Thread: Equitable?
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Old 03-07-2005, 09:05 AM   #149
sunny liberti
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Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 68
Re: Equitable?

Mike Sigmun wrote:
Often there is wholesale rape (monkies do this too, BTW) by the troops... it is not from "rage and domination", it is because they are males with a strong sex drive and they can get away with it. A lot of civil rape cases are the same thing, Ruth. To try to pigeonhole rape as purely "rage and domination" is superficial and inaccurate. Horny men (and women) are opportunistic, as well.
Mike, how is it that you are the authority on this? Do you have experience in rape councilling? Do you treat or interview rapists? Maybe you've headed a research project on the subject? Just speculating from your interpretation of a book? I truly want to know your experience here. Maybe you do know more than those of us who have been on the receiving end, but you'll have to convince me of that.

And also from Mike:
Sadly, that's true, but I think a more apt comment is that we're all animals (basically monkies), whether male or female, under the skin.
Funny, I think we are spiritual beings who live in human bodies. Or even human animals *who have evolved to have a spiritual nature*, if you prefer to look at it from that angle. I don't think that matters. As someone said, why else would we practice Aikido? But why are you ignoring our non-aminal components when commenting on this?

In your most recent post (148), are you saying that chauvanism is possibly for the best of all?? I can't quite figure out the point... Please clarify.

I won't dig up the quote from way before, but someone said that it will take 100 years for women to gain equality without the help of men. I wonder then, why is it that we need their help if we are indeed equal? I find that I'm as strong as I think I am. I need no man to bestow eqality on me. It is my birthright whether they think so or not. I believe that if we all live our lives impeccably, with *real* humility (not the fake kind), compassion, and keep our swords of judgement razor sharp, no one can deny our power.

Are we equal or do we need special consideration? This is a contradiction I am seeing a lot in this thread and elsewhere. I'd like to think about this and find a way toward our own power without demeaning those around us in the process.

MLE on Chuck Gordon's account:
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.
Great idea! I'll go:
Beth Frankl taught the first class I participated in. I miss her terribly. She was inspirational to me as she expresses (what I feel is) true female power. I had never felt anything like that much power that wasn't "rough around the edges", or else domineering masked as power. Beth, if you're reading this, please come train with us again!

Raso Hultgren Sensei. I've trained with her only twice. Over after-seminar-dinner, she talked about her early experiences and singlehandedly got me over that hump of hating training - when you begin to have some skill, so people start trying to *yank* on you instead of actual hard training... You girls know what I mean... But I saw then that I could find my way through that stuff.

I've actually made more progress personally through my training with men. Aikido men have fundamentally changed my understanding of myself.

I'll write about my first experience meeting Gleason Sensei. I came to the dojo at 22 as a terrified beated-down. well. child basically. I watched the class that night and had no idea how to process what I'd seen. I felt his rather powerful energy dominating the room. I watched him teach with tremendous control. I sensed *absolutely no abuse* there, and I was baffled. How can a man express power without hurting anyone?! Well, I went home and held myself for 3 days before I could go back and train. Sounds dramatic, but I had to redefine my whole life experience with this new understanding.

That was my first real step toward finding *my* power. I don't feel I need other women (though it is nice to share experiences), and I don't need men's help. I need me. I need to dig real deep to the parts of me that were buried by all my abusers.

I soon heard from some senior women all about the chauvanism in the dojo and how Sensei didn't give equal effort to women. This piqued my interest, seeing as I'd never met anyone LESS chauvanistic in my life. So I watched. I spent a couple of years noting the comments and situations my seniors were complaining about. All the while I never had these issues with him. And guess wat I saw... I saw Sensei using poeple for ukemi who would best demontrate a certain aspect he was trying to point out. I saw that the ratio of female uke used during classes, while not 50/50, were always roughly representative of the make-up of the class. I saw that Sensei neither noticed nor cared about gender while training. But I also saw that he felt people's energy and level of sincerity, and was drawn to those who displayed enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I saw that he rather ignored pockets of sour feeling on the mat (unless there was a problem that needed addressing). It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more indignant those senior women were becoming, the more Sensei gave them room to work out their bad feeling. Then, of course, the more they felt righteously indignant at being ignored. He also, BTW, ignores men who disturb the wa. I make a point to tap into my spirit (even at the times it feels broken) and just be myself on the mat, and have never experienced this from him. So I know the problem was not chauvanism.

Gleason Sensei told me once when I was really frustrated that people who need Aikido most are the ones who find it. That served to shatter a weird delusion I was suffering under. I went to Aikido thinking it would attract only respectful, thoughtful people - like a safe haven from abusers. But my main reason for wanting to train was to grow and become my whole self - to find my power. How could I have ever achieved those things if I only even ran across wonderful perfectly respectful parners? I'd have no training. I'm learning to trust myself, and I have no need to put all my faith in those around me. This buys me time to get to know whether they deserve my trust or not.

Aikido is a powerful path into yourself. I don't always feel comfortable on that journey. In fact, I'm usually not. But I've learned that that's when I'm growing the most. I now apreciate the times when I don't like my training partners. My ego is letting go then. And that's the point for me.

Last edited by sunny liberti : 03-07-2005 at 09:18 AM.


A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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