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Author Topic: Professional Women reject Ham Radio. As they should  (Read 12665 times)
WA4D
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« on: September 15, 2012, 05:22:50 PM »


When tuning across the HF bands  you seldom hear a woman.  Though the hobby's official organization is chaired by a Woman."

I work with and have worked for many professional, women who are technologists.  Yet I have NEVER heard a smart, articulate professionally accomplished  woman on the ham bands.  There have been many studies and various organizations exhorting Women to go into technology fields in the past 2 decades. I don't know  the success rate of those efforts. But in her new book,  "The End of Men"  Hanna Rosin posits that the future of the professional workspace is becoming more and more feminized.  Indeed, for  every  2 men that graduate from college  this year, 3 women will graduate. The Post Industrial Globalized knowledge worker era does not need the kinds of positions that men have been attracted to. And they (men) are dropping out of the workforce in droves (according to NY Times last week.) Further, Women  have “started to dominate” in lower-profile professions like accounting, financial management, optometry, dermatology, forensic pathology and veterinary practices, among “hundreds of others.”   

It's easy to see why professional Women would not be interested in Ham radio. Take a number. But it's the hobby's loss that so very few accomplished Women are present. --- I know someone is going to come  in here and tell me about a Woman who is a Quantum mathematician who is active in their local 2 meter club!  Ha! --

Perhaps this shift in the economy at large (and in turn the culture) accompanied by de-emphasizing the buffoonery of EmComm will open the hobby up to a more interesting demographic.  Recently KB6NU wrote  a piece on his blog "Where are the Hams?" where he asks: "question, why don’t hams get on the air anymore?" and laments what he sees as a drop in traffic on the bands (high and low).

The answer is that Ham radio is a very narrow cultural  niche. More hams than ever, but traffic is  surely dropping. (No metrics needed).  The fact is, most of those several hundred  thousand that joined the hobby in the post-Code era found out, that the bands are full of tired middle aged to elderly men who just aren't very interesting. The bands are populated by retiree groups with their working lives behind them, as they sit on  a metaphorical radio porch and "play dominoes" as men in small towns did generations ago.  Or  others who sit  at  their desk with a huge pile of radios as if they were in the bunker with "Dr. Strangelove".  It is a laughable and pathetic image. In an era of explosive world wide communications, these are the ones who will be there "when all else fails" (makes  one want to gag)   Ham radio is a place where  professional Women may be welcome but smartly they take a pass. As well they should. 
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AC4RD
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 05:45:48 PM »

Yet I have NEVER heard a smart, articulate professionally accomplished  woman on the ham bands.

If there is ever a Nobel Prize for Trolls, you're definitely going to be on the short list.  

I know a radiologist, a couple of teachers, and an IT professional who are active hams, and women.  Maybe you just wouldn't know a smart articulate professional woman if you met one?

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WA4D
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 05:53:57 PM »

Amusing. Woman radiologist, an "IT Pro" and a couple of teachers who are "active" hams. (I doubt the "radiologist" is "active" if we define it similarly. Real professionals don't have time for frivolous hobbies.)

That doesn't mean they are smart, accomplished or technologists.   And what is an IT Pro?  Way too many IT workers think they are "professionals" where most are marginal technicians.  And k-12 teachers?  The vast majority are over paid civil servants in my view.

Thank you for acknowledging my articulate observations with your "Nobel Prize" quip. But a bit over the top. Iconoclasism is hardly worthy of any prize. Just a few laughs.

Cheers from LA
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KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 345




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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 06:39:39 PM »


The answer is that Ham radio is a very narrow cultural  niche. More hams than ever, but traffic is  surely dropping. (No metrics needed).  The fact is, most of those several hundred  thousand that joined the hobby in the post-Code era found out, that the bands are full of tired middle aged to elderly men who just aren't very interesting. The bands are populated by retiree groups with their working lives behind them, as they sit on  a metaphorical radio porch and "play dominoes" as men in small towns did generations ago.  Or  others who sit  at  their desk with a huge pile of radios as if they were in the bunker with "Dr. Strangelove".  It is a laughable and pathetic image. In an era of explosive world wide communications, these are the ones who will be there "when all else fails" (makes  one want to gag)   Ham radio is a place where  professional Women may be welcome but smartly they take a pass. As well they should. 

