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Old 03-10-2013, 05:13 PM   #27
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,184
Re: The Great Non-Issue

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I will answer in reverse order, since that may help. The presence of a homosexual in the dojo raises the issue of homosexual behavior. Just as the presence of heterosexuals raises the issue of heterosexual behavior (defined in a similar fashion, but between opposite sexes). For me and my dojo, I express the same concern for both issues. I think you are creating a straw argument to show that sexual conduct in the dojo is OK for some and not OK for others. It isn't; and even if you pointed to 10 dojos who all have engaged in this misconduct, it would not change the stance our dojo takes, it would simply identify 10 dojos who are potentially breaking the law by not addressing sexual harassment in the dojo.
Hi Jon,

Well, here's the thing. There's sexuality. There's identity. And there's sexual behavior. Those are three different things -- connected, obviously, but they're not one and the same. The essay that began this thread was about identity: about an athlete identifying as gay. It addressed the fact that people often (and against all reason) take issue with gay identity, in part because they conflate gay identity with sexual behavior - and moreover, with sexual behavior that does not respect boundaries or concern itself with consent. Someone's gay? Well, we can't be having them in our locker room, because gay identity equals inappropriate sexual behavior -- or at a minimum, automatic suspicion of same -- and we can't be having that.

Taking the discussion into the realm of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behavior is the reddest of herrings. Who was talking about that, and why is it suddenly raised when the people in question are gay? You say that you have equal concern for inappropriate heterosexual contact, yet I have to wonder. Do you scrutinize every new (presumed) heterosexual dojo member to make sure that, in the close physical contact of aikido, they don't cross the line? Whenever a heterosexual member joins your dojo, do you say to yourself, "Oh boy, here comes a heterosexual, we've got to look out"?

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Finally, these comments keep pulling into the discussion of gay rights, which I am attempting to avoid. I do not believe aikido dojos are/should be a political forum. Religion and politics... Religion and politics...
If the word "politics" raises a rash, try using the phrase "human rights" instead. It's closer to the truth, after all - and I fail to see how human rights become irrelevant when we cross the dojo threshold. I know, you've proclaimed that everybody is equal in your dojo. Perhaps that's true. But members of the dominant group who make such claims on behalf of those less privileged are justly regarded with skepticism.
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