Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
I just finished a book relevant to this topic, called Training Women in the Martial Arts, by Jennifer Lawler and Laura Kamienski. It offers a good look at why a lot of women come into the martial arts in the first place, and talks about how to support them and how to keep them in the dojo. The book is written strictly from a woman's perspective and is strictly for women in the sense that its entire goal is to help women begin and continue training, and couldn't care less about keeping the average Joe in the dojo (based on the assumption that he has a lot of cultural advantages to doing so already).
A lot of the focus of the book is on women's self-defense classes, and the need for classes that address attacks on women by people whom they know (statistically, something like 85% of rapes) and the need for self-defense for women who might be reluctant to gouge the eyes or break the elbows of men whom they know, until it's too late for them to resist effectively.
I'm going to add this book to the dojo library, but would like to offer the caveat that it is written from a strong feminist perspective that might offend some male readers. The existence of a patriarchy, both within and without martial arts, is taken as a given - as is the negative effects of said patriarchy on the women of the world.
ps I'll repost this over in book reviews too.