I can only speak for myself, but I have a few thoughts on this topic. I personally like a lot of technical subjects that are thought of as typically masculine (at least in the US).
BUT, my values are way toward the feminine end of the spectrum. In no particular order, these are a few of the things I value: humor, encouragement, humility, spirituality, beauty, relationships, good ideas, simplicity, fun.
There are two things about this forum that I think women might find unwelcoming.
1.) There's too much in the way of argument and criticism. It's not nearly as bad here as it is on other forums related to swimming (i.e. http://Active.com
, or http://BeginnerTriathlete.com
), but it's still off-putting. Conflict is a necessary part of life, but I don't seek it out for entertainment.
Sometimes I read things on this forum that turn my stomach. In particular, I am turned off by criticism of regular people who swim poorly. It takes a lot of courage for a person to put on a bathing suit and get him/herself to the pool. When I read anything that I think would make a person feel unwelcome at the pool, I tend to get disgusted and stay away for awhile.
2.) A forum doesn't lend itself very well to building relationships. A thread on the forum is usually meant to address a specific topic or question. I usually wouldn't want to comment unless I felt I had something to add to the discussion. If I have nothing more to say than "Good Job", "HaHaHa", or "I enjoyed your post", I would usually not comment.
And, it feels weird to have a conversation with a person (user?) without even knowing if he/she is male or female.
Groups on Facebook are better for that kind of interaction. Also, some blogs have a more relational feel to them (between the blogger and his/her readers, anyway.) These are a few examples of blogs that feel more personal: http://jenschumacher.com/
(general fitness) and http://www.indiansimmer.com/
(Indian cooking, plus photography)
Your blog http://www.swimwellblog.com/
is pretty inviting, except that comment moderation takes a long time. The blog format on http://www.totalimmersion.net/blog
is less inviting.
In your blog post, you said the following:
Originally Posted by terry
To some extent, it’s difficult to avoid a male-dominant viewpoint in the TI world. Most of our ideas and approaches come from me. My ‘masculine’ orientation tends more toward the technical than the personal. Thus our instruction includes much detail on the physics and mechanics of one style vs another. We tend to emphasize mechanical and energy efficiency over, say, simple aesthetic grace. Our practice guidelines emphasize data points like stroke counts, tempo rates, and the ‘math of speed.’
I don't agree with this explanation. You give enough personal information to come across as a human being rather than a "forum user". When you address a technical topic, you usually do it in a very accessible, interesting way. You also give a lot of practical, comprehensible advice that a person could use to improve his/her swimming today. Anyone who visits a forum about swimming would be interested in that.
The one exception might be your posts about practice sets. I've seen women (and some men) state that their eyes glaze over on your posts about practice sets. I think that has more to do with presentation than content. A person with no background in competitive swimming has to do a lot of math to understand the plot of those stories. In other words, if you say you did 10x100 on 1:10, most people would have to do the following math to follow along:
1.) Maybe I should try timing myself.
2.) I can swim one length in 30 sec (for example)
3.) 30 sec x 4 lengths = 120 sec
4.) 120 sec = 2 minutes
5.) Wow, 10x100 on 1:10 is really fast.
6.) If *I* could swim 100 yds in less than 1:10, I could swim a mile in under 20 minutes. Where do I sign up?
The math for SPL/stroke rate is even more complicated.
I think most intermediate TI practitioners would be interested in these topics if you could find a more visual way to communicate about these things. Almost everyone wants to improve their speed once he/she has achieved a comfortable stroke.
Originally Posted by Patricia
I have been blogging about my swim camp experience not because it felt natural but because Terry asked me to. It is awfully silent out there. I know people are reading it because I can see the numbers but I have only had 2 or 3 replies. My reluctance to blogging, I think is more a generation thing rather than a gender issue. Mind you the more I read all the various threads,the more I feel like contributing. Having worked in a female dominated profession and held senior posts I have no problem voicing my views in any company. Is it a privacy thing ? Monica where are you ?
I like your blog posts. I usually don't comment on anything on this site unless I feel I have something to add to the discussion.
In another setting, I'd give you a <3 <3 <3