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Old 05-12-2008, 07:37 PM   #31
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,307
Re: Starting an all-women's class

Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
This has a lot of effects on one's life, including an aversion to putting yourself in situations where you will go and be one of very few women, or the ONLY woman, to get grabbed and thrown by a bunch of men who know what they are doing and are very confident and often a little aggressive. But you can see that aikido might ultimately be good for you.. even though at first it would seem so unattractive that you probably would pass by a dojo without ever even thinking about the possibility of becoming a member.
Why would anyone be getting beat up by more experienced practitioners in a beginner's class? Sounds like more of a class management problem to me than anything else. I'm all in favor of beginner's/transition classes, but I don't see that segregating them by gender is necessarily the wisest choice.

There are plenty of people who would be more comfortable in classes that are all white, or all black, or all hetero or homo, but that doesn't mean that slicing and dicing the practice into separate groups is going to be beneficial in the end.

Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Do you think any of us have a point, or does it still seem like blind sexism to have a women's outreach beginner class?
I never said it was blind sexism, or that there would be no benefit - what I said is that there is an inherent destructive quality in dividing people into sub-groups based on immutable (or near-immutable) characteristics such as gender, race or religion - enough so that it ought not to be done without a compelling reason.

Now if you're talking about special circumstances, such as self defense classes for abused women, then it may be that you can make a compelling argument.

But no, I wouldn't consider the kind of general beginner's class that we've been talking about to be much of a compelling argument.



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