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Old 11-15-2008, 08:51 PM   #41
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 800
Re: Another harassment question

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?