring up a mob into a hysteria out for blood.

If you join a Aikido class and pay around $90.00 a class, and you are going to have an interpersonal relationship with a teacher; where you have one on one personal attention like that of a personal trainer, etc. you're not going to stay with it if you don't get along with that person. Essentially, you fire them, that is your right and choice. They don't hire you, you hire them. Shy or not, firing them is as easy as not coming back. This applies to everyone in that dojo.

Will this situation being discussed on the net of the sensei picking up on a second women will stop the sensei's behavior, will it embarrass him, or get him to change? No. At worse he will be disliked more by people who already dislike him, and those who are easily persuaded who read the thread will dislike him too. But, none of those people are or will be his students. And that is the whole point.

Now if he starts hitting on a minor that is a whole different story.

Ya know, it is funny how many of the same people in the Clint George thread where quick not to convict him of his crime of molesting a child. Yet there are people here who read a about a situation with an adult women discribed as being harrassed by her sensei condemning him to the gallows. There are many similarities in both situations where people shouldn't be quick to convict, but they are very quick to convict based on almost nothing but a third party account. Clint George was well known and once respected in the Aikido community, his actions against a child was a crime, yet many people had his back. Maybe fame has it's privileges. The crime this sensei is guilty of is no being famous.

Voitokas
11-18-2008, 09:03 AM
I think the difference is that this is an anonymous post about a situation with no names attached. If "Tom28" had named the parties involved, you are right that more circumspection would be called for. Since this is essentially an abstract situation that we all understand is from one person's point of view, it's a little different...

For my part, participation is this thread is not about fueling the OP with my dislike of the situation, but trying to offer advice to someone, i.e. "if I were seeing it like you're seeing it..."

:)

Ron Tisdale
11-18-2008, 10:32 AM
Nice distinction Jeremy.

Best,
Ron

just visiting from va.
11-18-2008, 05:09 PM
He sounds like a very dense individual or someone who just does not care. This would be, in the eyes of almost any judge, a clear-cut case of sexual harassment. It is also assault to touch some one in an inappropriate manner. Students should not expect to be fondled or groped in a learning environment whether they are paying for the class or not. What would O'Sensei's response to this in his dojo?

Buck
11-18-2008, 09:40 PM
I think the difference is that this is an anonymous post about a situation with no names attached. ... an abstract situation that we all understand is from one person's point of view, it's a little different...



Jeremy to speak to what you said first, it really isn't an abstract because it is about real people in a real situation. Tom28, the woman and the sensei and the dojo aren't fictional characters to illustrate something. Being anonymous here isn't going to prevent the dojo or the sensei who Tom28 is, or the woman. It simply means it makes it harder to people to sue if it is anonymous.

As I established, the sensei is a real person and he isn't anonymous to everyone. One poster calls for similar harassment laws in the dojo you see in the work place, and clearly despises him. Another post who makes it know how much the sensei is despised by the poster uses him as the poster child to say all men are pigs. Simply to name a few posters who posted assuming the worst of the sensei. Where is the love?

And it is respected that you give advice, but to whom? Has anyone given advice to the sensei? Because we assume automatically from a narrow, limited, and simple snap judgement perspective she is a victim and he is the victimizer. All based on a third person account. Tom28 is the one that people (some have) should be addressing. But the focus of this thread isn't his issue, but rather looking at the woman as a victim and the sensei as a sexist pig victimizer. The latter shouldn't even be the focus, but it is because people make snap judgements base on what they read with little examination.

If the sensei in question was a well known shihan or someone like Clint George (his Aikido background), people would be going to bat for the unnamed sensei, the same people who are attacking him now. Am no Aikido historian, but wasn't there a well known popular sensei who did hit on all the women and people allowed it to happen by turn a blind eye because he was a famous teacher?

The mindset of people who permit a famous sensei to get away with one thing, and where a lesser known sensei whose actions are from a third party POV can jump to conclusions and hang a person on the net instantly. The latter a big concern with the discussion on Clint George to maintain the innocent until proven guilt. But that is of little concern with an unknown sensei described by a third party in an anonymous thread where it is strongly assumed and played out that the women is the victim and the man is the monster. Being in this forum gives the same people who where concerned about Clint George being accused and an opportunity for a field day of assumptions and twisting of this sensei being a monster victimizing women horribly, a crime against all women where he should be locked up and the key thrown away. Where a mob frenzy can be pitched up to a fever level and this sensei can be an example to all men as he is crucified on the net. Maybe that is the importance of having all of it being anonymous.

Mary Eastland
11-19-2008, 05:49 AM
The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source. ~Lucretia Mott
Some how this is what I have been trying to say.
Mary

Buck
11-19-2008, 08:22 AM
So Mary, does that mean it's ok to condemn a man because it is based on a third party's POV? It isn't the reason why there are courts and trials?

Oh yea, but I forgot this sensei is to be used as an example of the degradation and the lack of rights of women some 128 year ago (Mott died in 1880 at 87 years old).

Mary just to update you, society has moved on, and drastically has changed since the 1800's. Women not only are allowed to vote but hold high political and corporate offices. We no longer have a slave trade. Our president-elect well has forefathers who where slaves.
Times have changed since 1800's and even since 1960. But what hasn't changed is assumptions and character assassination.

I could have a gay male sensei who comes on to me in the same way as Tom28 has described here, and I found it just as offensive, and discriminating as you do in the Tom28 case. With my reaction against it being the same way as yours in the Tom28 case, as well. Having the same drive for justice for all men not to be degraded sexually by a gay man, as you do for women, I would be condemned and shamed as a homophobic. Does Mott's quote include me, or just you. Please don't consider me a male chauvinist sexist pig because I am not going to assassinate a man's character based on his approach to women in 2008, or diminish the worth of a woman's character (as being a helpless victim who needs to be saved) because a third party's view point. The issue is about Tom28, and not about anything else. :)

Logically Anonymous
11-19-2008, 08:53 AM
Where is the love?

If the sensei in question was a well known shihan or someone like Clint George (his Aikido background), people would be going to bat for the unnamed sensei, the same people who are attacking him now.

Get thee to thine nearest Logic class.

As pointed out, you have twice committed the logical fallacy of False Analogy.

When you attempt to compare this case with the Clint George case. The two incidents may have similarities, but the point at which you compare them, they are significantly different. EVERYONE who read the thread on Clint George knew the name and perhaps reputation of the accused teacher. Very few, if any, who have read this thread know the name or reputation of the accused teacher. And since your argument hinges on the fact that famous and respected teachers are given a little slack, you have no argument in this case.

Moreover, there are clearly differences between your analogy of a gay teacher making a pass at you and what Tom28 describes. Indeed, the condition of women in our society has improved, but rarely are men oggled, whistled at, or seen as sex objects as women often are. Likewise, for men, gray hair is distinguished and wrinkles add character. Our society may have changed significantly, but on the whole, men still have a good deal compared to women.

RonRagusa
11-19-2008, 09:15 AM
One poster calls for similar harassment laws in the dojo you see in the work place...

Can you point out a reason or two why what constitutes acceptable behavior regarding sexual harassment should be less rigorous in an Aikido dojo than in the workplace?

By the way Buck, from what I have read of the posts in this thread Tom28's description of events is being accepted as accurate axiomatically in order to facilitate a discussion of the specific behavior being described. The fact that real people may or may not be involved is irrelevant.

What I find most troubling however is your contention that because times have supposedly changed (we'll ignore the treatment of women in the middle east just to keep the playing field level), that it's somehow ok for someone in a position of authority to single out a person of a specific gender and treat her/him with less respect than they would the rest of the group. Using the fact that the person so treated is always free to leave the group to justify the behavior and basically ignore the one instituting the behavior is twisting the logic at best.

Ron

john.burn
11-19-2008, 09:23 AM
There's another side to situations such as this. I was involved in a situation (mentioned in another thread in this forum) regarding something which caused me to be ex-communicated from my old club, leaving me with no choice but to start out on my own.

To cut a long story short, an instructor was arrested at my old club for harassment / stalking of another student and they (the club) wanted to brush it under the carpet and refused to speak to me about it (I was perhaps one of about 4 people that were aware of the situation). They were happy for this instructor to still teach adults and children -- and let me make this point clear -- he admitted the charges -- this is not a case of innocent until proven guilty and the case was serious enough for a custodial sentence to be a very real possibility. I had witnessed the stalking first-hand but did not actually realise it was as serious as it was until the Police became involved and entered his house. I was called off the mat one night and told to go and speak to the head of the dojo... I walked out of the dojo that night. There was some attempt at resolution but to be honest, I was told I in no uncertain terms that I would have to apologise for my actions -- the only action I undertook, apart from walking out of the club that night, was to inform the governing body of the situation for which I received personal thanks for approaching them and doing the right thing (they put it to the club that this person should not be allowed to remain teaching or training). I was later allowed back to train without apologising however when I had a meeting with the dojo head and all appeared to be okay for us both to move forward I also mentioned I felt I had to start my own club but still wanted to remain a member or visitor of her club to maintain links with my friends. This was all okay until I got wind of a meeting called in hushed terms about me! I returned home on the day of the meeting to find a hand delivered letter stating I was not welcome to train there any longer and to not darken their door again. In the meeting people were told that should they wish to come and train with me they would have to leave. Thankfully some of the people did leave and did come along to help me out. We refer to them all as ‘the others' now and laugh about it but I came very close to turning away from aikido forever over this.

