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Author Topic: Why not more women in ham radio?  (Read 281730 times)
W2TXB
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #90 on: April 16, 2013, 11:00:45 PM »

My XYL is a ham and she doesnt get on the air because of the general atitudes that most hams have towards newer hams and female hams. She thinks ham radio is a joke.

My XYL was a ham until she let her license lapse. My YL (i.e., wife) is a ham, but is not all that active, probably due to a lack of time and that she has several other hobbies.
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M0PXI
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #91 on: April 24, 2013, 12:20:02 AM »

I passed my RAE in 2002 when there was a morse requirement.  I self studied while pregnant and passed within two months from start to finish.  However I have only recently begun to operate and so far it has been a hideous experience.  In the last two months I've been subjected to a barrage of accusations that I'm unknowledgable, and helpless (largely by local hams that believe I should be a helpless damsel in distress).  When I show that I am not only a good operator but fairly competent at electronics, I have my gender brought into question with suggestions that I am secretly a man or that I must have a large Adam's apple.  When I have transmitted on the local repeater I have keyed down to discover other operators making rude remarks of a sexual nature.  Now I'm quite capable of dealing with these idiots myself, but other female hams may be put off by this.  It's more than a little annoying.  The experience I've had could easily lead me to conclude that the social development of hams is thirty years behind everyone else, and that manner, linguistic and communication skills are limited, by and large among many men in the hobby.  I'll try to give the benefit of the doubt for the time being and reserve judgement until I've been around a little longer.
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WI8P
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Posts: 260




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« Reply #92 on: April 30, 2013, 11:29:42 AM »

Being a newbie, I'm late to this party, but I just wanted to let folks know that when I took my test in Flint, MI two weeks ago, there was a very nice young lady giving the exam.  So they are out there!
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KO3D
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Posts: 49




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« Reply #93 on: May 05, 2013, 06:46:48 PM »

My wife was listening to the local repeater. Someone "kerchunked" it and within 10 seconds a guy was on screaming about how it was a violation of FCC rules and a misuse of the repeater and demanded the guy ID. 'Nuff said.
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M0PXI
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #94 on: May 07, 2013, 06:53:50 AM »

Okay then, time for an update.  Credit where credit is due and a climb down from me.  In the last couple of weeks I've operated more and more frequently locally and it has been brilliant.   I've engaged in some fascinating debates, spoken to some lovely people and, cannot fault my colleagues locally.  It seems what I had initially was a good dose of unpleasantness all at once and that lead me to feel a bit hemmed in and beleaguered.  Since then, I couldn't be happier. Perhaps negatively reviewing the entire hobby after a couple of months of participation was not my brightest move.  Glad I was wrong.  So I'm going to have another stab at answering the question.

Most of the girls I know are joined at the wrist to their cell phones.  With pricing plans and whatnot providing easy global communication for little money, combined with VoIP tech being readily available to most tablets and phones, I guess the appeal of Ham radio as a tool of communication only, seems a bit ridiculous to most women.  Of course it isn't that end product that solely appeals to licensed enthusiasts.  The electrical engineering, the excitement of good propagation and landing global contacts (and I use that expression deliberately because the appeal of HF operating strikes me as a lot like that of fishing), the sometimes competitively technical discussions, time consuming home brewing, the attention to detail, etc., doesn't immediately impress women.  In purely pragmatic terms, it is expensive, ugly (antennae are a work of art to me but nobody I know agrees with me), dangerous, fiddly, time consuming and a pre-existing boys club, when compared to a straightforward texting session or chinwag with the lasses on a phone.

Unfortunately this will always be true.  No matter how often I regale my girlfriends with stories detailing how advanced technology owes a great deal to pioneering radio amateurs and how lovely it is to be accepted into a hobby with operating codes of conduct and manners (notwithstanding my last comment on the subject), they just smile and change the subject.  The two most technically gifted engineers I know are women (one of whom worked for a cell phone company repairing microwave circuits and before that fixed radar equipment for the Ministry of Defence) just don't get my enthusiasm.  So I'm not convinced by the argument that women's brains are not wired up to be technical.  It's a question of women just not being that turned on by that which doesn't produce a better end product than existing equipment (a good reason, I reckon for high divorce rates too - heeeheeeee).

