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Author Topic: Why not more women in ham radio?  (Read 307786 times)
KF6QEX
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« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2010, 07:25:02 PM »

Until Matel comes out with "Ham Barbie" and the pink Jeep has a mobile Ham rig "installed" in it, not much is going to change Smiley

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W5DQ
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« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2010, 12:30:41 PM »

.......... How foreign would a conversation about Swarowski bicones,cloisonné beads,selecting a mauve duvet,tussie mussie arrangements,anything Prada,Blahnik,or Gucci be to you?

Considering I have no idea what in the heck any of that is Huh, I would choose not to be in that discussion. However should they want to talk about anything ham radio related; topics say related to antennas, modes, etc. I'd feel at ease to join in there. Nothing wrong with discussing alot of various things on the air. The main thing is to NOT exclude anyone based on the fact they may or may not understand the topic.
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
EDWARDHASKINSEXN6BMW
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« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2010, 07:58:40 AM »

The fact that a ham would ask this questions tells me that hams, as a species, have no clue about the human female.  When the human female sees an overweight, middle aged man with a call sign on his baseball cap and 4 antennas sprouting out of his car, the idea of studying hard to join his club does not occur to her.  There is nothing about amateur radio or the social misfits that typically populate this hobby that is even remotely appealing to women.  
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N3OX
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« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2010, 02:29:41 PM »

There is nothing about amateur radio or the social misfits that typically populate this hobby that is even remotely appealing to women.  

I'm not exactly in amateur radio because of all us sexy dudes either...

Let's break this sentence apart, into the two possibilities, second one first:

Quote
There is nothing about ... the social misfits that typically populate this hobby that is even remotely appealing to women.

Do you think that men join up because they like the company of smelly, awkward nerds?  No.  We tolerate being around (and being) smelly, awkward nerds because we like ham radio.  I have very little in common with most hams who are friends of mine.  I'm twenty or thirty years younger than they are, I may have differing political views, I may like doing different things outside of ham radio.  But it doesn't matter much because we share the common interest in radio propagation and maximizing, in particular, DX ability of our stations for hard paths.  I do have a few ham friends who are about my age and in similar careers and who I might conceivably be friends with outside of ham radio too, but more of them are people who are more likely to be my parents' friends than mine.

Women aren't joining up for a hobby to meet men.  Women who want to be radio hams will do so because they like radio.   That's why I'm a ham.  I like radio.  I don't do it because I have a particular fondness for the other people who are on the air (no offense intended).  It is probably true that women who have been brought up in families where it was made clear that women should have impeccable manners even if men don't, the on-air behavior on parts of the bands is probably less tolerable to some women than it is to the men who are doing it.

But honestly, I find those parts of the bands completely intolerable and useless myself.  You're going to tell fart jokes on the air?  You're going to engage in "politically incorrect" blathering for the sake of being offensive and nothing else?  Even worse you're being explicitly sexist, racist, or homophobic on the air?  Screw that noise.  That's a bunch of people who I don't want to talk to using the radio for a boring and irritating purpose.  I would literally rather listen to background static .  That brings us to the first part of your statement:

Quote
There is nothing about amateur radio ... that is even remotely appealing to women

That assumes that there's something different about men and women in the ability to appreciate radio for radio's sake, and if there is any such preference, it's at least partially the result of incessant societal pressure that science and technology are "male" things. Women are not necessarily actually fundamentally turned off by the RADIO part of radio.

My wife loves the sound of DX CW ... she loves the fluttery spooky sound of a UA0 coming in over the pole on 20m.  Actually, pretty much all of our friends, male or female, appreciate and are interested in that.  That sound... the modification of the signal as it whisks its way wirelessly from there to here, is what I'm interested in.  And it appears to have universal appeal to my friends.  Granted, most of my friends, male and female can probably be classified as "geeks" or "nerds," who care more about being interested in the world around them than in whether people think such curiosity is weird.  But they're not all science geeks... a lot of them are music geeks or art geeks or generic, free floating geeks.  And plenty of them are women.

Now, have any of those people actually shown direct interest in becoming a ham?  Nope.  I think that is where a need for home-built electronics geekery comes in.  My friends, male and female, like listening to my station but I don't think any of them really want to work out their own station to do that.  

And it's probably true on a statistical basis that "women don't like electronics."  If you did a survey, you might find that.  But that is not necessarily a fundamental hard-wiring of women.  It's part of our societal set up to subconsciously steer women away from science and technology.    Part of that background pressure away from science and technology is that everyone is always saying that women don't like science and technology.  Young children, to some (and probably large) extent, learn what they like and do not like.  They learn it from the people around them.   That's not to say that inherent biological gender differences are impossible, but people like to lean on the idea that a genetic component is of primary importance, despite a lot of evidence that girls women are often treated as if they can't do science and math even if they're expressing a current, active interest in doing so!

We will never completely untangle nature vs. nurture, but it's kind of beside the point to worry about that when we exert such massive subconscious pressure steering kids of different genders to the "appropriate" or "preferred" things.  Science and technology involvement can be a very rewarding thing, and maybe if little girls don't tend to find it themselves, we could try a little harder to introduce it to them and to make sure they have role models of women in science and technology.  If we want a little more gender balance in ham radio, one of the biggest things we can do is make sure we don't assume that "girls don't like this stuff, only boys do."

