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Author Topic: Why not more women in ham radio?  (Read 285241 times)
NK6Q
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Posts: 202




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« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2011, 02:16:28 PM »

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.


With such chauvinistic remarks, maybe that's the real reason there aren't more women hams, although there ARE hundreds of thousands of women engineers, scientists, doctors/surgeons who can challenge your insipid remarks.  Maybe you'd better take your headphones off, dig your head out from your shack, and look around at the world as it is today.
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VE2ITZ
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« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2011, 05:51:09 AM »

Asking a woman to be interested in ham radio is like asking a guy to be interested in Knitting. Same principle.. I think it has to do with the traditional sex role models.
Although there are women out there more and more who are becoming more technical.

Us men we have more trouble joining a knitting club.


Traditional Roles are changing. It is us men that have a harder time adapting to new situations.



Just my two cents.....

 Wink
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W7WIK
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« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2011, 08:36:27 AM »

I don't know many women who would want to hang out with a bunch of overweight stinky old men, some of who wear orange vests with fake gold ham radio badges.  Huh
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73,
Marco, AA5ET
N3OX
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« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2011, 09:55:35 AM »

I rarely know what the hygiene and body size of the people I "hang out with" on the radio is.  They're voices or beeping from some other part of the world.

If male hams were all hard-bodied good-smelling supermodels, there would probably be more women attracted to hanging around ham radio events, but they wouldn't necessarily be doing it because they were interested in the radio.  Those women that are interested in the radio don't care too much about the attractiveness of the participants.  And when you're on the radio it doesn't matter anyway.

However, it's probably not very fun to hang out with people who narrowly define you only in terms of sex, knitting and washing dishes.  That could make it so that women who are interested in radio and antennas and propagation and keep them away from our hobby.

It's not really hams' fault.  Our society is fairly uncritical of the fact that we just accept things as "traditionally female" or "traditionally male" in such a strong way that we teach our children those things from the time they're born.  Yeah, girls like pink. How many times have you seen someone paint a baby boy's room pink? (outside of someone who was trying hard to make a statement to their peers about gender...)

We give boys tool sets and toy cars to play with and girls baby dolls and Barbies and we don't seem to recognize that no one ever tries it the other way.  Boys like to work on cars and girls like to make dinner?  No kidding.  We told them that's how it is.
And many people are scared to try it the other way... they don't want "unmarriable" girls or "feminine" boys.

To a certain extent kids are going to interact with their peers in a way that reinforces traditional gender roles, and I don't think that it's necessarily a great idea to try to undo generations of subtle conditioning in one set of kids by intentionally deeply messing with that.  But there are little things we can do to improve the situation.

But I'll say it again: when you invite the neighbor kids over to your station, don't assume that 8 year old Sally is disinterested in "technical boy stuff" because she's a girl.  She's EIGHT, which means she's interested in EVERYTHING.  Will she also get interested in sewing, knitting, and fashion design by the time she's an adult?  Probably.  But then you get things like this:

http://www.dianaeng.com/2010/05/make-online-collapsible-fabric-yagi-antenna/

And 8 year old Jonny might actually end up a lot more interested in COOKING than antennas.  But if he's got the nerdy techy side and is a good cook, he can be the next Alton Brown.  The more opportunities we give young people to find their niche, whether it seems "traditional" or "weird" depending on gender, the more likely it is that they'll grow up to find things they love to do and are good at.

'Course that's not everyone's priority, but anyone who reads this thread because they think more women should be in ham radio should take some time to look critically at how we basically hand technical and science things to our little boys and basically withhold them from our little girls.
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KB5ZSJ
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« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2011, 10:11:38 PM »

My wife studied one day and took her test and passed it the next day. I feel that more women should be in the hobby and a lot are great communicators.
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AD6KA
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« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2011, 05:38:04 PM »

Quote
Asking a woman to be interested in ham radio is like asking a guy to be interested in Knitting
Interesting how our society "button holes" certain activities & interests by gender.