So, that's the short version! I guess I'm trying to say that doing the right thing can have serious repercussions on all concerned and to this day, no one from my old club is allowed to train with me.

Would I do the same if I had to go through this again or could take time back? Yes.

Joe McParland
11-19-2008, 11:11 AM
By the way Buck, from what I have read of the posts in this thread Tom28's description of events is being accepted as accurate axiomatically in order to facilitate a discussion of the specific behavior being described. The fact that real people may or may not be involved is irrelevant.


... something goes awry here ...


What I find most troubling however is your contention that because times have supposedly changed (we'll ignore the treatment of women in the middle east just to keep the playing field level), that it's somehow ok for someone in a position of authority to single out a person of a specific gender and treat her/him with less respect than they would the rest of the group. Using the fact that the person so treated is always free to leave the group to justify the behavior and basically ignore the one instituting the behavior is twisting the logic at best.


Perhaps we should treat Buck's assertion as axiomatic, presume that he sees the issue clearly, and not challenge him. Does he not deserve that respect?

Perhaps we should treat Mary's assertion as axiomatic, presume that she sees the issue clearly, and not challenge her. Does she not deserve that respect?

Twisting the logic at best?

[Offered with respect.]

Buck
11-19-2008, 11:27 AM
Ron R., I am not going to debate you over your opinion, that would be silly. I will however call your opinion into question if you are making snap judgements, or attacking a person's character based on anything but first hand facts, and experiences. There is alt of assumptions being made about this woman, and her sensei. More heavily damaging I feel is toward the woman who has not addressed this discussion. Why make her out to be an insecure, helpless, female ripe for victimization when we don't know if that is true or not. Is that fair to her? Or our we just making her out to be something she isn't just to push our own views or agenda. Or dislike of someone we may or may not know.

If this sensei has committed a crime, he could be arrested and go to court for it. If this sensei hasn't committed a crime and the description of his behavior is offensive to some here then he hasn't committed a crime. Do we put everyone in jail who offends us? No we don't, some would like that- their really a little nuts. Rather we put them in the worse light possible in the public eye, attacking their character, say the right things to get people worked up into a wild hysteria - mob mentality carrying pitch forks and a hangman's noose- for the court of public opinion. Is this how societies works?

As I said before, you're not hired by a dojo. You hire the dojo, and for any reason you can fire that dojo and stop going. Not every dojo fits everyone. And there isn't one dojo in the world. And if the dojo has criminal activity in it and you are victimized by it, who in the hell would stay around when that happens, who enjoys being victimized over and over again, I don't think anyone. Even if you are uncomfortable or offended you may not want to stay depending on the level. Again you are not married to the sensei or the members/dojo. The dojo doesn't rule your life, or control your life or livelihood. It is a recreational activity, not a job where you are paid, the sensei isn't your boss, you pay for the class with your hard earned money. You can leave anytime for any reason. That gives you the power, both men and women alike. The sex of a person has nothing to do with it, as they both have equal power to equally exercise it in the manner they want. It is both their right equally. :)

Got to get back to work, gotta meet with the boss, being a top exec. she expect people not to be late.

RonRagusa
11-19-2008, 11:48 AM
... something goes awry here ...

Perhaps we should treat Buck's assertion as axiomatic, presume that he sees the issue clearly, and not challenge him. Does he not deserve that respect?

Perhaps we should treat Mary's assertion as axiomatic, presume that she sees the issue clearly, and not challenge her. Does she not deserve that respect?

Twisting the logic at best?

[Offered with respect.]

Joe -

Tom28, being the only person presently posting on this thread who actually witnessed the incident(s), has provided a framework for discussion. His description of the events comprises the framework. If we're going to have any discussion regarding the (Buck please note) behavior being described and its consequences then we must do so within the framework as presented. Tom28's original post is kind of a meta-post in that it is the seed from which the discussion grows. It follows, therefore, that all posts subsequent to the original post are not part of the set of axioms, do not have to accepted at face value and questioning of or rejecting of does not constitute any actual or implied lack of respect for the poster.

Ron

Joe McParland
11-19-2008, 02:20 PM
Joe -

[...]

It follows, therefore, that all posts subsequent to the original post are not part of the set of axioms, do not have to accepted at face value and questioning of or rejecting of does not constitute any actual or implied lack of respect for the poster.


As a mathematician, I'm burdened by the definition of "axiom" and am tempted to challenge what may be false conclusions based upon it ;)

But, it's simpler and more effective to say that while I believe I understand what you are saying, but I do not agree with it. I would hope that in this environment, just like on the mats, we can challenge one another's assumptions as well as the conclusions safely.

Without aligning or not aligning with Buck's argument, I will say we seem to have the following in common: We are both citing Tom28's perception of the events as an integral piece of the puzzle. Buck seems to begin at that point and argue that we cannot draw reasonable conclusions based upon one man's uncorroborated account of events. I am more or less doing the same, perhaps going a little further asking both Tom28 and as well as discussion participants to first check one's assumptions and one's perceptions to see if they are unobstructed.

Let's suppose I start a thread:


Ron is a fool. What should I do?

PS: Please don't post if you disagree with me.


I certainly hope someone would say:


Hey, Joe- I don't know Ron, but do you mind if I ask some questions about why you think he is?


and that I wouldn't respond:


Hey! That's not relevant! I said he's a fool!!! Get back on topic or get off the thread!!!


where "Please don't post if you disagree with me" isn't automatically promoted to an axiom. After all, if we do take Tom28's statements as clear-sighted, indisputable facts, then we must also accept this assessment of his instructor's character---(summarizing) he's a good guy who just gets a little silly around the women---and strike anyone's challenge of that point. That is, the instructor is not harassing anyone, victimizing anyone, or doing anything that commentators have brought to the table. If you have stated, or have thought to have stated, to Tom28 something similar to "How can you be blind to it!" then you have violated his framework.

When people are honest with regard to what they really know, what they think they know, and especially with what they do not know, a lot of fog clears up and you can determine how to act.

I'm guilty of carrying a banner here, too, by the way. Mine isn't women's rights, men's rights, victim's rights, or even victimizer's rights or the like. Mine says, "See clearly." Call it a meta-banner. ;) I try to look at things like this clearly and I do often fail, but with practice (aikido and others) I believe I'm improving. By the way, I try to participate making sure I am seeing clearly without carrying the "See clearly" banner itself, but sometimes fail there, too. :)

Buck
11-19-2008, 04:21 PM
Ron R.,

Tom28 said, "My sensei IS a good guy. He's not a bully in my opinion at all. He's jut one of those guys who at inappropriate around women and doesn't realize what he's saying is too much/too far. Some guys just turn into different people near women, we all work with guys like that.

My goal is to create a balanced training environment where everyone is happy, enjoying their training and lastly attracting new students for me to learn from. His actions are alienating half the population and pissing off the other half. Know what I mean?"

As we see the real issue isn't about women being treated poorly in the middle east by men. Or that all male sensei's are sexist criminals victimizing all their women that walk through their dojos that this sensei is suppose to represent.

The true issue is Tom28 want to create a dojo where everyone is happy, and new students are attracted. Where the sensei's isn't pissing people off with his behavior, despite him being a good guy except his preferred manner with trying to pick up a couple women in the dojo. So really, whose dojo is it? Tom28's or the sensei.

Good question here is does Tom28 who had to stop going to the dojo for a while because he was busy has the right to take over another person's dojo, and change it to what he feels it should be? And not by a women who is being victimized by a sensei where others on the net condemning him as a predatory male sexist animal. Thus, harassment laws should be in place to protect a helpless women (not girl) from all males who are thus monster sexist predators because he doesn't say the right thing to the right woman. Because all women are oppressed and helpless and are without any of their rights, and need others to rush to their aid. This should bother you that is the real issue being buried in favor of this situation twisted into a flagship that attacks and condemns all men. It bothers me, on many levels.

Buck
11-19-2008, 04:34 PM
I think it's time for you to look for another school. Honestly tell your instructor why you are leaving. And honestly tell your friend that you have warned her enough, and that you can do no more for her. She's an adult, and responsible for her choice. Wish her luck, and leave.

