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 > General

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-05-2005, 06:06 PM   #126
Kent Enfield
 
Kent Enfield's Avatar
Location: Oregon, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 224
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Please... I am not "dissing" any other arts here. Just making a point.
And I completely failed to make mine: that a single example isn't enough to draw a conclusion from. Without knowing why she didn't become an aikido instructor, the single example isn't evidence of sexism (which I have no trouble believing).

Kentokuseisei
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2005, 06:10 PM   #127
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
Start with Page One and Read...Most of the initial responders just jumped down Mary's back for her questions, they started with "why not start your own aikido expo" to your "what does gender have to do with aikido" and it degraded on down to there. It wasn't just one response, but the volume of them. If you read further, I noticed that Mary attempted to defend herself, but deleted them out of frustration. Obviously she got fed up and left. Actually, I know she did. And she has since thanked me for speaking up. No one was calling her names like in a true flame war, but the posts responding to hers very much dismissed her questions, skipping any real dialog. No one took the effort to understand her perspective, her view or reasoning for asking what she did. Rather they all just jumped to conclusions--mainly that she was out to bash Stanley Pranin and the AikiExpo. In fact, she was attempting to create a dialog about gender disparity in aikido.
Hmmmmmm. I don't think you did Mary a favor by mentioning her bailing out. Mary started a dialogue and she got various ideas in reply; none of them were particularly harsh and most of all none of them were personal attacks directed at her. People reacted to her idea. Some agreed and some disagreed. You appear to to want to take disagreement with Mary's or your ideas as some sort of personal attack... or at least to portray it as such.(snip some subjective and histrionic calls about what is "hostile")
Quote:
I wish I could point you to the specific case cites of U.S. cases on employment discrimination. They do exist and I'm not pulling them from out of thin air. Basically, the law directs courts to allow for actual recruitment of say women or minorities (which ever group that was being discriminated agains) if a pattern and practice of discrimination has been proven in court. The institution (governent office, business affecting commerce) is required to hire "x" many persons of the specific category to make up for past wrongs. It's a legal doctrine. I don't have time to teach you employment discrimination law. Yes, I'm an attorney.
So show me in case law the quotas you asserted. There are no required quotas that I know of.
Quote:
(snip widely scattered remarks). Have you ever trained at Florida Aikikai? Quite a few in my dojo profess to put the "harm back in harmony". And, don't make the mistake of calling Penny a "flower" either. We do tumble around a lot, at least half the class, it's call U-K-E-M-I, and taking hard breakfalls is pretty darn rough to me so are some of my training partners. They don't let me get away with anything, and they help me throw their 6'2", 220 pound bodies to the mat.

Aikido is that easy for you? Do you just sit in class and meditate? Do you not take ukemi? seriously? You tap out early and not sweat? Seriously? Sounds like you train differently at your dojo. Not everyone has the same experience you know.
Is it necessary for you to speculate out loud about me personally? I'm sure that if I came to your dojo and offered you my wrist you would work it out vigorously and try to cause me pain if I didn't cooperate. Sweat beads my brow with just the thought of the agony! How's that? Have you ever been "rough and tumble" enough to be in a real fight, though?
Quote:
Sure you can say what you want, but so can I, thus is the nature of the internet. I never said you couldn't post, but I will speak up with I think someone is inappropriately being attacked.
Fine. We're in agreement. My point was that wailing "hostile" if you're really understanding of what a dialogue is seems contradictory. Perhaps if you simply counter someone's point, as in friendly debate?
Quote:
I'm just pointing out that, yes, you and others, were being insensitive to a member of this board and such insensitivity is an example of how some women are treated in some dojos. I hope you don't really treat women like this in your dojo. I certainly wouldn't train there if you do.
Please... you're being insensitive and I don't know whether to vomit or to faint. Wait... someone else already said that. You probably wouldn't like to train with me, Anne Marie.... sadly, I'm not very much into cooperative martial training, but I tend to be friendly and I'll give you the first Tsuki.
Quote:
The only kind of action controlled in my dojo is overt acts like groping of breasts. Is that really acceptable in your dojo? Are you saying that such things should not be prohibited? Are you saying that a female student should not feel free to talk to her sensei about any potential problems on the mat? I really, really hope not.
It's pretty childish to pretend I said or implied anything of the sort. Regardless, the point is that people disagreeing with you or Mary are not "hostile" ... while your point MAY be the more valid, dragging it to the personal level when people disagree with you is unwarranted. But as you said, it's the internet and you get to see all kinds of characters and hear all sorts of views.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2005, 07:08 PM   #128
sunny liberti
 
sunny liberti's Avatar
Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 68
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Well, I'm late to this party, and I'll forget about throwing my POV into the mix. I'll just ditto Carrie. But I do want to adress this...

Quote:
I'm not disabled -- mentally or physically. I'm just a different gender and sometimes male hormones have a way of getting in the way of my training.
I consider all realistic elements - even male hormones - to be part of my training...

