Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Anonymous

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-20-2008, 04:47 PM   #76
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Tom28,

I guess you might feel that my sterile posts about what I called your "issue" about wanting to change your dojo as being impersonal, or unsensitive. When looking at things without judgement sometimes it comes off that way. If you feel am judging or attacking you am not. I think often times the core of an issue can be mis-read, twisted, etc. and we lose sight of what really is the issue which you said was your goal. I think your goal would be a very interesting discussion too.

Harassment is not nice, but it is not illegal unless it happens in the work place. Confusing that is also wrong which some people are doing in this thread to support their own personal agenda (for lack of a better word). Because it gets people off the subject and all worked up grabbing pitch forks and that is very wrong.

I think the other issue here is that you are disturbed by your sensei's behavior toward your friend. That is your right. And you want to change that. But the sensei isn't trying to pick you up with lines that some people find offensive. I agree you don't have to like the style of the sensei and it would turn allot of people away form the dojo including me if I witnessed it. But that is the sensei's personality defect problem that he has to figure out and work it out for himself. Isn't a benefit of Aikido character building?

I sometimes think about new students who come to the class with all their personal baggage, personality issues, stress, preconceived ideas, expectations, etc. thinking Aikido fix all that or fulfill all that. I know I did.

Last edited by Buck : 11-20-2008 at 04:58 PM.
 
Old 11-20-2008, 06:48 PM   #77
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 678
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Harassment is not nice, but it is not illegal unless it happens in the work place.
As far as criminal law is concerned sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace as Buck noted. It is also illegal in public schools (I'm not sure about private schools). While criminal law doesn't seem to to be applicable to the situation brought up by Tom28, civil tort law does have possible application in that the person(s) being harassed may be able to sue the school's owner(s) and/or the instructor under battery or assault tort definitions. (Links below)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_(tort)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_(tort)

For a detailed discussion of how tort law may be applied to cases of sexual harassment not related to the workplace or school, see "Sex, Women and the Law" by Rosemarie Tong.

A lawsuit of this nature can, if successful, put a thriving dojo out of business thereby depriving all students the ability to learn and train.

Buck, it seems that you are suggesting that:

A. The female students who are being subjected to this unwanted attention should, since (as you have noted repeatedly) times have changed, either suck up and live with it or leave, and

B. Other students such as Tom28 should stay out of it and let the sensei work out his "personality defect problem" for himself.

Far from encouraging the sensei to examine his "personality defect problem", this enabling behavior will most likely guarantee that the behavior will continue thereby putting the dojo at risk of what could turn out to be a crippling lawsuit.

FWIW

Ron
 
Old 11-20-2008, 09:32 PM   #78
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
As far as criminal law is concerned sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace as Buck noted. It is also illegal in public schools (I'm not sure about private schools). While criminal law doesn't seem to to be applicable to the situation brought up by Tom28, civil tort law does have possible application in that the person(s) being harassed may be able to sue the school's owner(s) and/or the instructor under battery or assault tort definitions.

For a detailed discussion of how tort law may be applied to cases of sexual harassment not related to the workplace or school, see "Sex, Women and the Law" by Rosemarie Tong.

A lawsuit of this nature can, if successful, put a thriving dojo out of business thereby depriving all students the ability to learn and train.
Ron, I am no lawyer by far. And I am not familar with the law in the terms you discribed beyond the work place. So does a dojo really consitute as a public school- the kind that teaches kids funded by tax dollars that is a place of employment school? I would find it interesting to know if the sensei hired people to teach, and where would that put the dojo? Or does the dojo provide a service, and the members are looked at as consumers? What contract was signed if any. What was said by the sensei bad enough for the court to look at the case? What about in a bar or night club can people sue for battery because of up-front pick up lines? Boy oh boy, too many questions triggered in my head to keep going on.

Ron, I notice you used the words "possible applications, may be able to sue, may be applied to." I have a feeling tort battery cases for sexual battery as outlined by Tom28 isn't set in stone. Can you point me to any cases where tort battery charges apply to this situation? Mrs. Tong, I looked at her bio, I didn't see any place that said she was a lawyer, I was hoping to read any battery cases she tried. Can you point me to any?