I think this is the best advice so far.

Mary Eastland
11-19-2008, 04:36 PM
This has been a very educational thread.
Personally I don't like being called a girl..I am 51. I have 3 offspring. My girl days are done...actually a crone is more accurate.
When I used to teach self-defense it was interesting to hear men's perspectives and women perspectives about the same things. Some men excuse inappropiate behavior.
Joe ...zenish or not...I don't see why you need to be mean.

Phil and Buck you could be right...
Mary

Buck
11-19-2008, 04:53 PM
OFT for a moment. Then back on topic.

Mary,

umm...what where the women's excuses back then? When I was a part of a women's self defense class the interest was low and not many women where interested. It was headed by a women and flopped. Not because of the quality of the class or the instructor, but because of lack of participation. When polled many women didn't feel the need or have the interest in the activity. If you offered women two things for free a self defense class or a free classes to the currently hottest gym exercise class for women like Zumba or Pliates, what do you think most women would choose? What do you think most women would choose a free all women Aikido class or a Pliates class (of course a male or two in it)?

I think we really need to move on to the issues of does a unhappy student has the right to change the dojo if he or she is unhappy with the sensei and how the sensei runs things. Can students mutany?

Joe McParland
11-19-2008, 05:08 PM
Joe ...zenish or not...I don't see why you need to be mean.


Mary, you have my absolute apologies if I was mean. Although I do try to ensure that anything I say here---which may happen in the spirit of deep irimi with atemi and kiai---is in the spirit of mutual respect, I'm not above error. As I noted to you privately earlier in this thread, if you ever have a doubt regarding my meaning or intent, please let me know and I will be happy to explain. :)

Voitokas
11-19-2008, 05:57 PM
I think we really need to move on to the issues of does a unhappy student have the right to change the dojo if he or she is unhappy with the sensei and how the sensei runs things. Can students mutiny?

That is an interesting question, and one that probably deserves its own thread. How accountable is a teacher to that teacher's students and their perception of the sensei's teaching methods and personality?

And assumptions about sex and gender of teachers and students would also be a really interesting thread - it's something I think about often, not because I've seen victims or monsters or pitchfork-waving peasants; rather, because I think that I have seen signs of both female and male aikidoka sometimes discounting the value of a female teacher's aikido, or being more reluctant to work with a female rather than male aikidoka of unknown skill at a seminar.

While these two themes certainly inform the discussion of the main topic of this thread (more than I had thought at the beginning!), I'm not sure that they are the main points. From my reading, anyway, it seems like the main questions are: how can one gauge the impropriety of an instructor's behaviour; with whom does the responsibility for addressing this behaviour lie and how should it be done; how much and in what ways is it okay for one student to interpose themselves in another student's problems with a dojo, dojocho, or instructor, and finally, I guess, when do you leave a dojo where you feel uncomfortable if there is no alternative place to practise?

Those other threads would be good, too, though.... maybe I'll start one...:)

Buck
11-19-2008, 06:51 PM
Tom28 said,
My goal is to create a balanced training environment where everyone is happy, enjoying their training and lastly attracting new students for me to learn from. His actions are alienating half the population and pissing off the other half. Know what I mean?"


From reading what Tom28 said, to me it says that Tom28 is unhappy with one aspect of his sensei's behavior. Therefore, Tom28's goal is to change the dojo into what he feels is best. For me, I see that this is the real issue and what to focus on in the thread, does Tom28 (or anyone) have the right to achieve his goal for the dojo? I was being funny using the word mutiny, guess I should have used a smiley..opps.

Sorry for the confusion. I am glad though something positive did come from it. :)

Voitokas
11-19-2008, 10:02 PM
From reading what Tom28 said, to me it says that Tom28 is unhappy with one aspect of his sensei's behavior. Therefore, Tom28's goal is to change the dojo into what he feels is best. For me, I see that this is the real issue and what to focus on in the thread, does Tom28 (or anyone) have the right to achieve his goal for the dojo?... :)
I see what you mean...that's a weird issue. On one hand it could be something (to use egregious examples) like "OMG I hate all that bowing and Japanese language", and we'd probably all agree that the member trying to change the dojo is way out of line. But on the other hand it could be something like "wow that's the third time this year year sensei broke someone's arm because they weren't being responsive enough uke", and most of us might think that that sort of thing should change. So much behaviour is not so obvious though, and, as you rightly point out, may or may not be in the eye of the beholder.

I think that a member of even so starkly hierarchical an organization as a dojo has a right to agitate for a change that they feel strongly about. What if, for example, your sensei is Japanese, and makes it clear that he expects the female students to keep the dojo tidy and launder his gi. I would feel comfortable confronting him about that. I wouldn't be weird about it, or leave in a huff right away, but if he were unable to change his attitude about that I would leave eventually after trying to change the dojo.

To return to Tom28's problem, if he truly believes (and it's certainly his duty to be certain and not to jump to hasty conclusions) that the instructor is acting outside of the boundaries of good behaviour, I would support his right to try to change the culture of the dojo. If he is totally wrong about the situation, he'll leave and nothing will change. If not, then maybe others will agree with him and the dojo will try to change (or split, like John Burn's situation).

Tom28
11-20-2008, 07:17 AM
Good question here is does Tom28 who had to stop going to the dojo for a while because he was busy has the right to take over another person's dojo, and change it to what he feels it should be? And not by a women who is being victimized by a sensei where others on the net condemning him as a predatory male sexist animal. Thus, harassment laws should be in place to protect a helpless women (not girl) from all males who are thus monster sexist predators because he doesn't say the right thing to the right woman. Because all women are oppressed and helpless and are without any of their rights, and need others to rush to their aid. This should bother you that is the real issue being buried in favor of this situation twisted into a flagship that attacks and condemns all men. It bothers me, on many levels.

Philip,

Sometimes a shovel is a shovel. He acts rudely towards women, it happens. Probably a lot.
The less number of students the school has the less number of people I can train with and learn Aikido from.
If something happens and a school gets shut down I stop training Aikido.
That's selfish of me but it's one of the reasons I'm sticking my nose into it.
As I mentioned in other posts I also feel guilty for not stopping it when it happened to my other friend, I feel bad that other students are subjected to it and I feel bad my friend is now in that position.

I don't think I want to take over the dojo. Do I want the dojo to be the best possible place it can be? Of course.

And regardless of where it happens harassment is wrong. If someone was being harassed on here by a Mod say and I found out about it would I get involved and do what I can to stop it? (even if it's just informing another mod) Yes I would. I'm not trying to take over the forum- when you see something that's wrong however you fix it. That's all.

Sidebar. I take it you are Mary have a disagreement stemming from another thread?

Buck
11-20-2008, 05:47 PM
Tom28,

I guess you might feel that my sterile posts about what I called your "issue" about wanting to change your dojo as being impersonal, or unsensitive. When looking at things without judgement sometimes it comes off that way. If you feel am judging or attacking you am not. I think often times the core of an issue can be mis-read, twisted, etc. and we lose sight of what really is the issue which you said was your goal. I think your goal would be a very interesting discussion too.

Harassment is not nice, but it is not illegal unless it happens in the work place. Confusing that is also wrong which some people are doing in this thread to support their own personal agenda (for lack of a better word). Because it gets people off the subject and all worked up grabbing pitch forks and that is very wrong.

I think the other issue here is that you are disturbed by your sensei's behavior toward your friend. That is your right. And you want to change that. But the sensei isn't trying to pick you up with lines that some people find offensive. I agree you don't have to like the style of the sensei and it would turn allot of people away form the dojo including me if I witnessed it. But that is the sensei's personality defect problem that he has to figure out and work it out for himself. Isn't a benefit of Aikido character building?

I sometimes think about new students who come to the class with all their personal baggage, personality issues, stress, preconceived ideas, expectations, etc. thinking Aikido fix all that or fulfill all that. I know I did. :)

RonRagusa
11-20-2008, 07:48 PM
Harassment is not nice, but it is not illegal unless it happens in the work place.

As far as criminal law is concerned sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace as Buck noted. It is also illegal in public schools (I'm not sure about private schools). While criminal law doesn't seem to to be applicable to the situation brought up by Tom28, civil tort law does have possible application in that the person(s) being harassed may be able to sue the school's owner(s) and/or the instructor under battery or assault tort definitions. (Links below)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_(tort)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_(tort)

For a detailed discussion of how tort law may be applied to cases of sexual harassment not related to the workplace or school, see "Sex, Women and the Law" by Rosemarie Tong.

A lawsuit of this nature can, if successful, put a thriving dojo out of business thereby depriving all students the ability to learn and train.

Buck, it seems that you are suggesting that:

A. The female students who are being subjected to this unwanted attention should, since (as you have noted repeatedly) times have changed, either suck up and live with it or leave, and

B. Other students such as Tom28 should stay out of it and let the sensei work out his "personality defect problem" for himself.