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 01:35 AM   #129
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
Offline
Re: Equitable?

[quote=Mike Sigman]Please... you're being insensitive and I don't know whether to vomit or to faint.... You probably wouldn't like to train with me, Anne Marie.... sadly, I'm not very much into cooperative martial training, but I tend to be friendly and I'll give you the first Tsuki.
(end quote)

The prosecution can rest.
This is exactly the condesending tone that people have been referring to, Mike. The only times you responded thoughtfully and politely was when you were responding to a man.

-LK
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 02:30 AM   #130
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
There's a part of me that rejects these comments on abuse because I realize what my berserker part does when provoked to an emotional response. Comments on personal abuse play to those emotions, Emily. It's wrong, abuse, but the more detached part of me also recognizes that without the sex drive being so strong, the species would have difficulty surviving in extreme cases. I.e., no matter what laws we pass and how much we try to make everyone sympathetic, rape and abuse is going to happen simply because we are human animals. Period. Not that I wouldn't maim or kill someone I caught abusing a woman.
What exactly does the sex drive have to do with rape and abuse? Violent crimes are carried out because the perpetrator is acting out his rage in a damaging physical way.

Animals do not rape and abuse on the whole, as it is a profoundly unnatural thing to do. Female animals are instinctively driven to protect themselves and their offspring, and to mate to continue their line. Male animals compete with one another for the females, but the female still has to accept the male before mating takes place.

There is no excuse for the rape and abuse of females by males in human society. It is a twisted form of domination and cannot be 'excused' by claiming that it is some kind of natural sexual behaviour - it isn't!

I sincerely hope that this is not what you meant in your post, but I have responded as it sounded a lot like this was what you meant. Please feel free to clarify if I have misunderstood your opinion here.

Ruth
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 08:30 AM   #131
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
What exactly does the sex drive have to do with rape and abuse? Violent crimes are carried out because the perpetrator is acting out his rage in a damaging physical way.
Because rape is a sex act and castration seems to limit it drastically? Do we need to go off-topic like this? I think everyone spotted this as a "victim" thread at the start and everyone has pretty much tried to keep the responses fairly light-hearted and bland.
Quote:
Animals do not rape and abuse on the whole, as it is a profoundly unnatural thing to do. Female animals are instinctively driven to protect themselves and their offspring, and to mate to continue their line. Male animals compete with one another for the females, but the female still has to accept the male before mating takes place.]

There is no excuse for the rape and abuse of females by males in human society. It is a twisted form of domination and cannot be 'excused' by claiming that it is some kind of natural sexual behaviour - it isn't!
I don't want to play the victim game where you're allowed to be insulting and personal and anything I say will just be construed among the victims as further proof that they were right. Pass. If you want to examine personalities, think a minute about how this whole men versus women topic came up and look at the people supporting it. Notice that my stance has been that it doesn't belong in the martial arts. Notice the attempts to turn unsympathetic discussion into immediate character discussion. I assure you that if it were males pulling this sort of superficial baloney I would be much harsher and more direct, in case you're wondering why I won't play "screaming monkies" with you.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 08:40 AM   #132
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

[quote=Lorien Lowe]
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Please... you're being insensitive and I don't know whether to vomit or to faint.... You probably wouldn't like to train with me, Anne Marie.... sadly, I'm not very much into cooperative martial training, but I tend to be friendly and I'll give you the first Tsuki.
(end quote)

The prosecution can rest.
This is exactly the condesending tone that people have been referring to, Mike. The only times you responded thoughtfully and politely was when you were responding to a man.
If I'd been responding to a man, I'd have been a lot less tolerant of the assumptive and insulting speculations about me, my character, and my martial arts. If you'll re-check it, I think you'll find that I'm polite to the polite and thoughtful and that I'll banter rather that retort in kind to insultingly personal remarks. If you have something to contribute to the discussion other than this one personal off-topic attack, why don't you do so?

At the moment, none of the people supporting the idea that there should be special consideration for women in Aikido or the martial arts has been able to come up with a logically compelling reason or a reason based on tradition in the martial arts to support their idea. Now it looks like the next tack is to take the "victim" idea a little further and, ignoring the fact that I responded to insult with only banter, attempt to start a side issue. Why are you doing this, if I may ask? You're acting exactly like a female caricature that you would object to. How about a journey back into the topic at hand?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 09:06 AM   #133
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Do we need to go off-topic like this
You're the person who introduced rape into the thread in the first place!

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I don't want to play the victim game where you're allowed to be insulting and personal and anything I say will just be construed among the victims as further proof that they were right.
I wasn't being insulting and personal. I was merely asking if my interpretation of your opinion on this subject was correct, and exercising my right to disagree with you. If you see polite disagreement as insulting and personal, that's your problem buddy

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I assure you that if it were males pulling this sort of superficial baloney I would be much harsher and more direct, in case you're wondering why I won't play "screaming monkies" with you.
I don't understand a) what you mean by this or b) what it has to do with my post in response to yours?

