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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: KK4APV on March 24, 2013, 11:10:15 AM



Title: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KK4APV on March 24, 2013, 11:10:15 AM
Two years ago, I got my Technician's license and really had fun with a "vintage" two-meter radio (Radio Shack HTX-242) that I bought from eBay. I also enjoyed the local nets and meeting all kinds of new people in our club.

Eighteen months later, I upgraded to General and saved up for a fine-looking Yaesu 450D and a few antennas. (I find the antenna fiddling to be the MOST entertaining part.)

It was all good.

And then in TWO separate instances, a couple "Old Ham Guys" told me - specifically - that I shouldn't bother with moving up from General because the Extra exam would be way too difficult for "someone like me."

That just really ticked me off, so I immediately started studying for my Extra!   :P

Saturday, I got my Extra (only missed four), and I am a happy, happy girl.

My question is, in my experiences in Ham Radio, I have met a few women with their General license, but I have only encountered one other woman who has her Extra license.

I'm thinking about writing an article for the QST about women in Ham Radio, but I'm wondering, is there any way to get the stats on how many women have their extras? I read that 17% of licensed hams are Extras, but I suspect the number for women is much lower.

Despite some searching, I've found nothing on the demographics for women and the license classes.

Secondly, do y'all know of many women who have an Extra?

And thirdly, I wonder if some of these women are dissuaded by the stupid comments of a small number of foolish "Old Ham Guys."

Thanks in advance for any insights.

BTW, after I got my General, my husband got his tech. Now that I have my Extra, he's studying for his General. It's pretty fun to have the woman go first and the fellow follow along...!

Rose


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KE6EE on March 24, 2013, 11:28:35 AM
There are many women with Extra licenses. How about Kay Craigie President of the ARRL to begin with? There are a number of posters here on eham who are Extras; AA4HA is one who, evidently, is an accomplished RF engineer and an excellent writer on technical matters for hams. Do a search here and on QRZ.

I think you will have much to discover. By the way, the Extra exam isn't really much of an indicator of technical knowledge and/or skill. It's much more about test-taking ability and memorization skills. Look through the forums here for entries by Extra licensees. They often ask very naive and basic questions about radio theory and practice. Which is all to the good.

I am myself "only" a General class licensee. I got my first General ticket at an FCC office more than 50 years ago. I had to take a 13WPM code test. It was no great achievement even though I was just 13 years old. My interest in ham radio is in the learning and experiences of building gear and antennas and making the occasional DX contact on CW. Ham radio is not about licensing, but about actually doing things. Even though I am nostalgic about the days when most licenses required code tests, I think ham radio has benefitted greatly by opening its doors by making licensing and entry much easier.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KG6AF on March 24, 2013, 11:47:43 AM
And then in TWO separate instances, a couple "Old Ham Guys" told me - specifically - that I shouldn't bother with moving up from General because the Extra exam would be way too difficult for "someone like me."

That just really ticked me off, so I immediately started studying for my Extra!   :P

Saturday, I got my Extra (only missed four), and I am a happy, happy girl.

Excellent!  By studying and passing the test, you came up with the best possible response to their comments.  Now you're an Extra, and they're still nitwits.

I don't know if this is something you're interested in, but have you considered becoming a volunteer examiner?  I think it's helpful for girls and women taking exams to see women VEs at testing sessions.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KK4APV on March 24, 2013, 12:19:02 PM
Excellent!  By studying and passing the test, you came up with the best possible response to their comments.  Now you're an Extra, and they're still nitwits.

I don't know if this is something you're interested in, but have you considered becoming a volunteer examiner?  I think it's helpful for girls and women taking exams to see women VEs at testing sessions.

I've already printed off the open-book test and am reading through the accompanying material now.

I agree. I think it's very helpful and an encouragement for women to see other women sitting at the front of the room as VEs!

I've taken three tests in three different cities, and haven't seen a woman VE yet, either.



Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: AC4RD on March 24, 2013, 01:59:08 PM
Oh, darn.  When I saw the subject line "Extra women," I thought it might be a "for sale" classified ad.    ;)   ;)   ;)


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: TANAKASAN on March 24, 2013, 02:03:56 PM
Hi Rose

Congratulations on passing the Extra exam. If you want a little inspiration to go further then have a word with either Tisha, AA4HA or Allison, KB1GMX, both of whom contribute on a regular basis to Eham and various Yahoo boards. I don't know much about Tisha but Allison has done some mighty fine engineering work over the years and her knowledge has, in my case, proved invaluable.

I look forward to reading your article in QST.

Tanakasan

P.S. Extra women? No thank you as I'm quite happy with just the one (and typing this with the XYL looking over my shoulder  :) )



Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KD8TUT on March 24, 2013, 04:02:53 PM

And thirdly, I wonder if some of these women are dissuaded by the stupid comments of a small number of foolish "Old Ham Guys."

Rose


Congrats Rose.

Those guys you speak of dissuade both genders.

Heck, if I had heard what I heard on HF last night before I was licensed- my interest may have been dimmed. It sure made me turn off the radio and think about my involvement in this.

My skin is pretty thick. But issues of sexism, racism, and ageism (against the younger set) really get to me.

But the fact of the matter is that "those guys" actually think they are something special and the last of their breed. Sadly, in order to continue feeling that way they need to minimize everyone else.

I've only been a ham since January 5th. Maybe it will get better. But I could see how anybody in my generation (born in the 60's), male or female, would be turned off by quite a few things.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KS2G on March 24, 2013, 05:14:49 PM
You'll find plenty of Extras like yourself here:
http://www.ylrl.org/

73,
Mel - KS2G




Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KK4APV on March 24, 2013, 06:25:01 PM
Thanks SOOOO much for sharing that link!!!

How cool is that!

Yay!


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: JUJUJULIA on March 24, 2013, 06:45:58 PM
But the fact of the matter is that "those guys" actually think they are something special and the last of their breed. Sadly, in order to continue feeling that way they need to minimize everyone else.


Isn't that true of so many people.

That said, isn't this thread awesome? You got so many sensible comments from men and women, old and young alike.

Btw, I also had a cynic comment on my recent post. And in his judgmental response he revealed that he thought I was a guy, notwithstanding the "Julia" in my username, lol.


Now boys and girls, all those who think JUJU took one up to the feathers and will get his money back, raise your hands.


Guess it's a bit of a man's world here still.  ::)




Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: K8AXW on March 24, 2013, 10:15:24 PM
Hi Rose:  Congrats on getting your Extra ticket! 

Now about this: 
Quote
And then in TWO separate instances, a couple "Old Ham Guys" told me - specifically - that I shouldn't bother with moving up from General because the Extra exam would be way too difficult for "someone like me."

I suspect that these two "Old Ham Guys" might be just a bit smarter than everyone is taking them for.

Most "Old Guys" like me for example, knows that there is no faster way to get a woman to do something than telling her "she can't do that because she's a woman!"



Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KD8TUT on March 25, 2013, 12:58:24 AM
Hi Rose:  Congrats on getting your Extra ticket! 

Now about this: 
Quote
And then in TWO separate instances, a couple "Old Ham Guys" told me - specifically - that I shouldn't bother with moving up from General because the Extra exam would be way too difficult for "someone like me."

I suspect that these two "Old Ham Guys" might be just a bit smarter than everyone is taking them for.

Most "Old Guys" like me for example, knows that there is no faster way to get a woman to do something than telling her "she can't do that because she's a woman!"



I suppose a woman should be telling you this. But that comment is not only stereotypical but sexist.



Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: G3RZP on March 25, 2013, 02:47:15 AM
Add Ann Santos, WA1S and Lisa Zeug, K1UQT to the list.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: N9KX on March 25, 2013, 02:55:05 AM
Did you get the callsign of the guy who told you the Extra was too difficult for you to bother with?  Maybe he could not pass the Extra and did not want you to show him up  ;D  In any case, it is nice to see you didn't let his small mindedness dissuade you.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KE3WD on March 25, 2013, 06:50:31 AM
And there are also those old sickies who told me that I couldn't pass exams due to the color of my skin...

