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Old 07-03-2002, 06:44 PM   #1
"Unregistered"
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Women in the dojo...VERY politically incorrect...

This is a off the wall subject / question, and would be considered, I am sure, to be very poilitcially incorrect - but I really do want to hear some answers. My question is this - when I started in my dojo about 22 yrs ago, there were not many women that attended the classes. As time went on, however, more and more women have joined, as they have contributed many positve things, as we all have. However, I have noticed a rise in - get ready - back-biting, gossiping and a much more negative feeling all around. What have others experienced ? Has anyone noticed this occurrence ?
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Old 07-03-2002, 07:52 PM   #2
akiy
 
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Re: Women in the dojo...VERY politically incorrect

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
Has anyone noticed this occurrence ?
If you're asking whether I've seen any correlation in what you've said above:

Nope.

-- Jun

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Old 07-03-2002, 07:55 PM   #3
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We don't have very many people in the dojo I attend and besides me, there are only 2 other women (one of them is my mother). Before class, we are usually just making small talk and laughing about our silly pet kitties, or whatever. I imagine it all depends on the women who come in the dojo. All of us are different.

Robyn
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Old 07-03-2002, 08:17 PM   #4
Katie Jennings
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Tongue

Yeah... guys can be bitches, huh?
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Old 07-03-2002, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Katie Jennings
Yeah... guys can be bitches, huh?
AHAHAHAHH !!!!
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Old 07-03-2002, 09:29 PM   #6
PeterR
 
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Funny the only ones that give me aggravation are other guys.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-03-2002, 10:14 PM   #7
SeiserL
 
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I can't say I've seen anything other than a raise in respect for women. I enjoy training with them. Because of their size and strength, they tend to have some excellent technique. They have a different energy, so I (6'4", 220 lbs. male) have to pay attention to my enter and blend.

Until again,

Lynn

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!
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Old 07-03-2002, 11:00 PM   #8
Edward
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Well, we do have at the dojo big problems with one female instructor, and I can tell you that the problems that usually arise with MA male practitioners such as arrogance, agressivity, megalomania, sadism...etc. have been at least doubled or tripled in her case. She has scared away most of the female yudansha and consequently became the dominant female figure in the dojo.

However, our female students surpass the guys by far in technical skills, character, helpfullness ...etc. It is always a pleasure to practice with them as they do fluid, fast and precise aikido without feeling the need to try permanently incrusting the partner into the mats. So I like to think that this instructor is an isolated case and feel pity for the rest of them who will have to take her wrath when they become yudansha...
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Old 07-04-2002, 03:12 AM   #9
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Straight Face

Hello,

Unfortunately most women think and make decisions based on emotions, where most men tend to be straightforward and logical. I know this seems sexist,(I'm female by the way), but it is just a fact of brain chemistry (checkout any biology or psychology book). Of course there are many exceptions, but this tends to be the rule. Women also tend to be moodier than males (due to uncontrolable hormone fluctuations, etc.).

I find that many women also tend to make many unsupported assumptions about situations, and emotionally react to them (often imappropriately), while men normally would not react. I think this can lead to the problems of gossip, back biting, etc. Many men behave the same, but it seems much more commen in women.

With my last job I worked in a small office with 12 women and one man, so I'm sure you can imagine the horrific miscommunications, back biting, etc. that occured.

I don't mean to blame inappropriate behavior on gender specific metabolism because of course nurture plays a role as well (which also tends to be gender specific). Women usually are encouraged to react emotionally and looked down for being logical and straigt forward when men are encouraged to be unemotional and logical. Yes, there are many exceptions I know!

