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#413463 - 12/31/08 04:28 PM A question on MA culture
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
Since my first day in my class (I've only been at this for a lifetime total of a month or two,) I've felt like a stranger in a strange land on several levels. It's nothing to do with anyone in the class - everyone has been incredibly welcoming and encouraging. But I get a strong dose of culture shock with some topics, and I've chosen to keep my guard up on some things until I get a better feel for the overall culture.

I'm the only woman there, and I know I'm one of the kewl kids because of all the testicular humor going back and forth. Honestly, I feel flattered. The other day I came in and the teacher mentioned that he saw his neighbor jogging that morning with no bra and I said "Cool!!" in all sincerity.

Which brings me to my question ... I scoped the room a little bit when I said that to see if anyone picked up on it, but I couldn't tell. Is the MA world gay-friendly? I ran into one of my classmates by chance today and we were talking about various love interests; I didn't want to, but I chickened out when it came to the personal pronoun. I didn't say "she," and I'm a little mad at myself for it.

Not that I plan to start crooning Indigo Girls tunes and evangelize, but my patience is short for this kind of skulking around. It's disrespectful to myself, to my mate, and to the people I'm lying to. And as I'm still trying to find my way in this group, I have other things much more worth keeping to myself anyway.

So ... I'm not asking anyone to speak for my own dojo (unless you recognize me from my couple of posts!) but what kind of controversy am I likely to stir up if I adjust my grammar? If anything I think a little money might change hands since I give off that vibe anyway.

So I'd love some feedback on this ... but I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to hold out. Closets are tedious, very tedious.
_________________________
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick

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#413464 - 12/31/08 04:39 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
bcihak Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 298
Loc: Illinois
Do not worry about it. I know in my school it would be less than nothing to worry about. If it becomes a problem with this school go find another.

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#413465 - 12/31/08 05:15 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: bcihak]
BlackPaladin Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 29
Don't take this the wrong way, but a disproportionate number of women who participate in sports at the level you are at are lesbians. Stereotype, but true for many cases.

I bet they more than likely already assumed it, to be honest. It is no big deal. Some are hoping you are bi, I would imagine!

Continue to be you.

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#413466 - 12/31/08 05:20 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
JMWcorwin Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
I think you'll find that the MA community in general terms is no more or less gay friendly than any other. If you find yourself with a good group of open minded people it shouldn't even be an issue. So maybe the MA community might be slightly more open to voluntarily take up some of the torture we do every day with a smile. I know it wouldn't matter where I'm at..

I would say do what is comfortable for you and if they can't handle it then maybe you're in the wrong school. Personally, I don't think you need to mention it... it's a non issue; you're training partners. Especially your first couple months in. You are not honor bound to share anything other than the training with your classmates. After you've been there for a while and if you gain some really close friends, then once again, it's up to you.

My 2
_________________________
There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

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#413467 - 12/31/08 06:14 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
If you are not in a 'closet' in other areas of your life, then no reason to be so in your MA class. The people in that class are teachers, lawyers, bin men, Mcdonalds workers, builders, brain surgeons poets and politicians. They are as varied as the life outside the dojo from whence they came.
On those grounds, you are no more, or less, likely to encounter prejudice in the class.
If you are comfortable with who you are, then be who you are. If you choose to hide that, dont get mad with those who have done nothing wrong, be mad at yourself for lacking confidence to give them the benefit of the doubt.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#413468 - 12/31/08 08:46 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Cord]
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
Thanks everyone.

It's not that I was planning to make a big announcement. I've spent the last several years working very hard to winnow out friends who can't handle certain aspects of my life; differences of opinion are fine, conditional acceptance is not. So censoring certain aspects of my life all over again is a very alien feeling and I don't like it at all. So if anything, I'd simply be true to the pronouns ... "I have a date this weekend, she's really nice." Nothing big.

I really appreciate the feedback. I do feel very comfortable with these guys, but it's good to be able to double-check the social norms on a larger scale too. At some point I may check back with the same question on other issues.
_________________________
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick

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#413469 - 12/31/08 08:54 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
If you have enough time to think about these things in class...then you aren't training enough. In a serious school, it could be years before you found out anything personal, meaning....totally irrelevant to training, about others training there.

Try leaving your issues at the door, and if you want to participate in the patter and add a social dimension to your training...then do so honestly and expect the same from others.

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#413470 - 01/01/09 01:10 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
Quote:

If you have enough time to think about these things in class...then you aren't training enough. In a serious school, it could be years before you found out anything personal, meaning....totally irrelevant to training, about others training there.




By that definition, this isn't a serious school. Several students are coworkers at the same company, from temps to middle management. And people do hang out together outside of class (and work.) The teacher is certified by Vlad and gets regular refreshers and seminars. I don't think training and socializing are mutually exclusive.

Quote:

Try leaving your issues at the door, and if you want to participate in the patter and add a social dimension to your training...then do so honestly and expect the same from others.




I'm not sure whether I should feel defensive on this or not. I don't consider this an "issue" in the sense of a neurosis. It's more of a feeler as to how to best fit in with a new culture. Also, there are many "issues" that can not and should not be left at the door. I also have PTSD, and as a health and safety issue I made a point of taking the teacher aside privately to let him know when the flashbacks started rolling in. His response was utterly considerate and professional, and has a lot to do with my decision to stay and slog through that. In order to be able to do these physical exercises, a certain amount of trust is critical; for someone in my position, not just any random person can pin me to the floor. I could care less about their actual views on homosexuality, but a little bit of friendliness goes a long way.

One could dismiss something like that as "drama," but we can't selectively ignore aspects of ourselves out of convenience. And with a form that so heavily emphasizes keeping the body loose, anything that creates enough mental tension inevitably finds its way into the body. What I'm seeking now is my own best balance for feeling as comfortable as I can with this particular group. I have no intention of lying about anything, just choosing my level of disclosure.
_________________________
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick

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#413471 - 01/01/09 07:11 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
I understand what Harlan says in that I have trained in a number of schools and it has never occurred to me to consider someone elses sexuality if they weren't wearing it on their sleeve (example, a work colleague of mine started at the same TKD club I trained at and he was extremely camp and flew the flag... I don't believe he had any problems).

Personally I tend to avoid questions or comments about sexuality as I don't know how the other person is going to react, particularly when rolling on the floor with me. So it seems a little strange to me that the coach would make a joke about a bra-less jogger when there is a female in the group.

If, as you say, you aren't evangelising then I wouldn't worry about mentioning it in conversation.Perhaps being the only female it makes it less of an issue than if you were male. Indeed, they might feel more comfortable.

