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Old 11-11-2008, 04:53 AM   #1
"Tom28"
IP Hash: e9cd761e
Anonymous User
Another harassment question

I've been studying for a couple of years now-small class.

I managed to convince a timid female friend of mine to join. Things were going well for a while then the instructor started making comments. Just little things at first. You're a girl you should be flexable! You're a girl you should this or that. Common comments guys make. They started getting more and more personal and I could tell my friend felt awkward. She would try and call him on it by saying "hey cut that out you're a pig" in a half joking way but this had no effect. Once or twice he slapped her ass- she ended up stopping attending class after that.

Fast forward to a year and a half later, I introduce another female friend to the class. Extremely good looking and fit. I warn her about what happened in the past but she swore she didn't get that vibe, and if she did she would put a stop to it right away.

Sure enough after a while he started making little comments during class, nothing really bad or out of control. Once again I warned her about it but she passed it off citing she gets those comments every day at her job.
After a while however she started to realize the comments were getting out of control. He's always calling her pretty, beautiful, georgeous making comments like you're a girl you should be able to roll up off your back better. You're a girl you should be able to spread your legs more!
He says it in a joking manner but it's clearly becoming a problem. Sooner or later I expect him to start slapping her ass or becoming more bold.

Aside from the whole girl issue he's a great guy. Also another problem is that I haven't been to the school in a long while because I'm busy with my job.

I keep pressuring my friend to confront him but she keep coming up with excuses not to. I know she's becoming upset about it but she seems to think that she can just avoid it and it will stop or she's convinced that one of these days she's going to confront him.

I forsee her either getting fed up to the point here she too quits class or worse where the other male students quit because their tired of the constant comments and attention inflicted on her by the instructor.

Some might suggest I just email him and let him know what's going on but I really don't think he will see it as an issue and just pass it off. Especially coming from another guy, who hasn't been in class. I think it needs to come directly from her for it to have any lasting effect.

So how can I convince her to stop being shy, stop being embarassed and tell him to stop making those kind of comments in class? How does she impact on him the seriousness of it and how it's effecting her and likely the rest of the class.
I know if I was one of the other guys training I'd sure as hell be resentful.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 09:54 AM   #2
"Anni"
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Re: Another harassment question

I think you should talk to your instructor about it nonetheless, and the others in the dojo should do it as well. I think the message will sink if a lot of people complain about it. Then he might see that it is generally seen as a significant problem, that it is bothering not only the woman in question but also the others. I think this should be dealt with as quickly and directly as possible since it would probably affect the atmosphere of the dojo in the long run, as well as the students' respect for their instructor. Good luck, hope you get it solved!
 
Old 11-11-2008, 10:02 AM   #3
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: Another harassment question

I think it's time for you to look for another school. Honestly tell your instructor why you are leaving. And honestly tell your friend that you have warned her enough, and that you can do no more for her. She's an adult, and responsible for her choice. Wish her luck, and leave.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 10:16 AM   #4
Voitokas
 
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Re: Another harassment question

I don't think it's up to you to convince her to confront him - and it sounds like confrontation may not help anyway. He may be a "great guy", but he's obviously not great enough to be teaching. It might help your friend more if you made a list of other dojos in the area and suggest that she try them out. Once she is happy at another place, you might then go see the first instructor (or the dojo-cho, if the grabby instructor is not the sensei) and say, "John (or Sensei), I am never going to recommend a female student to your dojo again, and this is why... You might not know that this is an issue, but it is, etc." And if it were me, I wouldn't go back to that school either. I'm sorry there's a guy like that out there ruining it for students, and I hope that your friend has good luck finding a place she feels comfortable!

