Thread: Equitable?
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:35 PM   #362
Brion Toss
Dojo: Aikido Port Townsend
Location: Port Townsend, Wa.
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 104
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
That's a completely disingenuous statement, since you quoted the one I just mentioned, isn't it? You erred, then, but you're dodging the admission. You "get the impression" about what I feel? Have you ever heard of the use of logic in debate?

I wasn't "unfairly treated", I was remarking about something that many people have seen in many Aikido dojo's and dojo's in other martial arts... the study of martial arts is disrupted in many dojo's by the insistent injection of extraneous matters by females and some males who are not really there for the focused study of martial arts. In ANY non-serious dojo, whether females are there are not, the quality of study deteriorates. Introducing off-topic worries into martial arts is analogous to many of the conversations on M.A. lists.... the ones who aren't really serious will do their best to discuss any issue but the one which they aren't very knowledgeable in, i.e., martial arts. It's how people are. You and a few others would rather talk about women's issues than nuts and bolts martial arts, as is obvious by your posts. Don't "give" me anything, Ruth, particularly in regard to your perceptions about equality, the views I should have to pass your criteria, etc. I treat you just like a man... you're insulting and I don't give you a pass "because you're a woman", as you'd like. Go back and read the posts by Sunny Liberti, Mary, and others... if they were men, someone in real martial arts would have taken them outside and knocked them flat. But you're not calling for equal treatment, really, are you? You want "special consideration" for women and their "needs", not "equal treatment".

Go back and read the posts in this thread by a select few of the women.... it's a call for "special treatment allowing for women's needs" and it falsely couched in "we want to be treated equally" terms. There are calls for "understanding", but really they are calls for "you better conform to our view of women and their needs". There is an insistence that "these worries about women and their needs is a valid part of "martial arts". It's all BS that has nothing to do with martial arts and all about "look at me, look at me, look at me, I'm a woman". As a valid martial arts topic, it doesn't fly, just as a number of the martial artists have pointed out already.

So don't arrogantly "give me the benefit of the doubt"...instead, "show" me that you know something about martial arts and that you're not just one of the parasites that does not-too-hard and not-too-effective "martial arts" as part of their social life. That's when you'll get my respect, not when you try to browbeat me into the mold of how you "get the impression" I should "feel". You're making the exact case of why I think a lot of women and also a lot of men don't belong in martial arts dojos... they're not really there for the martial arts so they lower the practice standards. How's that for equality???.... *anyone* not seriously focused on martial arts should quit pretending that they're interested in effective martial arts, male or female.

Mike Sigman
Wow. Where to start? In the interests of keeping on topic, I will treat this as an opportunity to compare and contrast.
Mike said, "You "get the impression" about what I feel? Have you ever heard of the use of logic in debate?"
From this I hope it is fair to conclude that Mike finds "getting an impression" is incompatible with logic in debate. I believe that telling people what impression one is getting can be of great value in a debate, and does not preclude logical discourse. Far from it; relaying those impressions gives the other person the opportunity to correct, amplify, or agree about the accuracy of those impressions. Stating impressions can be valuable in preventing actions based on inaccurate perceptions. In the context of this thread, my first impression, seeing the disparity of gender in the teaching staff at Aiki Expo was that it was a blatantly unbalanced setup. Subsequent posts led me to modify that impression.
Mike wrote, "...the study of martial arts is disrupted in many dojo's by the insistent injection of extraneous matters by females and some males who are not really there for the focused study of martial arts." No doubt this is true in many dojos, but what some consider "extraneous matters", others might consider essential. O-Sensei, from what I've heard, (in writing and from people who knew him), put some importance on the idea of having a good time while practicing Aikido. In a strictly martial sense, this might seem extraneous. But even if we consider Aikido purely as a martial art, it could be argued that being relaxed and happy will lead to more productive classes for everyone. In the current thread, I believe that unfair treatment of anyone detracts from the quality, the actual, technical, as-implemented-in-a-parking-lot quality of any martial art. Now that of course depends on how one defines "quality"; in my view, there's not much point in being competent but unhappy, especially if there's a chance that I can be both competent and happy. Mike might find happiness in different places than I. If so, we will practice in different dojos. By my lights, I would be guilty of an unfocused study of martial arts if I left out some of the things that Mike considers "extraneous."
Mike writes, "...the ones who aren't really serious will do their best to discuss any issue but the one which they aren't very knowledgeable in, i.e., martial arts. It's how people are."
People, serious or not, will tend to write about the things they are knowledgeable in, or interested in, or intrigued by, or curious about. Dilettantes are no different in this regard. Einstein was a professional physicist, and a dilettante sailor. Just because he kept hitting himself in the head with the boom, and didn't formulate a theory about luff tension, doesn't disqualify him on Relativity.
Mike writes, "...Go back and read the posts by Sunny Liberti, Mary, and others... if they were men, someone in real martial arts would have taken them outside and knocked them flat. But you're not calling for equal treatment, really, are you? You want "special consideration" for women and their "needs", not "equal treatment"."
I went back and read those posts. I compared them with some of my own. I anticipate being taken outside and knocked flat. I doubt that I will be able to distinguish the person administering the knocking, who will be "someone in real martial arts", from a vicious thug. So I guess I am calling for equal treatment, i.e. the right to type fairly mild-seeming opinions -- or even antagonizing ones -- on the Internet without fearing that someone might threaten me with physical violence on me because of it.
Nowhere in those posts did I find any call for "special treatment." I may be projecting, but in my own life I have sometimes thought that women were asking for special treatment, when they were really asking that I relinquish an artificial advantage. Yes, some people of both genders, and all races and persuasions will ask for, and sometimes receive, special treatment per se, but I do not think that is what is going on here.
Mike goes on to complain that some women are, "... try[ing] to browbeat me into the mold of how you "get the impression" I should "feel"."
Nicely mixed metaphor there. But I believe "browbeating" (to depress or bear down with haughty, stern looks, or with arrogant speech; to abash or disconcert by impudence or abuse) is not what is going on here, either. More in the nature of principled disagreement in detail, no?
Yours,
Brion Toss
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