If they DO have a problem then you know they aint worth dealing with.

Good luck and have fun.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#413472 - 01/01/09 12:58 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Quote:

I don't consider this an "issue" in the sense of a neurosis. It's more of a feeler as to how to best fit in with a new culture.




Its not a 'new' culture. It is an activity participated in voluntarily by members of a culture you already deal with every day.

If anything, the MA environment tries to teach respect of self and others, and many who are drawn to it like it for that reason.

Personaly I would spend more time and energy on getting good at your art. I doubt anyone will talk behind your back for being gay, but not getting stuck in and devoting yourself to your training will probably raise a few eyebrows over time
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#413473 - 01/01/09 08:08 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

If you have enough time to think about these things in class...then you aren't training enough. In a serious school, it could be years before you found out anything personal,




I have not found this to be true at all. My experience has actually been almost completely the exact opposite - people I have met in MA training have been far more open and forthcoming than most others. That sounds like a holdover from traditional MA mindset ie; the instructor as inscrutable 'other'.

Regarding the OP, I agree with Corwin that the MA culture overall is probably not much different than any other. Be yourself - it's better than the alternative.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#413474 - 01/02/09 01:28 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: MattJ]
JMWcorwin Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
I don't know. After all these years training, there's only a select few people I have ever even met up with outside of class. When we're in class, everyone is your brother/sister. We sweat and bleed together for the time allotted for that class and then return to our own personal lives.

We all know (or should) that out of 10 white belts that start maybe 8 or 9 will stick around long enough to get to BB. After that, that same 90% fall out and don't continue to higher levels. When I'm at the school with fellow bb's who've been around and trained with me I do consider brothers and great friends.. but there's only one I consider a friend in the outside world. I mean I've been to his house, have his cell #, have hung out, etc. And the only reason I think that happened is because he became my partner when I bought the school from my instructor. But, I'm not the type that makes friends with everyone I meet anyway so it could just be me. Sorry, I kind of blew this way off topic.

ps Funny afterthought is that that one friend happens to be one of the ones that took his leave of the martial arts. So I ONLY see him outside of MA... So, again, it could just be me.
_________________________
There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

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#413475 - 01/05/09 05:22 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Like others have said, the m.a. world is most likely no more or less homophobic than the rest of the world. If you are open about your sexuality in daily life, why would you hide it to those you train with? If they don't like it, tough. Talk to your instructor if it becomes an issue. If he is a problem, ask for your money back and find a place not occupied by the small minded.


harlan, you said:

Quote:

If you have enough time to think about these things in class...then you aren't training enough. In a serious school, it could be years before you found out anything personal, meaning....totally irrelevant to training, about others training there.





Different schools train in different ways...who are you to judge the 'seriousness of someones training', based on how much the students get to know each other? As a matter of fact, arts where you sweat the hardest, tend to have more 'downtime' than others: the students find themselves taking water breaks to rehydrate. Conversations naturally emerge during these periods, sometimes about the training, sometimes about outside life. If someone taking their break during work spoke about their personal life, does that mean they aren't 'serious' about their job?

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/05/09 05:28 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413476 - 01/05/09 10:21 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Apparently you can't read. My post said 'could'.

Interpret that any way you like.

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#413477 - 01/06/09 12:27 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Yes your post did say 'could'. But it let's look at where that 'could' was:

Quote:

In a serious school, it could be years before you found out anything personal, meaning....totally irrelevant to training, about others training there.




You used the 'could' in reference to the "serious school", not the other way around.

However, the overall context of your post, and it's opening sentence was:

Quote:

If you have enough time to think about these things in class...then you aren't training enough.




That was the part of your post I clearly disagreed with. There is nothing whatsoever in this sentence to suggest conditionality, nor did your following sentences alter that. Your follow up sentence (with the 'could') only stands to reinforce the first statement of your post.

Let me now quote your entire paragraph (so I don't get accused of taking you out of context):

Quote:

If you have enough time to think about these things in class...then you aren't training enough. In a serious school, it could be years before you found out anything personal, meaning....totally irrelevant to training, about others training there.




It is obvious to any rational person that there is no conditionality offered to your first statement in any of the sentences that follow. Now, if you would like to correct yourself, that's fine. But do me a favor, and don't accuse me of not being able to read, when your meaning is painfully obvious. Okay?

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/06/09 12:38 AM)

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#413478 - 01/06/09 07:57 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
No...it's only obvious to you. The baggage you bring to it.

What's the matter...you can't get enough action going in your forums that you have to troll on down to the Meditation forum and pick fights over semantics? LOL!

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#413479 - 01/06/09 10:39 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Posted 01/05/09: Harlan said:

Quote:

Apparently you can't read. My post said 'could'.






01/06/09
Quote:

you have to troll on down to the Meditation forum and pick fights over semantics?




Look closely at who started in on the semantics please.

Next, I'm not bringing any "baggage" to this thread. I am disagreeing with you. And no, that does not qualify me as "trolling". That means, quite simply, that I don't agree with what you said, or the way you framed it, which I found was somewhat insulting to another member (telling her she isn't training hard enough). You say that I'm the only one reading your post like this, yet right above, you can see that MattJ read it the same way. Your meaning is painfully clear, and, again, if you meant something different, feel free to correct yourself and specifically enlighten us all to what you DID mean.

Lastly, this is the second post you have personally insulted me (first saying I can't read, then calling me a troll). I don't think I need to remind you that personal attacks are not tolerated on this forum, do I?

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413480 - 01/06/09 11:40 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Quote:

If you have enough time to think about these things in class...then you aren't training enough. In a serious school, it could be years before you found out anything personal, meaning....totally irrelevant to training, about others training there.




That's a lot like what my first Dojo was like although my second was a lot less formal. I think it just depends where you go and how large the class is.
_________________________
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

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#413481 - 01/06/09 12:31 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
People, people!!

This really isn't necessary. As the OP, I want to thank both of you for your constructive and helpful responses to my question. I learned a lot, and my mind is officially eased about the initial topic. So unless anyone has any additional feedback on the topic of closeted Systema practitioners ...?
_________________________
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick

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#413482 - 01/06/09 12:59 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Absolutely. Some folks need to get a little perspective, maybe a little humor...and a whole lot more depth.

BTW...belated welcome to screamingflea.

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#413483 - 01/06/09 03:53 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
'Flea, as you'll notice... some MAists have loads of tolerance for genders and persuasions, it's just each other they have little tolerance for!
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#413484 - 01/06/09 03:58 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: trevek]
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
Heh ... just like every other group I know.

