Women in the arts

Discussion in 'Women of the Martial Arts (Women Martial Artists)' started by WingChunChick, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. My comment wasn't about the quality of such models, but the quantity. It's getting more....even? is that a reasonable word?...anyway, it's improving, but when I look at the superhero and action shows, there's still a predominance of males. My mind - having developed under the much higher predominance of males in those roles - doesn't have an issue with that unless I stop and consciously consider it. And I think that's where part of the problem lies.
     
  2. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    While American blockbusters were obviously shown here the popularity of films such as the Carry On and Hammer series were more popular, apart from Bruce Lee films we didn't really watch the same 'superhero' and action films. We had for children things like Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet etc but they all contained females who were also action figures. We also have a very long running programme (60 years, I used to watch it as a child) for children called Blue Peter, the female presenters have always been as adventurous as the men, encouraging generations of girls to take up things before considered as 'boy' things. martial arts was often shown. And of course Dr. Who with the female companions! I grew up as did many people my age with a lot of female action role models ( even if some were puppets!)
    I also read a lot, especially when young, I loved ( and still do) a genre of books that probably you won't have heard of or perhaps don't have in the US, girl's school stories, they've been going since the early 20th century and always have the girls doing brave and daring things, set usually in boarding schools and probably started being written as propaganda to educate women to run the Empire ( yes it really was a thing here, women were taught to deal with life in the colonies which meant basically being able to amputate maimed limbs while serving tea. We were very much expected to be able to do as much if not more than the men, it's no surprise that Girl Guides are more than a hundred years old here). My school, an all girls private one, very much taught girls to be self sufficient and adventurous, we all did the Duke of Edinburgh's Award ( still going strong) something a lot of young people did and still do. Guiding and Girl's Brigade covered a large part of the UK ensuring we had role models suitable for adventurous girls. Most leaders in girl's organisations and female teacher when I was young had served in the war either in the Services or the Land Army, fire brigade etc so there was never a shortage of women to look up to. We also had the Outward Bound organisation and the military cadets. Most British kids joined something.
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a significant cultural difference from the US, and it's interesting to me that I wasn't aware of that. Just shows how we can miss cultural differences where so much (especially the language) is similar. I'm not familiar with what the programs were like in the Girl Scouts back then, but I'm barely aware of what the Boy Scout programs were like, too.

    I read a lot growing up, too, and I think that's where I got a lot of my views of girls/women from. While my brother read Hardy Boys, I also read Nancy Drew, and so forth.
     
  4. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    The Second World War caused a huge shift here in gender roles, being bombed as heavily as we were and the ever present threat of invasion changed minds rapidly because everyone was in the same boat. After the war, things did move backwards a bit for women but the efforts of those women who had served their country made the lives of women afterwards better, they taught us to fight for what we needed.

    While you had your film action heroes, we had the ones who were household names, Battle of Britain airmen, SOE operatives etc many home grown films were made about these. Of course many of the SOE were women, Violette Szabo ( Carve Her Name with Pride - Wikipedia) Odette Hallowes - Wikipedia. (film 'Odette') My personal heroine Noor Inayat Khan - Wikipedia.

    We had many films made after the war The Dambusters, 633 Sqn, The Wooden Horse, Albert RN, The Cruel Sea, Malta Story, The Sea Shall Not Have them, Cockleshell Heroes, The Colditz Story, The Battle of the River Plate. All made quite a while after the war, none glorified war, quite the opposite, they were gritty true life stories many didn't have 'happy' endings. People still watch many of them today, see if you can watch them. Some will break your heart I promise. this is what we grew up on in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

    ( Read the book The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monserrat, the film is grim but the book will make you cry)
     
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  5. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    You're right, nothing specific was said. Just that having men around in training or on a Mt thread creates problems for women. No specifics. Why do you and the other girls believe this?

    This whole thing stinks of third wave feminism style bitching at the clouds.
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    In the UK and Europe during the war Guides were helping win the war, in Poland they smuggled messages and food for the Resistance. Here in the UK, they cooked food for bombed out people as well as be the first aiders, raised enough money to buy three Spitfires, looked after refugee children and much, much more In the Channel Islands which were invaded by the Germans the Guides had to meet secretly. In China British Guides and Brownies were kept in a Japanese camp.