Unfortunately we cannot change the behavior of immature and uneducated adults today, so those of you with children, please please please encorage them to use their brains. Semi-inteligent people can see through their immediate emotional response and think about the situation (thoroughly) before reacting. Unfortunatly I find that most people of my gender do not do this. Unfortunatly this creates awkward, annoying, inappropriate situation in the dojo. Hopefully traing will help them mature. As if dealing with a small child, ignore inappropriate behavior, and acknowledge decent behavior (unless ofcourse it is too distracting/harmful, then speak to Sensei).
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Old 07-04-2002, 06:06 AM   #10
DaveO
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With respect to the previous post, it seems to me that to discuss 'women' in such a context is as equally inappropriate as to discuss 'men'. While there are some consistencies; each person is an individual and will react accordingly, regardless of gender. Cases in point: Back when I was studying Jiu-jitsu (dabbling in it, really), I practiced regularly with an absolute knockout blonde 18-year-old. Very intelligent, very mature young lady. Her gender made no difference during practice, although it made grappling a LOT of fun. Had a couple of other females in my class while learning Unarmed Combat in the Army. They were the 1st. two women accepted into the Canadian Forces Combat Arms. Total, complete, unconditional ditzes. They hogged the showers after class so the guys didn't have time to shower. (We had 15 minutes between classes.) Cried in agony when they were so much as touched by a male. Refused to do anything 'unladylike'. Given the political viewpoint at the time, they had been told they would pass Battleschool regardless of their performance, and so didn't even bother to try.
In our dojo today, we have one woman; our senior student. I've more or less latched on to her as my instructor, and she just impresses the bejeezuz out of me; a small woman of mature years with that kind of speed and precision on the mat. Also a fun, nice person to learn from.
So, I think it's really an individual issue, not a gender issue.
One thing I WOULD like to say is how impressed I am at the responses to a very politically incorrect question. It would be very easy to hurl accusations at the poster for his temerity, but aside from a few light-hearted smacks, the responses have been all rational, intelligent discussion. Kind of backs up what I think: Smart people take Aikido.
Thanx!

Dave
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Old 07-04-2002, 06:56 AM   #11
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Cool

unfortunatly we dont have any women in the dojo yet, but i'm sure when they do they'll be welcome, our sensei however has a good view on Hakama, only brown belts and above can wear them, personaly i dont think women should wear them and men shouldnt anyhoo, their shouldnt be any differentials after all if sociaty is all about equal right shouldnt ppl be treated the same?
pete

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Old 07-04-2002, 07:17 AM   #12
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
Hello,

Unfortunately we cannot change the behavior of immature and uneducated adults today, so those of you with children, please please please encorage them to use their brains. Semi-inteligent people can see through their immediate emotional response and think about the situation (thoroughly) before reacting. Unfortunatly I find that most people of my gender do not do this. Unfortunatly this creates awkward, annoying, inappropriate situation in the dojo. Hopefully traing will help them mature. As if dealing with a small child, ignore inappropriate behavior, and acknowledge decent behavior (unless ofcourse it is too distracting/harmful, then speak to Sensei).
Alas, in the country where I practise, Sensei might well be the very last person one should speak to about gender-related issues in the dojo.

Though he does not do aikido as far as I know, Ian Buruma has much to say about Japanese gender issues in "The Japanese Mirror" (published in the US as "Behind the Mask: On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters and Other Japanese Cultural Heroes, Pantheon books, 1984).

Don't be put off by the title, by the way. It's a briliant book.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-04-2002 at 07:21 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-04-2002, 08:18 AM   #13
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Alright, once again a stupid post deserving to be ignored has had so many incorrect replies I can't stand it anymore. To the 'unregistered' (sidebar to all of you, you are suppposed to at least use a different name, eg 'unregistered2' etc so we can tell you apart on a thread) who said she was female and then said most females are emotional based on physiology---sorry, you are wrong. WRONG. Don't make statements you can't back up. Feel free to quote any reputible publication.

I am a female who has spent her life in a male predominant world--the only thing that makes the fighter pilot world look feminine is a surgical residency--and I can tell you from experience that many males react emotionally and gossip with the best of them. A male 'emotional' reaction vs a female one is yell/swear/punch something vs cry, but both are emotional. We as a male dominated society just seem to deal better with the former. The best known gossip in my dojo is one of the male yudansha. Hands down. I've met mean sadistic men and women. Too soft men and women. Too introverted and extroverted men and women.

And to the fellow who had to wait while the women hogged the showers, I have spent 18 years of my life expeiencing the same thing---but with the men hogging the time. I had to wait in surgery while the guys used the changing room, first and longest. I've had 10 minutes in the shower tent while deployed, while the guys had 23 hours and 50 minutes. Usually it was at 'useful' times like 0300, or 1130. Almost always, it was after a popular men's time, so there would be only cold water left. I have been places where I am the second most senior officer on a base, and the one male above and four males below me have private tents, while I as a female share mine with 12 other females, a ratio seen only in the lowest enlisted ranks among the men deployed.