Ain't human nature grand?
_________________________
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick

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#413485 - 01/18/09 10:35 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
McSensei Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
Am I the only person that is old fashioned enough to think that what you do in the bedroom is of no concern to anyone else.
I don't see the need to "come out" at all. To anyone. Ever.

I'm afraid that I see this as another example of a society that has become sex obsessed.

To the OP, do you think about whether to tell your classmates that you like broccoli but not carrots? No? Thought not. Or any of your other preferences in daily life?

Then why is it that you think that anyone would be interested in your bedroom preferences?

Just go and train.
_________________________
http://www.semtexgym.co.uk/

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#413486 - 01/19/09 05:32 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: McSensei]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

Am I the only person that is old fashioned enough to think that what you do in the bedroom is of no concern to anyone else.
I don't see the need to "come out" at all. To anyone. Ever.

I'm afraid that I see this as another example of a society that has become sex obsessed.

To the OP, do you think about whether to tell your classmates that you like broccoli but not carrots? No? Thought not. Or any of your other preferences in daily life?

Then why is it that you think that anyone would be interested in your bedroom preferences?

Just go and train.




Absolutely, and no, you are not the only one.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#413487 - 01/19/09 07:20 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
You mean I'm the only one who gets thir wife to wear a Bruce Lee t-shirt to bed?
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#413488 - 01/19/09 10:41 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: McSensei]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Quote:

do you think about whether to tell your classmates that you like broccoli but not carrots?




Well that would be a valid comparison if a large portion of the population felt that carrot eaters should not be allowed to be Boy Scout Troop leaders, or could fired from their jobs or kicked out of the Military if their Carrot eating became public.

The issue isn't sex, the issue is society active discrimination of a particular group of people based on an arbitrary reason.

You say, who cares what people do in their bedroom? Just train. The reality is a lot of people care, and because they care it becomes an issue, unlike the consumption of carrots.

The question is, when or do you make it known? Some people prefer to get it on the table so those who have an issue can be forthcoming or shut up, others prefer people to find out through the course of daily life if and when it comes up.

It is an issue, until it doesn't even occur to people to wonder, like if you prefer carrots or peas. (carrots and peas is better use of analogy then carrots or broccoli, just ask Forest, Forest Gump)
_________________________
Undefeated in all of Asia!

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#413489 - 01/19/09 12:44 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Kimo2007]
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
Kimo, you put that very eloquently. I thank you.

I've come a long way from living in any kind fear of discrimination or hate crimes (or patronizing PMs.) It's a matter of integrity. Can I be true to myself in spite of a potentially hostile climate? I have the courage for that, yes. But it only makes sense to figure out just how much courage I'll need in a given situation. That's what prompted my OP.
_________________________
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick

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#413490 - 01/19/09 04:23 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
I understand what McSensei means and, to a point, I agree with him. However, as Kimo says, it is not that simple.

Ideally it shouldn't matter but let's be honest, how many times has a male student felt awkward wrestling with a woman and brushing against or grabbing her breast? In the case of the OP, it is also a question of lifestyle and who she chooses to walk through town with her arm around (not just the bedroom). Part of 'Flea's OP was because of a social conversation outisde the club (in the real world).

If a new student joined a club and someone knew he was gay (or found out beyond the club) how many males would feel uncomfortable about wrestling with him and getting sweaty (or even showering with him)?

On the vegetable front... if someone had a preference for sprouts I'd certainly want to know... just so as not to be behind them in the line-up.


Edited by trevek (01/19/09 04:28 PM)
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#413491 - 01/19/09 07:50 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: trevek]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
I would not be comfortable training with a homosexual in an environment where we made physical contact. I would also have health concerns.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#413492 - 01/19/09 09:22 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Brian, I'm sure your homophobic post will be deleted shortly. Mod, feel free to delete this one too.

In the meantime, I'd like to alert you to the fact that you have more chance contracting HIV than a Lesbian does.


Have a nice day,

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413493 - 01/20/09 12:38 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

Brian, I'm sure your homophobic post will be deleted shortly. Mod, feel free to delete this one too.

In the meantime, I'd like to alert you to the fact that you have more chance contracting HIV than a Lesbian does.


Have a nice day,

--Chris




Right, typical response. I'm sure everyone who doesn't agree with this sort of thing is a homophobe.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#413494 - 01/20/09 08:56 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
This is what 'honesty' gets you... It's 'okay' to 'come out' and state one wants honest feedback...but only if the reply is what one wants to hear.

One's sexual orientation is of absolutely NO relevance to training. A good maxim: shut up and train. It keeps things focused on what is important for that space and time.

Personally, I don't understand the mindset of individuals that enter a dojo expecting accomodation. One starts at the bottom, with the mindset that probably everyone there has something that one can learn. It's not that one is black/white, male/female, straight/gay, young/old...the point is entering the dojo with 'new eyes' every time. Of being a 'beginner', and having the grace to put one's 'self' aside in order to learn what others MAY be willing to share.


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#413495 - 01/20/09 09:37 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Quote:

Right, typical response. I'm sure everyone who doesn't agree with this sort of thing is a homophobe.




No just pretty ignorant. I am sure you don't mean it to be but your comment is in the same vein of saying black people have tails. The Christian right led a heavy propaganda campaign linking aides to gay men. The public bought into it hook line and sinker. Did the disease hit the gay community hard, yes it did but that misfortune was turned into a homophobic rampage. Even when Magic contracted HIV it was assumed he was engaging in homosexual activities.

The facts are, the overwhelming number of people infected with HIV are straight, and the odds of you contracting the virus are so low, it isn't even worth a mention.

By stating your opinion, and I think it's an honest opinion, you simply demonstrate that you have taken a view, with little or no knowledge of the facts.
_________________________
Undefeated in all of Asia!

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#413496 - 01/20/09 09:41 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Although I don't agree with him, Brian is entitled to his opinion.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#413497 - 01/20/09 10:37 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: MattJ]
screamingflea Offline
Dont call me babe

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 49
Loc: USA
Quote:

Although I don't agree with him, Brian is entitled to his opinion.




Absolutely. And for the record, I haven't called anyone a homophobe myself. It would be pretty hypocritical for me to make that call after putting myself out there as part of an unpopular minority.

If I couldn't handle differences of opinion, I wouldn't have asked about how best to fit in with a larger group. A simple disagreement doesn't constitute prejudice (sending a snotty PM on "what's wrong with homosexuality," however ...?)

In any case, I think that all relevant points have been made in this conversation. I thank everyone who made constructive comments. It's time to wrap this up now.
_________________________
"A body at rest can not be stopped!!" - The Tick

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#413498 - 01/20/09 11:09 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
I second Matt. Brian has been honest enough to state his view. I wonder how many of us would be so honest with an unpopular opinion.