Far from encouraging the sensei to examine his "personality defect problem", this enabling behavior will most likely guarantee that the behavior will continue thereby putting the dojo at risk of what could turn out to be a crippling lawsuit.

FWIW

Ron

Buck
11-20-2008, 10:32 PM
As far as criminal law is concerned sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace as Buck noted. It is also illegal in public schools (I'm not sure about private schools). While criminal law doesn't seem to to be applicable to the situation brought up by Tom28, civil tort law does have possible application in that the person(s) being harassed may be able to sue the school's owner(s) and/or the instructor under battery or assault tort definitions.

For a detailed discussion of how tort law may be applied to cases of sexual harassment not related to the workplace or school, see "Sex, Women and the Law" by Rosemarie Tong.

A lawsuit of this nature can, if successful, put a thriving dojo out of business thereby depriving all students the ability to learn and train.

Ron, I am no lawyer by far. And I am not familar with the law in the terms you discribed beyond the work place. So does a dojo really consitute as a public school- the kind that teaches kids funded by tax dollars that is a place of employment school? I would find it interesting to know if the sensei hired people to teach, and where would that put the dojo? Or does the dojo provide a service, and the members are looked at as consumers? What contract was signed if any. What was said by the sensei bad enough for the court to look at the case? What about in a bar or night club can people sue for battery because of up-front pick up lines? Boy oh boy, too many questions triggered in my head to keep going on.

Ron, I notice you used the words "possible applications, may be able to sue, may be applied to." I have a feeling tort battery cases for sexual battery as outlined by Tom28 isn't set in stone. Can you point me to any cases where tort battery charges apply to this situation? Mrs. Tong, I looked at her bio, I didn't see any place that said she was a lawyer, I was hoping to read any battery cases she tried. Can you point me to any?

Ron if your a lawyer, could you educate me on cases of sexual battery (tort) similar to what this sensei is being accused of? Or has closed down a dojo. Cause I don't know the law like I said, and I willing to learn. I don't want to let people think I know the law when I don't. I am not interested in being a fraud, or speak out of my south end. I am looking forward to being educated. :)


Buck, it seems that you are suggesting that:

A. The female students who are being subjected to this unwanted attention should, since (as you have noted repeatedly) times have changed, either suck up and live with it or leave, and

B. Other students such as Tom28 should stay out of it and let the sensei work out his "personality defect problem" for himself.

Far from encouraging the sensei to examine his "personality defect problem", this enabling behavior will most likely guarantee that the behavior will continue thereby putting the dojo at risk of what could turn out to be a crippling lawsuit.

FWIW

Ron

Ron,
The answers to your questions A and B are both, "nope."

As far a your last comment. Eckhart Tolle talks about it, let me quote him from his book The Power of Now, "The psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger. It comes in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread, phobia, and so on. This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now."

"Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are cause by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence"

Good stuff don't you agree?

RonRagusa
11-21-2008, 06:15 AM
Ron, I am no lawyer by far. And I am not familar with the law in the terms you discribed beyond the work place. So does a dojo really consitute as a public school- the kind that teaches kids funded by tax dollars that is a place of employment school? I would find it interesting to know if the sensei hired people to teach, and where would that put the dojo? Or does the dojo provide a service, and the members are looked at as consumers? What contract was signed if any. What was said by the sensei bad enough for the court to look at the case? What about in a bar or night club can people sue for battery because of up-front pick up lines? Boy oh boy, too many questions triggered in my head to keep going on.

I'm not a lawyer and won't attempt to answer your questions other than to say that in this litigation happy country why take the chance and put your operation at risk by engaging in behavior that is unasked for and unwanted by the receipient?

Ron, I notice you used the words "possible applications, may be able to sue, may be applied to."

In my previous post I use the qualifiers because I am considering possible consequences of behaviour that could be construed as sexual harassment and therefore may fall under the jurisdiction of civil tort statutes.

Ron,
The answers to your questions A and B are both, "nope."

You wrote:
She is free to leave the class when it ends, and has the freedom not to ever come back.

and

She can walk away. She has the power to walk if she feels the situation isn't a good one.

and

I think the other issue here is that you are disturbed by your sensei's behavior toward your friend. That is your right. And you want to change that. But the sensei isn't trying to pick you up with lines that some people find offensive. I agree you don't have to like the style of the sensei and it would turn allot of people away form the dojo including me if I witnessed it. But that is the sensei's personality defect problem that he has to figure out and work it out for himself. Isn't a benefit of Aikido character building?

Buck
11-21-2008, 07:12 AM
You are right, we are a sue happy country. Despite that the women should sue, but suing someone takes lots of time, money and effort over something that might fall under tort battery? Do you really think he would lose his dojo over some pick-up lines that might be or possibly be seen as a tort sexual battery case? Battery isn't a grave offense. I don't see a court awarding great amount of damages in favor of the women over this. Wouldn't it be easier just to leave and go somewhere else if it was an issue?

Tom28 is disturbed by how he sees the situation of the sensei's approach to his female friend and other women who enter the dojo. He may see it as a sexist thing that was said, but the women is still going to the dojo. Maybe she isn't insulted by the Sensei and treats it like a joke. I don't know. But she still or still continued with the dojo past the first occurence, and I say good for her. A strong contemporary women who isn't threatened or intimidated by pick-up lines Tom28 found offensive. :)

Buck
11-21-2008, 07:36 AM
Don't get me wrong, Ron. I think it is ok for Tom28 to see the situation as he does, to be offended. He has to work that out himself, come to terms with it, take the necessary action he feels is right.

My advice to him would be, if he isn't shy or not on good terms with the sensei, to bring it up to the attention of the sensei over a beer. Tom28 feels the sensei is good guy, except for what Tom28 feels is one personality defect of the sensei. :)

Mary Eastland
11-21-2008, 07:39 AM
He's always calling her pretty, beautiful, georgeous making comments like you're a girl you should be able to roll up off your back better. You're a girl you should be able to spread your legs more!

Pick up lines?




Mary

Buck
11-21-2008, 08:14 AM
Mary, your right. I am assuming they are pick up lines. I really can't say that, I am judging the meaning of the words out of context. I wasn't there to here the words come out the of the sensei's mouth in a complete accurate context, no was I there to see the women's reaction. Or who the women is or the sensei. The words are given to us by Tom28.

I know in some places with some people of contemporary culture in the US that would be an ineffective female pickup line. If it were to be effective on such females, it would have to be much more sexually explicit and up front. Which by some people's standards would be very offensive and insulting and sexually harassing.

But not all people today have the same standards of what is sexually acceptable and what isn't in the US in society (of course there are standards now in the work place). Just as the sexual revolution of the 60's changed how we look at the interaction between men and women (sexual freedoms, both in words, and actions, i.e. in the way men and women approach each other verbally and physically, terms like free love, orgies in public, sex before marriage, multiple partners, etc.) offended a whole older generation of people in the same way. What you quoted that was said by the sensei, to some women would not be sexual enough to pique their interest. Others, may laugh it off, others may be offended. Others may not care. We are talking about the current times.

I don't know. I wasn't there, I didn't hear it in context, or was there to see the women's reaction, or her personality, or age. I don't know if this was all said in one breath or at different times in different places in different conversations. Honestly, by today's standards of offensive language, its mild. I hear worse every day in music, and in the clubs. If the women is offended she has the right to tell him off, walk out, or any other legal reaction she chooses.

Again this is Tom28's concern, how he seen things, and how it bothered him. :)

Buck
11-21-2008, 08:57 AM
More examples of the wide range of what is offensive and what isn't to some and not to others. There are countless TV shows and movies too like the very popular "Sex in the City." and others. Watch MTV, VH1, and their reality programs, commercials, sports figures, celebrities. etc, and listen to contemporary music and videos. Heck go to a contemporary club of 20-30's year old go. etc. The envelop has been pushed to the edge to its limits for decades.

Not all women have the same standard or level of what each individual considers sexually offensive language from both women and men. What someone finds offensive (outside the work place) is based on upbringing, culture, background, personality, experience, religion, etc. We just can't assume all the way round. All we know is what Tom28 sees it as and feels about it.

Buck
11-21-2008, 09:12 AM
Ron,

Speaking of the law, is there enough against the sensei for the women to file a restraining order against him?

Buck
11-23-2008, 03:20 AM
Buck, it seems that you are suggesting that:

A. The female students who are being subjected to this unwanted attention should, since (as you have noted repeatedly) times have changed, either suck up and live with it or leave, and

B. Other students such as Tom28 should stay out of it and let the sensei work out his "personality defect problem" for himself.

