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  #21  
Old 02-01-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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When I look around in the pools where I am swimming there is one observation I always find: in every level of swimming ability (and the average level is quite low, unfortunately) in general women swim with more grace, more elegance and more ease and the enjoyment for the eye when watching is greater, no doubt.
I think males tend to use 'brute force' while women tend to use more skill ( I am talking about swimming here). Which doesn't mean that men are less skillfull, it is more a question of attitude.
I remember part of an interview with Franziska van Almsick during her active swimming times. She was complaining about her muscular arms, whenever she finds a nice blouse she said, she couldn't wear it because her arms were too muscular, and she was looking forward to the time when she stopped her professional swimming career hoping that her arms would get less muscular.
That is a truely female viewpoint, I guess.

I agree with what Westy said about women, an I think that a main difference is in the way how the world is approached: there is an aggressive attitude in males approach versus a quite self-reflecting and non-aggressive, defensive, and integrating approach that women have. Call it testosterone, if you like. It's there - gotta deal with it.
I think that women in general are less competitive, but not non-competitive at all. When they are competitive they are competitive in a different way than men.
And women are more practical and have no strong inclination to (seemingly?) pointless theoretical discussions.

The TI approach to swimming with it's elements of ease, elegance, grace, non-effort and focus on details, taking it ease is actually a quite 'female' approach, and I think females should find it a lot more appealing than men, and the percentage of women in TI (and in the forums) should be higher than on other swim sites. Maybe I am wrong with that?
On the other hand the TI approach might put a lot of males off because it is not tough enough.

Regarding the input of women in the forums here I think that input is very, very valuable, because it comes from a different viewpoint and can reveal details that men do overlook. I very much enjoy the input of the women here, I am tempted to mention some names but will refrain from it since I will probably forget some and that would be unfair. I hope that there continues to be a lot of input from women, it could be more for my taste. I think it is not more because partly of the reasons that Westy stated here and partly because women have (again in general) a more refined sense of atmosphere and are more easily put off by the atmosphere of some posts, while men tend to ignore (or not even notice in the first place) the atmosphere and get more 'technical'.

I think having women events with women facilitators is a very good way. It would be very helpful if the insights of that is shared on the forum and not in private posts only
But I can understand that some people - especially women - prefer to share their experience in more (women-)private posts. It is a pity though.
Also I think it is quite difficult in forums in general: lots of the people don't really know each other and it is very easy to understand something completely different from the written word than what was originally intended. The written word lacks the body language and offers many opportunities for misunderstanding.
I for example find it really helpfull if I get a feedback if, for example, I posted something that is offending for - whoever. But I can highly understand that a forum like this is not a forum where this kind of feedback is given.
So we gotta be patient and hang in there...


Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
...
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.
...
Funny, you say this. What makes these 'things' feminine? I could underline each one of them (except relationships, I have some friends - female friends - who talk a lot about relationships, they know all the latest 'who and who' and I have to admit, that puts me off completely, and I always leave such conversations ).
And I would not add soccer, cars, or drinking beer to the list, although I am German and should.
Spirituality in particular I regard to be completely gender-less, or free of gender agendas, although there are often people trying to bring it in. In this case it's usually women who bring some women related issues into it.
I have to admit though that in all sorts of gatherings that are solely related to spirituality the fraction of women is always clearly the majority up to the point where I was the only male attending.
I also find it funny that spirituality gets mentioned in one or the other way in this forum. Not that there is something wrong with it - basically I think, you can find spirituality literally anywhere. But still, if I want to 'do' something spiritual, I 'go' and meditate, I don't go for a swim. There are more direct and more effective approaches to spirituality than swimming.


If it helps, I would like to conclude with saying that any input from women in one of these forums here is highly welcomed and appreciated, and it is in no way less 'worth' than a male's input, on the contrary. I do like a lot of the input from male contributors, and I wouldn't like to miss it. But without womens input an essential part would be missing. So feel free, please.
This might sound a bit clumsy, but I don't have any real idea of how to encourage women...

This of course is a very personal view.
I can in no way see that swimming is more related to males than to females. It again is an area that I think is (/should be) free of gender-related issues.


Hang on on there...
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  #22  
Old 02-02-2011
boken boken is offline
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boken
Default My thoughts

Hi all.

Thanks Terry for even asking and being curious about the ratio of male/female posters. I'll try to respond in a useful way. Also thanks everybody for the comments on the video. I had a really fun time giving that a try. The original post was thought-provoking and I was really pumped when I thought of a way to test the theory. I like problem-solving especially when it could be easily confused as play.