I am not an expert
 
Old 11-11-2008, 10:57 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Another harassment question

You open with "small class". Perhaps now you know why.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
 
Old 11-11-2008, 11:09 AM   #6
Larry Cuvin
 
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Re: Another harassment question

Look, just be a man and talk to your sensei! Tell him that you are getting annoyed with his sexist comments and he needs to stop. Tell him also that this is a pattern that you've observed before and that you are not letting this pass. You choose the manner on what tone you want the message be delivered but deliver it so he would understand. Simply doing nothing will not cut it any more. If you truly care for your friend and your sensei, get this resolved as soon as you can. Harassment is harassment. just my 2 cents.

Plus Ki
 
Old 11-11-2008, 02:46 PM   #7
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Another harassment question

I hope that if I observed this continuing harrasment in a dojo I attended I would:

A) tell the instructor in private I don't like the comments, and it doesn't matter whether it bothers her or not.

B) tell the instructor in public the same thing, and that I will be leaving the dojo if it continues

C) leave the dojo.

Take your friend with you (if she is willing) and find a better place to train together.

Best,
Ron (what a jerk)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
 
Old 11-11-2008, 07:06 PM   #8
aikidoc
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Re: Another harassment question

It sounds as if your sensei has issues with personal or sexual boundaries. A good course or someone confronting him is necessary before it gets out of hand.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 07:10 PM   #9
Amadeus
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Re: Another harassment question

Confront it as a man. Don't be such a girl.

I know, my humor phail...

Love me, hate me, tolerate me or ignore me. I care!
 
Old 11-11-2008, 07:38 PM   #10
Buck
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Re: Another harassment question

I don't know why anyone would recommend a Sensei who is seen as offensive, or is offended to someone else that maybe offended.

As adults we are responsible for our own decisions for not doint what others think is best. She is staying with a Sensei who is seen as offensive fpr her reason. Therefore, warnings and advice may not get the person to leave. There is a reason why she hasn't left it necessary to leave am don't think it is shyness. Like maybe she feels the needs to over come the situation, or feels she can handle the situation. That feeds into the Sensei's remarks that are seen as offensive. All the advice, from the outside, in the world will not change her mind, when she is ready, she will leave on her own terms. She is an adult and has made the choice to stay and put up with what is said to be offensive.

Or things aren't what they seem, maybe it is their way to hide the fact they are doing something like dating, for example.
 
Old 11-12-2008, 08:09 AM   #11
"Tom28"
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Re: Another harassment question

Be a man, I suppose to be a girl means not standing up for yourself?

One large issue is that I have not even been to class to train with my friend, I have not seen or heard any of his comments. This is from her and another student whom I spoke with.

If worse comes to worse I'll email or call him but I still think it will have more significance coming from her.
"I know I haven't been to class in close to a year but I heard you were making rude comments" is pretty sketchy.

I'm afraid of my friend just hoping the issue goes away which I think is not only unfair to her but especially unfair to the other male students in the class who may feel too awkward to say anything.

As for the size of the class I'm from a small city, the class has been small since the first one, never more than a dozen people.
It's also the only Aikido school for 60 miles.
 
Old 11-12-2008, 01:24 PM   #12
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Aside from the whole girl issue he's a great guy.
 
Old 11-12-2008, 05:57 PM   #13
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Another harassment question

If it's really as bad as you say, I would 'out' this guy publicly. Virtually nobody should be treated in that manner, period. And especially not in the dojo! Like I said, if what you say is true, shame on him. I would not train in such an environment.
 
Old 11-12-2008, 07:05 PM   #14
MikeLogan
 
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Re: Another harassment question

If the entire class said something it would have impact. If you believe that other male students don't consider the teacher's behavior all that bad, or "in good fun", then that should have an impact on you. Perhaps this is why you attend so infrequently?

As long as female #2 is aware that female#1 left after inapprpriate contact initiated by the sensei, you've done any duty you can reasonably claim
Quote:
Anon wrote:
I keep pressuring my friend to confront him but she keep coming up with excuses not to. I know she's becoming upset about it but she seems to think that she can just avoid it and it will stop or she's convinced that one of these days she's going to confront him.
Plain and simple she is doing all she needs to do if this were only a matter of learning Aikido, and that is simply to show up, and show at least the common americana respect most people still grow up with.