Just ignore the static and ground noise from the ignoramuses. 


73


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KK4APV on March 25, 2013, 06:52:05 AM
Hi Rose:  Congrats on getting your Extra ticket! 

I suspect that these two "Old Ham Guys" might be just a bit smarter than everyone is taking them for.

Most "Old Guys" like me for example, knows that there is no faster way to get a woman to do something than telling her "she can't do that because she's a woman!"



Sadly, in the case of one of the Old Ham Guys, he actually humiliated me in front of several other hams. We were talking about the General Tests and I said that I had to do some serious studying to pass that one, but that'd I'd only missed one question on the test (and frankly, I was proud of that achievement).

The OHG started laughing and said, "You had to *study* for the General test? Good grief, it was so simple! If you had to study for that one, you'd better not even try for the Extra!"

And then he laughed again and looked around at his buds, who fortunately, were not participating in the "joke."

This was at the tail-end of a club meeting. When we walked back to our car, my male friend looked over at me and said, "What a complete jackass."

He was as disgusted as I was.



Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: K8AXW on March 25, 2013, 09:49:45 AM
APV:  Thank you "Paul Harvey" for the rest of the story!  I now agree with you and the others that these guys were jackasses! 

Now this:

Quote
I suppose a woman should be telling you this. But that comment is not only stereotypical but sexist.

Now ask me if I care!  I'm not a "political correctness participant."  All we need now is a little touchy-feely comments here.  Scheesch!


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: N3DF on March 25, 2013, 10:16:53 AM
Will we be hearing you on the Extra class cw bands?


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KD8TUT on March 25, 2013, 10:49:06 AM
APV:  Thank you "Paul Harvey" for the rest of the story!  I now agree with you and the others that these guys were jackasses!  

Now this:

Quote
I suppose a woman should be telling you this. But that comment is not only stereotypical but sexist.

Now ask me if I care!  I'm not a "political correctness participant."  All we need now is a little touchy-feely comments here.  Scheesch!

There's a difference between political correctness and holding views that were abandoned in 1959.

It's funny how everyone from sexists, racists, or other backwards and sadly outmoded people seem to retort with "I'm not politically correct". You aren't politically correct. Or any other kind of correct.

You're just wrong.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KK4APV on March 25, 2013, 11:03:33 AM
Will we be hearing you on the Extra class cw bands?

Struggling to learn morse code as we speak.  :)  I'm a very visual learner and have a wonderful visual memory. That's why I'm good in my unique niche career.

Audio - ooh - not so sure about that, but I'm doing the work.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KG6AF on March 25, 2013, 11:50:25 AM
Will we be hearing you on the Extra class cw bands?

Struggling to learn morse code as we speak.  :)  I'm a very visual learner and have a wonderful visual memory. That's why I'm good in my unique niche career.

Audio - ooh - not so sure about that, but I'm doing the work.

You probably already know this, but just in case: resist the temptation to call upon your visual memory to memorize Morse.  I had a friend who tried to learn code from flash cards on which he'd drawn dots and dashes for each letter.  He was able to hit 5 WPM, but his need to mentally translate audio into that dot-and-dash image while he was copying got in the way of increasing his speed.  Stick with audio.

Good luck with Morse.  Learning it is painful, but when you get to that point where you're copying off the air, it's really kind of cool.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: N6AJR on March 25, 2013, 12:32:12 PM
I think one way to see how many ladies are on the air is to tune through the extra part of the bands in a domestic contest on SSB , or even one like this weekend, a dx contest, and listen in the extra part of the bands and see how many YL's you hear.  There are many ladies on the air, and most are quite knowledgeable.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: N0YXB on March 25, 2013, 02:14:40 PM
Congratulations Rose, love your story.  It brightens my day to see bigots put in their place.  I also look forward to your QST article.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: W8AAZ on March 25, 2013, 06:25:44 PM
Do they still have YL nets on HF?  And QST used to have monthly columns of YL operators and stories with pictures, activities, etc.  So they got rid of that, was it considered to be somehow incorrect to showcase YL activities?  I would have thought it would be encouraging to women that felt they were the only female hams in their area, or such. Or open the eyes of guys that thought it was all a male hobby.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: K8AXW on March 26, 2013, 10:03:37 AM
AAZ: 
Quote
And QST used to have monthly columns of YL operators and stories with pictures, activities, etc.  So they got rid of that, was it considered to be somehow incorrect to showcase YL activities?  I would have thought it would be encouraging to women that felt they were the only female hams in their area, or such. Or open the eyes of guys that thought it was all a male hobby. 