<polite disagreement>
If you do believe that rape is a sex act, then I disagree with you completely. It is an act of aggressive violence. Castration removes the physical ability to carry out this act, but it does not remove the mindset that would permit a man to be violent towards a woman.
</polite disagreement>

Ruth
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 10:07 AM   #134
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Violent crimes are carried out because the perpetrator is acting out his rage in a damaging physical way.
Heya Ruth!

I have to disagree with you a bit in some aspects, though you're spot on in that statement. Rape and sexual abuse often have very little do do with sex. They're about power and domination (of an unwilling victim).

Quote:
Animals do not rape and abuse on the whole, as it is a profoundly unnatural thing to do.
This often crops up as a sort of Conventional Wisdom, but from my understanding of behavioral studies, rape, bullying and other forms of sexual violence are far more common in the anumal world than we'd like to believe. We like to think that the animal world is pure and idyllic, but the fact is that most wild animals live short, brutal lives, full of pain and hunger and messy deaths.

Quote:
, but the female still has to accept the male before mating takes place.
Again, this is sort of a CW view. Yes, in mamy cases this is the pattern, but not all, and certainly not enough for it to represent the wider reality of their lives.

Quote:
There is no excuse for the rape and abuse of females by males in human society.
Agreed. Development of a code of ethical behavior, and enforcement of that code, is what separates us from animals, for the most part (although some recent studies are leading animal behaviorists to think that ethise are more widespread i the anuimal world than has been perceived before ... they're more like us than we think).


Chuck

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 10:30 AM   #135
mj
Location: livingston, scotland
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 715
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
If I'd been responding to a man, I'd have been a lot less tolerant
Quote:
You're acting exactly like a female caricature
Quote:
I think everyone spotted this as a "victim" thread at the start
Quote:
Have you ever been "rough and tumble" enough to be in a real fight, though?
It's borderline trolling and I am getting a bit sick of his know-it-all, sarcastic and in fact chauvinistic attitude which I can assure you is not representative of males in this thread or indeed AikiWeb in general.

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:08 AM   #136
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
<polite disagreement>
If you do believe that rape is a sex act, then I disagree with you completely. It is an act of aggressive violence. Castration removes the physical ability to carry out this act, but it does not remove the mindset that would permit a man to be violent towards a woman.
Hmmmmm... this is a lot different than your first post with it's "Grrr" face, Ruth. Rape is a sex act by definition. SOME rapes are related to the "rage" and "domination" that you mention (so is feminism, BTW, in its worst cases), but not all rapes are the product of rage and domination, as its trendy to believe in certain circles. Think for instance of army troops invading or liberating a country. Often there is wholesale rape (monkies do this too, BTW) by the troops... it is not from "rage and domination", it is because they are males with a strong sex drive and they can get away with it. A lot of civil rape cases are the same thing, Ruth. To try to pigeonhole rape as purely "rage and domination" is superficial and inaccurate. Horny men (and women) are opportunistic, as well.

See? We can discuss this without mentioning personalities?

FWIW

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:15 AM   #137
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
It's borderline trolling and I am getting a bit sick of his know-it-all, sarcastic and in fact chauvinistic attitude which I can assure you is not representative of males in this thread or indeed AikiWeb in general.
Jun? This is the third thread he's inserted this kind of junk in. How long should I tolerate it before I really respond?

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:24 AM   #138
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
Finally, when I asked "where's George" I wasn't calling on a man to come defend me, but sometimes their words, with the same words can dispel hostitily...and IT DID. Remember what I said before Emily..."only Nixon, can go to China."
I'm sorry if I said anything which upset you, but you know it was not directed at you personally, and I'm not sure why you might have thought that it was.

Here is what I was going on about:
I am actually pretty torqued off that despite my continual attempts to discuss the disparities, inequalities, and treatment of women in aikido particularly, no one bothers to talk much about it unless someone like George L brings it up. I mean, WTF? Why is it ignored unless someone with status brings it up????

Now, George can't help his gender any more than I can, and he has hung around and survived and gotten his rank and I can only respect that. I'm glad he brought it up. Very happy.

For people like Pat Hendrix, Mary Heiny, Chikako Bryner, it obviously isn't an issue, or they wouldn't be doing what they are doing. Maybe it was, but things have changed.
It isn't an issue for me as an assistant instructor, and if it is an issue for a student, then they don't need to be in our dojo. My mantra about "not an issue" is a goal.

Additionally:
Taking things personally, or going anywhere near ad hominem level, is the end of intelligent and fruitful discussion.

So, let's go back to looking at solutions.
This is what I'm talking about, to quit dwelling on "this is unfair, and that is unfair", and dig up the root of the problem. I may have contributed to that, but it was a bad idea. I can change course.