I like to think I wouldn't feel uncomfortable but perhaps I might find myself wrong.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#413499 - 01/20/09 11:17 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Alright, well as long as we are simply 'stating opinions', I stand by mine: that your statement, Brian, is homophobic and ignorant.

Harlan, as for you, I see no reason to respond to you (beyond this), because, as long as you keep what is written in your profile: "I no longer support this site in any way", I no longer in any way consider you a member of this site.

--Chris

edit: that being said, regarding Brian's comment, I suppose it is just his opinion, and he is entitled to it.


Edited by Ames (01/20/09 11:35 AM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413500 - 01/20/09 11:21 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Works fine by me...as I don't think my words required any response from you.

And no...I don't support this site. I do, however, support intelligence in Martial arts, my friends (some who are still here)...and newbies to MA who need to hear more than the one-sided ignorance that is perpetuated on most 5th rate forums.

To the OP...good luck in your training. You seem sensible, and intelligent...and with some ability to navigate the BS of internet postings...I'm sure you will do well.

BTW: I have campaigned, unsuccessfully, at this site to have the abuse of PMing addressed. If you feel you are being harassed via PM...contact the administrator.

Quote:



Harlan, as for you, I see no reason to respond to you (beyond this), because, as long as you keep what is written in your profile there ("I no longer support this site in any way), I no longer in any way consider you a member of this site.

--Chris




Edited by harlan (01/20/09 11:32 AM)

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#413501 - 01/20/09 01:23 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Christy Offline
Member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 61
Loc: The D
Quick personal story regarding sexual orientation & MA training: I trained in a rough Japanese karate school from ages 14-18. Majority student demographic was adolescent and young-adult males. As such, it was an understandably testosterone-rich environment. Dojo-mates develop friendships and with those friendships, the familiarity of relation, and with that, all the vulgar inuendo's about the opposite sex and embelished or fabricated tales of sexual conquest that one would expect from a bunch of healthy young heterosexual males.

Well, I eventually left the dojo and lost touch with everyone, but with the modern miracle of myspace, I've been able to track down some old comrades from those days and have found that a couple of them have come out. Now, I am a straight male. I've never boasted of having exceptional gay-dar, but could however, usually tell if someone was gay or straight even if they didn't where it one there sleeve. Upon learning that some my old friends were in fact gay, I was mildly surprised, but at the same time could look back and well, feel like I guess it now makes sense. Either way, it doesn't change that they were my friends, and although we have seen or spoken in some time, I do miss having them in my life. I think friendship supercedes sexual orientation. It does for me at least.

Regarding Brian's remark about reluctance to make physical contact in training with someone if they were gay, I guess in the heat of the moment (like spirited kumite) it wouldn't be an issue for me; kumite, for example could get quite heavy, so it was always kill or be killed. But if you posed the issue to me after the fact, well, in my heart of hearts, some apprehnsion would honestly creep into the logical part of my brain.

I don't think that makes me a homophobe, and maybe it makes me a hypocrite too, because, I'm no vestal virgin myself. HOooo. Shucks no. But anyway, I guess it can be natural to have reservations about that kind of stuff, and no, you shouldn't have to worry about being demonised for voicing honesty.

So I guess alls I'm sayin' is gay or straight doesn't matter to me in the dojo. Take it or leave it.

My old sensei, however, was a homosexual pedophile and is now in prison, but, that's another story...
_________________________
-out

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#413502 - 01/20/09 01:57 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
stac3y Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 42
Quote:

I would not be comfortable training with a homosexual in an environment where we made physical contact. I would also have health concerns.




This makes me curious. Are you saying you would be uncomfortable with the potential sexual element? If so, should men and women not train together if there's going to be physical contact? Should married or otherwise attached MAs eschew groundfighting with MAs of the opposite sex?

Regarding your "health concerns," I used to be a medical librarian, and I've done a tremendous amount of research on this topic. Unless you are breaking the skin of your training partner WITH a part of your body that also has broken skin or mucous membranes, you're really not a risk for contracting HIV. So don't bite or have sex with anyone in your class, and bandage any cuts. Don't become blood brothers with anyone.

You are at risk from contact with anyone's blood, semen, or vaginal secretions, regardless of their sexual orientation, but with reasonable care, you don't have to worry about it much <Note: I'm NOT a doctor, and am NOT giving medical advice. There are a multitude of reputable online resources that can help you better understand HIV transmission.>

And 'Flea, rock on!

Stac3y
_________________________
Stac3y Karate Moms have Brass Ovaries!

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#413503 - 01/20/09 02:40 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: screamingflea]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Screamingflea:

Personal situations whether yours or mine are irrelevent to class. Meaning the identical rules apply period. Do I have an open cut then, I have to care for it, period. Am I glaring at/lusting after the bodies of the young women (or men) in class?

Whatever the particular case(s) might be... are we following the fundamental rules of behavior or not? If so, I do not care whether you are male, female gay or straight or anything else. I am not there for a date we are there to train and get better, learn about our abilities, skills and help get pushed into new arenas!

Nothing is different... merely because you are gay.
Jeff

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#413504 - 01/20/09 03:14 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: stac3y]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

This makes me curious. Are you saying you would be uncomfortable with the potential sexual element? If so, should men and women not train together if there's going to be physical contact? Should married or otherwise attached MAs eschew groundfighting with MAs of the opposite sex?






1. Yes
2. I cannot say what other men and women should or should not do. That's up to them.
3. Up to them, I'm not trying to impose my preferences on anyone. I'm just stating mine.

I train with women and don't mind the contact, but there is no sexual element there at all. I've never met a woman who likes martial arts, and me.

If my opinion on training preference makes me a bad, mean person in anyone's eyes then so be it. Seems to be the popular view nowadays.

Peace, love, and cookies for everyone!!


p.s. the health concerns comment probably wasn't warranted.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#413505 - 01/20/09 05:07 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: stac3y]
Zombie Zero Offline
Compliance & Liability
Veteran

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1987
Loc: Lorton, VA
Well said, Stac3y.

Personally, I wouldn't care if my training partner was a homosexual. If he and I can help each other learn to grapple, then he can march in the Pride Parade wearing assless chaps for all I care. Just because we're rolling doesn't make me worry he's suddenly going to try and get all bow-chicka-bow-wow with me. He likes dudes, so what?

Brian, while I disagree with your viewpoint, I believe you are well within your right to express it in the way that you did. I'm not -as someone suggested- going to reprimand you about it.

As far as I'm concerned, the First Amendment is alive and well on FA.com.

