Re: Differences between female & male practitioners
Soon I will be facing this issue from the side of a sensei. Do we or should we treat gender differently? Some people do want to be treated differently, others don't. Some of those verbalize it, some don't. Then you have people who will treat the opposite sex different regardless of the requests of others. It might be tempting to discuss the extremes treatment, I avoid that line of discussion because those people are removed from the dojo. Added to the mix is individual expectations of how either gender wishes to be approached, or how they wish to be treated. In Aikido we attack people from all walks of life, from different backgrounds, that are from all over the world and put them into one place and they experience an unique contact and intimacy. It can't be expected that none of them will be familiar with the dojo environment or each others genders customs. A picture of gender reality of incoming students that will stock the dojo ranks. There are the experienced students some of which will only acclimate to a point of the dojo culture. They are dictated by their background gender customs and cultural expectation. In the end, some experienced students suppose to uphold dojo gender customs don't, their up bringing dictates over riding the dojo's view of an utopian gender world of equality; harmony, blending. You will always have a sex dissatisfied because you can never fully have a utopia of the sexes, blending the sexes as one.
Not painting a dystopian picture, but you will always have differences because of the sexes are different and that means needs and expectations are wholly different based on biology. A force that can't be defeated. My solution is to separate the sexes in their own classes, only to bring them together occasional for the benefit of each other's practice. Will it work, I think so. Because the sexes naturally do separate on their own. History tells us it is far too difficult to bring the sexes together, other then for that occasional intimacy, where there is harmony and blending. In my new school, I will be going with nature, and not against it. That is my idea.