Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Is the bias in not picking female ukes based on the common perception that throwing a large man around looks more impressive at a demo?
Yes of course... and being over 6' myself, training in the Far East I have been used for such dramatic effect, especially at demonstrations
Once, when I asked one tiny instructor why she'd specifically asked me
to attend her Childrens Day demo the next day, she said, "because kids like to see foreigners... er... er... doing stuff...". Heheheh, what she meant was, "seeing big foreigners like you having seven shades shaken out of them"
So yes, you're right, the context in which this is happening does matter.
But I think my point about the bias still stands... at the seminar, it was teaching not demonstration (the demonstrations were at the end of the event), and even for things like tai-sabaki, with next to nothing going on, from the pool of 50/50 male/female participants, the choice of uke was unerringly consistent. Like I said, this went on too long to be down to chance; but I am willing to believe it was subconcious. Maybe that subconcious bias is indeed engendered by the issues you suggest.