Re: Starting an all-women's class
I still believe the ultimate decision to exclude participants from class (or create exclusive classes for participants based upon age, sex or religion) should remain with the dojo and assessed by that dojo's needs. I don't think there is no right answer for that discussion beyond standing up for principle and making exception to those principles only when necessary. The battle of the sexes will always leave us with ackward moments of touching, positions, and dialogue in physical training. Women who cannot interact with men, even from a training level, require assistance that is not found in a dojo. I believe the heart of the matter is that we [accurately] perceive female attendance to be low in aikido and martial arts in general and wish to change that fact.
I remember a consumer focus group survey in which I participated. The survey included buying decisions for a variety of items, including house cleaning goods (soaps, detergents, solvents, etc.) and foods - Almost everyone of my survey responses differed from my female counterparts. I also found out during the survey that these types of products are very strongly marketed towards females (in addition to healthcare and childcare) and not males.
Long story short, aikido and martial arts have an image problem with female priorities and I think that affects attendance. We promote a male-dominated marketing effort with few prioirties that overlap for both males and females. Aikido may need a survey group of women to collaborate a marketing shift to address the different gender-related, decision-making priorities of female martial artists. I'd certaily be interested in those priorities...
As stupid as it sounds, I make many purchasing decisions for my family's house goods. As I remarked to a friend one time in response to joking about Snuggle fabric softener, "I'll never by anything that is promoted by a friggin' soft, cuddly, talking stuffed animal that smells like a friggin' mountain spring." I didn't say friggin' though. We choose to make our decisions based upon those factors that appeal to our priorities. Now if they only made a baseball field scent for fabric softeners...
Last edited by jonreading : 03-16-2010 at 11:18 AM.