Sometimes in life, bad things happen. Unfair things happen. Grow up and get on with it, and don't try to pigeon hole people into a group so you can blame their whole section of the population. There is no biological/chemical cause for women to be logical and men not, for men to gossip and women not (yes, I meant what I wrote, and if you think it was backwards read the third sentence in this paragraph again). People are individuals, and basing your expeience and opinion of them on their genitalia or the color of their skin is so inappropriate that I am amazed Jun would let something like this be raised on this forum.
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Old 07-04-2002, 10:36 AM   #14
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Colleen,

What you said!! I doubt anyone could say it better.

Thanks,

Chuck Clark
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www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 07-04-2002, 02:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca

Sometimes in life, bad things happen. Unfair things happen. Grow up and get on with it, and don't try to pigeon hole people into a group so you can blame their whole section of the population.

DAMN!!!!! Colleen, Will you marry me! Just kidding, I am already spoken for...but you sound just like my wife.

Everyone give Colleen an AMEN!!
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Old 07-04-2002, 03:22 PM   #16
DaveO
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca

And to the fellow who had to wait while the women hogged the showers, I have spent 18 years of my life expeiencing the same thing---but with the men hogging the time. I had to wait in surgery while the guys used the changing room, first and longest. I've had 10 minutes in the shower tent while deployed, while the guys had 23 hours and 50 minutes. Usually it was at 'useful' times like 0300, or 1130. Almost always, it was after a popular men's time, so there would be only cold water left. I have been places where I am the second most senior officer on a base, and the one male above and four males below me have private tents, while I as a female share mine with 12 other females, a ratio seen only in the lowest enlisted ranks among the men deployed.

Sometimes in life, bad things happen. Unfair things happen. Grow up and get on with it, and don't try to pigeon hole people into a group so you can blame their whole section of the population.
Er... Colleen;
I believe that ifyou read my entire post, you would find my argument was yours: that each person is an individual; not a gender stereotype. I find it interesting that you chose to respond only to the negative example in my post.
As to your advice to bad things happening, from reading your post, I could advise you to do the same.
Dave.
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Old 07-04-2002, 03:58 PM   #17
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Dave,

I did notice that you had an overall positive tone, and I commend you for it. I also noticed that you had to toss in your observations of the the knock-out blonde 18 year old who made grappling more fun, and the unpleasant interaction with the two Army women (who I assume were not as fun to grapple with as the 18 year old).

Who would feel comfortable with a post that read: I wouldn't say training with Blacks is so bad, I remember a tae kwan do class I had a few years ago, there was this Black guy, a lot of fun to pin...but then I had a small unit tactics class, had the first two Blacks ever admitted to this class in it, and they just didn't fit in, complained, refused to do what they were supposed to....

I know that Dave is not someone who would, nor are most of those (Thank God) who do Aikido, or post here. Just one more thing for me to be grateful for on this Independence Day... so Happy 4th to you all, I have to go start the BBQ now or the lobster is going to be raw for dinner....
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Old 07-06-2002, 07:28 AM   #18
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
Alright, once again a stupid post deserving to be ignored has had so many incorrect replies I can't stand it anymore. To the 'unregistered' (sidebar to all of you, you are suppposed to at least use a different name, eg 'unregistered2' etc so we can tell you apart on a thread) who said she was female and then said most females are emotional based on physiology---sorry, you are wrong. WRONG. Don't make statements you can't back up. Feel free to quote any reputible publication.

People are individuals, and basing your expeience and opinion of them on their genitalia or the color of their skin is so inappropriate that I am amazed Jun would let something like this be raised on this forum.
Colleen,

I share your sentiments exactly and I think your wrath has touched upon a general problem with discussion forums.

I contribute to three and regularly look at a fourth. They differ in the degree to which they are regulated by their moderators.

My impression of Aikiweb is that it is open and basically self-regulating, in the sense that posts thought to contravene the unwritten rules and customs are ignored, or answered appropriately, as you have done. But I would disagree with the view that Jun Akiyama should not have allowed 'Unregistered' to post her comments, even if they are thought to be "stupid", for none of the ground rules of the forum have been broken.

The openness of Aikiweb will inevitably invite posts which are 'politically incorrect', whatever this term means, or not supported by evidence (which is a different issue, in my opinion). My own post was a response to the opinion expressed that a Sensei is the best person to deal with gender issues in a dojo. From my own experience, especially in Japan, I think that this is incorrect. It it sufficiently common in Japan to be a normal fact of life that decisions are made on the basis of genitalia and skin colour, as you put it. A concrete example of what this means is that there are no women aikidoka abve the level of 6th dan and only 4 regular foreign instructors listed in the entire Aikikai.

