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Krystal Locke
07-22-2011, 03:51 AM
I was doing an actual, legit search for lesbian friendly schools. I found aikido porn. Not like food porn porn, but like porn porn porn. Dunno whether I should piss, run, or go blind.

That whole zenra thing is interesting, but, really, aikido? Wow, just wow. My eyeballs might want some misogi. Or, maybe not.

Josh Reyer
07-22-2011, 05:18 AM
Rule 34 (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleThirtyFour).

genin
07-26-2011, 11:48 AM
On a side note, did you ever find a school that had and official "lebian friendly" policy? That I thought was even more humourous than the porn discovery.

lbb
07-26-2011, 12:26 PM
What's a lebian?

Marc Abrams
07-26-2011, 01:08 PM
What's a lebian?

A female who prefers to be in a loving, mutually consensual relationship with another female and prefers to leave the "S" off :D !

Marc Abrams

Mark Freeman
07-26-2011, 02:43 PM
What's a lebian?

Someone from Lebia of course;)

Krystal Locke
07-27-2011, 02:37 AM
On a side note, did you ever find a school that had and official "lebian friendly" policy? That I thought was even more humourous than the porn discovery.

I did, actually. What do you find funny about it? Curious, I just dont see a humor hit....

Mark Freeman
07-27-2011, 03:17 AM
Hi Krystal,

Were you searching for lesbian friendly aikido schools or schools in general?

Are there schools out there unfriendly to lesbians? I don't know why sexuality has to be a factor in aikido (or any other form of learning for that matter). One puts on a kit and practices. I wouldn't know or care whether the person I practice with is gay or not.

Why would a lesbian/gay person even announce their 'status' when looking to train in anything? I'm curious.

regards,

Mark

genin
07-27-2011, 08:25 AM
I did, actually. What do you find funny about it? Curious, I just dont see a humor hit....

I guess the first thing would be that the school had an official policy toward gays, even if it was an accepting, positive one. Nowadays, it's assumed that most organizations or businesses are tolerant and accepting of gays (due to anti-discrimination laws). And secondly, why would it be specifically directed towards lesbians as opposed to the gay community in general? My third question, along the same lines as what Mark was getting at, is are there actually schools who are officially unfriendly towards lesbians? Like you call them, ask if lesbians can attend, and some guy in a gruff voice yells out over the phone: "We don't take yur' kind here!"

I realize that when it comes to things like sexuality, our identities are tied so closely to it, that sometimes we may be compelled to draw attention to that fact in situations which do not require us to do so.

lbb
07-27-2011, 09:18 AM
Nowadays, it's assumed that most organizations or businesses are tolerant and accepting of gays (due to anti-discrimination laws).
That assumption would be incorrect. In the United States (since that is where you're posting from), there is no federal legislation establishing civil rights for gays and lesbians. Where legal civil rights do exist, they are on the state and local levels, and those mostly confine themselves to limited protections against employment discrimination. Smaller numbers of states extend gay civil rights in matters of housing and public accommodation. To the extent that a dojo can be considered a "public accommodation" (bigots have very easy ways to get around this), gays and lesbians are for the most part not protected against discrimination there.

Narda
07-27-2011, 09:25 AM
If the Aikifolks don't mind a question from a sincerely interested fellow MAist, just exactly how does one go about ascertaining whether or not a dojo is 'bigoted'? Announcement, as previously indicated? Subvertly looking for 'signs'? What would those be?

Whatever happened to the idea of blending, harmonizing, fitting-in? Is that not a two-way process?

Thank you.

That assumption would be incorrect. In the United States (since that is where you're posting from), there is no federal legislation establishing civil rights for gays and lesbians. Where legal civil rights do exist, they are on the state and local levels, and those mostly confine themselves to limited protections against employment discrimination. Smaller numbers of states extend gay civil rights in matters of housing and public accommodation. To the extent that a dojo can be considered a "public accommodation" (bigots have very easy ways to get around this), gays and lesbians are for the most part not protected against discrimination there.

lbb
07-27-2011, 09:41 AM
Whatever happened to the idea of blending, harmonizing, fitting-in? Is that not a two-way process?

When people are being discriminated against, the fact of discrimination removes any option or ability for them to "blend" or "harmonize". The closest they can come is to knuckle under, and if they won't do that, they are accused of refusing to fit in.

Keith Larman
07-27-2011, 09:46 AM
To the original post...