I know that for ages the FCC seems to have ignored the Amateur Radio Service, apparently hoping it would die along with all the old hams from the 50s and 60s so they could focus on the big media conglomerates which dominate AM, FM, and OTA TV. When people pointed out that allowing ham radio to die so that the FCC could focus on the big boys was wrong, the FCC grudgingly overhauled the tests. The damage may have been done, though. Folks, the FCC doesn't care about shortwave. It never has. The FCC ceased to care about amateur radio long ago, since the National Association of Broadcasters is far more profitable.

For decades the FCC has wanted to lock out the average Joe from all media, and give the voices over to big boys. Anybody remember when Stephen Dunifer was fighting tooth and nail to legalize hobby broadcasting on FM? The FCC issued a handful of licenses, and then not only took them back, they crammed the FM dial in every major city full of far more stations than needed, so that there would be no place for pirates. The result is that most FM stations barely turn a profit. I used to be able to get a number of San Francisco FM stations in Sacramento on summer nights. Now the band is too full. Stations beat each other over the head for a 1.2 rating. It's ridiculous, and it was punitive on the part of the FCC. TPTB are wanting to pull the plug on the internet, or forcibly turn it into a one way shopping mall, so as to shut down the little guy entirely.
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 02:31:57 AM »

I love the Dr Strangelove bunker image.
One to make me laugh when I get low on Geritol.

I have to agree with you on the lack of active participation.
Most hams know so much more about me, than I do about others, because they listen to my incessant PSK31 conversations.
They however, seem reticent to engage, and those that do are the same usual suspects.

I used to think I had bad antennas, until I realised that it was just the same crew active all the time.
It is particularly true on digital modes, with many more active hams on CW in my experience.
SSB also, seems to be slowly declining.

I guess those CW guys are just too stubborn to quit.

73 - Rob
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K1CJS
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 06:41:45 AM »

Another troll post.  Just because someone hasn't heard of one doesn't mean there aren't any.  There are.
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KD8GTP
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Posts: 62




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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012, 07:08:50 AM »

I don't think it's a troll post. He is correct, women, professionals or not don't have interest in ham radio.  Ham radio is a hobby just as coin collecting, quilting, sewing, stamp collecting. Some hobbies are male oriented, others female oriented. Example: when I relax and operate my radios my wife is trying her hand at making dresses for the granddaughter. She has no interest in radios and I have no interest in sewing. Fact is some hobbies are dominated by men, and others by women. There are exceptions to this, some women may be interested in radio, some men interested in sewing. Nothing wrong with that. It's your life, enjoy it as you wish Smiley

Bart
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2012, 10:36:01 AM »

Professional women don't reject amateur radio.  They just reject WA4D.   Wink
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KG4NEL
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 10:54:59 AM »

Professional women don't reject amateur radio.  They just reject WA4D.   Wink

...and that about sums it up.  Cheesy
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N5VTU
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Posts: 357




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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 11:04:59 AM »

I suggest reading Ham Radio's Technical Culture by Kristen Harding, 2007.  It gives a fascinating, unbiased view of the rise of amateur radio from the 1920's to present.  Much time is spent discussing external influences that led ham radio to develop as a "male dominated" sport.  It's really an intriguing book, and also provides a great trip down memory lane.

Stephen
N5VTU



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K1CJS
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2012, 04:49:41 AM »

I don't think it's a troll post. He is correct, women, professionals or not don't have interest in ham radio.... 

Sorry, but I have to disagree.  There are professional women out there who very much have an interest in ham radio.  What they don't have an interest in is getting on the airwaves and having to contend with the men who either have no tolerance for anything out of what they consider ordinary, or with the male adolescents who don't want to do anything much else than brag about their toys or their latest pains/medical conditions.  Unfortunately that accounts for about 95% of the operators out there on the airwaves now. 

Sorry guys, the truth may hurt, but it's still the truth!  73!
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K1CJS
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 04:51:51 AM »

Professional women don't reject amateur radio.  They just reject WA4D.   Wink

There are some men out there that reject his ways of thinking too!    Grin
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KB3FEI
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2012, 07:50:03 AM »

Perhaps the real reason it appears to be so few women on the airwaves is that men do not know how to talk with women.
Dale, kb3fei.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2012, 09:23:15 AM »

Quote
Perhaps the real reason it appears to be so few women on the airwaves is that men do not know how to talk with women.
Dale, kb3fei.

OR WANT TO!!
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N0YXB
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Posts: 304




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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2012, 12:57:06 PM »

Professional women don't reject amateur radio.  They just reject WA4D.   Wink

There are some men out there that reject his ways of thinking too!    Grin

LOL!

And, we have at least one professional woman who regularly posts on eHAM, if I'm not mistaken.
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Vince
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