No doubt some elitist considered this "sexist" and filed a complaint with ARRL. 


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: N3ZJ on March 26, 2013, 03:14:47 PM

Congratulations! I encourage you to write the QST article...a great idea!

Jim N3ZJ


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KJ6ZOL on March 26, 2013, 09:01:25 PM
And then in TWO separate instances, a couple "Old Ham Guys" told me - specifically - that I shouldn't bother with moving up from General because the Extra exam would be way too difficult for "someone like me."

That just really ticked me off, so I immediately started studying for my Extra!   :P

Saturday, I got my Extra (only missed four), and I am a happy, happy girl.

Excellent!  By studying and passing the test, you came up with the best possible response to their comments.  Now you're an Extra, and they're still nitwits.

I don't know if this is something you're interested in, but have you considered becoming a volunteer examiner?  I think it's helpful for girls and women taking exams to see women VEs at testing sessions.

When I took my General exam in El Dorado Hills, CA (Sacramento suburb), there was a female VE. She was the one who kept trying to calm me down, I was nervous since my mom had driven me up from Sacramento in rush hour traffic so I could take the test, and I REALLY wanted to pass. The traffic was horrible.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: WN2C on March 27, 2013, 01:57:23 AM
Will we be hearing you on the Extra class cw bands?

Struggling to learn morse code as we speak.  :)  I'm a very visual learner and have a wonderful visual memory. That's why I'm good in my unique niche career.

Audio - ooh - not so sure about that, but I'm doing the work.

Rose, congrats on on passing the General and working on the code.  As others have said, don't do it visually, do it by sound.  Learn each letter at the fastest sound (say 18 to 20 wpm) and you will be copying that in no time.  It is called the Farnsworth method.  Once you have all the letters down, try copying in your head.  Just close your eyes and you will start to see the words forming.  Now on to something else;
I challenge you to have the Extra passed by by this time in April or at least by the end of.  What do you think?  Can you do it?   

Rick  wn2c 


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: NR4C on March 27, 2013, 07:12:11 AM
We have (had) several women members with Amateur Extra licenses in one of the clubs i belong to.  They have been more or less active then their husbands (aoso Extras), usually due to work and family commitments.  One or two have been active in our Amateur Exam activities with W5YI and one of those is still the local VE leader.

in my experience, no "Old Ham Guy" in any way attempted to defer any of them from getting their license, more the opposite.

One of our families (both Extras) have inspired their two grand-children to gain their General tickets, and they will surely go for the Extra when we have enough attendees to hold another Extra Class.  The oldest, a teenage girl, has started a Radio Club in her High School.

"The surest way to get a woman to do something is to tell her she can't!"

...bill  nr4c


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: K8AXW on March 27, 2013, 08:34:13 AM
Quote
"The surest way to get a woman to do something is to tell her she can't!"


 ::)   Bend over and give thanks for what you're about to receive!


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: G3RZP on March 27, 2013, 12:35:14 PM
I knew a British YL with a callsign. She was convinced that, although she had an amateur licence, she wasn't clever enough to do electronics at university. So she did Mechanical Engineering and carried on until she had got a PhD......

The YL with a callsign that I met at the radio club did electronics at university. She still does it for a living and we celebrate the 30th wedding anniversary in September.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: W1JKA on March 27, 2013, 01:57:29 PM
   Any interest that my XYL had in getting her license was lost when she realized that there were no home shopping nets.Her only participation in the hobby now is in shutting the door to my ham shack when I'm on the air and telling me where I can't put up an antenna.To her credit though she makes a mean ham Jambalaya.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KK4APV on March 27, 2013, 02:31:33 PM
Rose, congrats on on passing the General and working on the code.