As others have stated, if there is a subject, there is the porn version as well. What can I say? Human beings are sexual creatures and besides, sex is fun... Shouldn't be a surprise...

On the topic of Lesbian friendly dojo, don't know of any that are overtly billed in that fashion. I do, however, know of many dojo who couldn't possibly care less about each member's sexual orientation. When I first started at Seidokan the guy I worked out with on a regular basis was openly gay. Great guy to train with because he was strong and had a background in collegiate wrestling as well, so he pushed my limits each and every time we trained. I was quite sorry when he moved out of state -- I learned a lot training with him when he didn't just fall down... But.. I digress. The point is that I'm sure there are bigots out there here and there. I'm sure there are places where whispers might be heard. But I also know of quite a few places where all people with a sincere intent to learn are welcomed with open arms. If you're old enough and can get get your butt on the mat safely you're welcome to train. At most of those places sexual orientation is totally irrelevant. Excluding someone because they are a lesbian would be like excluding blondes or left-handed Eskimos. Totally irrelevant and nonsensical.

But I suppose it might depend on where you are, etc. Don't know. Just haven't seen anything negative in the dojo I attend. Shrug.

Just fwiw.

Keith Larman
07-27-2011, 09:50 AM
When people are being discriminated against, the fact of discrimination removes any option or ability for them to "blend" or "harmonize". The closest they can come is to knuckle under, and if they won't do that, they are accused of refusing to fit in.

And that's the other side of the coin. I do know that it happens. And it shouldn't. And expecting the person being discriminated against to just blend in and harmonize is absolutely ridiculous. Run away. I don't want to train with anyone who would treat a fellow human in such a shallow fashion. As a matter of fact there is someone I know personally (not aikido but another MA) who has rather archaic views on this topic who I have had ample chances to train with but with whom I refuse to get on the mat with. Because of it.

Anyway, to the OP, hopefully you'll find a place where it is at least a non-issue. Most in my experience are quite open and don't give a rat's behind about your orientation. So best of luck in your search.

Narda
07-27-2011, 09:54 AM
Thank you, and of course.

But...how does one go about ascertaining if a dojo is 'XXX friendly'. As a female, having worked in some hot, cramped male dominated kitchens, I understand the different strategies women may use to survive, or even thrive in that environment. The enlightened, and the bigoted, it seems to work as long as everyone there is committed to an overarching common goal. Putting out food in that instance, but in a dojo, learning MA.

There is a reason why we bow in to the dojo, and ritually don kikogi. And there is the sensei, who should be watching everything.

When people are being discriminated against, the fact of discrimination removes any option or ability for them to "blend" or "harmonize". The closest they can come is to knuckle under, and if they won't do that, they are accused of refusing to fit in.

Keith Larman
07-27-2011, 10:26 AM
Thank you, and of course.

But...how does one go about ascertaining if a dojo is 'XXX friendly'.

The same way you go about finding out if they're good teachers, or if they're martially capable, or if they're religiously tolerant, or if they're racially tolerant, or if they're decent people in general, etc. You ask around, you train, you get to know them. The problem in my eyes is that you're asking about one particular type of intolerance in a world where there are all sorts of types. If one is to post a sign saying "lesbian friendly" shouldn't one also post a sign that says "women friendly". And "Men friendly". And "Gay Friendly". And "Hispanic Friendly". And "Islam friendly". And it goes on virtually ad infinitum.

Mark Freeman
07-27-2011, 10:34 AM
The same way you go about finding out if they're good teachers, or if they're martially capable, or if they're religiously tolerant, or if they're racially tolerant, or if they're decent people in general, etc. You ask around, you train, you get to know them. The problem in my eyes is that you're asking about one particular type of intolerance in a world where there are all sorts of types. If one is to post a sign saying "lesbian friendly" shouldn't one also post a sign that says "women friendly". And "Men friendly". And "Gay Friendly". And "Hispanic Friendly". And "Islam friendly". And it goes on virtually ad infinitum.

Hi Keith,

I agree, it does lend itself to the absurd doesn't it.

Maybe we should just have a sign saying either 'friendly' or 'un-friendly', that might do it.

My door is open to all (well maybe not all, Scientologists, now they are just weird :freaky: )

regards

Mark

genin
07-27-2011, 10:51 AM
I think the point has been made clear now, which is that it's completely unnecessary and irrelevant to bring up your sexuality in a dojo setting. Granted, I wouldn't want to belong to a dojo which had racist members, but I doubt I'd ask the Sensei before joining: "What is your opinion of blacks?"

