Thread: Equitable?
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Old 03-03-2005, 07:33 PM   #87
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Equitable?

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Not that I am disagreement with you but I would point out that virtually every Founder of a Martial Arts system lived in a country which is heavily male dominated in which women are completely subservient to men. These issues are only today starting to come up in many of these countries. We are far ahead in the West in terms of dealing with these issues or even considering them issues at all.
Where do you want to start approaching reality and dismiss this "male dominance" silliness? Do you deny all of human society has been "male dominated" back to the caveman because evolutionarily the survival strategy that worked for humans was for the males to dominate, provide, and fight for the family while the female devoted herself basically to different duties as part of the survival strategy? Where do you draw the line and begin to recognize that you're watching evolution (societal and biological) in gradual action and not "evil intentions by males"? This trendy view of males as the bad boys and females as the victims needs to be curtailed... it certainly doesn't belong in a dojo, no matter how much one's peers approve of whatever particular social wailing is going on at the moment.
O-Sensei had one close female deshi in the thirties when many of the Aikido greats were training (Kunigoshi, Takako). Whereas, Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki etc. ended up as Aikido teachers and were the Founders of their own styles of Aikido, she ended up as a teacher of flower arrangement, I believe. How much did societal expectations play in that I wonder?
Who knows and who cares? People have to learn to accept some parts of life and society as things that happened due to a number of factors and not dwell on it. Change it towards fairness, but stop the blame pointing OR the angst-derived guilt complexes. Any number of things that man did on his way to where we are now are fiercely condemned, but to not recognize that we go through steps as a necessary part of change is silly.
As far as I understand from her description of the training, O-Sensei didn't treat her any differently on the mat than he did the boys. Yet, in the end she ends up doing an art which is much more socially acceptable for women and the boys stayed in the martial arts... I don't think that was accidental. No, we are the generation which has to tackle these issues, those that went before never did.
But you don't honestly know why she chose to do what she did, do you? Are you really going to make an assumption only because it assists your case of "men is bad guys and we gots to do something about it"? O-Sensei did just right... he taught her Aikido and the rest was beyond his control. He did his job, it seems and didn't bother with the current judgements of society as an issue which needed to be dealt with in the dojo. But maybe we're smarter nowadays and do better Aikido?


Mike Sigman
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