    As the war was ending senior Guides from the UK were among the first to arrive in Europe to help concentration camp survivors, they ran nurseries for Dutch children.

    These were my leaders when I was a Guide and Brownie so if anyone is wonder why I am so assertive there you go. :D
     
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  7. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Lol another buzzword alert. Why am I not surprised

    Quote the part of the OP that stated having men around creates a problem.

    You are literally doing what the OP said (So am I technically) while claiming that the OP is whining, being a victim and a 3rd wave feminist.

    If you are asking that you haven't read a word I've posted, or you are doing a Sargon and deciding that other people's words mean what you want them to and not what they say.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  8. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Ok then DR Phil, why don't you spell out exactly what the issue here is then? Why exactly is anyone's gender relevant to anything in either training or on an internet forum?

    God I hate identity politics.
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There doesn't have to be a problem for it to matter. Even without men causing issues, even without any significant differential treatment, someone can still feel uncomfortable. Often that discomfort is based on past experience, even if that experience is from another context. Because we're all human, man. The OP didn't post about it as a big problem, just asked other women for their input on something I assume (and it's only an assumption) makes her somehow uncomfortable.
     
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  10. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I have seen 633 Sqn (several times), I think The Dambusters, The Cruel Sea and the Malta Story, and others of WWII made in or about the UK. I used to watch a lot of late night TV, especially if there were movies about WWII or Korea. Soldiers or civilians who fought were always my heroes. I have always marveled at the British in WWII. It is hard for us in the USA to relate since we haven't had many attacks on any of our states, and certainly not active armies invading us. A few skirmishes and the odd bandit raid, and that is about it. I have always had great respect for the fortitude of the British military and civilian populace.

    In the USA the women, of necessity, began taking on "men's" jobs during WWII. There was a well known poster of "Rosie the riveter" from the WWII era. So they worked in industry, supporting the military, and some actually in the military. It made changes in our culture as well.
     
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  11. DaveB

    DaveB Master Black Belt

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    Reading what's written without throwing a layer of political hysteria over the subject matter makes me Dr Phil?

    No idea. Maybe if we listen quietly we will find out.
    OR
    Have you ever been the only girl in room full of guys? No? Me neither.

    I know it sucks when people are different and go through different stuff as a result. Everyone should just be like me so then I never have to feel excluded and people don't need to keep playing the victim since nobody bothers me. Wins all around.
     
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  12. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I don't think anyone would have reacted badly if the question had simply been, how do you as a woman train when the majority of students are men. The problem as I see it is that many men, particular American men are feeling under attack ( the whys and wherefores don't need to be gone into here) over the behaviour of certain me so they get defensive. As I said, the effect of what is basically a gender war going on there is causing people to possibly over react. Nerves are getting frayed and when accused of overwhelming/overtalking women on MartialTalk they will have comebacks that perhaps they wouldn't have used if simply asked the question.
    I could see the accusation in the question and didn't think it was justified.

    I have frequently been the only woman in class, the building, the job and quite often the whole camp.
     
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  13. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    This is an interesting topic for me, and one I've seen discussed by women in BJJ for many years. There have always been exceptional women who have trained in martial arts, and there always will be. I think it's more useful to discuss how to support and attract women who are not exceptional. In other words, if you're a school owner and want to encourage more women to train, how could you do that? Briefly, there were a few big buckets that frequently came up: culture, hygiene and logistics, physical disparities, and nature of feedback.

    Disclaimer: Below are generalizations in the interest of discussion, and there are exceptions. As noted above, if the discussion is intended to focus on exceptional women, fine. Also, as a dude, I am sharing things said by other women, and so I might get some wrong. Lastly, my grandmother and great aunt were both "Rosie the riveters" working in the naval shipyards in California during the war building Liberty Ships. My mom is a Vietnam era veteran and I'm very proud of the strong, exceptional women in my family, and know that we have many in the USA in spite of the issues alluded to by others in this thread.

    I'll also acknowledge up front that the items below are not exclusive to women. They simply came up in that context.

