Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dharma" model

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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dharma" model

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

Hi all

Here at the DhO a "competitive team sports" mode of spiritual friendship has developed. This kind of companionship tends to attract men more than women, as has been remarked. The online medium is another selecting factor, but that one has been discussed a lot already. Instead, I'd like to draw a few parallels to similar situations I've experienced in competitive mixed sports, Judo to be specific.

I won't bore you with anecdotes from my Judo club. Instead, here's a very good article written in the context of another martial art. Reading this a few years ago, I was able to gain a lot of understanding about the subtle misapprehensions that crop up when women and men voluntarily participate together in a highly competitive activity (be it full-contact martial arts, or full-contact Dharma discussions).

I'm NOT intending this as a "let's play nice with the girls" appeal. Rather the opposite: let's find out how we can engage women to join us more easily and confidently in the hard-hitting, full-contact Dharma companionship we all love so much.

Enough of all that introductory appeasement. Here's the article about the "five hurdles":

http://swordmaiden.com/armoredrose/fivehurdles/

Thoughts? In particular, from the women around here?

Cheers,
Florian
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi Florian,
Interesting topic and article. I can't say that I relate to the hurdles that the article listed. Nonetheless, the article does bring up some good points. I don't have an answer for how to engage more women to participate here at DhO. I think that has to come from individual choice and interest to participate. As for the females who do join in the discussions, it seems to me that their comments are well received, and engaged in the discussion.

Hopefully, other females will reply to this thread and offer more constructive ideas and answers to your question. emoticon
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I'd like to participate more. But I'm still preparing my armor. (and still working my way through MCTemoticon.

-Caroline
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
hi Caroline

borrow this and relax

indefensible
I surrender

metta & upekkha
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 19 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Caroline, just do it. Please? You have a lot to offer.
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hey Caroline (and all the other females here who are "building their armor"), please just jump right in! Even if you just participate with brief comments here and there... you'll begin to feel more comfortable. Like all things, the more you practice... the more comfortable (and confident) you'll begin to feel. Go for it! emoticon
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Florian,

Female opinion - I didn't relate to the article you posted. I don't currently play any competitive sport and don't have any desire to. I work in an industry that is predominantly male (I'm the only female on the team), and belong to two community groups that have very few female members. The DhO gender imbalance therefore isn't really an issue for me.

A negative for me on this forum are all the postings on unproductive postings. I haven't worked out what unproductive is so I am sometimes reluctant to post or reply to a question. I think the DhO issue is how to engage more people (male and female) to confidently join in discussion.

Crinia
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 3192 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
It is interesting that my first really inspiring teacher who was open about attainments and really down to earth about talking about real practice was a woman: Subhana Barzaghi. Her simple "you can do it and we can talk about it like anything else" style was part of my early inspiration for going in the direction I did with my book and this place. Of all the people I sat with since, she still remains one of the most inspiring of the bunch. She is also the only person I know who holds dual Vipassana and Zen lineages, and this an inspiration for me to read across traditions and a confirmation that they must be talking about the same thing.

To Caroline: I realize that multiple aspects of this place can be intimidating for many, and I am sorry about that, but realize that if you ask good practical questions and speak from you own wisdom and experience as such you will be hard pressed to go wrong.

It is interesting to note that, by my rough count, the number of women who have gotten stream entry in part due to this site vs the number of men who have is a much higher ratio than the number of total female participants vs men, meaning that of those women who are here, a far higher percentage have become accomplished practitioners in some way due to their participation in this site, and thus, while the numbers of both are relatively small, and conclusions hard to draw with complete assurance, this is very encouraging, I think.
Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 7 Join Date: 5/27/09 Recent Posts
Here's how I approach this forum. I don't usually just post for the sake of posting or participating. This is the order of things I do if am seeking practical advice for my practise, I first read in Daniel's book, if I still haven't found a conclusive answer I move onto other people's works, then I hit the 'search' button in this forum and in 99% of the cases I find that other people have already asked similar questions and received lots of answers. If I have a really special question that might raise eyebrows from other folks and I'd have to do too much explaining, I then instead pm people who I suspect could know a thing or two about it, without having to explain myself too much or causing needless discussion. So in effect I don't think I've ever posted many questions here, but it doesn't mean that I haven't found the answers. Quite to the contrary actually.
I am very pleased with how things are unfolding in my practise and this forum, Buddhist Geeks and Daniel's book are largely to blame for this ;) . At other times I might post something if and only if I think that someone might actually benefit from my personal experience or point of view. But for the time being I find that in 99,99999% cases that I think about the practise it helps to actually do it, and when in doubt there's always the 3 characteristics and lately asking myself 'who am I' a lot has yielded interesting results as well. I'm also currently planning my next retreat, because that has been the other thing that has been the most beneficial thing for my practise so far.
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: tina_g

Hi Everyone,

I couldn't relate to the article because I've never been competitive. I'm also not into competitive Dharma debating, but that may be because I'm a novice in this area.

As far as being a woman is concerned, I don't feel that it is a barrier to participating in this forum. I've lurked on this site for months before I posted, but it was only to get familiar with the topics and to assess how serious the discussions were. I was not about to post my name and pic to just another gossipy, juvenile online forum just to pass the time.

The fact that most participants here are men is not an issue for me. In fact, I'm am very impressed with their commitment to the dharma. Their are many accomplished beings here, and I can learn from them. As the Buddha said, and this was repeated in the Hurricane Ranch discussions, it is beneficial to keep the company of the wise. So being a woman and a beginner, I feel I can only benefit here.

Tina
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Gender-specific attitudes to the "competitive team sport Dhar

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi all,

Wow, thanks for all the great replies.

That article was not intended as a way to pigeon-hole women, btw, so if you don't feel it applies to you or the DhO situation I'm perfectly fine with this.

What the text did for me, a few years ago, was to wake me up to the fact that there are ways of experiencing a given situation which I can't even imagine, and also that there are connotations to innocent-looking phrases (like the "this is easy" example in the article) which would never occur to me, for whatever reason.

So, despite my explicit call for feedback from the women around here, I think there are some valuable general points about male-female interaction in the "five hurdles" text, and it would be good for men to know about those.

Also, it's another geeky map to play around with. emoticon

Cheers,
Florian

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