Opinion does equal truth
I am torn between the experiences of being cranked to the point of injury by women in karate, to being shyed away from by women in Aikido. Although the majority of voters on the poll, including myself, answered that a separate womens class is not the accepted norm, there are merits to gaining skill and confidence thru skills learned by women training with women ... and men training with men.
One obvious plus is the polarity issue that comes up when training to understand the variety of pressure points available when immitating an instuctor. The effectiveness of immitating the movements of an instructor by haveing men training with men, and women training with women, is that there is a better chance to feel the energy flow of your training partner when working in group situations. I know I have gone into this before, and if certain people do not have the capacity to immitate these techniques, they cry foul! That technique does not work! Well, it works if you practice, study, and understand how to activate it.
The other thing about the abuse issue, or the size of a woman being overcome by brute strength, strength becomes a deterent to proper training. If your practice is always being overcome by someone else's strength, how are you ever going to learn?
Of course, there are big guys, like me, who practice trying not to break peoples arms/ legs while giving the teacher the nod to come give added instruction to my partners who haveing trouble finding the basis of technique over strength in practice.
I don't approve of absolute training of men with men, or women with women, but in finding that certain inner feeling for energy exchange, the technique being stronger physical strength, and most men being less adept than women in the early stages of training ...
Men are somewhat hard headed, and it takes them a little longer to understand the physical, and mental mechanic's that makes strong Aikido.
Women, who are normally, physically small than most men, are always trying to use their mental prowess to overcome the physical strength, although there are cases of women who have great physical prowess too.
Be aware that good practice is a combination of helping each other, learning to take advantage of either weakness or a strength that creates a weakness ... and that intergender training advances both men and women to react to different movements.
Hey, guys. Think about it. In the context that everyone you know is a able to physically dominate you, that is ... without martial skills, you need a way to level the playing field. What would you do?
I think we need to approach more training with few more instructions than just "blend and harmonize", but that would be street fighting and not Aikido.
I am sure, some added street defense tricks would increase your confidence level to protect yourself, but as a practitioner of Aikido you would only use them to loosen up an attacker, never to hurt, injure, or kill.
Although, I could swear some women are trying to kill me when they have a fight with their boyfriend, husband, or whoever set them off before practice?