I didn't read through the entire thread, so forgive me if I'm echoing someone else's sentiments. This issue with female instructors may be beyond the typical guy's ability to understand- Having been married for almost twenty years, I only grasp that there are a few things I don't grasp.
If you think about this in terms of doctors, many women prefer to see a female doctor, with somewhat less regard to the respective skill levels.
Without personally having a preference for male or female teachers, I do understand that it might be important to a female student because some of the differences in perspective and instruction would be more relevant to women.
I feel very fortunate to have an awesome and amazing female Sensei and excellent male Shihan at my dojo. I receive very different perspectives on identical techniques from my different teachers and I am sure that we all do better Aikido as a result.
Rather than imagining that the ratio of teachers is skewed by some conspiracy, my belief is that where most men rise to the top of their field by dominating it, this dominance is not a characteristic of women unless they are highly inspired. IMHO, this makes Aikido a natural match for many women, but I'm not surprised to see that most of the thousands of female Aikidoka are content to practice individually, rather than being motivated to influence the art at large.
Remember- this is all "IMHO"!
Last edited by Bill Danosky : 03-16-2005 at 11:24 AM.