But soon after I posted the video it became apparent that this was going to be one of those never-ending discussions* in which I try my best not to become entangled. I almost feel a sense of propriety that I resisted the urge to argue on an internet forum. I could see myself getting really wound-up over arguments like these if I allowed myself ("Gah! I can't sleep, somebody on the internet is wrong!!!!"). Plus, one's ability to communicate effectively is extremely hampered in this setting. Half the time it seems like people are arguing for the same side and they just don't know it. I just try to avoid those kinds of situations. I very nearly missed your question and it was all because of morbid curiosity that I returned to the thread after I saw that it had grown to 12 pages! Actually there was a bit of vanity there too to see if the spatula had managed to persist in any of the arguments :)

Apologies in advance for the following, it's meant to be light-hearted and I don't wish any disrespect to anybody. I say it in case it brings insight to the question posed: I find it particularly intriguing that you asked about the gender thing because the phrase that actually came to mind at the moment indicated with the asterisk above is "dick measuring contest" (Look that up at Urban Dictionary for those not familiar with some US slang). Sorry again, lots of love to you all! Interesting how gender-flavored phrase (however snarky or misinformed) came to mind even before Terry's question was posed. A coincidence or an artifact of a warped mind? Maybe... I play with spatulas in fish tanks, you know. Something subconscious? Maybe. I'm not sure.

All that said, nobody on this forum has made an uncomfortable posting environment for me, and I have no second thoughts about posting video even, which could be a major issue for the stereotypical body-conscious female. I would venture that this might be one of the best swim forums for those individuals because our focus in TI is on balance and streamline, not your fitness level. Yes, critiques about other non-TIers techniques are a bit uncomfortable to read but not for gender reasons. I'm not exactly sure what could encourage more participation from us ladies. I am pleased to say that I contribute exactly what I feel like contributing.
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  #23  
Old 02-02-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
When I look around in the pools where I am swimming there is one observation I always find: in every level of swimming ability (and the average level is quite low, unfortunately) in general women swim with more grace, more elegance and more ease
I've made the same observation resulting in a similar intuition. Men tend to over-rely on testosterone; women seem more naturally inclined to subtlety and finesse. And since water is an elusive and yielding medium, I believe swimming could be thought of as having more 'feminine,' than masculine, properties.

Likewise - and hoping to avoid stereotyping - a woman's inclination is greater toward intuition, while men seem more inclined to pursue technical explanations and solutions. As my last few blog posts have noted, I believe intuition to be unquestionably more valuable as a path to both enjoyment and improvement in swimming.

Again, this could be used to make a case that most women are better suited than most men to achieve Swimming Mastery. At the very least, it can make for stimulating discussion. And if it encourages more women to take up swimming (hopefully without discouraging men), so much the better.

You can expect that my next blog post will go down this road (which will make three consecutive posts sparked by a Haschu quote). And that I'll devote a chapter in the new TI basic book to this thesis.
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #24  
Old 02-02-2011
KatieK KatieK is offline
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BOKEN, you crack me up!!!
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  #25  
Old 02-02-2011
CoachRosita CoachRosita is offline
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Default Participation By Women

Hmmm, I am not going to stop and think for a long time about my response because my tendency is to then not respond. Lots of interesting inputs that I would like to individually comment on but I will not do that since as a woman/person:

1.I am a terrible typist and it takes me too long 2. being a new coach I tend to let more experienced coaches / members respond 3. Lack of privacy on the internet still bothers me. Talking about swimming doesn't but personal commentary (i.e. names of endearment etc) still do as do the points Katie made. 4. I am very much a numbers woman so may not be the best woman to comment on this topic. Terry, for me please keep the numbers and science coming. 5. Grammatically this does not fit in with the above list but today I asked an 80+ year old excellent swimmer about this topic and she said the women are too busy taking care of home, children, work and their husbands 6. Terry if you miss someone's input tell them, I bet they might start up again. 7. After my Maho Bay experience I privately e-mailed since it is more my style. The experience was a highlight for me. I finally "got" the two beat kick. I developed the confidence to swim 2.25 miles in open water. Perhaps most importantly I had the most fun swim experience of my life to date which was a synchronized 2.25 mile swim. What a treat to find a swim buddy (male) willing to site for me while I kept our pace (naturally very similar). We smiled during many of the swim stokes we took in perfect sync. 8 I am guilty of not supporting other people's blogs etc and also have had some of my comments ignored. It goes with the territory. I have also privately e-mailed some responses. 9. One input per women participating that I have given privately in the past but will now suggest publically. For those ladies involved in "Women In The Outdoors" please encourage swimming to be taught. This organization I believe (no laughter) is part of The Wild Turkey Fedration. It offers women a chance (usually at a state park) once a year to learn about all sorts of topics from gardening to self defense etc. 10. Recently I was talking to a swim coach about doing a 10K and asked what I should do to prepare. He said just do it, it is mostly mental. Hmmm, was I taken seriously? Also I asked about the impact of being short. That also was not important. Perhaps if I develop a thread, it will be about making swimming fun for all ages, genders, and heights by developing a handicap related to competition. My main swim buddy is male, 10 years younger, and 8 inches taller. I may use some ideas I learned in Coach Tharp's book to come up with my own "competitive handicap idea", in order to "show" my swim buddy he is not that much faster than me (even though he is).