If someone says, "I am uncomfortable around homosexuals" then that is a statement of opinion.

If they instead say something like, "I hate f*ggots" then they'd meet with the business end of a ban hammer.

Point being, there's a difference.

I'm not going to suppress anybody's ability to express themselves. Unpopular opinions are allowed here. Blatant hate speech is not.
_________________________
In my walk in the martial way, my hope is that as long as I live, I will always be a beginner.

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#413506 - 01/20/09 05:52 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Zombie Zero]
McSensei Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
Sanity rules yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Group hug anyone???



With the respectful exclusion of Brian.





























Coz he's got warts!!!!
_________________________
http://www.semtexgym.co.uk/

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#413507 - 01/20/09 07:53 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Zombie Zero]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
And well said, yourself, ZZ. I think that small point about being allowed to express differences of opinions, and expect them to treated with respect (and that includes respect from moderators), to be particularly important.

In that spirit, and because you asked me to, I've modified my profile.

Quote:

Well said, Stac3y.

Personally, I wouldn't care if my training partner was a homosexual. If he and I can help each other learn to grapple, then he can march in the Pride Parade wearing assless chaps for all I care. Just because we're rolling doesn't make me worry he's suddenly going to try and get all bow-chicka-bow-wow with me. He likes dudes, so what?

Brian, while I disagree with your viewpoint, I believe you are well within your right to express it in the way that you did. I'm not -as someone suggested- going to reprimand you about it.

As far as I'm concerned, the First Amendment is alive and well on FA.com.

If someone says, "I am uncomfortable around homosexuals" then that is a statement of opinion.

If they instead say something like, "I hate f*ggots" then they'd meet with the business end of a ban hammer.

Point being, there's a difference.

I'm not going to suppress anybody's ability to express themselves. Unpopular opinions are allowed here. Blatant hate speech is not.



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#413508 - 01/20/09 10:50 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Quote:

that small point about being allowed to express differences of opinions, and expect them to treated with respect (and that includes respect from moderators), to be particularly important.




If it seems I treated Brian's comment in a way that is not respectful then...good. Because I have no respect at all for homophobic language. I have no need, or want, to hold such ignorant language in higher regard than it deserves. The same for racist, chauvinist, or other language of that ilk.

To respect, merely for the sake of it, opinions such as these, is to disrespect those towards whom such comments are initially made.

* * *
That being said, I have spoken to Zombie Zero about this, and he feels that Brian's language did not cross a line, or violate a rule. Personally, I draw my line shorter. Our interpretations vary on this. But the final decision is Zombie Zero's, as it is his final decision on the interpretation of the rules, and I respect the interpretation he has made.

That doesn't mean I have to respect Brian's opinion on this matter though. I am still free to voice my opinion about it.

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/20/09 10:58 PM)

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#413509 - 01/20/09 11:00 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Get a grip.

How could my opinion of preferring not to "roll" with a homosexual be made toward anyone?

Can I not have a preference?

I make no apologies, but again the health concerns probably weren't warranted.

It has nothing to do with race or being chauvenistic either. All is not permissible to me. You can have at it though.

p.s. I never asked you or anyone else to respect my opinion. If you don't like it, then tough tiddlies.


Edited by BrianS (01/20/09 11:02 PM)
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#413510 - 01/20/09 11:17 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Brian, that post wasn't addressed to you, which is why I put the quote there--to make it clear the specific comment I was addressing. So, I realize you never asked me or anyone else to respect your opinion. Another poster did.

I'm not sure what you mean by "How could my opinion of preferring not to "roll" with a homosexual be made toward anyone?" so I'm not going to speak to that. My point is that it was a homophobic comment. That is all. I'm not even saying that you are a homophobe. I don't know you well enough to say that. But that doesn't change what that comment was.

Regarding "It has nothing to do with race or being chauvenistic either". Although it doesn't mean that you are a racist, or a chauvinist, it does have something to do with those things: homophobic speech is discriminatory speech, like racist or chauvinist speech. That is the commonality. If you don't like then 'tough tiddles'.

Oh, and please don't tell me to "get a grip". I would suggest you 'get a grip' and lose the ego, if you think a homosexual male is going to get turned on by rolling with you.

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/20/09 11:20 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413511 - 01/20/09 11:23 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
I'm sure you'd be completely apalled by my other views,lol.


Quote:

I would suggest you 'get a grip' and lose the ego, if you think a homosexual male is going to get turned on by rolling with you.






I never said that, get your facts straight and drop your baggage at the door.

I simply said I'm not comfortable. Isn't that just awful!!!!!
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#413512 - 01/21/09 12:02 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Quote:

I never said that, get your facts straight and drop your baggage at the door.




Brian:
Quote:

"I would not be comfortable training with a homosexual in an environment where we made physical contact. I would also have health concerns."




Poster asks:
Quote:

"Are you saying you would be uncomfortable with the potential sexual element? "




Brian answers:
Quote:

"Yes."




Care to tell me what "facts" I'm missing here?? Because it sure seems like that is EXACTLY what you are said.


--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413513 - 01/21/09 03:11 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas


How long do you want to do this?

The FACT is I don't want to have contact during training with a homosexual. If you want to then have at it. Go take showers together for all I care!!

The fact that I don't want to does not make me a homophobe. My reasons are my business and none of yours so back off beaudreaux!!
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#413514 - 01/21/09 03:16 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Ames, chill. Really. The only openly homosexual person on this thread has said she takes no offence in Brians post, and there is no need to don a cape and become 'Captain Pink' to defend Liza Minelli fans the world over

Personaly, I have a few openly gay friends, 2 of which quite happily tell me i am 'wasted on girls' and who used to joke that they were going to convert me I in turn told them I prefer my farts to rattle not go 'shhhhh' and that if I couldnt put my own in my mouth, there was no way anyone elses was going in there either

Gay isnt a different planet, we are all human, and friends take the pi$$ out of each other in the same ways, gay or straight.