It's not easy, to be a woman walking into a dojo. It's not easy to do something different. Even within that something different, people can be very subtly prejudiced and hurtful about the slightly different from that thing that someone else might do. I have experienced it in some very subtle and hurtful ways that I don't care to participate in any more. Fortunately, I have never really fit in, and have ceased to care. My trail is mine to blaze, and no one else's.

I propose that we..
Talk about the women who have influenced us and our training some more. Talk about how we as women learned to accept the idea that we could become powerful, and the world would not end.
Talk about how men and women can grow, from training together. I repaired some serious trust problems in myself, by learning to trust my male training partners.

The danger women can do to each other is far greater than anything a man can do. This is why Disney's Mulan pissed me off. No female references. All of her social validation came from males.

I have truly enjoyed the women I have trained with at The Dojo, and despite certain situational and social handicaps, we have supported each other regardless. No one who was accepted, left because they wanted to leave. More like moves and life changes and demands.

I have really had to change my preconceptions about how things are, and should be, to evolve and survive in budo. This is what we need to share, to help our sisters along. Our brothers, too.

To paraphrase Janet Rosen: we are just human beings in male or female bodies..

MLE
(on Chuck's account, for the moment)

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:24 AM   #139
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
Development of a code of ethical behavior, and enforcement of that code, is what separates us from animals, for the most part (although some recent studies are leading animal behaviorists to think that ethise are more widespread i the anuimal world than has been perceived before ... they're more like us than we think).
There's a good book called "The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence" by Michael P. Ghiglieri (he was a protege of Jane Goodall). Although some of the material is getting a bit dated, it's still the most comprehensive coverage of the spectrum of issues. The "rage and domination" stuff is actually about as passe' as the "testosterone poisoned" stuff we saw from the feminists for a while. Let's face it.... humankind is essentially driven by the same urges as any large primate, and opportunistic taking of what's not yours is typical in the animal world. Anyone who thinks man is far removed from animals hasn't been in combat or in the penal system.

FWIW

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:38 AM   #140
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
MLE wrote:
To paraphrase Janet Rosen: we are just human beings in male or female bodies.
Sadly, that's true, but I think a more apt comment is that we're all animals (basically monkies), whether male or female, under the skin. Although some aspects of socio-psychology were pushed to the bunkum limit, the basic science of socio-biology tends to hold pretty true. A lot of our actions, wants, needs, and desires are built-in artifacts of the basic human survival strategies. We can recognize this, though, and change what small percentage we can, through society outside of the dojo.

One of the things Aikido or other martial arts should teach you is to roll with the fall, get up, get ready for the next attack. Life isn't easy. Crying about a fall won't fix anything.

FWIW

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:42 AM   #141
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote:
The prosecution can rest.
This is exactly the condesending tone that people have been referring to, Mike. The only times you responded thoughtfully and politely was when you were responding to a man.
-LK
Trial by jury involves a selection process. It's not exactly a self nomination thing.

I don't really have a problem with Mike S, myself. He's stirring, but if you stir, and shtuff comes up, don't blame the stirrer. It just means there's some shtuff in the water.. which means you have to blame those swimming in it.

He's been picking on me, but it feels friendly, like a dojomate who has decided that I'm "worth it" testing what I've got. I am in no way offended, in fact, I am sort of flattered and amused.

There is a diff between malicious endangerment, and raising the bar. At this point, we're just at the latter, and more politely and tolerantly than others who have entered the fray, in terms of Mike Sigman.

Challenging questions are OK. If a concept cannot be challenged, and must be protected like a glass bubble, it's not much good in the real world. Something that can be kicked around, evolved and improved, is. It's called critical thinking, and while it's not exactly in vogue in the US any more, 49% of us still practice it.

No more ad hominem.
This isn't a presidential election, and this crowd is no idiot electorate.

We can actually talk about issues, here.

Otherwise, it's just another Passive Aggressive Grudgematch (TM).

MLE
(female, BTW, despite hubby's signature... )

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 11:59 AM   #142
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Emily wrote:
He's been picking on me, but it feels friendly, like a dojomate who has decided that I'm "worth it" testing what I've got. I am in no way offended, in fact, I am sort of flattered and amused.

There is a diff between malicious endangerment, and raising the bar. At this point, we're just at the latter, and more politely and tolerantly than others who have entered the fray, in terms of Mike Sigman.
If people, including me, make assertive statements in public they should expect to have them challenged factually. When the only answer someone can make involves speculating about the other person's character, then it beomes a waste of time and insults everyone's intelligence, IMO. But you're right... I can see from your words immediately that you're a real person with a good heart and worth respect...not just some role-player. And yes, I'm using typical barracks humor (which is a little blunt for some people). Most of my comments should be read as casual "...but what about this part..." questions; I really don't get too emotionally involved in internet discussions. That would be losing my center.
Quote:
We can actually talk about issues, here.
Voila'!