It then becomes easy to see that she's going above and beyond what the so-called men in your dojo are asked to do. They show up, and are taught; they are not told that: since they are men they should be able to "handle a jo" like they were born with one attached.

This lout does not deserve the respect that should be afforded a teacher, simply by the lack of respect he is exhibiting.

Really, how can this not seem outrageous?

If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.

- Thomas Hardy
 
Old 11-12-2008, 09:38 PM   #15
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Another harassment question

It seems to me that the instructor really has nothing to do with this. What if Tom28 is jealous?

Hypothetically: In spite of the potential hazard, Tom28 invites an "extremely good looking and fit" female friend to the club where he practices. (Why?) He warns her, inadvertently putting the idea into her head that the instructor may try get closer to her over time. She says she'll be on the lookout. He sees it happening again... "How can she not see it?!" he wonders... And now work keeps him away---he's not there to protect this hapless girl, to prevent this injustice. Angst comes from expectations not being met; this is not going anything like he intended...

Who knows? Do you?

Last edited by Joe McParland : 11-12-2008 at 09:44 PM.

 
Old 11-13-2008, 04:28 AM   #16
Jesse Legon
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Re: Another harassment question

What is the matter with some people?! He sounds infuriating. I found the comments that sensei made relating to 'you're a woman, so you should be able to *xyz* better' especially irritating. Ass-slapping is bad behavior and loutish, but the former is just sexist! (Did he really say 'you should be able to spread your legs more'?! If I ever heard anything like that, I wouldn't even wait till the end of class to leave)

Very disappointing to hear of a sensei who behaves like that
 
Old 11-13-2008, 02:49 PM   #17
AnniN
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Re: Another harassment question

I'd say that regardless of how rarely you attend classes you and the other dojo members should talk to the sensei about this immediately. This seems to be the sort of problem that needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible to prevent both losing members and the respect for the teacher. If he doesn't realize he's acting inappropriately, he should be told about it. If that's the only dojo within 60 miles, are there any dan-grades willing to set up their own dojo? The most important thing is that this kind of situation must not be allowed to continue.
 
Old 11-13-2008, 03:40 PM   #18
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Tarjei Amadeus H°ydahl wrote: View Post
Confront it as a man. Don't be such a girl.

I know, my humor phail...
Not funny.

And to the thread initiator...why would you train would someone like this?
Just one more comment ...women over the age of 18 are not girls.
Mary
 
Old 11-13-2008, 09:19 PM   #19
Buck
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Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Not funny.

And to the thread initiator...why would you train would someone like this?
Just one more comment ...women over the age of 18 are not girls.
Mary
Mary, Mary, Mary.... neither is farting out long n' loudly while in mist of taking ukemi during a demo, but people laugh anyway. It's the stuff comedy is made of.

"Girl"- possibly a semantics hot potato?

Webster says:

Main Entry: girl
Pronunciation: \ˈgər(-ə)l\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English gurle, girle young person of either sex
Date: 14th century
1 a: a female child from birth to adulthood b: daughter c: a young unmarried woman sometimes offensive : a single or married woman of any age
2 a: sweetheart sometimes offensive : a female servant or employee.

What is neat about this definition, is the word sometimes. and not all the time.

I never liked bullies
Bullies, well they come in all sorts. The stereotypical school yard boy, to the more passive-aggressive cogent popular girl on the internet.

Is this a bully situation, words use to intimidate from a power position. The sensei is the bully, the student victim. This is what we assume automatically in these types of situations that are told to us. We are asked to take a sides on these situations told to us openly, fossils not fleshed out with all the facts. Prime stuff to manipulate, persuade, and convince, all the stuff in politics.

Are such relationships between sensei and student conditional?

I was bullied, am a wimpy kinda of guy, the stuff bully targets are made of. I get and have been pushed around, intimidated by others, including women and men; construction workers to professors of both sexes. As adults choosing a relationship we decide, we shop for a Sensei. No one forces us to choose and the choose really isn't an important one, say like a spouse. We decide, we have the power to decide to go or stay, etc. no matter who we are.