<snip?

I challenge you to have the Extra passed by by this time in April or at least by the end of.  What do you think?  Can you do it?   


I think you missed the first post...

I passed the Extra on Saturday.

Hence, the title, "Extra Women."

 ;D


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: WN2C on March 27, 2013, 08:09:56 PM
You are right Rose, I did miss that!.  Congratulations again and hope to hear you on the air!.  Do you think it is possible that these OHG's that you spoke of were trying to motivate you to upgrade by telling you that you could not do it??  
Congrats again and next time I'll pay better attention to what I am reading.  :-\

73 de Rick  wn2c


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: VE3FMC on March 30, 2013, 06:03:55 AM
There are old farts in Ham Radio who feel women should not be on the air. But hey there are men golfers who feel women should not golf.

Enjoy the hobby Rose. Congrats on upgrading to Extra Class. Years ago I earned my WAS 75 Extra Class Endorsement from the ARRL. I had to work all states, Extra Class calls only. There was always a few Extra Class women on that net. I think there are still a few who participate in the net which has now moved to 3.668 and is known as the Geratol Net. The ladies were always treated with respect.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: AK4ZW on April 04, 2013, 12:15:40 PM
Extra Women? No thanks, I have enough already in my house, what with my wife and daughter.

My wife is more than smart enough to be an EE, but she is a lowly programmer/architect
just like me. Her attitude is "Why would I want to talk to a bunch of people I don't know."

She has a point. Some of the old prunes on the air are downright offensive. Sad sad.

I was listening to the contesting this weekend and a YL got piled on, it was pathetic.
We need more ladies in the hobby to hand these old timers their rear ends when they
get out of line, which some of them are permanently in a state of stupidity and classlessness.

Anyway as a new VE and Ham, I hand out new radios (eggroll HTs) to anyone that passes
the test. I am trying my best to recruit bold smart new young amateurs to the hobby. And I am
having some success.


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: WB6DGN on April 04, 2013, 06:59:15 PM
Quote
RE: Extra Women?

Good Grief!  In my opinion, ONE woman is one too many and you want EXTRAs?


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: WB6DGN on April 04, 2013, 07:11:51 PM
Quote
She has a point. Some of the old prunes on the air are downright offensive. Sad sad.
I was listening to the contesting this weekend and a YL got piled on, it was pathetic.
We need more ladies in the hobby to hand these old timers their rear ends when they
get out of line, which some of them are permanently in a state of stupidity and classlessness.
Anyway as a new VE and Ham, I hand out new radios (eggroll HTs) to anyone that passes
the test. I am trying my best to recruit bold smart new young amateurs to the hobby. And I am
having some success.

Well, on behalf of all of us "old prunes" out there (and on the the rare occasion when I am actually on the air, I conduct myself in a manner that is totally beyond reproach), I sincerely apologize for those of us who don't meet your or your wife's expectations.  I am so happy to hear that you are meeting with success in recruiting new candidates who meet your high standards.  Could it be that, somewhere down the road, some of those new candidates may, one day, deem you equally incapable of meeting THEIR high standards?
Tom


Title: RE: Extra Women? :)
Post by: KJ4AHI on April 05, 2013, 06:19:46 PM
Congrats on attaining your Extra! I'm a General, my YL is an Extra, (kj4tja). I take some ribbing from her,but I haven't really pursued my Extra license, concentrating instead on learning morse code. Of course I'm struggling with it,and she is not all that interested,but she has graciously agreed to help me practice. She said that since she is a "visual person", the preferred audio method of learning code is difficult for her. (It's difficult for me because I'm dumb) :). Anyway, we got two morse code oscillators (ameco makes some simple do it yourself kits) and we have conversations, which suits her much better! I'm not an expert, I'm still struggling, but I would suggest downloading the K7QO code course and load it to your cell phone or mp3 player and find a partner to converse across the room with the practice oscillators. It can be a lot of fun ;). Of course finding the time to sit down and practice can still be a challenge. Good luck! Hope to hear you on the air on straight key night!