My wife is an avid pro baseball & basketball fan, knows all the players, their numbers,
stats, obscure rules, what team is where in it's division,who's being traded, all that stuff.
I couldn't care less about sports....<yawn>
But I keep a nice garden.....a flower garden, not a vegetable garden, and
am a member of the local Daffodil and Daylily Societies, and two garden clubs.
(When the bands aren't open of course, I have priorities!)

Rosey Grier, who played Defensive Tackle in the NFL for 11 seasons,(twice in the Pro Bowl)
is well known for his serious pursuit of hobbies not traditionally associated with men, such as macrame and needlepoint.
He has authored several books, including "Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men", in 1973.

No sissy this guy, he was a member of the 60's L.A. Rams "Fearsome Foursome"
who Dick Butkus called "the most dominant line in football history."

The others were Lamar Lundy, Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones, a tough crowd even
back in that era. (No sitting out a game for a "sore ankle" in THOSE days!)

An interesting historical footnote: Rosey Grier was in the kitchen of the Ambassador
Hotel in L.A. when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, and was one of the fellows
who took Sirhan Sirhan to the ground and disarmed him, albeit too late. Another
vey famous athlete in that room was Rafer Johnson, the 1960 Olympic Decathalon winner,
 who was serving as Ethel Kennedy's bodyguard. Yeah, I know, who cares?
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 02:47:40 PM by AD6KA » Logged
AE5QB
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« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2011, 06:10:49 AM »

XYL - Doesn't that say it all? 

I refuse to use that term.  I haven't accepted it from the first time I heard it.  Just hearing it gives me that uneasy feeling when I know something isn't right.  It is one of the most disrespectful, sexist, and demeaning terms in any hobby that I have seen.  Stop calling the person YOU fell in love with and decided to marry an "EX" anything. Refer to her and every woman as the amazing creatures that they are.  I would be totally lost without my wife, not because she cooks, cleans the house, or does the laundry -- we do these things together and/or when it is obvious the other is in no mood to do it on any given day.  I married her because we are best friends and would do anything for one another.  I like her company and don't run to the shack to get away from her.  She is my wife and my partner.  I enjoy being with her and doing things with her.

With that said, she is not interested in ham radio for whatever reason. I don't care what that is. She humors me by asking questions now and then until I figure out she is just doing it to show an interest. But she just doesn't want to do it.  I am perfectly fine with that and will find time to share the things she wants to do.  She gives me time to do Ham radio, it is my responsibility to manage that privilege by not abusing it and knowing where to draw the line, most males cannot do this.  In summary, I love my wife more than ham radio.  I am not sure most Hams can say that.  My wife will cook a casserole or bake a cake for our field day or meetings, because she wants to, not because it is her job or duty.  And I will go see girl movies with her because doing so gives me pleasure to see her get pleasure.

I teach middle school students and I will tell you it is changing and changing fast.  By far my most successful math and science students are my girls.  Yes there are still more males in STEM fields but that is by choice and certainly not capabilities.  I suspect mainly because of the nurturing thing, but again it is changing.  We are seeing this change and at an exponential rate.  In fact many sociologists are very concerned about the role reversal we are seeing and the fact that we are losing many of our boys not just away from technology but away from life in general.  There are very few role models to teach our boys how to be gentlemen.  The ramifications are very scary.

I think the term XYL should be banned from ham radio and replaced with MWL for MY WONDERFUL LADY.  We should all take a course in how to be a gentleman.  And frankly, a course on how to be respectful to ourselves and each other wouldn't hurt either.

With that said, I will also add that these issues are not unique to ham radio nor to men's groups.  I find it kind of sad that men and women are becoming such polarized and exclusive groups because we really do compliment one another very well.  I think we have too much free time on our hands.

Sad, at least to me.  Now excuse me, I am going to breakfast with MWL.

Tom
AE5QB
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K1CJS
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« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2011, 08:20:02 PM »

XYL - Doesn't that say it all?..... 


