George it still is!!! Regarding Aikido the only opinion I care about is that of my sensei. Of course I'm old fashioned, old and broke down and old and in my dotage but hell the rest don't much matter to me. I am older and I think I have been doing Aikido under a Shihan's tutelage longer that most of the teachers at Hombu Dojo so its hard to care what they think.
Where is my Metamucil,
I've been reading your writing for years, Dennis.You had written a story related to an illness that you suffering from and how aikido was your present friend (my words). I am again in agreement and inspiration with your words. I couldn't care less either. For similar and different reasons.
As a woman I've had to accept glass ceilings for a long time. How long will it take for Honbu to award me a shihan certificate, should I deserve one? Based on ethnicity, politics, and gender, I'd say, I'm not holding my breath. Does that mean I'm not a Sensei? No. Does it mean my teacher isn't a shihan, no? It simply means I have to be satisfied with my life and training exactly for what it is in my life. I let my students and friends decide. Ironically, that realizaton is what happens to help me deal with this reoccuring issue as a woman in a modern world. My dance with this issue has created an incredibly powerful independence in my personal movement and has erased a lot of illusion in me and my colleagues.