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Old 03-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #14
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,154
Re: The Great Non-Issue

Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I think dismissing their concerns is exactly what is called for. We don't have to insult them or be rude, but we don't have to offer them validation, either. If someone says he's not comfortable training with a homosexual, the only proper answer is that homosexuals have the same right to train that he has, and that his discomfort doesn't change that.

I'm not talking about sexual harassment. I train with a married couple who met doing aikido; clearly, their relationship could not have come about without one training partner making romantic advances toward another. What I am suggesting is that there is nothing wrong with homosexuals doing the same thing, and men (it's always men) who are afraid of being at the other end of the advances might just have to deal with it, the way that women do all the time.

You (personally) have a right to respond in any fashion to people who have expressed their opinions about sexuality, including dismissing their concerns or ignoring them. Rhetorically, I do not believe that tactic will convince anyone to change their position on the subject. I have chosen to engage the same demographic with the intention of changing their position and working towards the comfort of all, this is what I mean by empathy.

Second, I am married to a woman whom I met while training. And I pursued her outside of the dojo and developed a romantic relationship that was mutually received outside of our training. And it was difficult to limit the sexual interaction on the mat and more difficult to suppress my jealously when she was advanced upon by others during training. It made training more difficult.

I understand your suggestion, but I do not believe anyone should have to tolerate unwanted sexual advances from anyone. It is not appropriate for a man to advance upon a woman who does not want the attention and it is not appropriate for a man to advance upon a man who does not want the attention and it is not appropriate for a woman to advance upon a woman who does not want the attention. Sexual harassment includes unwanted advances, Here is a quote from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
I do not support any argumentation structure that validates bad behavior because someone else endured the behavior. Twice now you have said that men should tolerate unwanted sexual advances because women have had to. Again, I think if you are interested in changing behavior, justifying discomfort is not the honey with which you will catch flies...

Again, I think this to be a worthy discussion, thanks for the participation.

Last edited by jonreading : 03-07-2013 at 07:13 PM.

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