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 12:31 PM   #143
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 819
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
It's borderline trolling and I am getting a bit sick of his know-it-all, sarcastic and in fact chauvinistic attitude which I can assure you is not representative of males in this thread or indeed AikiWeb in general.
Mark, thank you for speaking up. Of course , I don't think most men are like this who can so easily and blantanly dismiss a woman's point of view, especially when we are talking about "women's issues". Most of the men I train with are pretty damn cool and I'll continue training with them. Those of you who are cool, I value more than you can believe. And, it's you who are welcoming and non-intimidating on the mat, and will always be appreciated.

Quote:
Emily stated:
Here is what I was going on about:
I am actually pretty torqued off that despite my continual attempts to discuss the disparities, inequalities, and treatment of women in aikido particularly, no one bothers to talk much about it unless someone like George L brings it up. I mean, WTF? Why is it ignored unless someone with status brings it up????
Thanks for the clarification. If I sounded upset, well, it's because that I'm rather appalled about the blatant sexism and righteousness that has been demonstrated by a few on this thread.

Actually, I've noticed that when I strongly voice my opinions and comments that I don't get ignored but rather get labeled a "reactionary victim" and therefore what I say is meaningless. But if was more middle of the road, then, yes, my opinions would have been ignored. It's sad that in this day and age, and in the U.S. that a veiw can be held that a man's opinions will mean more than any woman -- even when it is directly related to a woman's experience in aikido. That gets a "WTF?" in my book.

Quote:
Emily wrote--
Additionally:
Taking things personally, or going anywhere near ad hominem level, is the end of intelligent and fruitful discussion.
You're so very right. It's time to tenkan and take the discussion elsewhere.

What I do agree with is that the whole "gender issue" gets blown out of proportion. I mentioned before, that it's not really a hugh issue for me and it's just one extra thing I have deal with among many. I do my own part to help newbies, and when the rare woman steps into the dojo breaching cultural barriers I do what I can to help her feel welcomed and supported. I'm just as supportive to new guys, but I've noticed that most of them could careless about receiving nurturing support. However, men are not breaching cultural barriers by starting a martial art. That's is acceptable for men to do. It has not been for women. (However as society continues to evolve and women get more involved in sports and even contact sports like boxing and even hockey and football then I think we'll see more women walking into a dojo.) It's unfortunate that some of the posters here don't get that, and I think it's very possible for a man to understand that even if he is not a woman. Men face the same kind of barriers when entering the fields of nursing, teaching, and as "at-home-caregivers" (stay at home dads) or any other field dominated by women. They deserve the same support as well in such fields.

The women I admire most include Penny Bernath and Lorraine DiAnne to just name a couple. I believe they both have faced problems related to their gender but on the whole that it's not really a big issue. I agree. It's not a big issue, but it does come into play when someone doesn't want to throw me hard because of my gender or they try to hit on me in some obnoxious way. But I'm fortunate to train in a positive environment for all people, regardless of gender. I'm fortunate to know I can go to my sensei and ask for his advice, and I'm fortunate to have higher ranking women in the dojo. However, some women don't have this in their dojos. For me, seeing a higher ranking woman on the mat isn't really about rectifing gender disparaties, but just having the comfort of knowing another women as walked this path before me. That's it really.

In regard to apparent gender disparities, I also agree that they will be rectified in time. I'm an attorney, twenty to thirty years ago it was really rare that a woman would go to law school. Now, close to half of those enrolled in law school are women, but we are still not half of those as partners in law firms. However, slowly we are breaking barriers and moving up the ranks, so to speak. Some women started their own lawfirms, other will stay within. Eventually, there will no longer be a glass ceiling.

I see aikido as the same. At the last USAF--Winter Camp, I would harbor to guess that I saw about 35-40% women on the mat at any given time. Of course those teaching where not women, but rather our shihan (Yamada, Shibata, Sugano), however, there are quite a few women within our organization who are 6th and 5th dan, which is high-ranking for us. The Women In Aikido videos was a great way to recognize some of these women's accomplishments. The USAF has more than 10 high ranking women than what was presented in the video. They were just ten among the high ranking women in our organization. Lorraine DiAnne, a shihan now, gives regular seminars as often as Peter Bernath, Donovan Waite, Clyde Takeguchi, Claude Berthiaume or Harvey Konisberg. Penny would give more but she is the head of Early Child Development Department at a local university, but she still gives a couple of seminars a year. Also, I know she is now a member of the USAF Board of Governors.

Times change and organizations change, we have to give it time I agree, but it won't change if we don't sometimes rock the boat a little or stir the pot to keep it from burning the food.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 12:48 PM   #144
mj
Location: livingston, scotland
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 715
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Jun? This is the third thread he's inserted this kind of junk in. How long should I tolerate it before I really respond?

Mike
What's the matter Mike can't you stand up for yourself? wink wink

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 05:58 PM   #145
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Emily wrote, "Trial by jury involves a selection process. It's not exactly a self nomination thing."

Okay. I should have said, "The prosecution can rest, imnsho."