Ron if your a lawyer, could you educate me on cases of sexual battery (tort) similar to what this sensei is being accused of? Or has closed down a dojo. Cause I don't know the law like I said, and I willing to learn. I don't want to let people think I know the law when I don't. I am not interested in being a fraud, or speak out of my south end. I am looking forward to being educated.

Quote:
Buck, it seems that you are suggesting that:

A. The female students who are being subjected to this unwanted attention should, since (as you have noted repeatedly) times have changed, either suck up and live with it or leave, and

B. Other students such as Tom28 should stay out of it and let the sensei work out his "personality defect problem" for himself.

Far from encouraging the sensei to examine his "personality defect problem", this enabling behavior will most likely guarantee that the behavior will continue thereby putting the dojo at risk of what could turn out to be a crippling lawsuit.

FWIW

Ron
Ron,
The answers to your questions A and B are both, "nope."

As far a your last comment. Eckhart Tolle talks about it, let me quote him from his book The Power of Now, "The psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger. It comes in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread, phobia, and so on. This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now."

"Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are cause by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence"

Good stuff don't you agree?

Last edited by Buck : 11-20-2008 at 09:39 PM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 05:15 AM   #79
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 678
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Buck wrote:
Ron, I am no lawyer by far. And I am not familar with the law in the terms you discribed beyond the work place. So does a dojo really consitute as a public school- the kind that teaches kids funded by tax dollars that is a place of employment school? I would find it interesting to know if the sensei hired people to teach, and where would that put the dojo? Or does the dojo provide a service, and the members are looked at as consumers? What contract was signed if any. What was said by the sensei bad enough for the court to look at the case? What about in a bar or night club can people sue for battery because of up-front pick up lines? Boy oh boy, too many questions triggered in my head to keep going on.
I'm not a lawyer and won't attempt to answer your questions other than to say that in this litigation happy country why take the chance and put your operation at risk by engaging in behavior that is unasked for and unwanted by the receipient?

Quote:
Buck wrote:
Ron, I notice you used the words "possible applications, may be able to sue, may be applied to."
In my previous post I use the qualifiers because I am considering possible consequences of behaviour that could be construed as sexual harassment and therefore may fall under the jurisdiction of civil tort statutes.

Quote:
Buck wrote:
Ron,
The answers to your questions A and B are both, "nope."
You wrote:
Quote:
Buck wrote:
She is free to leave the class when it ends, and has the freedom not to ever come back.
and

Quote:
Buck wrote:
She can walk away. She has the power to walk if she feels the situation isn't a good one.
and

Quote:
buck wrote:
I think the other issue here is that you are disturbed by your sensei's behavior toward your friend. That is your right. And you want to change that. But the sensei isn't trying to pick you up with lines that some people find offensive. I agree you don't have to like the style of the sensei and it would turn allot of people away form the dojo including me if I witnessed it. But that is the sensei's personality defect problem that he has to figure out and work it out for himself. Isn't a benefit of Aikido character building?
 
Old 11-21-2008, 06:12 AM   #80
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

You are right, we are a sue happy country. Despite that the women should sue, but suing someone takes lots of time, money and effort over something that might fall under tort battery? Do you really think he would lose his dojo over some pick-up lines that might be or possibly be seen as a tort sexual battery case? Battery isn't a grave offense. I don't see a court awarding great amount of damages in favor of the women over this. Wouldn't it be easier just to leave and go somewhere else if it was an issue?

Tom28 is disturbed by how he sees the situation of the sensei's approach to his female friend and other women who enter the dojo. He may see it as a sexist thing that was said, but the women is still going to the dojo. Maybe she isn't insulted by the Sensei and treats it like a joke. I don't know. But she still or still continued with the dojo past the first occurence, and I say good for her. A strong contemporary women who isn't threatened or intimidated by pick-up lines Tom28 found offensive.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 06:36 AM   #81
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Don't get me wrong, Ron. I think it is ok for Tom28 to see the situation as he does, to be offended. He has to work that out himself, come to terms with it, take the necessary action he feels is right.

My advice to him would be, if he isn't shy or not on good terms with the sensei, to bring it up to the attention of the sensei over a beer. Tom28 feels the sensei is good guy, except for what Tom28 feels is one personality defect of the sensei.

