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Author Topic: Extra Women? :)  (Read 5157 times)
KK4APV
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« 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!   Tongue

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
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N6GND
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« Reply #1 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.
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KG6AF
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« Reply #2 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!   Tongue

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.
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KK4APV
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« Reply #3 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.

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AC4RD
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« Reply #4 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.    Wink   Wink   Wink
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TANAKASAN
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« Reply #5 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  Smiley )

« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 02:06:04 PM by TANAKASAN » Logged
KD8TUT
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« Reply #6 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.
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KS2G
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 05:14:49 PM »

You'll find plenty of Extras like yourself here:
http://www.ylrl.org/

73,
Mel - KS2G


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KK4APV
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 06:25:01 PM »

Thanks SOOOO much for sharing that link!!!

How cool is that!

Yay!
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JUJUJULIA
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« Reply #9 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.  Roll Eyes


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K8AXW
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« Reply #10 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!"

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KD8TUT
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« Reply #11 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.

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G3RZP
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2013, 02:47:15 AM »

Add Ann Santos, WA1S and Lisa Zeug, K1UQT to the list.
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K9AIM
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« Reply #13 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  Grin  In any case, it is nice to see you didn't let his small mindedness dissuade you.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #14 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
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