Now given my climbdown from my previous comment, let a single one of you gents make a remark about women and mood swings and I'll be happy to escort you to the emergency room to have my Baofeng surgically removed.  Joking, of course Wink x
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W4KVW
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Posts: 488




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« Reply #95 on: May 14, 2013, 06:20:49 PM »

They would rather talk on the phone to all of their friends who are NOT going to go get their ticket & everybody knows HAM RADIO is NOT "PRIVATE" conversations. {:>)  Shocked

Clayton
W4KVW
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KI4TON
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #96 on: May 16, 2013, 08:14:27 PM »

These comments show some of the reasons.  I will list my experience. As an example, though I don't expect old dogs to learn new tricks.

1. No one over the age of 13 should be called a young lady. (What worked in 1950, may not be appropriate today. Just sayin')

2. No one should be called an xyl under any circumstances.

3. When I first got my general license, the  reaction I got from (male) hams = women don't know anything about technology. They rushed to "explain" things to me in simple terms. Beyond insulting. (I have a degree in mathematics, could have gotten a minor in physics if that department wasn't full of a bunch of annoying old men, and I spent 18 years working in technology.) Did  I mention it was insulting? I didn't usually even ask questions to get the explanations - they just assumed I didn't know. (The only reason I didn't take the extra test, was I thought it would be poor form to have an extra license before I made my first contact.)

I was in amateur radio for about 3 months, before I had all I could take. I put the radio back in the box. I doubt it still works. Recently I got tempted by 2m and APRS. but that didn't last either.

Now I don't think I have a thin skin, but for enjoyment, putting up with this insanity is not very enjoyable.

And all you guys complaining of the rise of Political Correctness - yeah, it was much better when white men didn't have to think about anyone else - if you were a white man. For the rest of us, not so much.

Debra KI4TON
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 08:19:45 PM by KI4TON » Logged
W6GF
Member

Posts: 161




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« Reply #97 on: May 26, 2013, 10:49:22 PM »

Because Ham radio stores don't sell shoes

George, W6GF
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KK4APV
Member

Posts: 22


WWW

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« Reply #98 on: June 03, 2013, 03:33:55 AM »

Hear, hear!

That "Young Lady" thing needs to go.  Definitely NEEDS TO GO.

And I've suffered insults from men at Ham Clubs who ask, "So little lady, when are you going to get YOUR license?"

When I tell them, "I've got my General," they usually shut up.

In fact, I recently upgraded to Extra, just to show them that I am serious about this.

And as to the comments that women are presumed to be idiots, OH YEAH. I no longer ask for help on radio/antenna problems from ANYONE in the ham club, save four good men that I trust. The other "men" in the group would just not stop with the, "Is the antenna plugged into the back of the radio? Is your coax broken? Is the power on?"

REALLY?

Rose



These comments show some of the reasons.  I will list my experience. As an example, though I don't expect old dogs to learn new tricks.

1. No one over the age of 13 should be called a young lady. (What worked in 1950, may not be appropriate today. Just sayin')

2. No one should be called an xyl under any circumstances.

3. When I first got my general license, the  reaction I got from (male) hams = women don't know anything about technology. They rushed to "explain" things to me in simple terms. Beyond insulting. (I have a degree in mathematics, could have gotten a minor in physics if that department wasn't full of a bunch of annoying old men, and I spent 18 years working in technology.) Did  I mention it was insulting? I didn't usually even ask questions to get the explanations - they just assumed I didn't know. (The only reason I didn't take the extra test, was I thought it would be poor form to have an extra license before I made my first contact.)

I was in amateur radio for about 3 months, before I had all I could take. I put the radio back in the box. I doubt it still works. Recently I got tempted by 2m and APRS. but that didn't last either.