Tom, It may be seem the way you describe--to you--but that term is not meant to be demeaning, not in any sense.  It is simply part of the ham radio jargon.  Bikers have, for many, many years, called their girls "old ladies".  Other groups use similar terms, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear what some of the women call US--when they're in their own circles of lady friends.  We have terms like "old farts" when it comes to some of the older members of our own group!

Too many people today look at the words instead of looking at what is actually meant by those words, and the net result is the continually widening rift between groups.  I firmly believe that we ought to step back and look at meanings of the terms we use instead of just taking them at face value.  We would all be better off for it.

BTW, XYL simply means ex-young lady.  Whatever is wrong with that?
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AE5QB
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« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2011, 05:21:26 PM »

XYL - Doesn't that say it all?..... 


...bikers for many, many years, called their girls "old ladies".  Other groups use similar terms, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear what some of the women call US--when they're in their own circles of lady friends...

BTW, XYL simply means ex-young lady.  Whatever is wrong with that?

"Circle of lady friends."  That implies right there that ham radio is a "circle of man friends."  Hmmm no wonder most women don't want to be a part of it.  What is wrong with calling your wife an ex-young lady?  Start referring to her in that way in your everyday conversation and see how far it gets you. I know of few women who would consider the term "ex-young lady" flattering or respectful. If I called my wife that, I'd be getting a skillet to the head. Just because the term is "tradition" doesn't make it any less derogatory or disrespectful.  The N word was used for decades and it is no longer acceptable today.  Unless of course you are a member of that fraternity of old farts called the KKK.  At the very least, the term XYL certainly does nothing to entice women into ham radio. 

Can't we come up with something better?
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K1CJS
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« Reply #54 on: March 06, 2011, 08:28:42 AM »


"Circle of lady friends."  That implies right there that ham radio is a "circle of man friends."  Hmmm no wonder most women don't want to be a part of it.  What is wrong with calling your wife an ex-young lady?  Start referring to her in that way in your everyday conversation and see how far it gets you. I know of few women who would consider the term "ex-young lady" flattering or respectful. If I called my wife that, I'd be getting a skillet to the head. Just because the term is "tradition" doesn't make it any less derogatory or disrespectful.  The N word was used for decades and it is no longer acceptable today.  Unless of course you are a member of that fraternity of old farts called the KKK.  At the very least, the term XYL certainly does nothing to entice women into ham radio.  

Can't we come up with something better?

Everyday conversation, yes.  WE shouldn't.  But that isn't what we're speaking of here.  Here, its within the fraternity of ham radio.  In that fraternity, to her being called an XYL, we're referred to as OM--old man.  I don't take offense to that, and neither do the majority of other hams.  Why should we have to?  Today, too many people take offense too easily at the spoken word.  Too many people try to change the meaning of words because they don't like them--or try to change traditional terminology that has been in use for ages.  We, as a society, have to put an end to that.  BTW, how many times have you found yourself using terms that your parents used--terms that you once thought old fashioned or outdated?  I'll bet it's pretty often!

If we use the term 'XYL' in everyday conversation, yes, you're right.  But when we use it on the air or around other hams at a hamfest or clubhouse/club gathering?  When used there, as a part of our jargon, there is NOTHING wrong with it.  The term simply means the woman you're married to.  The term 'YL' means the woman you are not yet married to.  (Yes, you can get in trouble if you use both!  Smiley )  OTOH, I wonder what YOU would do if you heard some of the things your wife calls YOU when she's talking to HER friends.

If your 'XYL' gives you a skillet to the head when or after you use it in conversation with another ham, then I can say only one thing.  You're p**** w******, (BTW, THAT isn't a complementary term either.) and you really don't have an XYL--you have a ball and chain!    
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 08:38:05 AM by K1CJS » Logged
AE5QB
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« Reply #55 on: March 06, 2011, 04:03:39 PM »


If your 'XYL' gives you a skillet to the head when or after you use it in conversation with another ham, then I can say only one thing.  You're p**** w******, (BTW, THAT isn't a complementary term either.) and you really don't have an XYL--you have a ball and chain!    

