[quote=Paul Finn]Perhaps we should accept this fact and realise that because of this there will always be a lack of equality within the martial arts. I believe that because aikido is Japanese it is male biased. I believe this will change when the last of the original uchi deshi pass away and with them their mind set. Before anyone jumps on this, yes I am saying that all of the Japanese instructors I have trained with are sexist, from our western frame of reference. ]
I am not seeking to undermine or question your experience, but my sensei is a high ranking Japanese male who has been very supportive of women in our dojo. By supportive I mean if you train vigorously and often he will give as much as you give to your training, male or female, he uses just as many women for ukemi as men and so on.
Also, from everything I've seen and heard, having been to a number of seminars with Chiba Sensei and students of Chiba Sensei, and looking at the number of high ranking and really superb female senseis that have studied with him, I don't think its quite right to say that all the uchideshi of O'Sensei are sexist. In fact, just looking at the number of high ranking, really kick butt women in Western Region would put that to rest.
Just speaking from my own experience, I have found for the most part that if I trained hard and put myself out there, my instructors have recognized that. I think if that were not the case, I would have found myself a new dojo a long time ago.