    By culture, I mean the norms of the group. A bunch of guys together, particularly in something like a combat sport, and the "banter" tends to run on the coarse side. If you want to support female students and attract more women to train, locker room banter will probably not work. This also speaks to a creep factor, where women felt uncomfortable in some schools, or with some male students.

    Hygiene and logistics: simply put, females seem to prefer clean schools that give an impression of cleanliness, where there are dedicated female changing rooms and clean bathrooms. They also mentioned often appreciating schools that don't smell like *** and where they wouldn't worry about dirty mats and the associated ringworm or staph infection.

    Physical disparities included basically comments like not getting smashed all the time, being injured by insecure guys or being expected to do things that they couldn't physically do (or do yet).

    Lastly, nature of feedback. This was more or less how classes were structured, and the nature of the feedback given. this one is a little squishier, but I recall reading many blog posts and discussions with women training in BJJ where they just needed to hear things in a different way, or needed time to process, or whatever. I know that a lot of women who train in BJJ really seem to appreciate women only classes, in addition to the coed classes. Not just for the natural camaraderie, but also because the female instructors and students all speak the same language.
     
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  14. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Huh. Not sure if we are reading the same post. In the one I read, a rather vague and non specific question was asked about training with men, and when several good answers were given, not all from men either, they we're ignored to be instead met with with an indignant 'hrumph I told you so' as if she were being somehow attacked.

    Again, without any specifics.

    Then in rides daveB on his noble steed.

    This entire thread is utterly ridiculous.
     
  15. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    There were also a lot of women who served in the US military during WWII, though a lot of that was.... I don't want to say "covered up", but it wasn't glorified or memorialized in pop media here the way Tez described in the UK, and so got somewhat forgotten. For example, my grandmother joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), became a Lieutenant in the US Navy, and ended up going to grad school on the GI Bill. She wasn't a "war hero", but she trained new sailors how to do... something... with munitions on ships (I recorded some of her memories of the war before she died, but I don't recall all the details now). There were lots of women like her; the WASPS (Women's Auxillary Service Pilots) even flew target planes for trainee fighter pilots to shoot at(!!) and flew planes from the factories to the war front; some of them died in the line of duty.
     
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  16. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    We had some American women in the Air Transport Auxiliary, air transport auxiliary

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'pop media' though? it's mainstream media here.

    I think it's not forgotten here because all women did some form of service and had to cope with the war close at hand so it's harder to ignore. 'Doing your bit' was the watchword and that's what people did, everything from fire watching to serving tea to those sitting in the shelters during the bombing. In other wars men had gone off to fight, this one everyone was on the front line, towns and cities were bombed mercilessly and the threat of invasion very, very real, France is just over 20 miles from England. The Netherlands and Belgium not much further away, just across the channel.
    There's also the fact that the war damaged the UK ( and Europe) badly and it took until the 1970s for most of the damage to be repaired.
    Thousands of families were bombed out of their homes, the women being the ones to pick up the pieces and 'carry on'. The women in the Services faced many dangers, they manned the searchlights for the anti aircraft guns, they serviced the aircraft, ran the tenders out to the RN ships. The female medics of the RAF flew to evacuate the injured on the Normandy beaches, many of the RAF girls were killed when airfields were bombed. Three though were awarded the Military Medal ("courage of an exemplary order"). for at staying at their posts as aircraft plotters during a bombing raid on RAF Biggin Hill. The RAF women are obviously my favourites and I was honoured to wear the same uniform.
     
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  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Here, most often, "mainstream media" tends to include or even refer to news outlets. "Pop media" tends to exclude those and refer mostly to entertainment.
     
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  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I think it was much more obvious in the UK than in the US. Much like the war, itself.
     
  19. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master of Arts

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    I meant popular media such as TV shows, movies, etc, like you mentioned in a prior post. In the US, information about these women who served has still, even today, mostly been relegated to indie podcasts, blogs and museum displays. (Like gpseymour says, "mainstream media" in the US generally refers to news outlets, specifically ones that try to be relatively non-partisan and factual. We generally wouldn't use that term to talk about a movie or novel or something like that.)
     
  20. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Suck it up buttercup. My sister-in-laws go to answer for everything. Make a good topic/point/statement and people will listen. Honestly, how to you even know what sex most of the people on here are?
     
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