Emily again: "Challenging questions are OK. If a concept cannot be challenged, and must be protected like a glass bubble, it's not much good in the real world. Something that can be kicked around, evolved and improved, is. It's called critical thinking, and while it's not exactly in vogue in the US any more, 49% of us still practice it."

Thanks for the giggle there at the end.
What made me finally snarl publically (after following this thread for several days) was neither critical thinking nor raising the bar. I saw a single argument - that supporting women instructors was not traditional - combined with a lot of insinuation that the women being responded to are being crybabies, have aikido that won't stand up in a tough dojo, and/or take floppy, weak ukemi with poor attacks. A woman said that she liked having senior women around to when she got grabbed on the mat, and she was accused of playing the vitctim card. Even worse, it was implied that women should learn to put up with being molested because it's natural. Yes, we are primates, but we are also human; I'd like to think that we have more potential than 'eat, grow, and reproduce.' Why are we practicing aikido, if we're nothing but monkeys?

Okay. Per an earlier plea by Emily, a change of topic:

Kayla Feder Sensei came up to the dojo I train at last year for a seminar, and it was wonderful. The ab warmups were *awful* (in a good way), and we're still working on some of the ukemi techniques she showed us. I also loved having the opportunity to listen in on her discussions with our dojo-cho at the post-seminar potluck.

I'm also indebted to my female sempai for giving me the example of women who are feminine but not weak, good martial artists but not masculine, and also for showing me how to put a nikkyo on someone with wrists twice as big as mine.

-LK
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2005, 10:20 PM   #146
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Lorien Lowe - your post (145) was a perfect summary of the problems with the thread. I wish you would put the same effort into summarizing and clarifing the points of view expressed on this thread that would actually help attact, retain, and encourage females to train aikido. You seem to have excellent aptitude and insight.

Anne Marie Giri, you are probably a wonderful aikido person, but my BS detector is maxed out by some of your words. In regard to the initial post of this thread, you said: "In fact, she was attempting to create a dialog about gender disparity in aikido." Wow, I thought she was saying something controversial and accusitory - wanting to just get it off her chest like she said. Most of the follow up posters had to work extra hard to drive towards something positive.

Also, if you're going to call Mike on the carpet for defending subtle and covert hostility, fine but he expresed his opinions in an open and honest way. You, and others, use the tactic of pre-labeling anyone who says a certain thing as "bad" in order to manipulate the discussion. I find that to be sneaky and dishonest - and, ironically, it is done in a subtle and covertly hostile way.

Rob
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2005, 02:25 AM   #147
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,998
Japan
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
I just checked out the list of instuctors for the Aiki Expo. There were 35 and only 2 of them were women. 2!!!!!!!.

Just had to get that off my chest.
Thanks.
Mary
Interesting thread, both for the original observation (see above) and for the subsequent thread drift.

It is clearly a sensitive topic, calling for sensitivity of expression as well as thinking. I think there are two main issues in the thread, that can be summarized in two questions. They are not the same questions and I think that they have to be answered differently.

Why are there so few women instructors at Aiki Expo 2005?
Why are there so few women instructors in Aikido generally?

Notice that I have suggested by the two questions that this is what Mary Eastland had in mind by making her original observation. Of course, one might argue that her intention was obvious, but from the way the thread developed, it might have been better to have stated the obvious at the beginning.

Only Stanley Pranin can give a definite answer to the first question. However, I suspect that there are relatively few women shihans/instructors that fit the parameters that Stan has decided for Aiki Expo.

Stanley Pranin and I have been friends for many years and I know very well the political problems he has encountered in inviting aikido instructors to Aiki Expo.

One important point, at least from my understanding of the political issues involved, is that Aiki Expo is not restricted to aikido. To put this in another way, anyone who believes that aikido training at the present time is best enriched by some very serious cross-training will find Aiki Expo an opportunity not to be missed. There is nothing else like it\anywhere in the world. However, those who do not believe this will find Aiki Expo of limited appeal.

As such, in my opinion Stan is making a statement in organizing the Aiki Expo\and I applaud him for this, but this will clearly affect those potential participants, especially shihans with a public persona, who believe that aikido is a 'complete' martial art and that the inheritance they have received from the Founder does not really need to be supplemented by anything else.

Thus, in my opinion, if you compare the statement that Stan is making, which is like a call for a return to the earlier martial values that spurred the Founder himself, when he created the art, the question of gender balance among the instructors, in particular the aikido instructors, is one question among many others\at the moment.

As things settle down and Aiki Expo becomes an essential part of the aiki(do) calendar, not just in the US, but also throughout the world\including Japan, the event might well become a kind of beacon for gender issues in aikido, as well as issues relating to the effectiveness of aikido as a postwar Japanese martial art. In this respect the US will lead, in the sense that there will be many more high-ranking instructors of both sexes in the US whom Stan can invite than elsewhere.