What is left of the battle of the sexes is the slapping down of the power egos. - I don't remember who said it.

Template used: Sexist sensei (assumed and always male) preys on vulnerable female student. Student can't leave because a) small, or b) only dojo in town. How does student fight back, deal, with situation. Provides opportunity to persuade readers to side with student victim.

Template used to changes public opinion in favor of women slapping down a male ego. As many more senseis are male then female. More men in dojo than woman.

The question then is why more men in Aikido than woman, and why pander to women. That I think is the real injustice, placing women as victims, making them weak looking and, pandering to them.

I like to hear stories of strong women, successful women as templates in Aikido, instead of those who use them as victims because I don't like bullies.

Food stuff for real thought.

Last edited by Buck : 11-13-2008 at 09:25 PM.
 
Old 11-14-2008, 01:40 AM   #20
"Tom28"
IP Hash: e9cd761e
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Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Joe McParland wrote: View Post
It seems to me that the instructor really has nothing to do with this. What if Tom28 is jealous?

Hypothetically: In spite of the potential hazard, Tom28 invites an "extremely good looking and fit" female friend to the club where he practices. (Why?) He warns her, inadvertently putting the idea into her head that the instructor may try get closer to her over time. She says she'll be on the lookout. He sees it happening again... "How can she not see it?!" he wonders... And now work keeps him away---he's not there to protect this hapless girl, to prevent this injustice. Angst comes from expectations not being met; this is not going anything like he intended...

Who knows? Do you?
I really don't see the point of this post Joe? Even hypothetically it seems more an attempt to be a dick than anything constructive?

There shouldn't be any type of hazard inviting an old highschool friend to the school where I practiced. Being a girl (woman/lady) shouldn't be a factor. The fact that a previous friend received the same comments and physically "slapped on the ass" really leads away from the silly jealous angle. I'm not sure if you were trying to make a joke but rally man, it wasn't funny nor helpful at all. Maybe you should save your adice for another thread because to me this is a serious issue, thanks.

Mary, why would I train with someone like this? I didn't see this behavior until a woman came into the class (and even at that point I was a few classes away from my year or so leave of absence).
My other friend was interested in doing some kind of martial arts but was always too shy/timid to go to class. I convinced her to try and she wanted to do the same one I did, Aikido. Before hand I warned her about what happened previously and she assured me if it happened she would put a stop to it right away so I said sure I'll make the introductions. Believe me I have serious doubts about going back to the school in light of all this even though it will effectively stop my Aikido training until I move into a city that has it
.
[Also I think the whole girl/woman thing is semantics. When you call it a girls room it doesn't preclude women from using the facilities. In the case I used it it's interchangable with all words female]

I'm going to speak with her tonight and mention this thread and ass on the comments and advice from all sides.
(I'll also invite her to come post here about it)

My sensei IS a good guy. He's not a bully in my opinion at all. He's jut one of those guys who at inappropiately around women and doesn't realize what he's sayng is too much/too far. Some guys just turn into different people near women, we all work with guys like that.

My goal is to create a balanced training environment where everyone is happy, enjoying their training and lastly attracting new students for me to learn from. His actions are alienating half the population and pissing off the other half. Know what I mean?
 
Old 11-14-2008, 03:29 AM   #21
Joe McParland
 
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Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I really don't see the point of this post Joe? Even hypothetically it seems more an attempt to be a dick than anything constructive?

There shouldn't be any type of hazard inviting an old highschool friend to the school where I practiced. Being a girl (woman/lady) shouldn't be a factor. The fact that a previous friend received the same comments and physically "slapped on the ass" really leads away from the silly jealous angle. I'm not sure if you were trying to make a joke but rally man, it wasn't funny nor helpful at all. Maybe you should save your adice for another thread because to me this is a serious issue, thanks.
There's no joke, Anonymous User. It is a serious issue and my advice was very direct. Your perception of my intent was wrong, so you assumed I was a "dick" and responded as you did. You could have asked what I meant, but you didn't. You could have clarified what you meant, but you did not. You afforded me no respect, assuming I had ill intent. You presumed to know my mind and you consequently showed your own quite publicly.