Last edited by Buck : 11-21-2008 at 06:42 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 06:39 AM   #82
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,198
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

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!

Pick up lines?




Mary

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 11-21-2008 at 06:45 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 07:14 AM   #83
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Mary, your right. I am assuming they are pick up lines. I really can't say that, I am judging the meaning of the words out of context. I wasn't there to here the words come out the of the sensei's mouth in a complete accurate context, no was I there to see the women's reaction. Or who the women is or the sensei. The words are given to us by Tom28.

I know in some places with some people of contemporary culture in the US that would be an ineffective female pickup line. If it were to be effective on such females, it would have to be much more sexually explicit and up front. Which by some people's standards would be very offensive and insulting and sexually harassing.

But not all people today have the same standards of what is sexually acceptable and what isn't in the US in society (of course there are standards now in the work place). Just as the sexual revolution of the 60's changed how we look at the interaction between men and women (sexual freedoms, both in words, and actions, i.e. in the way men and women approach each other verbally and physically, terms like free love, orgies in public, sex before marriage, multiple partners, etc.) offended a whole older generation of people in the same way. What you quoted that was said by the sensei, to some women would not be sexual enough to pique their interest. Others, may laugh it off, others may be offended. Others may not care. We are talking about the current times.

I don't know. I wasn't there, I didn't hear it in context, or was there to see the women's reaction, or her personality, or age. I don't know if this was all said in one breath or at different times in different places in different conversations. Honestly, by today's standards of offensive language, its mild. I hear worse every day in music, and in the clubs. If the women is offended she has the right to tell him off, walk out, or any other legal reaction she chooses.

Again this is Tom28's concern, how he seen things, and how it bothered him.

Last edited by Buck : 11-21-2008 at 07:29 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 07:57 AM   #84
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

More examples of the wide range of what is offensive and what isn't to some and not to others. There are countless TV shows and movies too like the very popular "Sex in the City." and others. Watch MTV, VH1, and their reality programs, commercials, sports figures, celebrities. etc, and listen to contemporary music and videos. Heck go to a contemporary club of 20-30's year old go. etc. The envelop has been pushed to the edge to its limits for decades.

Not all women have the same standard or level of what each individual considers sexually offensive language from both women and men. What someone finds offensive (outside the work place) is based on upbringing, culture, background, personality, experience, religion, etc. We just can't assume all the way round. All we know is what Tom28 sees it as and feels about it.

Last edited by Buck : 11-21-2008 at 08:00 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 08:12 AM   #85
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Ron,

Speaking of the law, is there enough against the sensei for the women to file a restraining order against him?
 
Old 11-23-2008, 02:20 AM   #86
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Buck, it seems that you are suggesting that:

A. The female students who are being subjected to this unwanted attention should, since (as you have noted repeatedly) times have changed, either suck up and live with it or leave, and

B. Other students such as Tom28 should stay out of it and let the sensei work out his "personality defect problem" for himself.

Ron
More directly Ron, to answer:

A. If offended or feeling harassed leave. Don't stay there thinking it will go away or the sensei will change.

B. When I said "personality defect problem," it meant he will not change overnight if at all. Think of it as he has the problem he has to deal with.

Not all women think or respond alike. Can't stereotype women or pigeon hole them in how they will react to such a sensei. It is a case by case thing, each women is different and will handle it differently. You got to give the women credit for being an individual and dealing with the situation as an individual on her own terms.

Tom28, sees what he feels is a problem, it is a problem for him. It makes him uncomfortable and he worries. He knows what he has to do and the choices he has to make.

The most frequent and most given in shear responses as advice given here in this forum and other spots is when situation like this one where there is a conflict or relationship issues in the dojo that are not easily resolved the advice is to "leave the dojo" more often then not. I am in lock-step with that advice as being the best advice, thus the solution to this women's problem.
 
Old 11-24-2008, 07:13 AM   #87
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

If there is any touching involved, and that touching is unasked for, or explicitly refused, continued touching could most certainly be seen as assault, sexual or otherwise.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
 
Old 11-24-2008, 10:03 AM   #88
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,198
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

Isn't this a good quote?!?
Mary
 
Old 11-24-2008, 09:39 PM   #89
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

Mary
I guess Jane never heard of Mary. That is Queen "Bloody" Mary I Tudor of England.