I think the policy SHOULD be: "Don't ask, don't dwell." There's no need to out people by asking if they are gay or not, but if someone wants to make it known they are gay, then that's fine. However, once people find out that you are gay, don't DWELL on it. Just accept it and move on. It has no relevance in the dojo setting, nor does it effect anyone else aside from the person in question.

lbb
07-27-2011, 01:07 PM
I think the point has been made clear now, which is that it's completely unnecessary and irrelevant to bring up your sexuality in a dojo setting.

Correction: it should be irrelevant in a dojo. Whether it is irrelevant is another matter.

Here's something to keep in mind: people who are not targeted by a particular type of bigotry are often unaware of its presence. Partly this is because hostile remarks and behaviors aren't directed at them, and so they may simply not see the bigotry expressed...but also, sad to say, even when it happens right in front of them. Unless the behavior is blatantly hostile, people tend to see many bigoted remarks, behaviors, caricatures etc. as "harmless fun" or "just kidding around" or as insignificant. There are an awful lot of straight people who start acting strange when they have to touch a gay person, or share a changing room with one...a lot of straight people who find an excuse to work with another partner, who make sure they carry hand sanitizer, who suddenly start changing in the bathroom. And as long as they don't say, "Oh, so-and-so is gay, EW," most other straight people are not going to get it. They're not even going to see what's happening. And then they turn around and look at the gay person and say, "Wow, why are you like that, why do you have to make such a big issue out of being gay, why do you have to have a place be 'gay-friendly', do you really want us to put that on our sign (ew), and what about all the other categories of people, do we need to say we're 'friendly' to them too, and another thing, why do you people always need some kind of special accommodation when we're totally accepting???" Et cetera, blah de blah, lather rinse repeat.

genin
07-27-2011, 01:53 PM
Correction: it should be irrelevant in a dojo. Whether it is irrelevant is another matter.

Here's something to keep in mind: people who are not targeted by a particular type of bigotry are often unaware of its presence. Partly this is because hostile remarks and behaviors aren't directed at them, and so they may simply not see the bigotry expressed...but also, sad to say, even when it happens right in front of them. Unless the behavior is blatantly hostile, people tend to see many bigoted remarks, behaviors, caricatures etc. as "harmless fun" or "just kidding around" or as insignificant. There are an awful lot of straight people who start acting strange when they have to touch a gay person, or share a changing room with one...a lot of straight people who find an excuse to work with another partner, who make sure they carry hand sanitizer, who suddenly start changing in the bathroom. And as long as they don't say, "Oh, so-and-so is gay, EW," most other straight people are not going to get it. They're not even going to see what's happening. And then they turn around and look at the gay person and say, "Wow, why are you like that, why do you have to make such a big issue out of being gay, why do you have to have a place be 'gay-friendly', do you really want us to put that on our sign (ew), and what about all the other categories of people, do we need to say we're 'friendly' to them too, and another thing, why do you people always need some kind of special accommodation when we're totally accepting???" Et cetera, blah de blah, lather rinse repeat.

Yea, but discrimination can rear it's head in any form, inside AND outside the dojo. I've been discriminated against for being young, for dating interacially, and for being poor. People are judged and mistreated based on a wide variety of arbitrary things. My training partner is constantly pre-judged because he has a lot of tattoos and facial peircings. I agree that racial and homosexual bigotry is alive and well in the world, and America in particular. But so is discrimination and stereotyping and pre-judging of all kinds.

I suppose it's not fair for me to judge that person for trying to see if dojo's are lesbian friendly, because in their life that is very important to them, and they possibly may have had some serious problems with discrimination the past, and maybe they want to avoid problems in the future. I can't fault someone for that.

Keith Larman
07-27-2011, 02:00 PM
Just an errant thought for what it's worth... I fully understand looking for a place that is (fill in the blank) friendly. Understandable especially if you've had some experience with various forms of discrimination. Had some odd experiences myself having been in interracial relationships and now being in an interracial marriage. That said I would think you'll find that most places that are (fill in the blank) friendly won't have any signs or flashing lights indicating they are friendly. So I wouldn't pass up places that don't have the "(fill in the blank) welcome here" signs. Many will find such things totally irrelevant. And hopefully those who are in charge will make sure that those who come will also abide by that point of view.