Ron

More directly Ron, to answer:

A. If offended or feeling harassed leave. Don't stay there thinking it will go away or the sensei will change.

B. When I said "personality defect problem," it meant he will not change overnight if at all. Think of it as he has the problem he has to deal with.

Not all women think or respond alike. Can't stereotype women or pigeon hole them in how they will react to such a sensei. It is a case by case thing, each women is different and will handle it differently. You got to give the women credit for being an individual and dealing with the situation as an individual on her own terms.

Tom28, sees what he feels is a problem, it is a problem for him. It makes him uncomfortable and he worries. He knows what he has to do and the choices he has to make.

The most frequent and most given in shear responses as advice given here in this forum and other spots is when situation like this one where there is a conflict or relationship issues in the dojo that are not easily resolved the advice is to "leave the dojo" more often then not. I am in lock-step with that advice as being the best advice, thus the solution to this women's problem.

Ron Tisdale
11-24-2008, 08:13 AM
If there is any touching involved, and that touching is unasked for, or explicitly refused, continued touching could most certainly be seen as assault, sexual or otherwise.

Best,
Ron

Mary Eastland
11-24-2008, 11:03 AM
You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

Isn't this a good quote?!?
Mary

Buck
11-24-2008, 10:39 PM
You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

Mary

I guess Jane never heard of Mary. That is Queen "Bloody" Mary I Tudor of England. :)

And that is exactly the thing that the thread shouldn't be about. :)

By filtering out sex from the situation being discussed, you are removing the sexism. When you do that, that is when the true discussion starts. :)

RonRagusa
11-25-2008, 05:41 AM
When you do that, that is when the true discussion starts. :)

When you do that you deftly avoid what began the discussion in the first place. ;)

Ron

Mary Eastland
11-25-2008, 06:44 AM
The thread is about institutional sexism using an example at a specific dojo. Your attempts to make it personal by labeling me because I do not agree with you will not change that any more than your denying the systematic abuse of women.

Yes... Buck, I am a feminist...It is nothing to be afraid of. If the women who have fought and suffered for women's rights had not gone before us woman would still not be voting.

I am very sorry you have been victimized...I know it happens to men as well as woman. If you would read my posts you would understand that I am a humanist...I am interested in all human beings living in peace and safety.

Your issues are on on your sleeve....please let go of your victimization by me. It is not real.
Thanks,
Mary

Tom28
11-25-2008, 07:41 AM
Buck I have to side with Mary on this. You come across like you have a personal issue with Mary and let it bleed into the tone and content of your posts. Almost like you were trying to pick a fight?

I'll be receiving an email with my friends perspective and thoughts which I will post here in a day or two when it arrives.

You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

Isn't this a good quote?!?
Mary

Yes it is. You can be Pro male, pro white, pro single father without having to view someone negatively.

By filtering out sex from the situation being discussed, you are removing the sexism. When you do that, that is when the true discussion starts.

Would his behavior be considered worse if he was placing negative attention on someone for being overweight, slow, visible minority?

Would a comment such as
'But you're black. You should be used to people grabbing your wrist and restraining you' be viewed as just a joke. Would it be any less offensive than comments on a girls sexuality?

akiy
11-25-2008, 09:29 AM
Hi folks,

We're venturing onto some sensitive issues here. Please take care in what and how you write by keeping your discussion civil, and please take care to relate what you are writing about aikido and the original topic. If you wish to discuss more general issues outside of aikido, please do so in the Open Discussion forum.

Thank you,

-- Jun

RonRagusa
11-25-2008, 12:35 PM
I think the central issue here is whether a student who joins an Aikido dojo has a reasonable expectation of being treated with respect by the instructor(s) regardless of the students' gender, race, religion etc.

IMO the answer is an unqualified yes.

Is the Aikido instructor held to a very high standard of personal conduct with respect to his/her students?

Again, I'd say yes with no qualifications.

In the case where the instructor engages in questionable conduct towards a particular student or group of students and there is no higher authority within the dojo to appeal to; is it both the right and the responsibility of the group to call the instructor to task and ask for a change in the instructor's behavior?

Once again I say yes, although the actual method for doing so may be difficult to arrive at.

Referring to the situation that occurred at Tom28's dojo, giving the instructor the benefit of the doubt and realizing that in the minds of some that times and therefore gender relationships have changed and gotten more liberal and less politically correct, pickup lines on the mat during class still qualify as unacceptable behavior for an Aikido instructor. The proper venue for establishing a personal relationship with a student is off the mat.

Ron

Buck
11-26-2008, 12:26 AM
I think the central issue here is whether a student who joins an Aikido dojo has a reasonable expectation of being treated with respect by the instructor(s) regardless of the students' gender, race, religion etc.

IMO the answer is an unqualified yes.


Ron, your 100% on target with what I am getting at on what this thread should be discussing in being a broader scope of a discussion. In that way it is not limited by, but deals completely with the whole issue. If you pull weeds from your garden you grab the whole plant and pull up the roots.


Is the Aikido instructor held to a very high standard of personal conduct with respect to his/her students?


We would hope so. We should hold everyone in Aikido to a higher standard. Problem is that not everyone has the same idea on what is said to be a higher standard of personal conduct. And a very higher standard of personal conduct is an unattainable idea. Sensei's aren't saints.

I remember my first year or so in Aikido, I put the sensei on a pedestal based on all the romantics surrounding Aikido I heard and created. On top of that the persona of O'sensei and his views being the model for every sensei, he set the ideal. As time went on and all my notions of what an Aikido sensei should be fell away the better I got to know the senseis. I realized the perpetuated stereotype of that wise, all knowing, introspective, moral sensei wasn't true. The ideal was shattered by reality. It was an unrealistic ideal because people are human. Humans, who pass skill tests earning rank of shodan who then can be a sensei. There are no tests or training of high personal conduct or the insurance that personal conduct will always be at a higher standard. And authority/power is very seducing, easily abused and not everyone can handle it, as there are so many examples. I realized that the title of sensei isn't synonymous with saint.

And along with the romantic ideal of Aikido the sensei being saints, there is also an unrealistic belief that Aikido the dojo is a utopia. For the same reasons I mentioned and more the ideal that the dojo is a utopia is very unrealistic.

Do our expectations of high personal conduct match-up to the reality that people can't measure up to that? Well at least we should expect something more realistic out of the sensei, right? We should expect the sensei should be respectful, law abiding, and of good character; generally a good honest person who respects others. There are those invisible unspoken rules that are expectations of a sensei that are not universal to all. But here again there are no training in these standards or guarantees of behavior. This makes it very difficult to navigate and no one should assume anyone's behavior or what they are capable of. As the old saying goes, you never really know someone, or what they are capable of doing. I think expectations of behavior can be a very dangerous thing, like in the Clint George case.

First off, do students have a right to hold an intervention and does it really work. Is this notion realistic or an unrealistic ideal? I remember someone saying a dojo is a dictatorship not a democracy. I find this to be true. Then there is what John Burn talked about in his post where his Aikido club turned on him because he did do the right thing, being the whistle-blower

The abuse of authority/power being the real issue here, whether it take form of prejudice, favoritism, sexism, harassment, abuse, unfairness, etc. Power seduces and can lead to all kinds and levels of abuse and an Aikido sensei isn't immune no matter what are expectations are. For a contemporary example of this it would be Clint George.

Then if an intervention takes place is it realistic to thing a person will change? Especially when that person is in a position of authority and power? More so when the dojo is his place and where he has the freedom to exercise himself as he pleases, as long as he doesn't break the law. If the sensei is caught breaking the law, no intervention then is needed. But the sensei hasn't broken the law, as it is our understanding, and it is an issue of the sensei's personality. A personality that Tom28 feels is disrespectful to someone else. Yet another poster felt the sensei may have a poor understanding of his behavior and his intention isn't disrespectful. I interpret what Tom28 quoted the sensei saying as bad pick-up lines out of the 70's. I wonder if the whole dojo is in agreement with how Tom28 sees the situation. If the dojo as a whole felt as Tom28 did why haven't they already intervened? Therefore, would an intervention be successful? An intervention (which I jokingly called a mutiny) is a complex and difficult affair. And does that right to intervene really exist in a dojo where the sensei is boss, leader, etc. There are a matrix variables and outcomes because we dealing with human behavior and trying to change it where the person at the center of all this doesn't see anything wrong with his own behavior. If it was easy to get people to change we would have less people in our prisons. And companies would have us working for nothing. Or employees of a company would be making as much as the CEO. I don't think intervention is this situation is realistic or would be effective. And this just occurred to me


Referring to the situation that occurred at Tom28's dojo, giving the instructor the benefit of the doubt and realizing that in the minds of some that times and therefore gender relationships have changed and gotten more liberal and less politically correct, pickup lines on the mat during class still qualify as unacceptable behavior for an Aikido instructor. The proper venue for establishing a personal relationship with a student is off the mat.