Last edited by CoachRosita : 02-02-2011 at 05:20 PM. Reason: posted accidently
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  #26  
Old 02-02-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Any input from women I've read on the TI forums have been very valuable. People like Pat, Julie an Rhoda come to mind instantly as people who have helped me sort things out as I learned to swim. Beginner ? Aren't we all beginners in the TI thoughts of being in a state of continual learning? Julie pointed out how it isn't the trip but the journey that we hope to enjoy.

In the few instructors I've had, none of which were of the TI "nation", two were male and two have been female. The girls were much more organized and keener to teach. The guys asked the first night what we wanted to learn. In all cases the lesson sets were billed as "adult beginner". That should have been the first red flag on the play! 20 people started that 10 lesson set -- 5 remained for the last night! What I'm saying is, the females here, for the most part, seem to have things to say that are more worthy of listening time. Their inputs are far less ego driven and offered for the genuine purpose of helping. The "motherly instinct" ? ~ perhaps. All that being said, it has been following the TI methods that have enabled me to learn to swim..... or at least to build solid foundation on which my learning will continue. My first lessons were helpful but those with the young ladies were worth the time invested, those with the young men were an experience. Let's just say that "trip" wasn't very enjoyable.

Mike
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2011
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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Posts: 589
splashingpat
Default ok I just skimmed this looking for my NAME, BUT just to see a quote from KATIE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
When I look around in the pools where I am swimming there is one observation I always find: in every level of swimming ability (and the average level is quite low, unfortunately) in general women swim with more grace, more elegance and more ease and the enjoyment for the eye when watching is greater, no doubt.
I think males tend to use 'brute force' while women tend to use more skill ( I am talking about swimming here). Which doesn't mean that men are less skillfull, it is more a question of attitude.
I remember part of an interview with Franziska van Almsick during her active swimming times. She was complaining about her muscular arms, whenever she finds a nice blouse she said, she couldn't wear it because her arms were too muscular, and she was looking forward to the time when she stopped her professional swimming career hoping that her arms would get less muscular.
That is a truely female viewpoint, I guess.

I agree with what Westy said about women, an I think that a main difference is in the way how the world is approached: there is an aggressive attitude in males approach versus a quite self-reflecting and non-aggressive, defensive, and integrating approach that women have. Call it testosterone, if you like. It's there - gotta deal with it.
I think that women in general are less competitive, but not non-competitive at all. When they are competitive they are competitive in a different way than men.
And women are more practical and have no strong inclination to (seemingly?) pointless theoretical discussions.

The TI approach to swimming with it's elements of ease, elegance, grace, non-effort and focus on details, taking it ease is actually a quite 'female' approach, and I think females should find it a lot more appealing than men, and the percentage of women in TI (and in the forums) should be higher than on other swim sites. Maybe I am wrong with that?
On the other hand the TI approach might put a lot of males off because it is not tough enough.

Regarding the input of women in the forums here I think that input is very, very valuable, because it comes from a different viewpoint and can reveal details that men do overlook. I very much enjoy the input of the women here, I am tempted to mention some names but will refrain from it since I will probably forget some and that would be unfair. I hope that there continues to be a lot of input from women, it could be more for my taste. I think it is not more because partly of the reasons that Westy stated here and partly because women have (again in general) a more refined sense of atmosphere and are more easily put off by the atmosphere of some posts, while men tend to ignore (or not even notice in the first place) the atmosphere and get more 'technical'.

I think having women events with women facilitators is a very good way. It would be very helpful if the insights of that is shared on the forum and not in private posts only
But I can understand that some people - especially women - prefer to share their experience in more (women-)private posts. It is a pity though.
Also I think it is quite difficult in forums in general: lots of the people don't really know each other and it is very easy to understand something completely different from the written word than what was originally intended. The written word lacks the body language and offers many opportunities for misunderstanding.
I for example find it really helpfull if I get a feedback if, for example, I posted something that is offending for - whoever. But I can highly understand that a forum like this is not a forum where this kind of feedback is given.
So we gotta be patient and hang in there...



