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Old 08-07-2002, 06:54 PM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
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women

I was informed recently that only about 5 to 10 percent of the people posting and starting threads on this site are women. This really surprised me as there are so many expeirenced female martial artists out there. Any views on this..? George L., your's is worth repeating.

~~Paula~~
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Old 08-07-2002, 08:11 PM   #2
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
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I think Aikido has more women than pretty much any martial art, but I'll bet it's still at least 75% men. Computer geekery is a predominantly male preoccupation as well. Makes sense to me.
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Old 08-08-2002, 03:55 AM   #3
Genex
 
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Smile

Fallacy

geekiness is non gender specific, as a matter of fact i know ALOT of women who post regularly to the internet, its just that most prefer to meet up and talk as apposed to sitting on their derrier all day its this thing women have i dont think i'll ever understand it.

i work in the IT industry btw and i've known alot of women sysadmins, techies etc...

unfortunatly our club is missing women entirely not just that but ppl round our way just seem to have no interest in doing aikido, i'm not sure why they simply prefere to hang about outside shops drinking cider n causing trouble *sigh* but there we go

pete

like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. - The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on the Pan-galactic Gargleblaster!
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Old 08-08-2002, 06:29 AM   #4
ian
 
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I think women in a club attract more women - few women want to start in a club full of males; especially one with such close physical contact and which may sometimes be viewed as 'aggressive'. Also, women do less excercise than men on average.

we only have around 15%

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 08-08-2002, 06:40 AM   #5
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
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Hi All,

I agree with what Ian just said about women attracting women into the dojo. Our dojo has had ebbs and flows of women, sometimes upwards of 50% or more (and then the women were the majority of the yudansha). Right now we are only at about 15%. What is interesting though is that the Chief Instructor is a young man (32), and whe are really attracting very young guys into the dojo at the moment. When our teacher was an older Japanese man, we attracted a bunch of young men, but also a bunch of women, middle aged as well as quite young. Bet it has something to do with who is teaching when they come in (for example, if I am teaching when a woman comes in, she most often signs up).

As to the possible reason that many women do not start threads; maybe there are fewer out there reading it; maybe there are not too many burning questions out there for us; maybe we are afraid of sounding foolish. I've posted a couple, but they have been rather mundane and haven't received many responses.

BTW, I am a geek, and proud of it!

Rachel
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Old 08-08-2002, 07:39 AM   #6
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
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Genex,

A handful of personal anecdotes are not good counterexamples to a general claim - for an IT, I'm surprised at your illogic. As far as my claims about computer geekery, here are some actual statistical facts:

http://www.cpsr.org/program/gender/

Only in the last year have the numbers of women net users caught up to men, and in computer careers they are still a small minority.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 08-08-2002 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 08-08-2002, 07:57 AM   #7
Ali B
Join Date: May 2002
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United Kingdom
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Im a femail aikidoka and as such am often the only woman in the dojo. I think it has a lot to do with the response of the other (male) aikidoka

For example, in the UK, men are much more used to women taking part in a Martial art and are more accepting and accomodating. In Spain, some (not all) men are still wrapped up in their macho ideals about the role of women and can be intimidating and put women off.

If I sound bitter, Im not really. I find it funny, especially as they are usually less experienced and when they discover that I can throw them around just as easily as a man it becomes a good lesson for them.

Im well up for that...Sorry boys but it does seem to be more fun when theres an element of chauvanism involved.

I would also say that even some masters teach that women cannot be as good as men. Something I strongly dissagree with.

Love and light.

Ali
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Old 08-08-2002, 08:26 AM   #8
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: women

Quote:
Paula Lydon wrote:
I was informed recently that only about 5 to 10 percent of the people posting and starting threads on this site are women. This really surprised me as there are so many expeirenced female martial artists out there. Any views on this..? George L., your's is worth repeating.
Paula and I had a bit of discussion about this issue at the Rocky Mtn Summer Camp. There is a book about the differences between men and women with regard to how and why they communicate called You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen.

Now without offending any individuals who are the exceptions, generally she found in her research that men use verbal communication as a tool in competition. It is one of the ways they do battle out there in the business world to put forth their opinions, sell their ideas, etc. Women on the other hand use communication to connect. It is for bridging the gap between themselves and others.

You can see a mix of both on the forums. Guys are much more likely to put out a big expository post about their ideas, are more likely to argue about technical matters, etc. Generally,unless there is a feminist issue involved the women who post don't tend to argue points but rather they try to share their ideas with others. It's not that men don't share but when they do it often has the flavor of positioning relative to others. There's a bit of the competitive in it or there's the desire to be appreciated for ones knowledge etc. Women's posts tend more towards bonding.

Tannen summarized general motivations by saying that men want to be appreciated, women want to be understood. You can see exactly this pattern in the posts here on this forum. The women are more apt to participate or initiate discussions about areas that have to do with how you feel about your training, what it means to to them etc. Guys are more likely to get into discussions about the technicalities whether it is language, technique, or philosophy.

Tannen's book is really interesting reading, She did all sorts of research and found that many of these general tendencies are present from a very early age which indicates that they may be somewhat hardwired and not just socialized. Anyway, when you take into account that the majority of the students of Aikido are men in the first place and then you see that the overall tone of the internt forums fits the general masculine modes of communication it is not surprising that you find the vast majority of the posters are men.

Now as to whether that is desirable... I am sure that the men benefit disproportionately from many of the posts by the women on the forum like Paula and Colleen as they provide insight into alternative modes of viewing the world which is always good. Often, even when the guys are on opposite sides of an argument they are still proceeding from a common viewpoint, simply competing to see who will "win". Anyway, it's interesting stuff.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 08-08-2002, 08:39 AM   #9
Genex
 
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Kevin willbanks wrote
Quote:
A handful of personal anecdotes are not good counterexamples to a universal/general claim - for an IT, I'm surprised at your illogic. As far as my claims about computer geekery, here are some actual statistical facts:
geeze get a life man you really are a geek!

look basicaly from my 5 plus yrs of techie experiance (which includes the biggest IT project in the uk {National census}) i can safely say i've seen alot of women in the IT industry thats all.

My wife is actualy more qualified then i am she has even done Artificial intelligence at Manchester metropolitan so she's a brainiac.

Quoting statistics like that ppl will start to think your a manager, yikes the horror.

pete

like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. - The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on the Pan-galactic Gargleblaster!
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Old 08-08-2002, 09:06 AM   #10
lt-rentaroo
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In my rather small children's class, six of the eight students are female. When school is in session, I usually have about 8 girls and three boys in the class.

The adult class is about 50% men/women.

I've asked my wife why she doesn't post her own thoughts and ideas on Aikiweb and her response is pretty straightforward. She would rather practice Aikido and talk about Aikido related stuff, in the dojo; not type responses to questions on an internet site.

She often asks me why I read the same stuff and answer the same questions over and over again, I tell her it's because I enjoy it.

LOUIS A. SHARPE, JR.
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