Not everyone holds the same standards for a sensei. You may feel it is acceptable for a sensei to be divorced, I may not. You may feel a sensei shouldn't ever drink, I may not. You may feel a sensei has no business inquiring (what ever the style maybe) for a personal relationship. I may say it is fine. We may even disagree if a law is broken and should the sensei go to jail. Or even if we agree there is guilt we disagree on the punishment. We may even disagree what is acceptable behavior and language of a sensei and what isn't. We may disagree whether or not Tom28 has any business posting this situation publicly on the net about what happen to someone else. The woman may feel it is an equal or not greater disrespectful thing to do. It would be ideal if sensei where saints. I would glad if that where the case, but it isn't.

I think no matter how hard we try and no matter how deeply we believe, we can't expect people to act the way the should. We hold them up on pedestals and expect high standards of personal conduct; we should be prepared for the disappointing reality that will come. I think that is what has happened with Tom28. He sees for the first time his expectations of his sensei not being met based on what he observed and was told about his sensei's behavior. For the first time Tom28 sees his sensei's human side and it was upsetting. He had told his woman friend before she started the he heard things about his sensei's alleged behavior; Tom28 didn't really want to believe that his sensei was like that. It upset Tom28 that his sensei was not meeting up to his standards of how a sensei should act. That it is unacceptable for a sensei to talk to a woman as he did. That is was disrespectful in his mind. We may expect our senseis to act at level of professionalism that is the same as what is expected in the work place. I agree it would be nice. But the dojo isn't a work place. Anita Hill wasn't in the dojo of Clarence Thomas. Clarence Thomas wasn't being appointed as sensei in a conservative political atmosphere dominated national politics.

What is the answer, well for you Ron it is one thing, and rightly so. I feel the answer for me is people have a lot of power, but they give that up to those they feel will lead them or teach them. I feel every sensei has a right to behave in their dojo as the wish as long as it isn't breaking the law. If a sensei wishes to be rude, crude, or insulting on the mat that is their right. But it is also the right of the students to leave if they are insulted etc. To render a sensei powerless there is no greater weapon then the sensei's students never coming back. If there are those who stay that is the exact place they belong.

There is no formal higher authority to rule over all the senseis monitoring and policing their behavior. I want that ideal that sainthood to exist. But it doesn't. Therefore, each student has the power if they choose to leave a dojo if they feel wronged, insulted, uncomfortable, etc, and that is very powerful and should not be overlooked, or diminshed. The worse thing to do is to take that power and have an unwritten rule that it's ok to walk out, but rather change the sensei's behavior. That is my suggestion for Tom28, to speak his mind and walk out under protest, rather then thinking of intervention that will more have little if any effect. Because, he really isn't going to be happy there at that dojo because of his views and under those circumstances. Should he take his female friend with him when he goes, no because it is her choose to stay or go, just as it was her choose and decision to stay at the dojo for what ever reason. That is her power, her right if she feels wronged. This is the issue. It should not be turned into anything else. That is my point. :)

Tom28
11-26-2008, 08:23 AM
Forwarded.
Seems the issue is on it's way to sorting itself out.

hey ... here is the email you have been waiting for ...

ok .. so when I thought of joining Aikido I was told that the sensei was a bit friendly with women. I was given examples of things he said and did in the past to a pevious female student. I decided to join anyways since I had always wanted to join a martial art and Aikido seemed best suited to what I was looking for. I was warned of how he was ... Of course it's not right and is not acceptable .... but it happens. It is about what one can tolerate.

At first, he used comments like "hey sexy!" or "hey beautiful!" which is no big deal. I must add here that I also have a part time job with a crew of mostly men ... therefore comments like these were not new to me. When the comments started, they were simple comments or one-liners. I saw no harm in them. Later, he would say these comments in class but also make them a bit more personal. Sometimes other students would laugh along, but most of the time they said nothing (they really are nice students to train with, and I know they were not laughing at me ... I laughed and passed a lighthearted "buzz off" message so they laughed about it... laughed to lighten the akward situation) The sensei would ask me (for example) to grab his arm ... I said something like "how do you want me to grab you ... which hand?" he would say "you can grab me anyway you want ... I dream of you saying that!" as a response, I would laugh it off and add "not gonna happen!!".

Another time, when practicing how to roll ... he would ask me to bend over so he could show me how to position my body ... but say it in more of a "bend over!!" tone and add a comment like "I always wanted to say that" ... I would respond with "Hey now ... none of that!". I tried to keep the tone light and friendly because I honestly didn't want to embarass him in front of other students ... I thought that reponding with humour would lighten the akward situation and he would still hear me say that "that was not cool". My goal was to get my point accross in as simple a way as possible that did not involve anyone being insulted or made to feel bad.

There are other things as well ... all within the same degree .... I have no doubt in my mind that if I even showed any interest or reciprocation (in sex or a relationship) he would make more advances. At one point during Aikido I was hesitating to roll (cause it is intimidating to feel like you are launching your body in the air with little to no control) and he tapped my bum and said "go" ... as a response after the tap I said ... "easy now ... no touching!". He has not done that again. Some of the comments were more rude but they do not need repeating use your imagination. You know most of them.

You may be wondering why I have not approached him and talked to him. I had plans to talk to him about everything but within the last week his behaviour as such has changed. He has stopped being "sexual" and is simply complementing (using phrases such as "good evening beautiful")... and nothing more or worst.

You may also be wondering why I have not quit Aikido and avoided the whole situation. The comments and such happened often enough, but never enough to force me to quit. To me, I am a woman in a sport that is predominantly male dominated. If I quit, I feel like I have given up ... like I let him win!! I needed to show that I could take care of myself. You need to understand that I have never quit or let myself be intimidated by anyone .. and I sure as hell was not gonna start now.

Hope that helps you summarize ... please do not include any names or hints or indications as to who I am ... i... I trust you. If anyone has any comments on this issue I would like to hear what they have to say (good or bad) .... because after all, it is about me.

Let me know if you need more examples or if this is good ... I had to stop typing cause I need to get ready for Aikido soon :) ttys ... please write back so I know you got this message ... I really don;t need it in the wrong hands ...

ttyl

Voitokas
11-26-2008, 01:53 PM
Sounds like she doesn't need your advice after all, Tom28 :) ...just the same moral support that one wants from any friend. It's a shame that our society is still such that your friend takes a certain level of objectification for granted :(, and I'm still disappointed in the other students for not saying anything - but then again, it sounds like somebody probably did say something. I hope your friend becomes more comfortable in the dojo and that the sensei becomes a better person for having her there,
voitokas

Tom28
11-26-2008, 08:37 PM
- but then again, it sounds like somebody probably did say something.

Seems that way :)

Buck
11-27-2008, 09:41 AM
I hope your friend becomes more comfortable in the dojo and that the sensei becomes a better person for having her there,
voitokas


I am sure that will happen. And they will become close fast friends really soon because of it. Congratulations to both of them! It sounds to me all this was, well...just an affair of the heart. :) :)

Mark Jakabcsin
11-27-2008, 10:07 PM
I keep pressuring my friend to confront him but she keep coming up with excuses not to. I know she's becoming upset about it but she seems to think that she can just avoid it and it will stop or she's convinced that one of these days she's going to confront him.



Sorry I have not read the entire thread, hence you have hopefully received this advice already.

Stop being a coward and talk to the teacher. You OWE it to him AND to the women YOU have brought to the class.

Just incase you cannot see how you are a coward read your post above. YOU are PRESSURING HER to take action. Get real and grow a pair. She is there because of YOU. At a minimum you should stop bringing potential victims to this class, otherwise you are an enabler and cohort. While that might sound harsh, it is based on the history YOU outlined.

Take responsibilty for your actions.....if you haven't already (I haven't read the entire thread nor do I intend to waste my time doing so). Be a man. Heck be a good HUman.

Mark J.

PS. Sorry for the strong respone but the posters lack of action and shift of accountability disturbs me as much as the teachers.

Tom28
11-28-2008, 04:06 AM
Sorry I have not read the entire thread, hence you have hopefully received this advice already.

Stop being a coward ..

I got about this far and stopped reading your post.

Jumping into a discussion admitting that you have not read the entire thread seems a little quick on the draw, am I wrong?

If you want to contribute may I suggest you do what the rest of the posters here have done? Take time to read the entire thread and what others have contributed. It sounds like you read my first post then hammered the reply button.
If you posted something asking for help I would respect you enough to make myself better aware of the entire issue before commenting.

Mister Dude
11-28-2008, 08:36 AM
I once got slapped on the ass by a co-worker. I found it unconfortable, but I did nothing. I'd been working with her a while, it only happened once and it seemed more like an humoristic attemt than anything sexist. So I just ignored it.