But I am sure you know all this, so I was surprised that you felt that Jun should not have allowed the posts. As I said, I agree with your sentiments, but this is a discussion forum and I wonder what expectations you have of Aikiweb.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-06-2002 at 07:41 AM.

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Old 07-08-2002, 01:53 AM   #19
"Unregistered"
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Freaky!

Quote:
Originally posted by ca
Alright, once again a stupid post deserving to be ignored has had so many incorrect replies I can't stand it anymore. To the 'unregistered' (sidebar to all of you, you are suppposed to at least use a different name, eg 'unregistered2' etc so we can tell you apart on a thread) who said she was female and then said most females are emotional based on physiology---sorry, you are wrong. WRONG. Don't make statements you can't back up. Feel free to quote any reputible publication.

I am a female who has spent her life in a male predominant world--the only thing that makes the fighter pilot world look feminine is a surgical residency--and I can tell you from experience that many males react emotionally and gossip with the best of them. A male 'emotional' reaction vs a female one is yell/swear/punch something vs cry, but both are emotional. We as a male dominated society just seem to deal better with the former. The best known gossip in my dojo is one of the male yudansha. Hands down. I've met mean sadistic men and women. Too soft men and women. Too introverted and extroverted men and women.

And to the fellow who had to wait while the women hogged the showers, I have spent 18 years of my life expeiencing the same thing---but with the men hogging the time. I had to wait in surgery while the guys used the changing room, first and longest. I've had 10 minutes in the shower tent while deployed, while the guys had 23 hours and 50 minutes. Usually it was at 'useful' times like 0300, or 1130. Almost always, it was after a popular men's time, so there would be only cold water left. I have been places where I am the second most senior officer on a base, and the one male above and four males below me have private tents, while I as a female share mine with 12 other females, a ratio seen only in the lowest enlisted ranks among the men deployed.

Sometimes in life, bad things happen. Unfair things happen. Grow up and get on with it, and don't try to pigeon hole people into a group so you can blame their whole section of the population. There is no biological/chemical cause for women to be logical and men not, for men to gossip and women not (yes, I meant what I wrote, and if you think it was backwards read the third sentence in this paragraph again). People are individuals, and basing your expeience and opinion of them on their genitalia or the color of their skin is so inappropriate that I am amazed Jun would let something like this be raised on this forum.
Thank you Colleen for showing once again how a woman will often "emotionally" react to something before thinking it through (or before thoroughly reading/comprehending something). Best laugh I've had all day.

-Unregistered woman
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Old 07-08-2002, 08:34 AM   #20
Bruce Baker
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A Bit emotional, Eh?

For the record, Colleen and I would not get along, for the simple reason when she hit me and hurt herself it would be my fault for her getting hurt ... and all I did was stand there?

Even though I see your point, and girly boys who cheer you on, that post was read as emotionally catalyzed, when posting without emotion was the subject.

Until you find your emotional attachment, your huband/wife and get that out of the way/in perspective, you are a boat in search of a harbor susecptable to all kinds of emotional baggage/ let alone the politics of military life no one wants to talk about? Specifically, this is not aimed at any one person, as the subject of backbiting is an attempt to gain some emotional stability by creating instabity from others social comfort in the community, i.e. the Aikido community.

Being the old married guy, I get varied results with women who practice and expect to get control of every situation, when the inevitablity of non-control should be the farthest thing from your conscious mind with practicing. I guess that is why most self control freaks try to avoid me after they have hurt themselves by struggling to attain superiority when being uke in stead of harmonizing with an overwhelming force?

I commend Collen for her content, but I condemn her emotional "wrong, wrong, Wrong" and deliberations into the emotional arena.

As for the subject matter of the question ... it only becomes important if you make it important. Don't make it important.
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Old 07-08-2002, 08:26 PM   #21
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Triangle

Let them laugh, and gossip, give them some cookies, what you can do against nature?
they just bring some color, gracious dancing like movements. They dont really bother anyone? and personally ,I just try to train only men on the mat, but there are some females with an attitude, respect and care for them, thats it.
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Old 07-08-2002, 10:33 PM   #22
Sascha Witt
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To answer the original question. Our dojo is fairly new (not even 2 years old), but at least so far there seems to be no problems (gender related or otherwise). The group we have so far provides a very positive environment... and yes we do have a few women (admittedly not very many) in our classes. I'd say it's not "women" that cause the problem (even if at your dojo it happens to be women), but a certain type of unpleasant personality.