And that is exactly the thing that the thread shouldn't be about.

By filtering out sex from the situation being discussed, you are removing the sexism. When you do that, that is when the true discussion starts.

Last edited by Buck : 11-24-2008 at 09:41 PM.
 
Old 11-25-2008, 04:41 AM   #90
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 678
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
When you do that, that is when the true discussion starts.
When you do that you deftly avoid what began the discussion in the first place.

Ron
 
Old 11-25-2008, 05:44 AM   #91
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,198
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

The thread is about institutional sexism using an example at a specific dojo. Your attempts to make it personal by labeling me because I do not agree with you will not change that any more than your denying the systematic abuse of women.

Yes... Buck, I am a feminist...It is nothing to be afraid of. If the women who have fought and suffered for women's rights had not gone before us woman would still not be voting.

I am very sorry you have been victimized...I know it happens to men as well as woman. If you would read my posts you would understand that I am a humanist...I am interested in all human beings living in peace and safety.

Your issues are on on your sleeve....please let go of your victimization by me. It is not real.
Thanks,
Mary
 
Old 11-25-2008, 06:41 AM   #92
"Tom28"
IP Hash: 27eaaa4f
Anonymous User
Re: Another harassment question

Buck I have to side with Mary on this. You come across like you have a personal issue with Mary and let it bleed into the tone and content of your posts. Almost like you were trying to pick a fight?

I'll be receiving an email with my friends perspective and thoughts which I will post here in a day or two when it arrives.

Quote:
You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

Isn't this a good quote?!?
Mary
Yes it is. You can be Pro male, pro white, pro single father without having to view someone negatively.

Quote:
By filtering out sex from the situation being discussed, you are removing the sexism. When you do that, that is when the true discussion starts.
Would his behavior be considered worse if he was placing negative attention on someone for being overweight, slow, visible minority?

Would a comment such as
'But you're black. You should be used to people grabbing your wrist and restraining you' be viewed as just a joke. Would it be any less offensive than comments on a girls sexuality?
 
Old 11-25-2008, 08:29 AM   #93
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,848
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Hi folks,

We're venturing onto some sensitive issues here. Please take care in what and how you write by keeping your discussion civil, and please take care to relate what you are writing about aikido and the original topic. If you wish to discuss more general issues outside of aikido, please do so in the Open Discussion forum.

Thank you,

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
 
Old 11-25-2008, 11:35 AM   #94
RonRagusa
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 678
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

I think the central issue here is whether a student who joins an Aikido dojo has a reasonable expectation of being treated with respect by the instructor(s) regardless of the students' gender, race, religion etc.

IMO the answer is an unqualified yes.

Is the Aikido instructor held to a very high standard of personal conduct with respect to his/her students?

Again, I'd say yes with no qualifications.

In the case where the instructor engages in questionable conduct towards a particular student or group of students and there is no higher authority within the dojo to appeal to; is it both the right and the responsibility of the group to call the instructor to task and ask for a change in the instructor's behavior?

Once again I say yes, although the actual method for doing so may be difficult to arrive at.

Referring to the situation that occurred at Tom28's dojo, giving the instructor the benefit of the doubt and realizing that in the minds of some that times and therefore gender relationships have changed and gotten more liberal and less politically correct, pickup lines on the mat during class still qualify as unacceptable behavior for an Aikido instructor. The proper venue for establishing a personal relationship with a student is off the mat.

Ron
 
Old 11-25-2008, 11:26 PM   #95
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
I think the central issue here is whether a student who joins an Aikido dojo has a reasonable expectation of being treated with respect by the instructor(s) regardless of the students' gender, race, religion etc.

IMO the answer is an unqualified yes.
Ron, your 100% on target with what I am getting at on what this thread should be discussing in being a broader scope of a discussion. In that way it is not limited by, but deals completely with the whole issue. If you pull weeds from your garden you grab the whole plant and pull up the roots.

Quote:
Is the Aikido instructor held to a very high standard of personal conduct with respect to his/her students?
We would hope so. We should hold everyone in Aikido to a higher standard. Problem is that not everyone has the same idea on what is said to be a higher standard of personal conduct. And a very higher standard of personal conduct is an unattainable idea. Sensei's aren't saints.