A few years ago I had some words with someone who had a habit of saying "that's so gay" about most anything he didn't like. He said it was just slang for "wimpy" but I told him it wasn't appropriate in a dojo setting regardless.

Best of luck to the OP. Hope you find a good place to train.

Narda
07-27-2011, 02:02 PM
On the other hand, my own teacher told me, 'There is a place for sensitivity in the dojo, but if it gets in the way of training, you have no business learning a martial art.'

Hypothetical bigoted 'what ifs' aren't going to be a productive base to understand exactly what someone means when they are looking for an environment that is 'XXX friendly'. I disagree, that unless something is blatant, that it won't be of a concern to others training. And if it's sly, and not picked up, work it out privately. If it can't be worked out privately, engage the sensei. Might be a valid complaint for an integrated dojo...might not.

Correction: it should be irrelevant in a dojo. Whether it is irrelevant is another matter.

Here's something to keep in mind: people who are not targeted by a particular type of bigotry are often unaware of its presence. Partly this is because hostile remarks and behaviors aren't directed at them, and so they may simply not see the bigotry expressed...but also, sad to say, even when it happens right in front of them. Unless the behavior is blatantly hostile, people tend to see many bigoted remarks, behaviors, caricatures etc. as "harmless fun" or "just kidding around" or as insignificant. There are an awful lot of straight people who start acting strange when they have to touch a gay person, or share a changing room with one...a lot of straight people who find an excuse to work with another partner, who make sure they carry hand sanitizer, who suddenly start changing in the bathroom. And as long as they don't say, "Oh, so-and-so is gay, EW," most other straight people are not going to get it. They're not even going to see what's happening. And then they turn around and look at the gay person and say, "Wow, why are you like that, why do you have to make such a big issue out of being gay, why do you have to have a place be 'gay-friendly', do you really want us to put that on our sign (ew), and what about all the other categories of people, do we need to say we're 'friendly' to them too, and another thing, why do you people always need some kind of special accommodation when we're totally accepting???" Et cetera, blah de blah, lather rinse repeat.

Marc Abrams
07-27-2011, 02:24 PM
My dojo's policy is that everybody is welcome. Does that make it a swinging kind of dojo? :eek:

Marc Abrams

ps- on the serious side. Last time I checked, a dojo was a place to study martial arts and any interpersonal stuff was secondary to the main focus of being at the dojo. If a dojo has some official policy regarding what type of consensual adult relationships people engage in, then my first question is: Are the studying the martial art of love?

genin
07-27-2011, 02:31 PM
Let's say the Sensei tells you the dojo is lesbian friendly. Do you think that means that the Sensei has at any point spoken to the class about being tolerant towards gays? Maybe he has, but I doubt it. The reality is that if you ask the Sensei that question, he'll simply tell you that they are gay tolerant. But that doesn't mean there is any official policy on that inside the dojo. It may not have EVER have even come up before!

That being said, who's to say that there are closet bigots in the dojo? Even if the Sensei is accepting, you might encounter some rogue students who are a-holes about it. So eventhough you asked ahead of time, you still can't prevent people from discriminating against you.

Rabih Shanshiry
07-27-2011, 02:41 PM
As a matter of fact there is someone I know personally (not aikido but another MA) who has rather archaic views on this topic who I have had ample chances to train with but with whom I refuse to get on the mat with. Because of it.

I find this statement somewhat contradictory to everything else you are saying Keith. What matter should that person's views off the mat have to do with your willingness to train with them?

Isn't that precisely the attitude that would potentially make a dojo non-[fill in the blank] friendly towards others who are different or hold different viewpoints?

I don't have to agree, like, or even respect a person's political views, religious convictions, or lifestyle choices in order to train with them. All of that should be totally irrelevant on the mat.

Krystal Locke
07-27-2011, 03:28 PM
Do we bring our whole selves onto the mat, or do we just exercise parts of us during classtime?

Is the training partner who has a bias against me off the mat safe on the mat?

Keith Larman
07-27-2011, 03:30 PM
I find this statement somewhat contradictory to everything else you are saying Keith. What matter should that person's views off the mat have to do with your willingness to train with them?

I don't find it contradictory at all. He expresses his point of view quite often and there is no reason for me to support that in any way whatsoever. Life is too short to train with a jerk.