Now I don't think I have a thin skin, but for enjoyment, putting up with this insanity is not very enjoyable.

And all you guys complaining of the rise of Political Correctness - yeah, it was much better when white men didn't have to think about anyone else - if you were a white man. For the rest of us, not so much.

Debra KI4TON
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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6034




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« Reply #99 on: June 03, 2013, 04:27:08 AM »

With due respect, ladies, you've got to grow a thicker skin.  All too many of the ways that we used to address people are now thought to be demeaning, when they're not meant to be that at all.  OM (old man), YL (young lady) and XYL (ex-young lady, really meaning married lady) are all part of the tradition of ham radio--from way back when morse code was the most widely used mode there was.  Most two and three letter abbreviations used in ham radio have their origins from back then.  (The most popular example of that is the Q codes.)  It is, was and always has been faster and simpler to use abbreviations when using code, abbreviations that everyone in the hobby knew the meaning of.

Personally, I have nothing but respect for the ladies who have the courage to venture onto this site and enjoy this hobby, but changing the traditional ways of referring to people when no disrespect is intended, in my humble opinion, goes too far.  People never used to take offense to words so easily, and the fact that some now do just goes to show--again in my opinion--that this world is not getting more civilized, it is indeed regressing from civilization.  

In all fairness, however, the term "Little Lady" is not proper and never has been.  That is one term that I agree should be gotten rid of--indeed, it should have never been used at all.  

Added:  Finally, just reading through this thread and some of the comments made here about women is enough to put even the most open minded women off the desire to get their ticket.  One comment made here comes close to summing it up:  If we want more women to get involved, we men have to act like gentlemen--AND treat the women as equals, not as people who don't know anything about what they're trying to get into.

73!



  
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 05:18:58 AM by K1CJS » Logged
WX7G
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Posts: 6049




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« Reply #100 on: June 03, 2013, 08:06:31 AM »

Ladies (and gentlemen), to experience real amateur radio learn code and work CW. You will avoid all that you don't like about amateur radio and get to experience radio communication in its most pure form.
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KK4APV
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Posts: 22


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« Reply #101 on: June 03, 2013, 07:30:53 PM »

Different people like different things.

"Code" just doesn't feel like my cup of tea.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #102 on: June 04, 2013, 03:50:25 AM »

Ladies (and gentlemen), to experience real amateur radio learn code and work CW. You will avoid all that you don't like about amateur radio and get to experience radio communication in its most pure form.

But if they do that Dave, they would be exposed to exactly what they want to avoid--those two and three letter abbreviations that they're so dead set against using?

BTW, did anyone notice that the abbreviation OM wasn't mentioned--till I mentioned it?
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W4KVW
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Posts: 488




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« Reply #103 on: June 10, 2013, 02:25:20 PM »

Ladies (and gentlemen), to experience real amateur radio learn code and work CW. You will avoid all that you don't like about amateur radio and get to experience radio communication in its most pure form.

I passed the Code test & have NO INTEREST in using it other than for a RARE DX contact evey now & then.It gives me a headache pretty quick so it's NOT enjoyable which is not why I enjoy Ham Radio.If it's not FUN I'll pass on whatever mode it is.I'll stick with SSB,AM,FM, a few digital modes on HF & 6 meters & some D-STAR & leave that NOISY CW to others who ENJOY it.It's about having FUN & helping your fellow Man & Woman when you can. {:>)   Grin   Smiley   Cheesy

Clayton
W4KVW
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K5KNE
Member

Posts: 65




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« Reply #104 on: June 24, 2013, 03:05:52 AM »

My wife and I have been hams over 50 years.  There was a time when she was very active, but other things took priority and she only uses UHF to talk to me now. Women have a lot of other interests and things that must be done which use all the energy and thinking they have. Sitting around chatting on the radio is just not one of them. She has done it all in the past but now she has other things she had rather do.

It is just a hobby. 
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