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Old 05-13-2008, 12:33 PM   #50
JW's Avatar
Location: Escondido CA USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 560
Re: ok then, on to a better idea?

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Which Aikido dojo are actively putting energy into keeping males in power? I'm sure there must be some - but I've only rarely seen an institutional policy of this kind.
Is anyone really talking about Aikido DOJO that are "actively putting energy into keeping males in power" or "institutional policies" that do so? Is that what you are talking about?
That's not what I was talking about.

I think it is clear that the real wall this argument is running into is this: some people think our social universe operates without man-made mechanisms that give underserved comfort to some people at the expense of undeserved discomfort to others, while others disagree. Lack of discriminatory laws on the books is not good evidence that there is no discrimination in reality.

Angela Dunn above asked -- why are women underrepresented in aikido compared to society at large? That's an interesting question that is hard to test. This experiement is one way to test a hypothetical answer. Women may lack interest, in which case dojos that feature this class would not significantly increase female enrollment over time. Or, a certain percentage of women may perceive emotional or psychological barriers to entering the world of aikido or martial arts, in which case we would expect a result like Jennifer Smith mentioned above, wherein dojos with these programs have significantly higher female enrollment in their regular class roster. Of course these are just 2 ways to interpret these results, but my point is only to illustrate the argument for these feeder classes.

As for why increasing female enrollment might be a desireable thing: anybody who cares about other people and thinks that aikido is good for people's physical, mental, or spiritual well-being (and therefore good for society at large) would understand why it is important to remove all barriers to aikido enrollment. I feel like we all enjoy doing aikido ourselves, and we all claim to care about others. So why are we contesting this motive? It's not about getting a certain # of women in dojos and saying mission accomplished-- it's about making sure that aikido is not discouraged for anyone who might want to do it.

I would be happy to stay with this thread if we were to talk about the mechanisms that we might design to remove barriers to aikido, in this case the barriers that some women (mostly women who are NOT in aikido btw) perceive.
But discussing whether or not sexism in our society might have a negative impact on the psychology of some members of our society is beyond what I can say more about.

Last edited by JW : 05-13-2008 at 12:35 PM.
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