And yes there are times when I am the only female student in class,(heck there are times when I am the ONLY student in class) but generally when the boys are laughing in the changing room I am siting with sensei having some sort of fascinating ongoing conversation about aikido.
Heh. This reminds me of a story about Madeline Albright, former US ambassador to the United Nations. She used to host a monthly lunch for female ambassadors. But of course good relations with the US ambassador are important for many countries, and so there were complaints that she was showing unfair favoritism. Her reply was that any country that wished to appoint a female ambassador could do so, and thereby earn itself an invitation.
What's true of female yudansha is even more true of female instructors and chief instructors. They are good for the attitude of the dojo as a whole.