On being Female in an Aikido Dojo
First off, let me say that I understand sexism comes in varying ranges. As of late I have been starting to understand something one of my dear friends once said. "The most hurtful type of racism is the subtle. Obvious stuff you can deal with. But its the little things that eat at you and slowly you start to wonder if they are truly there."
Over all, I'm a good dojo. We have an on and off campus dojo and both I am my boyfriend are officers for the school club. We are also the same kyu rank.
The thing is though, we get treated a hell of a lot differently. Our experience isn't that much different (he has a few months on me) yet I get treated with a lot less...respect I dare say. I'm rarely called up for ukemi for example. People always assume (within the same kyu rank) that the males have senority over me- even if they JUST got promoted to that rank. And most of all, people act like I am going to break. Hilarious really, since I'm just as tall as the average man with a muscular build; I'm not skinny in the least.
There's also the isolation. I hate when sensei tells everyone to find a partner of their size- I feel like everyone runs away from me. I hate how the males come out of the locker rooms laughing while I dressed out alone. I hate how techniques assume a male body. [Randomly] I also hate my frickin' gi. Thing is made for a guy- I have .7 waist and the thing feels like wearing at tent.
It grates on me. Most of the time I just tell myself I need to be better, to train harder, to put in more hours at home to smooth away rough edges and to work on reflecting on the lessons more.
Anyone else out there feel that way? I'm curious.