Sure, there may be things where you segregate aspects of a person, but I don't exactly find this area to be of enough importance to need to spend my time with someone I don't respect. There are a lot of good people to train with so there is no reason to settle for a jerk.

Narda
07-27-2011, 03:33 PM
I'm new at this, but I told my student, 'Check your ego at the door, not your critical thinking ability.' The only questions I ask, and am willing to answer, are 'Why are you here...what are you looking for?', and 'Do you have any handicaps that I should know about for your safety in training.'

No. We don't leave our whole beings at the door. We are messy beings, and tote all kinds of baggage to the floor and often spill it out all over others without realizing it. But it's our sh*t that we have to work through, and get past, if we want to learn. Are we afraid of others, or the work of learning?

It sounds as if there is some fear of being physically hurt on the basis of being gay. That is not a gay issue at all. That is an issue of someone that deliberately hurts people, and shouldn't be training.

Do we bring our whole selves onto the mat, or do we just exercise parts of us during classtime?

Is the training partner who has a bias against me off the mat safe on the mat?

Tim Ruijs
07-27-2011, 03:38 PM
Do we bring our whole selves onto the mat, or do we just exercise parts of us during classtime?
Train with an open heart, most truthfully to yourself ;)
There is no place for facade, it takes longer to change yourself and progress.


Is the training partner who has a bias against me off the mat safe on the mat?
That depends on the bias. When you feel you might be in physical/mental danger, avoid that person. First rule in Budo: protect yourself at all times ;)
Difference of opinion might not be a problem...

lbb
07-27-2011, 04:47 PM
Yea, but discrimination can rear it's head in any form, inside AND outside the dojo. I've been discriminated against for being young, for dating interacially, and for being poor. People are judged and mistreated based on a wide variety of arbitrary things. My training partner is constantly pre-judged because he has a lot of tattoos and facial peircings. I agree that racial and homosexual bigotry is alive and well in the world, and America in particular. But so is discrimination and stereotyping and pre-judging of all kinds.

That's true, but I'm not sure how it's relevant. My grandfather had a saying: "This is not a competition to see who's the worst." I wish he were still alive. It seems that nowadays, whenever someone points out a problem, immediately other people respond with a lengthy list of related problems -- and these aren't raised as problems to be addressed, but as reasons (excuses?) why the original problem should be ignored. It's any person's right to opt out of tackling any particular problem, but it's a false argument to state that because a problem can't be comprehensively solved, once and for all, in its largest and most far-reaching form, that that's a reason to throw up our hands and fail to address the instances of the problem that present themselves to us. Not every battle has to be your battle; no one said it did. But a battle that you may have the choice to engage in or ignore, someone else may not have that choice, because the battle comes to them.

lbb
07-27-2011, 04:57 PM
On the other hand, my own teacher told me, 'There is a place for sensitivity in the dojo, but if it gets in the way of training, you have no business learning a martial art.'

Well, we're not training here. We're not standing on some mat in some dojo, trying to co-opt the day's training into a discussion about having a gay-friendly dojo. We're sitting at our keyboards, typing words into an internet forum. So, I don't see what the connection is here. Even if you wish to characterize talking about bigotry as "sensitivity", what's that got to do with this discussion?

Hypothetical bigoted 'what ifs' aren't going to be a productive base to understand exactly what someone means when they are looking for an environment that is 'XXX friendly'.

What was hypothetical about my examples?

I disagree, that unless something is blatant, that it won't be of a concern to others training. And if it's sly, and not picked up, work it out privately. If it can't be worked out privately, engage the sensei. Might be a valid complaint for an integrated dojo...might not.

I think you missed my point, which was in response to statements by others. I didn't say anything about antigay bigotry not being "of a concern to others"; I said that others would most likely not notice it. Also, the point that I made wasn't about "working it out"; the point was that when a heterosexual person states that antigay bias doesn't exist in such-and-such environment, you have to take that statement with a big grain of salt.

Lorien Lowe
08-13-2011, 03:51 AM
Sensei has never said anything in my hearing, and I don't think we have an official policy, but slightly less than half of the women at my dojo are 'out' lesbians. I know because they tend to bring their partners to train after they've been at the dojo for a while, rather than because anyone makes a big deal one way or the other.

If any of the men are 'out,' they don't mention it on the mat and don't bring their partners to the dojo. I don't know if that's reflective of the dojo in specific or society in general.