Funny, you say this. What makes these 'things' feminine? I could underline each one of them (except relationships, I have some friends - female friends - who talk a lot about relationships, they know all the latest 'who and who' and I have to admit, that puts me off completely, and I always leave such conversations ).
And I would not add soccer, cars, or drinking beer to the list, although I am German and should.
Spirituality in particular I regard to be completely gender-less, or free of gender agendas, although there are often people trying to bring it in. In this case it's usually women who bring some women related issues into it.
I have to admit though that in all sorts of gatherings that are solely related to spirituality the fraction of women is always clearly the majority up to the point where I was the only male attending.
I also find it funny that spirituality gets mentioned in one or the other way in this forum. Not that there is something wrong with it - basically I think, you can find spirituality literally anywhere. But still, if I want to 'do' something spiritual, I 'go' and meditate, I don't go for a swim. There are more direct and more effective approaches to spirituality than swimming.


If it helps, I would like to conclude with saying that any input from women in one of these forums here is highly welcomed and appreciated, and it is in no way less 'worth' than a male's input, on the contrary. I do like a lot of the input from male contributors, and I wouldn't like to miss it. But without womens input an essential part would be missing. So feel free, please.
This might sound a bit clumsy, but I don't have any real idea of how to encourage women...

This of course is a very personal view.
I can in no way see that swimming is more related to males than to females. It again is an area that I think is (/should be) free of gender-related issues.


Hang on on there...
Maybe a oversite from me but YOU GUYS DON'T MIND SAYING
oh never mind!
you guys get it ...the gals do NOT

gender free
credits belong to __________________________________________
you fill in the blank
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  #28  
Old 02-03-2011
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 589
splashingpat
Default thanks Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
Any input from women I've read on the TI forums have been very valuable. People like Pat, Julie an Rhoda come to mind instantly as people who have helped me sort things out as I learned to swim. Beginner ? Aren't we all beginners in the TI thoughts of being in a state of continual learning? Julie pointed out how it isn't the trip but the journey that we hope to enjoy.

In the few instructors I've had, none of which were of the TI "nation", two were male and two have been female. The girls were much more organized and keener to teach. The guys asked the first night what we wanted to learn. In all cases the lesson sets were billed as "adult beginner". That should have been the first red flag on the play! 20 people started that 10 lesson set -- 5 remained for the last night! What I'm saying is, the females here, for the most part, seem to have things to say that are more worthy of listening time. Their inputs are far less ego driven and offered for the genuine purpose of helping. The "motherly instinct" ? ~ perhaps. All that being said, it has been following the TI methods that have enabled me to learn to swim..... or at least to build solid foundation on which my learning will continue. My first lessons were helpful but those with the young ladies were worth the time invested, those with the young men were an experience. Let's just say that "trip" wasn't very enjoyable.

Mike

my daughter in the hospital....


later,
pat

Last edited by splashingpat : 02-06-2011 at 01:48 AM.
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  #29  
Old 02-03-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
haschu33
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boken,

hilerious.

Had to think for a moment to find out what that * reference was about ... used the Urban Dictionary to look up 'measurement' and 'contest' ... light-hearted of course ... 'dick' was clear already ... didn't really enligthen me ... except the somewhat similar expression 'dick s*****g contest' ... came to the conclusion that it has a slightly different connotation ... testosterone again, I know ... :-()))

Pleased me that you as a female and as an American mentioned that contest because a) relief: I never know what you can/should express on English speaking forums as the British tend to be British and the Americans tend to be politically correct and b) feeling I got caught: because as a male I forget about those archetypical behaviours I am conditioned to show and use to think I am solely reason-driven. Brought insight.

I proactively did put some *** in that quote from the Urban Dictionary to avoid censorship ... haschu leaks ...

The rest of your post is worth reading also. I prefer quality over quantity so no problem if you don't post 10 times everyday.
I'll give you 10 out of 5 points and add some special Edgar Allen Poe points.






Found a spatula in my car and consider buying a fish tank now...
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  #30  
Old 02-03-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
haschu33
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Pat,

Credit to you ;-)

I'll also give you 10 out of 5 points and add some Jean-Paul Sarte points (or Simone de Beauvoir - if you prefer)




Never mind...

Last edited by haschu33 : 02-03-2011 at 03:09 PM.
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