KD2GTM Vlog 9: Is there sexism in amateur radio?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KD2GTM, Jun 23, 2016.

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  1. KD2GTM

    KD2GTM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My latest vlog is here! Do you think there is sexism in amateur radio? Check out my experiences in my latest video. I'd love to hear your responses! You can email me at KD2GTM@gmail.com

    Make sure to follow on Twitter, like on Facebook, and subscribe on YouTube.
    AG5DB, KW4EK, KB3H and 1 other person like this.
  2. KF7PCL

    KF7PCL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was hoping this was not modern feminist nonsense when I read the title. Where every bad thing that happens to a woman is the result of sexism and every bad thing that happens to a black or Hispanic person is the result of racism.

    None of what you have mentioned was really sexism. At worst it was minor stereotyping based on cognitive bias. The fact is that the majority of hams are older males. Seeing someone out of the norm might come as a surprise. But again, that isn't really sexism. It isn't like they told you that you couldn't do something just because you are female.

    I have been subject to assumptions too. For example, both me and my father went in to VE testing to upgrade licenses. After I passed both the general and extra exam and my father passed the general exam, I had a number of people assume that it was the other way around just because I was younger.

    Also, in previous years Seaside Oregon, the town had some sort of youth/teen soccer event on the beach on the same weekend as the Seapac hamfest. I ended up wearing my Seapac registration tag almost every time I went outside because otherwise people would usually assume I was there for the soccer event instead of the hamfest. The first year, I was also stopped by a female ham because I was carrying a 2 meter mobile radio. She was asking "where I got the radio" and if I had a license. Obviously with the perception that I was not a licensed amateur radio op (I was 16 at the time)

    While it can be annoying when people make assumptions, the best thing to do is to is just to correct them. Maybe it will help change their perceptions. And if not, it isn't a big deal. Wearing something that lets people know that you are a ham can help too.

    I have to say I am not too proud of being part of the generation of professional victims. The epidemic of perpetually offended youth is rampant at college now.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
    OK4GP, K2ATJ, AC7FM and 3 others like this.
  3. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    The good news is you recognize it for what it is victimization as a career. What's next a "Safe Zone" forum ?
    KF5LWR, KF6NFW, KF5RRF and 3 others like this.
  4. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    aka: The Snowflake Generation
    OK4GP, WJ2L, KN4JDD and 1 other person like this.
  5. KF7PCL

    KF7PCL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thankfully not all the 90s kids are like that.
    A few of my friends at my college are my age or a little bit younger and don't buy into it either.

    Don't get my wrong, I love to see more women and youth get in to amateur radio. I just fear for youth in general if rationality doesn't make a comeback
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
    K3XR and KU4X like this.
  6. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Next weeks episode: "Affirmative Action For Men in Tatting and Doily Making; from Brussels!"
    W5WAY and KF6NFW like this.
  7. KK6VLV

    KK6VLV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think that when they said “she aced it”; and to you they may have looked surprised, and maybe they were, but it sounds to me like they were quite likely to have at that point been more enthusiastic about somebody acing the test because after all, it is a hobby they are into enough to be the V/E's in the first place... ...Not only that they knew you showed them you have what it takes to be licensed.

    I cannot speak for anybody else, and what they think or how they feel etc., but for what it's worth, I am male, in my late 50s and have been a ham for only a little over one year.

    From my short experience of being a amateur radio operator, from what I can tell, I am relatively confident that their surprise, if that's what you think it is was is more likely to be enthusiasm for anyone from later generation is going to keep the hobby going.

    Whatever discrimination of you there may have existed on that test day in the beginning probably started to evaporate at the point they realized you passed the test and then evaporated even more when they realized you aced it!.

    I am sure that the “unconscious bias” you mentioned is real, and yes prevalent.

    I don't know what the actual numbers are, but if listening to the voices on ham radio reflects the actual male to female ratio of licensees then that is the most likely and reasonable explanation for the 'bias' that you have described, weather it is subconscious in an individual or not.

    Oh, and BTW,... ...“An older guy with cats”?!... ...LOL!! That is hilarious!

    Bias and stereotyping exists everywhere people exist. Don't let that get into your way, just keep up your interests in it and enjoy the hobby.

    Most amateur radio operators that I have ever met either on the air or in person welcome and usually encourage all who are interested in the hobby, even those who are not licensed yet, but in particular those of us that have taken and passed one or more of the licensing tests and now have a license.

    N0NB and KF7PCL like this.
  8. KB9MWR

    KB9MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sexism, no, stereotype yes. Hams are often viewed as nerdy etc, and there is that trend that most hams are aging males. Neither are false or implied as negative. I applaud you for getting into the hobby as female (which is rare). And whats even more rare, is technical background and you are already helping others learn in this great hobby.

    You ignored the stereotype, and jumped in which is awesome. That is the only way it changes. Glad there are still young people of either sex getting into the hobby. I got into this in the 90's when in high school. I sometimes ponder if the lure still there to interest young people. Apparently so, and I am glad.
    KK6VLV and KF7PCL like this.
  9. KB0TT

    KB0TT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    IMO ....

    I prefer talking to females over ' hairy-legged ' old men any day .....

    Also , EVERYONE , today , should ACE all of the tests ..... Everyone has access
    to the correct ANSWERS for crying out loud ......

    Again , this is MY HONEST OPINION ...... ( IMHO ) .......

  10. AB4HF

    AB4HF Ham Member QRZ Page

    WOW! You cannot control what happens to you but you can control how you REACT to it. Women have a definite advantage in Amateur Radio. Since they are a minority ,which is rapidly changing, it's a breath of fresh airtime to hear or see a female Ham. In a pile up her voice pierces thru all the grumpy ole men trying to make the contact. I've heard a station say" hold on everyone, was that a XYL? OK only the XYL, the XYL only please." She gets picked out of the pile up and goes straight to the front of the line! Advantage XYL! On Field Day we take advantage of that and record females on the outgoing CQ Field Day message. Works. Some guys are disappointed when I answer them instead of the recorded YL. Message to all female Hams...you rule. enjoy it while you can. Here in Atlanta, Ga. the female ham population is growing by leaps and bounds. The YLRL , Young Ladies' Radio League has over 1500 members.




    Female Amateur Radio Operators are SPECIAL in the Ham community today. Recommend not changing this. CELEBRATE XYL/YL!
    KO6KL and KF7PCL like this.

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