Thread: Equitable?
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:24 AM   #138
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
Re: Equitable?

Anne Marie Giri wrote:
Finally, when I asked "where's George" I wasn't calling on a man to come defend me, but sometimes their words, with the same words can dispel hostitily...and IT DID. Remember what I said before Emily..."only Nixon, can go to China."
I'm sorry if I said anything which upset you, but you know it was not directed at you personally, and I'm not sure why you might have thought that it was.

Here is what I was going on about:
I am actually pretty torqued off that despite my continual attempts to discuss the disparities, inequalities, and treatment of women in aikido particularly, no one bothers to talk much about it unless someone like George L brings it up. I mean, WTF? Why is it ignored unless someone with status brings it up????

Now, George can't help his gender any more than I can, and he has hung around and survived and gotten his rank and I can only respect that. I'm glad he brought it up. Very happy.

For people like Pat Hendrix, Mary Heiny, Chikako Bryner, it obviously isn't an issue, or they wouldn't be doing what they are doing. Maybe it was, but things have changed.
It isn't an issue for me as an assistant instructor, and if it is an issue for a student, then they don't need to be in our dojo. My mantra about "not an issue" is a goal.

Taking things personally, or going anywhere near ad hominem level, is the end of intelligent and fruitful discussion.

So, let's go back to looking at solutions.
This is what I'm talking about, to quit dwelling on "this is unfair, and that is unfair", and dig up the root of the problem. I may have contributed to that, but it was a bad idea. I can change course.

It's not easy, to be a woman walking into a dojo. It's not easy to do something different. Even within that something different, people can be very subtly prejudiced and hurtful about the slightly different from that thing that someone else might do. I have experienced it in some very subtle and hurtful ways that I don't care to participate in any more. Fortunately, I have never really fit in, and have ceased to care. My trail is mine to blaze, and no one else's.

I propose that we..
Talk about the women who have influenced us and our training some more. Talk about how we as women learned to accept the idea that we could become powerful, and the world would not end.
Talk about how men and women can grow, from training together. I repaired some serious trust problems in myself, by learning to trust my male training partners.

The danger women can do to each other is far greater than anything a man can do. This is why Disney's Mulan pissed me off. No female references. All of her social validation came from males.

I have truly enjoyed the women I have trained with at The Dojo, and despite certain situational and social handicaps, we have supported each other regardless. No one who was accepted, left because they wanted to leave. More like moves and life changes and demands.

I have really had to change my preconceptions about how things are, and should be, to evolve and survive in budo. This is what we need to share, to help our sisters along. Our brothers, too.

To paraphrase Janet Rosen: we are just human beings in male or female bodies..

(on Chuck's account, for the moment)

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