Sorry any of you have been treated poorly you just need to understand each guy is an individual and each guy handles every situation differently. I guess I have a distinct advantage with this topic with my past careers. I've learned a lot about men. I started in broadcast engineering where's there's still hardly any women, moved on to AIRLINE FLYING where girls belong serving the coffee and the male pilots either want to be your buddy on layovers or hate your guts because YOU ARE a minority and given preferential hiring treatment by the employer. and then my last career... <3 When you're on CW all operators are equal as long as you aren't rusty like I am after a 7 year layoff. I've been operating a lot of CW lately because my new station is still weak. However when you're tuning around the phone bands... Especially 80/75 don't just break into a conversation because the guys are loud. Down there they are in cliches and groups of like minded guys... I'll sit and listen and 1. see that the guys sound interesting... 2. See that they are all nice guys. 3. That I can actually add something to their conversation and make it more enjoyable for THEM... 4. Not afraid to make the coffee... I always said at field day why is it the girls always make the beer runs? But then don't bitch about making the beer run. Anyway, The crotchety old east Texas fossil, talking to the Alabama rebel flag waver, both complaining about the government is not going to end well for you if you attempt to break in. Keep turning that dial that bunch was NEVER made for us. I remember the olden days, and the guy is dead now (Easy Baker George may you rest in peace because you were ONE Neaderthal), but his reply was, " I hate the sound of a woman on Sideband ! Yikes time to take my cake out of the oven, and put the clothes in the dryer, BYE! CLICK., If you know and feel it inside it should go good; Go ahead and make an attempt to join them. I have successfully joined several groups just this last winter and made a lot of friends.... One group was an older bunch of guys, who were builders and we talked engineering and other fun topics, they even invited me to their group's get together at Dayton. But alas new non-ham husband. Maybe next year. I met up with a group of younger guys (my age right) I've heard on the air before and had something to add to their discussion and gently made an attempt to join their group. BINGO. I'm now welcome anytime I find them and recently emailed their leader and said where you guy's been ? OH we don't operate much down here with the static in the summer... But the first time I checked in one of the guys goes... Erika do I know you? Your picture on QRZed looks familiar. Well geeze I don't know? So I looked him up on HERE and started laughing. The next time I checked in I say yes you know me... 2005 in one of the DX Suites in Dayton... I was really having a great time. He was like yeah I thought so. Then I sent him the photo back he'd sent my EX right after Dayton. It was a very "NICE" photo of me sitting in his lap. Big smiles all around. The other guys wanted me to send the photo to them too... Naw that's so-in-so's photo which only added to my allure. I suspect he eventually sent it around. Anyway, My point is, Listen first, really have something to add to their convo, if they are reactionary latent Barry Goldwater voters, steer clear! And if you've connected with the right group be ready to laugh and have fun. Because every guy is our oyster.