Fair enough, in the meantime, there still aren't many women in ham radio.  I would suggest it is the male macho attitude that keeps women out of ham radio and other male dominated hobbies. I guess you can write it off to "boys will be boys" or men have to have guy time to do and say guy things. Bull! There are a lot of traditions that are no longer acceptable today.  So if that is the only reason we have to describe our wives in those terms, then we have bigger issues than just tradition. The problem with most guys is they don't know when and where to turn it off.  So OK I'm PW and that's Ok with me.  I've been happily married for 38 years and I am OK with that.  If you said that to insult me or put me on the defensive, hold your breath.  Do want you want, say what you want.  We are trying to answer the question here as to why there aren't more women in ham radio.  The bottom line is just go ask them.  They will tell you that most of ham radio is just a bunch of old guys talking about their obesity and prostrate problems.  Why would any lady want to be a part of that? Heck, we can't even get many young men and children to be a part of it. 
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K1CJS
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« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2011, 08:08:35 PM »

Fair enough, in the meantime, there still aren't many women in ham radio....  The bottom line is just go ask them.  They will tell you that most of ham radio is just a bunch of old guys talking about their obesity and prostrate problems.  Why would any lady want to be a part of that? Heck, we can't even get many young men and children to be a part of it.  

Tom,

First, let me apologise for targeting you with that remark.  What I should have said is ANY ham that gets it from his wife for using ham terminology when talking to another ham is PW.....

Now that I've said that, I'll just say that in your last post, you're right.  Most women don't want to get interested in ham radio for those reasons--but I still disagree that we should change terms that are not meant to be derogatory just because certain people don't like them.  There is too much of that going on already.  Too many people today have thin skins--and it never used to be like that.  

In many ways, this world of ours is changing for the better, but in many ways--perhaps more than for the better, it is changing for the worse.

73,  Chris, K1CJS
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 08:10:35 PM by K1CJS » Logged
K9MHZ
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« Reply #57 on: March 22, 2011, 10:57:28 AM »

Kassy wrote: "you have to find out what attracts them, and do it.  You can't just hope they'll "discover" your world."

Kassy, I have no idea who you are, but that was the best post in this whole thread.

Cheers,

Brad, K9MHZ


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KF7ITG
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« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2011, 12:35:30 AM »

Hot Young Ladies are attracted to the bad boys and the excitement that goes with them. At the next Hamfest look around. Turning the power up on a 1500 watt amp while setting at a fold up table is not the same as turning the key to 1968, 1000 HP Fire Engine Red Camaro that has questionable license plates. This guy never has to work and always has a pocket full of cash. He is always saying come on lets go do (.........) it will be fun. If you catch my drift, I'm saying you will need to combine something dangerous, sexy and exciting with ham radio Undecided Undecided When that happens......Hot Young Ladies everywhere. But you will need to remember talking dirty on the air is an FCC no no. But by then you will be a Bad Boy and the rules don't count. Your new hot, tall, redhead with the skirt that is waaaaay to short will be listening to every word you say on her new IC-7000. So make that contact count and that contact shouldn't be DX either:o Just a thought but perhaps a change is in order. XYL " X young lady = old woman." How about some new terminology like dumping the XYL to something more appealing like HYL to describe your significant other. Of course if you prefer to keep Ham Radio a guy thing then by all means then continue to call the girls that you talk about on the air old women.  Tongue  Then again I could be wrong.  

73 Cool
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 08:19:26 AM by KF7ITG » Logged
WX3K
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« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2011, 05:36:33 AM »

<SNIP>

If this was about operating a stove or washing machine, or scrubbing a toilet, women would be standing in line to get in. <SNIP>

Huh  Roll Eyes OMG, Are you kidding me ? I dont think so !

Everyone needs to face up to the following fact when considering how Ham Radio will continue to capture interest regardless of gender:

FUN is contagious. If someone sees you enjoying yourself, then they too want to be involved too or at least watch you. Are you having fun with this hobby ?

« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 06:10:42 AM by WX3K » Logged
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