I remember my first year or so in Aikido, I put the sensei on a pedestal based on all the romantics surrounding Aikido I heard and created. On top of that the persona of O'sensei and his views being the model for every sensei, he set the ideal. As time went on and all my notions of what an Aikido sensei should be fell away the better I got to know the senseis. I realized the perpetuated stereotype of that wise, all knowing, introspective, moral sensei wasn't true. The ideal was shattered by reality. It was an unrealistic ideal because people are human. Humans, who pass skill tests earning rank of shodan who then can be a sensei. There are no tests or training of high personal conduct or the insurance that personal conduct will always be at a higher standard. And authority/power is very seducing, easily abused and not everyone can handle it, as there are so many examples. I realized that the title of sensei isn't synonymous with saint.

And along with the romantic ideal of Aikido the sensei being saints, there is also an unrealistic belief that Aikido the dojo is a utopia. For the same reasons I mentioned and more the ideal that the dojo is a utopia is very unrealistic.

Do our expectations of high personal conduct match-up to the reality that people can't measure up to that? Well at least we should expect something more realistic out of the sensei, right? We should expect the sensei should be respectful, law abiding, and of good character; generally a good honest person who respects others. There are those invisible unspoken rules that are expectations of a sensei that are not universal to all. But here again there are no training in these standards or guarantees of behavior. This makes it very difficult to navigate and no one should assume anyone's behavior or what they are capable of. As the old saying goes, you never really know someone, or what they are capable of doing. I think expectations of behavior can be a very dangerous thing, like in the Clint George case.

First off, do students have a right to hold an intervention and does it really work. Is this notion realistic or an unrealistic ideal? I remember someone saying a dojo is a dictatorship not a democracy. I find this to be true. Then there is what John Burn talked about in his post where his Aikido club turned on him because he did do the right thing, being the whistle-blower

The abuse of authority/power being the real issue here, whether it take form of prejudice, favoritism, sexism, harassment, abuse, unfairness, etc. Power seduces and can lead to all kinds and levels of abuse and an Aikido sensei isn't immune no matter what are expectations are. For a contemporary example of this it would be Clint George.

Then if an intervention takes place is it realistic to thing a person will change? Especially when that person is in a position of authority and power? More so when the dojo is his place and where he has the freedom to exercise himself as he pleases, as long as he doesn't break the law. If the sensei is caught breaking the law, no intervention then is needed. But the sensei hasn't broken the law, as it is our understanding, and it is an issue of the sensei's personality. A personality that Tom28 feels is disrespectful to someone else. Yet another poster felt the sensei may have a poor understanding of his behavior and his intention isn't disrespectful. I interpret what Tom28 quoted the sensei saying as bad pick-up lines out of the 70's. I wonder if the whole dojo is in agreement with how Tom28 sees the situation. If the dojo as a whole felt as Tom28 did why haven't they already intervened? Therefore, would an intervention be successful? An intervention (which I jokingly called a mutiny) is a complex and difficult affair. And does that right to intervene really exist in a dojo where the sensei is boss, leader, etc. There are a matrix variables and outcomes because we dealing with human behavior and trying to change it where the person at the center of all this doesn't see anything wrong with his own behavior. If it was easy to get people to change we would have less people in our prisons. And companies would have us working for nothing. Or employees of a company would be making as much as the CEO. I don't think intervention is this situation is realistic or would be effective. And this just occurred to me

Quote:
Referring to the situation that occurred at Tom28's dojo, giving the instructor the benefit of the doubt and realizing that in the minds of some that times and therefore gender relationships have changed and gotten more liberal and less politically correct, pickup lines on the mat during class still qualify as unacceptable behavior for an Aikido instructor. The proper venue for establishing a personal relationship with a student is off the mat.
Not everyone holds the same standards for a sensei. You may feel it is acceptable for a sensei to be divorced, I may not. You may feel a sensei shouldn't ever drink, I may not. You may feel a sensei has no business inquiring (what ever the style maybe) for a personal relationship. I may say it is fine. We may even disagree if a law is broken and should the sensei go to jail. Or even if we agree there is guilt we disagree on the punishment. We may even disagree what is acceptable behavior and language of a sensei and what isn't. We may disagree whether or not Tom28 has any business posting this situation publicly on the net about what happen to someone else. The woman may feel it is an equal or not greater disrespectful thing to do. It would be ideal if sensei where saints. I would glad if that where the case, but it isn't.