So, all of the above notwithstanding, why should I, or anyone, automatically trust your perception of events in your dojo? Are you not behaving the same way in handling your dojo's business as you just did in handling me?

The same hypothetical message naturally was directed to anyone who was instantly inflamed by the picture you painted and jumped to any conclusion without examining the entire situation clearly. [See Buck's post for a more verbose explanation.]

If your mind is clear and your motives are pure, then you already have all you need to make your own decisions. If you have any doubt, then expect the people you confide in (insomuch as we are your confidants) to explore the source of your doubt.

Last edited by Joe McParland : 11-14-2008 at 03:41 AM. Reason: clarification

 
Old 11-14-2008, 05:22 AM   #22
"Tom28"
IP Hash: e9cd761e
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Re: Another harassment question

Thanks Joe but like I asked, please save your 'advice' for another thread. You're the only one who responded the way you did. Maybe I'm wrong, it seemed so far off course of everyone else that I couldn't imagine you doing other pissing around. Now you're turning it around into an "But I was serious post"

Why not really run with it? Maybe I'm actually the woman in question and I'm too embarassed to ask and I concocted this story of being a worried friend?0
Maybe I'm actually the instructor in question and I'm trying to snoop around and ask the forum about the situation so I can cover my tracks better. Hey you never know, right?

Assume for the sake of my thread that everything I say is honest and accurate. If you want to play the what if game and call my integrity into question do it somewhere else. Second time I've asked now. Respectfully Joe, I'm not looking to play the red herring game.
Not only am I married and not the least bit "jealous" of my sensei making rude comments to my friend the moderators have my ISP and can tell you that I've been actively posting on this forum for a few years now. Any senior members like Ron, SeiserL or Mary (to name a few) can ask and I will PM them and have them verify my integrity and maturity. That of course defeats the idea behind an anonymous thread mind you. And you can spend the whole time what if-ing every thread in here to death.

So like I asked,for the sake of the thread not spiraling into silliness, red herrings and what if's, assume what I'm saying is accurate and honest or please save it for someone else's thread.
 
Old 11-14-2008, 06:05 AM   #23
Buck
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Re: Another harassment question

Mary,

I think the joke really is that post-demonizing of that 30 year old male chauvinistic pig sexual stereotype that we are to believe all men are. And the stereotype that the victimized women under such a man. You know that old women's lib stuff. This stuff no longer applies today.

So then, when I read this post I look at it with fresh eyes, and not those stuck of the past. In that way, the issue isn't laughed, or poked fun at.
 
Old 11-14-2008, 06:12 AM   #24
"Tom28"
IP Hash: e9cd761e
Anonymous User
Re: Another harassment question

My post may have came off more angry than I intended. It's a serious issue for me that effects myself, my friend, my classmates and IMO the school's future. A coworkers entire school closed because a male instructor ran his hand down a womans back, butt and legs (while doing the same to the rest of the class I'll add) to explain some kinda straight line apparently. I doubt my friend would go to that extreme but I can't speak for future women who may join the class and I want a class to come back to.

Speaking to my friend a few minutes ago shes going to wait until he's alone without other students present and bring up her concerns and issues with his behavior. I'm hoping he just doesn't realize his behavor is wrong and addressed, he corrects it.
If he doesn't stop I'm going to fire off an email or make a call and tell him he needs to stop or I won't be returning and likely she won't continue to train either.
 
Old 11-14-2008, 06:34 AM   #25
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
If he doesn't stop I'm going to fire off an email or make a call and tell him he needs to stop or I won't be returning and likely she won't continue to train either.
Don't forget to identify him, publicly.
 

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