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Old 03-08-2013, 03:54 AM   #20
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 349
England
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Re: The Great Non-Issue

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Matt-

Earlier you wrote about being ready to accept homosexuals in society. I think this is a worthwhile effort. I think saying:

does not move towards accomplishing that goal. I think Jonathan hit it dead-on, we should be educating our friends and arresting bigotry. Marginalizing does not solve the problem, it just isolates those who are marginalized.

Again, maybe start by working with your partner to empathize with your perspective. Empathy is a great start for understanding. Then maybe he will see the way you see this issue.

Michael hit on my other point. As leaders of our dojos, we have a duty to provide a safe environment for everyone that trains, regardless of sexual orientation. This is both a legal obligation as well as a social obligation. If that safety is preserved, we are granted a liberal dose of tolerance with which to work out individual (and personal) differences.

These are hard conversations, and the archives are full of them: women in the dojo, men refusing to train with women, women refusing to train with men, obesity, AIDS. I think it is important to sort out our responsibilities as a dojo and how our personal feelings relate to crafting our stances on these topics. As for the rest, I think we are leaving the discussion of this topic as it relates to aikido and entering a more generalized discussion. At this I will pass. Thanks for the conversation.
There have been some excellent comments so far in this thread. I feel it is extremely important for all of us to do our best to keep sexual interactions and behaviour of all kinds out of the dojo, even though that may run counter to many of our human weaknesses.

Here is a very direct and intelligent talk that was posted on Facebook recently, which is somewhat relevant to some of the points raised here:

Ash Beckham

Alex
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