Wonder how I've reacted if she was some evil biatch that actully enjoyed stuff like that and did it alot. I might have just told her to stop myself. If I couldn't I'd pretend it was no big deal at all. It's a defense mecanism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_mechanisms#Categorization_of_Defence_Mechanisms). If anybody asked me about it I'd most likely just say it's no big deal. It's a natural reaction. If somebody just made it stop it would be great.

If the guy is such a great guy I don't see the problem about bringing it to his attention. You don't like his behavior, be honest about it.

Buck
11-28-2008, 09:54 AM
Whoa....Mr. Mark Jakabcsin! I don't think there is a need to get up into Tom28's face like that. You are out of line with your post. You could have gotten your point across without call him a coward etc. :disgust:

RonRagusa
11-28-2008, 10:02 AM
I find your words and tone very offensive, dated, rude, insensitive, sexist, etc. You do a huge amount of injustice and harm to women with what you say and your opinions. Please rethink how you see women. They are not damned to being victims, and are the weaker sex etc. Things have changed. Just because you run into one bully situation (male or female) in the dojo doesn't make it a global crisis. Please think about what you said, it is really as offensive as the situation Tom28 in which you find just as offensive. Please don't stereotype all men as "Good O'l Boy behavior." And that all men see women as objects and targets for violence. All men are not predators, criminals, monsters out to harm women. . :mad:

Whoa....Mr. Mark Jakabcsin! I don't think there is a need to get up into Tom28's face like that. You are out of line with your post. You could have gotten your point across without call him a coward etc. :disgust:

Hmmm...

Ron

Tom28
11-28-2008, 10:22 AM
Wow I just read your post and what a load of garbage. Were you drinking when you posted that?

I've already touched on the foolishness of chiming into a debate without reading the previous contributes first. Foolish and disrespectful.

Stop being a coward and talk to the teacher. You OWE it to him AND to the women YOU have brought to the class.

Just incase you cannot see how you are a coward read your post above. YOU are PRESSURING HER to take action.

I'm a coward for pressuring her to take action?
Well I guess I'm guilty of being a coward Mark :)
She was hoping it would just go away. Every work in a place that HAS had sexual harassment present Mark? I have a feeling you haven't.
Young women will often just hope something goes away. While it's the mans fault THEY feel embaressed and feel like it's in some way shape or form their fault.
Wrong.
If I pressured her it is because I felt she should both stand up for herself AND being told his advances were out of place by her would send a more clear message.

Get real and grow a pair
Once again only men are expected to stand up to themselves?
Do women who stand up for themselves do so because they grew a pair? Or are women generally the weaker gender?

At a minimum you should stop bringing potential victims to this class, otherwise you are an enabler and cohort. While that might sound harsh, it is based on the history YOU outlined.
So me inviting a female to train in an Aikido dojo is basically me inviting them to be harassed?
Sorry he is in the wrong, not her. It may be his dojo but the dojo is a registered dojo, I would expect certain rules coincide with being official.

I haven't read the entire thread nor do I intend to waste my time doing so
The only waste of time in this entire thread has been your drive by commentary. I suppose you're better than everyone else here since our input and opinion's seem to be below you.

Of course my actions would be just as bad to you as sexual harassment..... you're post was a piece of work Mark. I think you have some serious issues to sort out, good luck with that.

Buck
11-28-2008, 10:52 AM
Hmmm...

Ron

Ron, do you agree with Tom28 or not? My post was in the context of the thread, it was a counter- showing reverse sexism - by using the language and stuff that was already being assumed about the sensei and his behavior. It was a device to show how offensive assuming someone as a male sexist and objectifying a women can be to men, just as it is to women. Many people, like yourself, jumped to the conclusion accusing that the sensei was a sexist male chauvinist pig. I didn't think so and found that wrong and just as offensive. So, I just took that feminism attack on the sensei and the feminism argument (beside showing it didn't apply to the situation) and put a mirror to it. I was attacking the agruement and the conditions. Not anyone individual.

My point was to put the sexist shoe on the other foot, accusations of sexism on are just as unfair ,harsh and insulting toward men as women. Shooting from the hip with sexist etc. accusations and stereotyping men are just as offensive, and is something that is done way too often, frequently without any regard, and at a moments convenience when it comes to me. It was unfair and wrong to witch hunt the sensei condemning him as a sexist pig objectifying women, when the whole situation was nothing more then a dating game if you like.

Ron, would you feel the same way about what I said if I was a women who said it? Double standand?

Maybe I don't understand Mark's point and he was getting at what I said, and I took it wrong. If that is the case, I apologize.

And it is not my intention to be intentionally treat someone rude personally, treating them disrespectful by name calling and related accusations.

:)

Buck
11-28-2008, 11:24 AM
Ron, I am against the objectifying of men. I feel that was happening with this sensei. I was against that. :)

Mark Jakabcsin
11-28-2008, 04:23 PM
Jumping into a discussion admitting that you have not read the entire thread seems a little quick on the draw, am I wrong?


Yes, you are wrong here. I wrote that to let everyone know I am responding to your initial post and nothing else. After reading your very distrubing post about your activities I responded to YOUR WORDS. That does not make me a quick draw and more than the second person that posted.

Please do the rigth thing if you haven't already.

Mark J.

Mark Jakabcsin
11-28-2008, 04:35 PM
Whoa....Mr. Mark Jakabcsin! I don't think there is a need to get up into Tom28's face like that. You are out of line with your post. You could have gotten your point across without call him a coward etc. :disgust:

Philip,
We disagree on this one completely. The poster tells a story how he introduces a woman to training class. By his own admission he sees the instructors behavior is wrong but does not have the courage to say or do anything. By allowing this action to continue he is CONDONING IT. Period. You either do the right thing or you do not. There is no line in the sand.

To make matters worse he KNOWINGLY brings a second victim to his teacher. Oh, yes he warns her. How very kind and brave of him. When he sees the same action occurring a second time he once again takes no real action. Actually worse he encourages the victim he supplied to his teacher to find the courage to talk to the teacher, but does not find the same courage in himself. How can you label those actions as anything other than cowardly? This is not name calling it is simply recognition of the facts supplied.

Will he bring a third victim? Frankly the poster's actions are just as bad if not worse than the teachers. Anyone can try to sugar coat that if they want but at the end of the day it is what it is. Calling this something else only helps the poster to continue his poor behavior.

Philip, if you really cared about helping the poster improve you would be honest with him, sometimes honesty is difficult. If you really cared about the women involved you would speak strongly in their defense. If you really cared about Aikido you would be outraged by the entire situation and speak loudly for improvement.

A very disappointed,

Mark J.

RonRagusa
11-28-2008, 05:32 PM
I was attacking the agruement and the conditions. Not anyone individual.

I find your words and tone very offensive, dated, rude, insensitive, sexist, etc. You do a huge amount of injustice and harm to women with what you say and your opinions. Please rethink how you see women. They are not damned to being victims, and are the weaker sex etc. Things have changed. Just because you run into one bully situation (male or female) in the dojo doesn't make it a global crisis. Please think about what you said, it is really as offensive as the situation Tom28 in which you find just as offensive. Please don't stereotype all men as "Good O'l Boy behavior." And that all men see women as objects and targets for violence. All men are not predators, criminals, monsters out to harm women. . :mad: (emphasis added)

Attacking the argument? Yeah, right.

Ron

Joe McParland
11-28-2008, 05:38 PM
Lost centers. Whether right or wrong, this is very unbecoming.

Mark Jakabcsin
11-28-2008, 06:10 PM
Lost centers. Whether right or wrong, this is very unbecoming.

Unbecoming? So you are implying it is more important to be becoming and PC than morally right? Sorry your attitude IS the problem. It is this attitude in society that it is better to keep quiet and let things pass rather than look rude by speaking out against actions that are morally wrong. This is one of the biggest reasons racism is still a problem in our society. When coworkers or buddies say racial slurs or jokes people who are not racists simply smile or move away rather than finding the courage to speak out. Racism is wrong, we should speak out every time observe someone being racist. When we do not speak out we are condoning it and we become part of the problem. Calling someone a racist after they do/say racist things is not name calling, it is simply identifying who they are as a person.

This case is not different. The poster saw sexually inappropriate behavior but did nothing to stop it. He did not stand up and speak out. I guess that would have made him 'unbecoming,' what a shame that would be. What if the action was against your mother, sister, wife or daughter, would you worry about being labeled 'unbecoming'? As a witness to this action the poster was/is morally responsible to talk to his teacher and seek positive change.

We cannot improve our society when we more concerned with being unbecoming than we are about being morally right. For those that do not get it at this point, you probably never will.

Mark (unbecoming) J.

gdandscompserv
11-28-2008, 06:13 PM
This thread reminds me of a domestic violence call.

