Re: Unhappy being pushed to test
in my club we also don't have many women, but I don't think that matters for the teacher or for any of us. I neither noticed really a different treatment of women (except by male adolescent newbies, but they adapt quickly), rather a treatment according to the different physical characteristics of everyone.
Among the females, we have one nikyu of middle height and middle weight, who is rather strong and dynamic. Training with her is not different from training with a guy. Then we have a 14 year old, small, thin, frail sankyu, who attacks without power and does not resist. You could make all errors of the world and the technique would still work. So obviously nage would treat these two very differently.
Then there is myself who is 1,78 m but weighs less than 60 kg. That makes it very easy to break my equilibrium, and if I attack dynamically and a heavy nage performs let's say kokyu, I'd fly something like 5 m. But if I throw the heavy guy, he just rolls smoothly out of it.
We have two male aikidoka, one sankyu and one gokyu, who the approximately my statue and weight, maybe a BIT heavier, and they are pretty much treated the same as myself. I really don't think there is much of a gender issue in it.
But then it is true that women are generally frailer, smaller and easier to unbalance - and even if every individual is treated individually, if you look at the average, women are still treated softer than men.
Coming to the exam; I'd also feel rather unhappy if I was awarded a rank because the teacher wants high ranking female...it is like this quota issue in politics or business. If you have a policy of having at least 35 % of women in top ranges of management/ government or whatever, everyone starts immediately to question if they arrive there because of merits or because of the quota. And the person herself couldn't be sure if she was chosen because of gender or because of qualification. That does not exactly boost self-esteem....