In other words, Aiki Expo is being held in the US, where gender issues have received much more attention\and action, than in other countries, Japan, for example. Japan is still in the Stone Age regarding gender equality\and aikido is no exception here. This leads to the second question.

Why so few women instructors in Aikido generally?
Because this is the way aikido has worked so far, since it is dominated by Japanese cultural values.

I think this issue of gender equality is perceived differently outside the US and Europe and it will not do simply to impose alien cultural values. Like Chris Li, I am aware that as a culture Japan is sexist and racist in ways that offends long-term residents like myself. But these are cultural values that will not change on purely rational grounds. I am hopeful that they will change, but the change will not come purely as a result of rational argument on a US/western model.

I have received requests for support from aikido groups in the Middle East, including Iran and Iraq. The requests have come from the leaders of aikido groups who are invariably male. I have no idea how many women practise aikido in Iran, even whether they are allowed to, but the Iranian aikidoists I have had contact with want to make a federation and gain international recognition. This means that they can obtain government recognition and financial support. Iran is one nation among a huge swathe of the world where aikido has hardly penetrated: the Middle East, China, India, and much of Africa.

I cannot speak for other organizations, but the way that the Aikikai has guided the expansion of aikido after World War II has been to create organizations based on national culture, rather like airlines tend to be national flag carriers. Thus many local aikido organizations are very proud of the fact that they are practicing aikido, but in a way that reflects the values of the national culture. For the Japanese, this supposedly harmonious blending of values is another piece of evidence that their brand of einternationalizationf supposedly 'works', in the same way that their overseas aid supposedly eworks'. However, I do not believe this is true.

Nevertheless, in this situation, even to raise the gender issue requires much understanding of the values of the target culture. It is best to enter through their door and bring them out through yours. Otherwise minds will be closed from the outset.

Best regards to all,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2005, 07:56 AM   #148
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
I think this issue of gender equality is perceived differently outside the US and Europe and it will not do simply to impose alien cultural values. Like Chris Li, I am aware that as a culture Japan is sexist and racist in ways that offends long-term residents like myself. But these are cultural values that will not change on purely rational grounds. I am hopeful that they will change, but the change will not come purely as a result of rational argument on a US/western model.
It's interesting how strong the consensus is in so many westerners that "our values are the correct ones and we need to impose them on other cultures so that they will be 'up to snuff'". Japanese cultural values borrow a lot from the Chinese (although the approaches to gender are somewhat different) and China is the longest surviving agrarian civilization the world has ever seen. I.e.,.... their "values" may have some positive contribution to the success and stability of the culture in toto. In other words, although in each phase of existence we have felt strongly that our "current values" were the best in the world and we should foist them on everyone to their benefit, maybe we should question our values as much as we question everyone else's. Caution in dealing with other tribes, races, "outsiders", etc., is a survival trait, not a whim of the ignorant. Perhaps there is a compromise between perfection, as we see it, and the "backward" mores of other cultures that in actuality will work out to be the best for all?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2005, 08:05 AM   #149
sunny liberti
 
sunny liberti's Avatar
Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 68
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Mike Sigmun wrote:
Quote:
Often there is wholesale rape (monkies do this too, BTW) by the troops... it is not from "rage and domination", it is because they are males with a strong sex drive and they can get away with it. A lot of civil rape cases are the same thing, Ruth. To try to pigeonhole rape as purely "rage and domination" is superficial and inaccurate. Horny men (and women) are opportunistic, as well.
Mike, how is it that you are the authority on this? Do you have experience in rape councilling? Do you treat or interview rapists? Maybe you've headed a research project on the subject? Just speculating from your interpretation of a book? I truly want to know your experience here. Maybe you do know more than those of us who have been on the receiving end, but you'll have to convince me of that.

And also from Mike:
Quote:
Sadly, that's true, but I think a more apt comment is that we're all animals (basically monkies), whether male or female, under the skin.
Funny, I think we are spiritual beings who live in human bodies. Or even human animals *who have evolved to have a spiritual nature*, if you prefer to look at it from that angle. I don't think that matters. As someone said, why else would we practice Aikido? But why are you ignoring our non-aminal components when commenting on this?

In your most recent post (148), are you saying that chauvanism is possibly for the best of all?? I can't quite figure out the point... Please clarify.

I won't dig up the quote from way before, but someone said that it will take 100 years for women to gain equality without the help of men. I wonder then, why is it that we need their help if we are indeed equal? I find that I'm as strong as I think I am. I need no man to bestow eqality on me. It is my birthright whether they think so or not. I believe that if we all live our lives impeccably, with *real* humility (not the fake kind), compassion, and keep our swords of judgement razor sharp, no one can deny our power.

Are we equal or do we need special consideration? This is a contradiction I am seeing a lot in this thread and elsewhere. I'd like to think about this and find a way toward our own power without demeaning those around us in the process.