Buck
11-28-2008, 07:35 PM
You wrote:

"My sensei IS a good guy. He's not a bully in my opinion at all. He's jut one of those guys who at inappropiately around women and doesn't realize what he's sayng is too much/too far. Some guys just turn into different people near women, we all work with guys like that."

This makes it ok????

What would make a guy a bad guy in your opinion? That behavior is not okay...
I think training in another art with a good instructor would be so much healthier for you.
When a dojo isn't safe for women... it's not safe for the men that are training there either...That behavior and those attitudes perpetuate the myths that women are objects and violence against women is okay because it is just "good old boy behavior". Mary

Ron,

I am sorry let me restate what I said and say it isn't a personal attack.

Tom28 says his sensei is just unappropriate (in his opinion), yet he titled the thread as harassment. Mary's argument here is twisting the issue into something way off-base that the sensei is a dangerous and unhealthy man and dojo.

Mary is wrongly condemning a man and perpetuating not only a myth, but a dangerous assumptions and a public view that is based on her feminist agenda. She is also being hypocritical as she is de-humanizing the sensei, on little more then out of text quotes on in the anonymous post. Her post is on the verge of calling for a witch hunt. This is a point of view, I disagree with respectfully.

Now several pages of posts later we find out that this whole thing is an affair of the heart, and like swiss cheese it has a lot of holes in it. It has nothing to do with the sexually objectifying of a women in a class.

We don't know the woman or Tom28, or the dojo or the sensei. Should there be an assumption of victimization? We could be manipulated by both Tom28 and the women who posted, saying she is the women Tom28 is talking about. I don't know, it is just an example of how much isn't known.

I think you and Mary should re-evaluate your views about another person you have never meet, or trained at his dojo. Your views about this sensei and this women are wrong and very dangerous, IMO.

If you take this personally, I apologize. I didn't write this to attack you or Mary personally. Despite Mary's personal attack on another sensei.

Buck
11-28-2008, 08:07 PM
Again, was it really sexually appropriate behavior?

Tom28 said about his sensei, "who at inappropiately around women and doesn't realize what he's sayng is too much/too far." Well then he saying the sensei isn't a Don Juan.

The woman known as ttly said,
"At first, he used comments like "hey sexy!" or "hey beautiful!" which is no big deal. I must add here that I also have a part time job with a crew of mostly men ... therefore comments like these were not new to me. When the comments started, they were simple comments or one-liners. I saw no harm in them. Later, he would say these comments in class but also make them a bit more personal. Sometimes other students would laugh along, but most of the time they said nothing (they really are nice students to train with, and I know they were not laughing at me ... I laughed and passed a lighthearted "buzz off" message so they laughed about it... laughed to lighten the awkward situation) The sensei would ask me (for example) to grab his arm ... I said something like "how do you want me to grab you ... which hand?" he would say "you can grab me anyway you want ... I dream of you saying that!" as a response, I would laugh it off and add "not gonna happen!!".

Another time, when practicing how to roll ... he would ask me to bend over so he could show me how to position my body ... but say it in more of a "bend over!!" tone and add a comment like "I always wanted to say that" ... I would respond with "Hey now ... none of that!". I tried to keep the tone light and friendly because I honestly didn't want to embarass him in front of other students ... I thought that reponding with humour would lighten the akward situation and he would still hear me say that "that was not cool". My goal was to get my point accross in as simple a way as possible that did not involve anyone being insulted or made to feel bad.

There are other things as well ... all within the same degree .... I have no doubt in my mind that if I even showed any interest or reciprocation (in sex or a relationship) he would make more advances. At one point during Aikido I was hesitating to roll (cause it is intimidating to feel like you are launching your body in the air with little to no control) and he tapped my bum and said "go" ... as a response after the tap I said ... "easy now ... no touching!". He has not done that again. Some of the comments were more rude but they do not need repeating use your imagination. You know most of them.

You may be wondering why I have not approached him and talked to him. I had plans to talk to him about everything but within the last week his behaviour as such has changed. He has stopped being "sexual" and is simply complementing (using phrases such as "good evening beautiful")... and nothing more or worst.

You may also be wondering why I have not quit Aikido and avoided the whole situation. The comments and such happened often enough, but never enough to force me to quit. To me, I am a woman in a sport that is predominantly male dominated. If I quit, I feel like I have given up ... like I let him win!! I needed to show that I could take care of myself. You need to understand that I have never quit or let myself be intimidated by anyone .. and I sure as hell was not gonna start now."

There is so many wholes in this it is swiss cheese. Sexual harrassment, objectifying women, sexist male pigs, victimization, if it is, it is rice paper thin. I think here we have, at first, sexual miscommunication between two people (hopefully mature adults), and jealousy. I am sure the two will be good friends and the jealousy will continue.

RonRagusa
11-28-2008, 09:10 PM
Mary Eastland wrote:
You wrote:

"My sensei IS a good guy. He's not a bully in my opinion at all. He's jut one of those guys who at inappropiately around women and doesn't realize what he's sayng is too much/too far. Some guys just turn into different people near women, we all work with guys like that."

This makes it ok????

What would make a guy a bad guy in your opinion? That behavior is not okay...
I think training in another art with a good instructor would be so much healthier for you.
When a dojo isn't safe for women... it's not safe for the men that are training there either...That behavior and those attitudes perpetuate the myths that women are objects and violence against women is okay because it is just "good old boy behavior". Mary

Ron,

I am sorry let me restate what I said and say it isn't a personal attack.

Tom28 says his sensei is just unappropriate (in his opinion), yet he titled the thread as harassment. Mary's argument here is twisting the issue into something way off-base that the sensei is a dangerous and unhealthy man and dojo.

Mary is wrongly condemning a man and perpetuating not only a myth, but a dangerous assumptions and a public view that is based on her feminist agenda. She is also being hypocritical as she is de-humanizing the sensei, on little more then out of text quotes on in the anonymous post. Her post is on the verge of calling for a witch hunt. This is a point of view, I disagree with respectfully.

Now several pages of posts later we find out that this whole thing is an affair of the heart, and like swiss cheese it has a lot of holes in it. It has nothing to do with the sexually objectifying of a women in a class.

We don't know the woman or Tom28, or the dojo or the sensei. Should there be an assumption of victimization? We could be manipulated by both Tom28 and the women who posted, saying she is the women Tom28 is talking about. I don't know, it is just an example of how much isn't known.

I think you and Mary should re-evaluate your views about another person you have never meet, or trained at his dojo. Your views about this sensei and this women are wrong and very dangerous, IMO.

If you take this personally, I apologize. I didn't write this to attack you or Mary personally. Despite Mary's personal attack on another sensei.

Phil -

The disconnect between what Mary posted and what you read is glaringly obvious in light of your last post. All throughout this thread Mary and I have been commenting on the inappropriateness of a person's behavior not condemming the person as "sexist male chauvinist pig" (which, by the way, are your words). You have taken every opportunity to distort what Mary posted and color it with your own agenda.

I'm bowing out of this thread now, the merry-go-round has run its course, stay on for another round though; I'll cede you the brass ring.

Ron

Buck
11-28-2008, 09:17 PM
Phil -

The disconnect between what Mary posted and what you read is glaringly obvious in light of your last post. All throughout this thread Mary and I have been commenting on the inappropriateness of a person's behavior not condemming the person as "sexist male chauvinist pig" (which, by the way, are your words). You have taken every opportunity to distort what Mary posted and color it with your own agenda.

I'm bowing out of this thread now, the merry-go-round has run its course, stay on for another round though; I'll cede you the brass ring.

Ron

Ron,

You are taking this way too personally. You seem to have a contention with me, and maybe it be wise to take a brake, it is getting OT anyway. There is no bass ring, at least for me. Hopefully when you come back you will be refreshed. :)

akiy
11-28-2008, 10:57 PM
Hi folks,

Please move away from discussions of a personal nature and move towards discussing the topic and the issues.

Thank you,

-- Jun

Tom28
11-29-2008, 02:47 AM
This case is not different. The poster saw sexually inappropriate behavior but did nothing to stop it. He did not stand up and speak out. I guess that would have made him 'unbecoming,' what a shame that would be.

Since you choose not to read any of the follow on threads you probably missed the point where I did not physically train or witness these actions but heard about them through my friend since I am currently away from the dojo.
Another good reason to read a whole thread before you throw your two cents in.


We cannot improve our society when we more concerned with being unbecoming than we are about being morally right. For those that do not get it at this point, you probably never will.

Mark (unbecoming) J.

....I'm so right and everyone else is wrong blah blah

Mark you clearly have some issues. Feel like relating the personal experience with this issue that's obviously burning you up inside?

It might be relevant to the discussion.

akiy
12-01-2008, 10:24 AM
Thread closed due to the discussion turning into personal attacks.

-- Jun