Brian, you have to remember that being homosexual does not overide a persons selective process. This means that a gay man is no more likley to want you sexually than the girls you have trained with that havent either

If you're ugly, your ugly to everyone

on the health thing, you are way off base Borat
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#413515 - 01/21/09 05:03 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Cord]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

Brian, you have to remember that being homosexual does not overide a persons selective process. This means that a gay man is no more likley to want you sexually than the girls you have trained with that havent either




DOH!@%^&*(( Nobody wants me!!!!!!!
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#413516 - 01/21/09 07:29 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: BrianS]
Ilove2Hit Offline
Member

Registered: 10/02/08
Posts: 264
Loc: Athens, Greece
i think there is nothing wrong with stating that someone would not like to train with someone who is homosexual for any reasons.

id state the same thing. at my dojo we got 2 homosexuals. i am not homophobic or anything and just so you know one of my best friends (16 yrs of friendship) is bisexual. i just felt a bit uncomfotable/weird when one of the guys clinched me inside the ring and instead of kicking me or continuing the fight he was looking at the and smiling softly at me. ^^ lol. now i laugh about it. and when this happened it was actually very funny too. at my dojo we make fun of each other all the time even about the "gayness" of thw two guys and they have absolutely no problem with it because they know it is all fun and we are a group and nobody wants to harm them etc.

but there are people who have stated that they have a problem training with the two guys. i can understand why. but i dont have the same problems. why should i? an oponent that would like to hump you and things ur "pretty" wont be so likely to bash your face so easy :P lol.

i totally accept and respect BrianS opinion and statement!! as long as he doesnt harm or discriminate homosexuals it is okay!

it is okay not to like something and to say that in public as long as u dont hunt it down, destroy it, ban it or intimidate it.

ive felt weird or uncomfortable in some situations in my life that had to deal with physical contact with homosexuals but i never had a problem with that.

i think i know how they feel when i go over to another dojo where an increadible pretty girl is practising and we fight together. sometimes i just cant pull that high kick into her petite face shes sooo cute ^^

but not as cute as my 155cm girlfriend

that said, go BrianS!


p.s. dont worry there is a beauty out there for every beast :P
_________________________
do what you say and say what you do no pain no gain

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#413517 - 01/21/09 07:54 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Cord]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I think the whole 'is it because I'm gay' has effectively limited the discussion; Served as a 'red herring', so to speak, for people to get on their soapboxes, use the issue to force their preferences on others...as if some internet posts are going to change anything in the OPs training situation.

Fact is, plenty of places, in work, and in dojos, push out people that don't fit. It's a mutual process of acclimation, and acceptance...or the new guy is out the door. As a woman, having to hold my own in a male dominated profession (at one point)...this was my experience. Even more directly, the men I interviewed were quite candid...'If I don't like you...you are gone. There are ways to make people quit.'

Either they make space for someone different, up to a point, or they don't. If they don't...well...they are a**holes of the highest order...and don't deserve your company anyway.

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#413518 - 01/21/09 09:04 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Zombie Zero]
stac3y Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/08
Posts: 42
Quote:

Well said, Stac3y.




Thanks!

For what it's worth, I think that many men who are freaked by contact with gay men (and I'm NOT saying this applies to you, BrianS!) feel that way because the potential sexual undercurrent is coupled with the fact that the gay man is, well, a man, and therefore (potentially) threatening. In other words, because a man is more likely to be as large and as strong as him, and also just might be physically capable of forcing himself upon him (the freaked guy). A woman would not likely be viewed as threatening in the same way, even though the potential for a sexual undercurrent exists.

A lot of the women I've talked to started out feeling a bit freaked by grappling with men for the same reasons I describe above. I haven't met any yet who haven't been able to overcome this worry after getting to know the men involved and just steeling themselves to do it and get used to it. Of course, keeping in mind that your partner probably has other love interests and none in you helps, too.

On a different, but related topic, I've heard one woman say that she thought grappling was "kind of sexy." The rest of the people (men and women) in the group looked at her like she was crazy. I commented that she must be really hard up for a date. I think it's about the least sexy thing going, myself.

But I wonder what all of you think about that. Is grappling sexy? And, no, I'm not giving out the phone number of the woman who said it is, so don't ask!

Stac3y
_________________________
Stac3y Karate Moms have Brass Ovaries!

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#413519 - 01/21/09 09:09 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: stac3y]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Human wiring is easily confused...and under stress 'sensual' and 'sexual' signals misunderstood.

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#413520 - 01/21/09 09:23 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: stac3y]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

Is grappling sexy?




Can't say that I have ever thought grappling was sexy, even when I was rolling with the ladies. Not much sexy about anyone trying to break your joints or choke you out.

Quote:

And, no, I'm not giving out the phone number of the woman who said it is, so don't ask!





Fine. Be that way.

*reaches unenthusiastically for vaseline, phones BrianS*
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#413521 - 01/21/09 11:53 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Cord]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Alright, I'm going to try to clarify my posts.

Firstly, it was not Brian's comment that he would not feel comfortable training with a homosexual that bothered me. It was the 'health concerns' part (which, Brian's defence, he has since taken back).

The reason why this bothered me is complex, but let me try and explain quickly.

Harlan makes a strong point that sometimes people just don't fit in, be it in a dojo or in the workplace, or whatever. I see this as true, and totally acceptable, when it is just their personality's not lining up. If peoples energy is totally different, then it can make for a bad training situation, or a bad workplace environment.

But the issue that I have is when a person is made to feel unwelcome, not because of what they do, what they say, etc., but because of what they choose to do in their bedroom. So, when I read a comment regarding 'health concerns' that has absolutely no basis in fact, it bothers me because of the history of this kind of verbage.

For those that don't know, during the initial h.i.v scare, many homosexual people were fired, barred from gyms or other group situations. In many ways this kind of stigma has remained, as Brian's post shows. When I read that it bothers me, because the logical extension of this is that gay people could be barred from training in a dojo to begin with due to a somewhat paranoid, and groundless ascertion of 'health concerns'. Going past this, it could be used to keep openly gay people out of the workplace or school systems. It certainly has been.

Now you could say that this is just a small internet forum, and we're not changing the world here, and that does Brian's comment doesn't really make a difference. But I would counter that it is precisely these comments that, added together, engender a false fear of certain groups based on no facts whatsoever. The end of result of just dismissing and letting comments like this stand is that they become accepted truths. From there, peoples bias is allowed to take on a pseudoscientific rationale, and the exclusion of these groups could (and has at points) become widespread.

In many countries, gay people are executed or imprisoned due to trumped up issues of 'health concerns'.

That being said, I'd like to make clear that I don't think Brian is 'evil' for stating his opinion, nor do I think that it was his intention to suggest the gays should be barred from the dojo. So this might be an issue of me not connecting the dots and making clear why his 'health concerns' comment bothered me--because of the logical extension it implied (with or without Brian's awareness) and that we have seen manifested in our recent past.

The reason why I thought his post would be deleted is not simply because I disagreed with it, but because I was rather sure that it went against forum policy. I was wrong in that, as ZZ has made apparent. In another venue, I would not seek to censor Brian, but would surely debate the comment he made. But as I said, I was under the (false) impression that a rule of this specific forum had been broken.
To Cord's comment as this just being someone 'taking the [censored]', I'm afraid I have to respectfully disagree, as I did not get that whatsover from what was said. For those who think I am 'just getting up on my soapbox', please see the recent thread about 'grappling being gay', to see that I don't have a problem with this subject addressed in a funny, harmless manner, and am willing to participate when that occurs. I did not read Brian's rhetoric as joking, nor harmless, and I reacted based on that.

