Re: Why aren't more women practising Aikido?
We have about a 1:5 ratio at my dojo. I think fighting or anything related to it doesn't appeal to most women because we are socialized to focus on other means of acting in the world. Men are socialized to use force from an early age. Just look at the way toys are marketed to children and the number of female soldiers in the army.
Personally, I love Aikido and think more women would love it if they could give it a chance. I like that the emphasis is on movement and posture, not physical strength and size. I also think more boys would love ballet if they felt it was really OK to enjoy movement for it's own sake.
On the topic of gender orientation, I think it is healthy to realize that in any group there are LGBT folk. This should be respected, not feared (by expecting people to keep it secret).