That is a largely self-fulfilling statement.  The only way to prove that it's not entirely self fulfilling (i.e. to prove that there is a genetic/hormonal component to it) is really to eliminate all the societal pressure one way or the other. That kind of controlled experiment can't (and probably shouldn't) be done on humans.  But what we can do is be aware of the subtle messages that boys and girls get and try to avoid sending them ourselves.  

Don't assume that only the boys and dads  in the neighborhood would be interested to come over for the station tour.  Bring the whole family over, give equal time to Billy and Susan and assume that their interest is the same, even if you suspect it's not...   Ham radio isn't boy stuff.  It's interesting radio stuff, and that isn't actually particular to genetics.   And as far as the overweight wacky antenna dudes go?  They're not why I'm in this hobby, even if I am "one of them."  I don't have a car covered in antennas and I don't have a callsign hat.  I think there are some pretty darn silly things that seem to go along, culturally, with a ham ticket.  They don't bother me a whole lot because I'm not interested in participating in ham culture.  I'm interested in using my radio to ping far off places and to see what comes back.  I could care less if the person on the other end has a T-shirt with an antenna sewn into it and "EVGENY, UD0RK" in flashing LED's across the back.  I just care that UD0RK and I both like beeping at each other with some tenuous plasma as the only intermediary.

If you can't fathom that appealing to women too, well... that is a big part of the problem.

73
Dan
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 02:31:45 PM by Dan » Logged

73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
NK6Q
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« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2010, 11:34:43 PM »

Way to go, Dan!  You summed it up!

Bill in Pasadena, NK6Q
(no callsign hat or license plate)
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N2EY
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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2010, 05:58:52 PM »

To N3OX:

You NAILED it, Dan!

Way to go!

73 de Jim, N2EY
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AB2T
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« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2010, 12:55:32 AM »

One of the best CW operators ever is a naval officer named Denise Stoops.  She used to regularly send bulletins from a Californian naval station until the station was shut down recently.  Her bug fist is simply awesome!

I don't know if she's a ham or not, but she puts many male CW ops to shame!

73, Jordan
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N2EY
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« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2010, 05:18:16 AM »

One of the best CW operators ever is a naval officer named Denise Stoops.  She used to regularly send bulletins from a Californian naval station until the station was shut down recently.  Her bug fist is simply awesome!

I don't know if she's a ham or not, but she puts many male CW ops to shame!

News about Denice:

http://radiomarine.org/gallery/show?keyword=DAEV&panel=pab1_5#pab1_5

----

One of the best, if not *the* best, ops I ever knew was Lou Moreau, W3WRE/WB6BBO. Simply awesome, using either code, amateur or commercial.

Lou is gone but her key collection is now at AWA, in the key room: 

http://www.antiquewireless.org/museum/annex03.htm

It should be noted that many of the youngest amateurs today and in the past were female. The "youngest Extra" and "youngest General" records are both held by girls.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W3LK
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« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2010, 09:34:35 AM »

Another awesome lady CW operator is Robin, AA3SB in Baltimore.
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
K1CJS
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« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2010, 04:32:27 AM »

Dan, N3OX, has it pretty down pat.  The truth of the matter is that with the conversations going on over the airwaves, most women would want to join in about as much as they would want to join a women haters club.  

Another reason is that there are means of communications that are faster and less esoteric than ham radio.  Women look to get things done rather than to play around with 'toys' in an attempt to get them done, and these days, that is all ham radio seems to be to them--because of the attitude of a lot of the hams on the bands.  And lets not forget the involvement with emcomm that takes a lot of the VHF/UHF bands useages.  Women don't have to play 'save the world' like some of those emcommers do--they are usually the ones who keep the world going!

After listening to the meaningless tripe and the bullsh*t that seems to dominate most bands these days, I can't say much more than I don't blame them!  
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 04:35:07 AM by Chris J. Smith » Logged
K9FON
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« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2011, 01:27:47 PM »

Why are we concerned about getting women into this hobby? I dont go out of my way to want to get into scrapbooking or other female interests so why do we feel we have to pressure women into our hobby? I dont worry about it. My girlfriend has her interests and I have mine and we are ok with it...
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N5RWJ
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« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2011, 01:48:54 PM »

Is it because we men got fat?
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W8JI
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« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2011, 02:04:00 AM »

This was all explained many years ago on Saturday Night Live.

The real reason more women are not Hams is this is science, and they are women.

If this was about operating a stove or washing machine, or scrubbing a toilet, women would be standing in line to get in. I don't expect my wife to know to not drive a vehicle with oil spewing out or flat tires, and she does not expect me to cook or clean. We each have different specialties. That's why we mutually respect each other's fields of expertise. I check the air in her tires and her oil while she washes my clothes, cleans the house, cooks, shops, and takes care of the dogs, mows, and gets my boat ready for my fishing trips.
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W5ER
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« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2011, 08:55:02 AM »

And then the fight started. Roll Eyes
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KC9RXE
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« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2011, 04:41:33 AM »

I belong to The W9IMS Club in Indianapolis,In and we have a great "support group" for the XYL's and other YL's in our lives called Chick Factor International W9YL. It is for hams and non hams alike the only enterence requirment for life time membership is you must be a woman. I suggest that you start a chapter in your club so that your YL's might learn to enjoy your hobby and find there are plenty of ladies in her situation. One of the other reason that I have heard many times is that there arnt alot of YL's on the air is they get pounched on by the rest of us and it sometimes overwhelms them. This is Just my 2 cents worth.
73 de KC9RXE
Mike
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