I think no matter how hard we try and no matter how deeply we believe, we can't expect people to act the way the should. We hold them up on pedestals and expect high standards of personal conduct; we should be prepared for the disappointing reality that will come. I think that is what has happened with Tom28. He sees for the first time his expectations of his sensei not being met based on what he observed and was told about his sensei's behavior. For the first time Tom28 sees his sensei's human side and it was upsetting. He had told his woman friend before she started the he heard things about his sensei's alleged behavior; Tom28 didn't really want to believe that his sensei was like that. It upset Tom28 that his sensei was not meeting up to his standards of how a sensei should act. That it is unacceptable for a sensei to talk to a woman as he did. That is was disrespectful in his mind. We may expect our senseis to act at level of professionalism that is the same as what is expected in the work place. I agree it would be nice. But the dojo isn't a work place. Anita Hill wasn't in the dojo of Clarence Thomas. Clarence Thomas wasn't being appointed as sensei in a conservative political atmosphere dominated national politics.

What is the answer, well for you Ron it is one thing, and rightly so. I feel the answer for me is people have a lot of power, but they give that up to those they feel will lead them or teach them. I feel every sensei has a right to behave in their dojo as the wish as long as it isn't breaking the law. If a sensei wishes to be rude, crude, or insulting on the mat that is their right. But it is also the right of the students to leave if they are insulted etc. To render a sensei powerless there is no greater weapon then the sensei's students never coming back. If there are those who stay that is the exact place they belong.

There is no formal higher authority to rule over all the senseis monitoring and policing their behavior. I want that ideal that sainthood to exist. But it doesn't. Therefore, each student has the power if they choose to leave a dojo if they feel wronged, insulted, uncomfortable, etc, and that is very powerful and should not be overlooked, or diminshed. The worse thing to do is to take that power and have an unwritten rule that it's ok to walk out, but rather change the sensei's behavior. That is my suggestion for Tom28, to speak his mind and walk out under protest, rather then thinking of intervention that will more have little if any effect. Because, he really isn't going to be happy there at that dojo because of his views and under those circumstances. Should he take his female friend with him when he goes, no because it is her choose to stay or go, just as it was her choose and decision to stay at the dojo for what ever reason. That is her power, her right if she feels wronged. This is the issue. It should not be turned into anything else. That is my point.
 
Old 11-26-2008, 07:23 AM   #96
"Tom28"
IP Hash: 27eaaa4f
Anonymous User
Re: Another harassment question

Forwarded.
Seems the issue is on it's way to sorting itself out.

Quote:
hey ... here is the email you have been waiting for ...

ok .. so when I thought of joining Aikido I was told that the sensei was a bit friendly with women. I was given examples of things he said and did in the past to a pevious female student. I decided to join anyways since I had always wanted to join a martial art and Aikido seemed best suited to what I was looking for. I was warned of how he was ... Of course it's not right and is not acceptable .... but it happens. It is about what one can tolerate.

At first, he used comments like "hey sexy!" or "hey beautiful!" which is no big deal. I must add here that I also have a part time job with a crew of mostly men ... therefore comments like these were not new to me. When the comments started, they were simple comments or one-liners. I saw no harm in them. Later, he would say these comments in class but also make them a bit more personal. Sometimes other students would laugh along, but most of the time they said nothing (they really are nice students to train with, and I know they were not laughing at me ... I laughed and passed a lighthearted "buzz off" message so they laughed about it... laughed to lighten the akward situation) The sensei would ask me (for example) to grab his arm ... I said something like "how do you want me to grab you ... which hand?" he would say "you can grab me anyway you want ... I dream of you saying that!" as a response, I would laugh it off and add "not gonna happen!!".

Another time, when practicing how to roll ... he would ask me to bend over so he could show me how to position my body ... but say it in more of a "bend over!!" tone and add a comment like "I always wanted to say that" ... I would respond with "Hey now ... none of that!". I tried to keep the tone light and friendly because I honestly didn't want to embarass him in front of other students ... I thought that reponding with humour would lighten the akward situation and he would still hear me say that "that was not cool". My goal was to get my point accross in as simple a way as possible that did not involve anyone being insulted or made to feel bad.