Brian, for what it's worth, I don't think you are a bad person at all. I do think that the comment you made about health concerns was made out of ignorance (in the true sense of the word, as is 'unknowing'), however. But, as I tried to make clear, seemingly to no avail, though I disagree with your comment, I am not trying to make an overall judgement on you as a person. If it has come off like anything more than me disagreeing with your position on this matter, I sincerly apologize. I do hope that we will be able to get over this, and have pleasant exchanges on this forum.

And Cord, just to clarify, I don't have a pink cape to don. When I put my costume on, it consists of rainbow colored assless chaps, a pink s.m. mask, and a large 'A' (for Ames) written in lipstick on my bare chest (I prefer the 'deep midnight' shade).

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413522 - 01/21/09 11:59 AM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Come again? You think it's perfectly acceptable to push people out of the dojo based on 'personality' and 'energy'? What kind of selfish rationale is that? Sounds more like an excuse...'I was here first/taken a dislike/am being territorial...and YOU don't fit in'. Almost sounds like what the OP was addressing...coming into a new dojo...and questioning if there exist 'ma cultures'.

So, if it's not a culture...what is it? 'Cause it sounds like an apologist rationale for...discrimination...to me.

Quote:

sometimes people just don't fit in, be it in a dojo or in the workplace, or whatever. I see this as true, and totally acceptable, when it is just their personality's not lining up. If peoples energy is totally different, then it can make for a bad training situation, or a bad workplace environment. --Chris



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#413523 - 01/21/09 12:14 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Wow Harlan, I guess that's what I get for trying to meet you halfway, huh? Actually that is NOT what I was saying. It seems that in order to make a post without being jumped on, I most qualify every last little bit of what I say. Fine.

What I meant was in regard to this that you said:

Quote:

Fact is, plenty of places, in work, and in dojos, push out people that don't fit. It's a mutual process of acclimation, and acceptance...or the new guy is out the door. As a woman, having to hold my own in a male dominated profession (at one point)...this was my experience. Even more directly, the men I interviewed were quite candid...'If I don't like you...you are gone. There are ways to make people quit.'





No, I don't particularly like this practice. But my point is that it does happen, and it is natural that it will continue to happen. The issue is that when, in your example, you are pushed out based on no other criteria than being a woman, or a homosexual is pushed out based on nothing other than them having the sexual orientation.

In other words, in one enviroment a person's personality may make for a great general work environment, while in another it makes for distracting one...it depends on the general tenor of that setting. It stands to reason that someone who doesn't gel with everyone else probably won't work there very long. Right or wrong, this is my experiance.

This is seen in the dojo many times, especially tradional ones where people don't care about basic manners, or address the teacher in a proper way. In many dojo's in Japan, this is a good enough reason for expulsion. Yet, in a boxing gym, for example, the same type of behavior might be perfectly acceptable, whearas bowing and shouting 'OSU!' to everything the coach said would not go off too well in the long run.

I think that a bigger issue, and the main one I tried to address in the overall context of my post, was when someone doesn't gel with people for no other reason than a pre-existing bias regarding the group the person belongs to. Which is why there are laws against this.

My post was SO OBVIOUSLY not "it [being] perfectly acceptable to push people out of the dojo based on 'personality'", that I wonder if you

a) even read it
b) are just looking for something to pick apart, seperate from it's context, and start an argument.
c) have just genuinly mistook what I said.

I hope it is 'c', and that this post has clarified things for you.



--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/21/09 12:15 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413524 - 01/21/09 12:20 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Oh no...just asking for clarification. You said it was alright...and you admit you were not clear in your wording. Not uber-careful in how you address every single word. Not that that doesn't happen to us all. As usual, you have a penchant for taking posts personally.

Thanks for the clarification. Good to know we are all on the same page...that discrimination occurs. The question is: when is it acceptable to discriminate? By your standards it shouldn't be on sexual preference. Regardless of the 'commercial' world of MA, where if your money is green I suspect the discrimination will be more covert/subtle, in the non-commercial world...I think discrimination can be much more overt. I've personally heard good teachers say, 'I won't teach someone I don't like.' Period. Could be because one is gay, gaijin (sp?), female, etc. Is it 'okay' to say, 'You don't fit in?'

Myself...I see the world through a Marxian lens: it's all about power and politics...about haves and have-nots...and small people taking advantage when there is a lack of...moderation.

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#413525 - 01/21/09 01:09 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Quote:

As usual, you have a penchant for taking posts personally.




Yes, I take posts that are directed at me (in reply to me) personally...especially so when the wording of those posts is vaguely barbed.

Harlan, I would do this in private, but you are not accepting p.m.'s., and you have yet to reply to the email I sent you well over a week ago now, beyond telling me it will be marked for spam. In other words, I have no choice but to do this in this thread.

It has come to my attention, that you some kind of vendetta against me. And before you say I'm reading too much into things, please be advised that other members have, on their own accord, noticed this behavior as well. So please, in the interest of getting over this, please don't deny it.

I'd like to say again, that I have no clear idea of how I offended you. Because of this, and your unwilingness to tell me, there is no possibility on my end to remedy the situation.

In the hopes of making my life less stressful than it already is, I'd like to suggest three possible resolutions.

1. You can p.m. or email me, or answer me here, and try to work this out in an open, unguarded way so that hopefully (sincerely, I do hope) a resolution can be established.

2. You can ignore my posts, and I will ignore yours. That includes backhanded somewhat vague snipes in my direction.

3. We can continue like this ad infinitum.

The choice, at this juncture, is yours.

...

To answer the part of your post which deals with this thread...yes descrimnation occurs regularly, not only in the dojo, but out there in the world at large as well. But this can only be descrimnation in the broadest meaning the word. Out society regularly descriminates against certain members of it (hence laws against things like 'disturbing the peace), and different dojos themselves have different codes of conduct regarding what is deemed at proper behavior, as do most corporations, job sites, etc. To get into why one can be considered 'correct' and the other 'wrong' would require a legthy discussion about society, laws, ethics and so.

But the overall point is that discrimination based on bigotry is a different beast altogether, and is not tolerated by our laws, and by this we know that it is not tolerated by the majority of the population.

So to answer your question, yes discrimnation does occur, in some form or another, and it could be said that discrimnation (in the broadest sense) is a sociological neccisity to preserve culture. On the other hand, it has been found that discrimnation based on bigotry or stereotypes is corrosive to the fabric of our society.