As for "politically incorect" I still say whoever came up with that garbage concept is seriously "psychological challenged" (I hope that's the "politically correct" way of saying "nuts"). It is no more than an excuse for people frustrated in their lives to let out their frustrations on someone else by twisting every word in their mouths.

On to studies on men and women: scientist tell you one thing now and another 10 years later often dependent on what happens to be "politically correct" and/or socially acceptable at the time and the bias the scientist has... I wouldn't put too much faith into them, especially since I'd give any woman a run for her money when it comes to being emotional or illogical.

Lastly I wish to point out that if it weren't for men enjoying to "wrestle" with women (and I dare say vice versa) non of us would be alive today. I find it sad that this concept is so offensive, taboo and politically incorrect in our society.
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Old 07-09-2002, 10:19 AM   #23
Hanna B
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Re: Women in the dojo...VERY politically incorrect...

Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered
As time went on, however, more and more women have joined, as they have contributed many positve things, as we all have. However, I have noticed a rise in - get ready - back-biting, gossiping and a much more negative feeling all around. What have others experienced ? Has anyone noticed this occurrence ?
I have seen dojos where the women have not behaved according to the dojos general tone of dojo behaviour; simply because they are not expected to. This has been environments where women in general are not taken seriously as practitioners, but regarded nice things to have around... like flowers that make the world much nicer and warmer, but they are not really expected to learn much aikido.
Quote:
Originally posted by Pretoriano Let them laugh, and gossip, give them some cookies, what you can do against nature?
they just bring some color, gracious dancing like movements. They dont really bother anyone?
well, pretty much like this. I have difficulties in deciding if this post is meant to be ironic or not! Luckily, these places are exceptions as far as I know. When this is how it works, a serious female practitioner will probably like to keep the number of women in the dojo to a minimum, as more women decrease her chances as being seen as an aikido practitioner, instead of primarily as a woman, on the mat.

Regards,
Hanna Björk
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Old 07-09-2002, 03:24 PM   #24
deepsoup
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unregistered


Thank you Colleen for showing once again how a woman will often "emotionally" react to something before thinking it through (or before thoroughly reading/comprehending something). Best laugh I've had all day.

-Unregistered woman
Colleen's post was, as always, coherent, well structured and logical. That you characterise it as an 'emotional response' when that was clearly not the case says more about you than it does about her.

If I may drag you back to the content of her post, you said:

Quote:
Unfortunately most women think and make decisions based on emotions, where most men tend to be straightforward and logical. I know this seems sexist,(I'm female by the way), but it is just a fact of brain chemistry (checkout any biology or psychology book).
and Colleen challenged you to quote any reputable publication to support this bold assertion.

Since you're arguing about biology/physiology/psychology with a medical doctor here, if you want to have any credibility you'd best be able to quote your sources. Put up or shut up!

Sean
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Old 07-09-2002, 05:11 PM   #25
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Brain Wiring By Gender

Hello all, as a female former research biologist, I will admit there are scientifically documented differences between male and female brains. They do not, however, involve women's thoughts/impulses being based in "emotion", and men's in "logic". Research shows for example, that while more men than women are very good at math, leading to the assumption that men in general are better at math than women, more men than women are also VERY BAD at math (have learning disabilities). In this case, men have more of a range of mathematical ability - from terrible to gifted - than women, whose abilities center more around the mean. Also, some research suggests that women use both halves of their brain simultaneously, whereas men tend to use their dominant half (left or right) more often. Is this why women say men are incapable of doing two things at once?

Women really do cry more than men, but men become violently angry more often than women. These are both emotional reactions, as Colleen pointed out.

There are probably more differences in the brain activity patterns between right and left handers than there are between men and women. For example, the language center for 1/3 of lefties is in the right brain. It's in the left for other folks - male and female.

Any neuroscience experts care to comment?

To me the gossip and backbiting in the dojo the first guy complained about is a version of the "toxic office" syndrome, rather than a problem specific to a particular gender.

I've encountered gossipy groups of backstabbing women, yes. Rather than this being indicative of "emotionalism", it might mean they are all competing with eachother (or with you!) for something. Have you never witnessed backstabby gossipy male office coworkers? I sure have. Why are they doing it? You are the competition, they wish to get ahead. Same thing.

If the office (or dojo)leadership conditions are bad, this kind of behavior can crop up.
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