MLE on Chuck Gordon's account:
Quote:
I propose that we..
Talk about the women who have influenced us and our training some more. Talk about how we as women learned to accept the idea that we could become powerful, and the world would not end.
Talk about how men and women can grow, from training together. I repaired some serious trust problems in myself, by learning to trust my male training partners.
Great idea! I'll go:
Beth Frankl taught the first class I participated in. I miss her terribly. She was inspirational to me as she expresses (what I feel is) true female power. I had never felt anything like that much power that wasn't "rough around the edges", or else domineering masked as power. Beth, if you're reading this, please come train with us again!

Raso Hultgren Sensei. I've trained with her only twice. Over after-seminar-dinner, she talked about her early experiences and singlehandedly got me over that hump of hating training - when you begin to have some skill, so people start trying to *yank* on you instead of actual hard training... You girls know what I mean... But I saw then that I could find my way through that stuff.

I've actually made more progress personally through my training with men. Aikido men have fundamentally changed my understanding of myself.

I'll write about my first experience meeting Gleason Sensei. I came to the dojo at 22 as a terrified beated-down. well. child basically. I watched the class that night and had no idea how to process what I'd seen. I felt his rather powerful energy dominating the room. I watched him teach with tremendous control. I sensed *absolutely no abuse* there, and I was baffled. How can a man express power without hurting anyone?! Well, I went home and held myself for 3 days before I could go back and train. Sounds dramatic, but I had to redefine my whole life experience with this new understanding.

That was my first real step toward finding *my* power. I don't feel I need other women (though it is nice to share experiences), and I don't need men's help. I need me. I need to dig real deep to the parts of me that were buried by all my abusers.

I soon heard from some senior women all about the chauvanism in the dojo and how Sensei didn't give equal effort to women. This piqued my interest, seeing as I'd never met anyone LESS chauvanistic in my life. So I watched. I spent a couple of years noting the comments and situations my seniors were complaining about. All the while I never had these issues with him. And guess wat I saw... I saw Sensei using poeple for ukemi who would best demontrate a certain aspect he was trying to point out. I saw that the ratio of female uke used during classes, while not 50/50, were always roughly representative of the make-up of the class. I saw that Sensei neither noticed nor cared about gender while training. But I also saw that he felt people's energy and level of sincerity, and was drawn to those who displayed enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I saw that he rather ignored pockets of sour feeling on the mat (unless there was a problem that needed addressing). It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more indignant those senior women were becoming, the more Sensei gave them room to work out their bad feeling. Then, of course, the more they felt righteously indignant at being ignored. He also, BTW, ignores men who disturb the wa. I make a point to tap into my spirit (even at the times it feels broken) and just be myself on the mat, and have never experienced this from him. So I know the problem was not chauvanism.

Gleason Sensei told me once when I was really frustrated that people who need Aikido most are the ones who find it. That served to shatter a weird delusion I was suffering under. I went to Aikido thinking it would attract only respectful, thoughtful people - like a safe haven from abusers. But my main reason for wanting to train was to grow and become my whole self - to find my power. How could I have ever achieved those things if I only even ran across wonderful perfectly respectful parners? I'd have no training. I'm learning to trust myself, and I have no need to put all my faith in those around me. This buys me time to get to know whether they deserve my trust or not.

Aikido is a powerful path into yourself. I don't always feel comfortable on that journey. In fact, I'm usually not. But I've learned that that's when I'm growing the most. I now apreciate the times when I don't like my training partners. My ego is letting go then. And that's the point for me.

Last edited by sunny liberti : 03-07-2005 at 08:18 AM.

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2005, 08:22 AM   #150
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote:
Mike Sigman wrote:Mike, how is it that you are the authority on this? Do you have experience in rape councilling? Do you treat or interview rapists? Maybe you've headed a research project on the subject? Just speculating from your interpretation of book? I truly want to know your experience here. Maybe you do know more than those of us who have been on the receiving end, but you'll have to convince me of that.
Hi Sunny:

Hmmmm. My comment was that not all rapes (which are by definition sexual acts) are the result of "rage" and "domination", even though it's trendy to say that. There are plenty of texts you can source that will say the same thing. Other than that comment, I neither pretended to be an expert in rape counselling nor did I claim to be an "authority".
Quote:
And also from Mike:Funny, I think we are spiritual beings who live in human bodies. Or even human animals *who have evolved to have a spiritual nature*, if you prefer to look at it from that angle.
I have no problems with you having a different belief system than I do, Sunny. If you want to convince me that your belief in spirituality is correct, though, and that we're not just animals, you'll need to show me some sort of proof. Reading this thread I don't see a lot of "spirituality", but I see a lot of power struggles and attempts to force "the correct way of thinking" on others. I hope your idea of equality allows me to have a different perspective than you do.

All the Best.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

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



Reply


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

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

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Punches Ron Tisdale General 40 04-04-2005 07:56 AM
Tenkan and Centrifugal Force Bill Danosky General 99 03-28-2005 09:27 AM
Atemi and Irimi Dazzler General 22 03-23-2005 09:24 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:26 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