* * *

Going back to the beginning of my post, I do hope we can find a solution to this problem we seem to be having.

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/21/09 01:29 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413526 - 01/21/09 02:06 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
If you insist on turning every post I make into some perceived insult, it is of not my making. Where in the world, did you get the idea that I have any personal feelings for you whatsoever? 'Vendetta?' Prove it...what evidence of any vendetta is there...other than you trying to twist every reply I make to your posts into some kind of insult.

If you are, perhaps, alluding to my previous signature, which seemed to ruffle your feathers...get over yourself. It wasn't directed at you. As for you reading into my not taking PMs...my box is full anyway. Therefore, the note in my profile to use e-mail to contact me. That does not, however, mean I am obligated to respond to every enquiry from every pipsqueak with ego issues. Frankly, taking a 'zen' perspective, I am beginning to wonder who actually has some kind of agenda here? You know, it's said that one only sees in others what is really in one's self.

I am very sorry to have to say this...but you are of no consequence to me whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I recall wishing you well (in the forum backroom) when you became moderator of the Asian forum. Or is your memory as selective as your desire to single ME out of all the other posters on this forum for 'special' attention?

You know...if you simply can't control yourself...you can make friends with the 'Ignore' button. I promise...I won't miss your attention.


Quote:



It has come to my attention, that you some kind of vendetta against me.--Chris



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#413527 - 01/21/09 02:30 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
McSensei Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
Ames wrote..

"It seems that in order to make a post without being jumped on, I most qualify every last little bit of what I say."

One could argue that this is exactly the way you treated Brians post.

Personally, I knew exactly what he meant.

I think the comment about health issues is completely valid as well, though not politically correct.

http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/conten...alcode=intjepid

"CONCLUSION: In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years will not reach their 65th birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871."
_________________________
http://www.semtexgym.co.uk/

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#413528 - 01/21/09 03:26 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Okay Harlan, I guess I and several others here are seeing things. Point noted. And as I guessed, you would deny that a problem even exists. If you truly had no issue with me, then why didn't you just say so in your email, rather than telling me that all further emails of mine would be sent to the spam bin? Five words too much to ask from you? Give me a break. From this point on, I hope to have no further direct interaction with on this forum. In other words, stay out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours.

Also, please don't try to put any 'Zen' platitudes on this, because it can obviously be reversed back to you! (that is the point after all, right?)

* * *

McSensei--Do you or do you not feel that that comment Brian made should be deemed as homophobic? If not, please explain why. Because that seems to be the issue here, yet no one has expressed why I was incorrect in calling it that. So, please, argue away! and tell me precisely what I 'misinterpreted' in his post, that has since been qualified. Because nothing has beyond 'that's just how I feel'. Great. Still homophobic though.


egarding that study, yes gay men currently have a shorter life than other men in a comparible catagory, mostly due to HIV/AIDS. So what? That doesn't address the fact that 80% of AIDS cases involve HETEROSEXUAL's.

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/women/resources/factsheets/women.htm

--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/21/09 03:32 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413529 - 01/21/09 03:32 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I know you need to hear that 'you are right'...so...'you are right'...you have been projecting on me...since the very first post you addressed at me...long before this thread.

But I'd like to move on, and accept that you and these mysterious 'others' that like to talk behind peoples backs, have 'been seeing things'.

I've also requested that this thread be closed. Too much derailing, and the OP basically indicated that she thought the thread had served its purpose.


Quote:

Okay Harlan, I guess I and several others here are seeing things. Point noted. And as I guessed, you would deny that a problem even exists. If you truly had no issue with me, then why didn't you just say so in your email, rather than telling me that all further emails of mine would be sent to the spam bin? Five words too much to ask from you? Give me a break. From this point on, I hope to have no further direct interaction with on this forum. In other words, stay out of my way, and I'll stay out of yours.

Also, please don't try to put any 'Zen' platitudes on this, because it can obviously be reversed back to you! (that is the point after all, right?)

* * *

McSensei--Do you or do you not feel that that comment Brian made should be deemed as homophobic? If not, please explain why. Because that seems to be the issue here, yet no one has expressed why I was incorrect in calling it that.

Regarding that study, yes gay men currently have a shorter life than other men in a comparible catagory, mostly due to HIV/AIDS. So what? That doesn't address the fact that 80% of AIDS cases involve HETEROSEXUAL's.

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/women/resources/factsheets/women.htm

--Chris



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#413530 - 01/21/09 03:35 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Quote:

I know you need to hear that 'you are right'...so...'you are right'...you have been projecting on me...since the very first post you addressed at me...long before this thread.





There we go...now we are getting somewhere. Hey, how about you p.m. or email me regarding when you think this behavior began, so that we can figure this out? Because obviously you feel I have been 'projecting' on you for awhile now...yet I remain mystified as what you feel I am 'projecting' on to you to begin with...again, we can do this civilly, by p.m. or email.

And yes, I agree that this thread ran its course a long time ago.
--Chris


Edited by Ames (01/21/09 03:38 PM)

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#413531 - 01/21/09 03:38 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Oh yes...I agree to leave you alone. I'd use the 'ignore' function to make you happy...but sadly...it doesn't work on moderators.

Let's just see if you have the ability to do the same.

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#413532 - 01/21/09 03:44 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
I'm glad we have come to this resolution. I will not respond to any of your other posts unless they are aimed at me, either explictly or implictly (which I take in good faith they will not be).

I think this is the best option, considering...

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#413533 - 01/21/09 03:44 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
To reiterate, you are right.

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#413534 - 01/21/09 03:51 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Zombie Zero Offline
Compliance & Liability
Veteran

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1987
Loc: Lorton, VA
This verbal slapfight is at an end. Harlan and Ames, please settle your differences privately, not in a public forum.
_________________________
In my walk in the martial way, my hope is that as long as I live, I will always be a beginner.

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#413535 - 01/21/09 03:57 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: harlan]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
My god this is like Moonlighting without the humour

Get a room already!
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#413536 - 01/21/09 03:59 PM Re: A question on MA culture [Re: Ames]
McSensei Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
"McSensei--Do you or do you not feel that that comment Brian made should be deemed as homophobic?.."

No. I do not feel that the comment by Brian was homophobic.

"If not, please explain why."

Because as far as I am aware Brian has not stated anywhere that he has, "a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it. H/T Dictionary.com

The misuse of language is one of the hallmarks of PC, (Orwellian newspeak comes to mind) and I for one will have none of it.
_________________________
http://www.semtexgym.co.uk/

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