There are other things as well ... all within the same degree .... I have no doubt in my mind that if I even showed any interest or reciprocation (in sex or a relationship) he would make more advances. At one point during Aikido I was hesitating to roll (cause it is intimidating to feel like you are launching your body in the air with little to no control) and he tapped my bum and said "go" ... as a response after the tap I said ... "easy now ... no touching!". He has not done that again. Some of the comments were more rude but they do not need repeating use your imagination. You know most of them.

You may be wondering why I have not approached him and talked to him. I had plans to talk to him about everything but within the last week his behaviour as such has changed. He has stopped being "sexual" and is simply complementing (using phrases such as "good evening beautiful")... and nothing more or worst.

You may also be wondering why I have not quit Aikido and avoided the whole situation. The comments and such happened often enough, but never enough to force me to quit. To me, I am a woman in a sport that is predominantly male dominated. If I quit, I feel like I have given up ... like I let him win!! I needed to show that I could take care of myself. You need to understand that I have never quit or let myself be intimidated by anyone .. and I sure as hell was not gonna start now.

Hope that helps you summarize ... please do not include any names or hints or indications as to who I am ... i... I trust you. If anyone has any comments on this issue I would like to hear what they have to say (good or bad) .... because after all, it is about me.

Let me know if you need more examples or if this is good ... I had to stop typing cause I need to get ready for Aikido soon ttys ... please write back so I know you got this message ... I really don;t need it in the wrong hands ...

ttyl
 
Old 11-26-2008, 12:53 PM   #97
Voitokas
 
Voitokas's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 377
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Sounds like she doesn't need your advice after all, Tom28 ...just the same moral support that one wants from any friend. It's a shame that our society is still such that your friend takes a certain level of objectification for granted , and I'm still disappointed in the other students for not saying anything - but then again, it sounds like somebody probably did say something. I hope your friend becomes more comfortable in the dojo and that the sensei becomes a better person for having her there,
voitokas

I am not an expert
 
Old 11-26-2008, 07:37 PM   #98
"Tom28"
IP Hash: 27eaaa4f
Anonymous User
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Jeremy Morrison wrote: View Post
- but then again, it sounds like somebody probably did say something.
Seems that way
 
Old 11-27-2008, 08:41 AM   #99
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Jeremy Morrison wrote: View Post
I hope your friend becomes more comfortable in the dojo and that the sensei becomes a better person for having her there,
voitokas

I am sure that will happen. And they will become close fast friends really soon because of it. Congratulations to both of them! It sounds to me all this was, well...just an affair of the heart.
 
Old 11-27-2008, 09:07 PM   #100
Mark Jakabcsin
Dojo: Charlotte Systema, Charlotte, NC
Location: Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 207
United_States
Offline
Re: Another harassment question

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
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.
Sorry I have not read the entire thread, hence you have hopefully received this advice already.

Stop being a coward and talk to the teacher. You OWE it to him AND to the women YOU have brought to the class.

Just incase you cannot see how you are a coward read your post above. YOU are PRESSURING HER to take action. Get real and grow a pair. She is there because of YOU. At a minimum you should stop bringing potential victims to this class, otherwise you are an enabler and cohort. While that might sound harsh, it is based on the history YOU outlined.

Take responsibilty for your actions.....if you haven't already (I haven't read the entire thread nor do I intend to waste my time doing so). Be a man. Heck be a good HUman.

Mark J.

PS. Sorry for the strong respone but the posters lack of action and shift of accountability disturbs me as much as the teachers.
 

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brawling with a friend Luc X Saroufim General 227 07-17-2006 07:33 PM
My answer to a very good question: Charlie General 1 08-02-2005 07:10 AM
I have a good question for all your aikidoists ewodaj General 26 06-28-2004 09:00 PM
Article: Thoughts on Bugei Studies by Karl Friday AikiWeb System Training 28 04-27-2002 05:21 PM
Question about clothing Shouri (Steve) General 3 07-26-2000 09:44 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:06 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate