<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Sometimes these questions make people uncomfortable or even angry. They complain that I have wasted their time on these stupid questions. The penultimate step is to hurl an insult in my direction. The ultimate step is to satirize the question. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ok, since you consider satire is the "ultimate step" in somehow attacking you, I won't do it. However, I seriously will suggest you don't ever go into any sort of public role, (politics, teaching, lecturing, etc.) though, if you think satire is the ultimate weapon. And especially if you think my rather mild parody was anywhere near what you'd find in a variety of venues both in RL or on the web. I don't know what your background is, but you seem a bit over-sensitive about people not answering your questions with what you'd like to hear.
Seriously, don't be so thin-skinned and take everything as an attack.
Hey, I could take your total mistatement of my point about "victimology" as an attack against me - but I won't. And I could take umbrage at your totally false accusation that I'm trying to "shut her up" (whoever the alleged "her" victim is in your statement) but I'll let that pass too. That mischaracterization of me was the closest to anything that could be construed as "hurl an insult" though.
Geez, we don't need people lighting off "pomposity bombs" here. BTW, your questions a) didn't make me uncomfortable, b) didn't make me angry, c)didn't make me complain that you wasted anyone's time, d) didn't make me call them "stupid questions". In fact reading the thread again I don't think anyone's reactions could correctly be defined as such - but it makes a nice straw man to rail against, doesn't it?
So I'll answer your original questions, even though I believe you are proceeding from false assumptions.
1) "Whats up with that" (re: few women on this forum). I still think your premise is false. I also forgot LindaA, Kima, Tellychick, and a bunch more in my earlier list of women regularly on this forum.
Now if you want to know if there is an exact 50-50 (or 51-49 to reflect population %) split, I think that's just making an issue out of something that isn't a problem. This forum has always been inviting to women, without being a "womens' forum". It just isn't necessarily inviting to people trying to set up "straw men" for their arguements. Whether those "straw men" are about gender balance or wedge turns.
2) Yes my wife skis. I encouraged her, I explicitly did NOT teach her, and I was married to her for about 9 years before she decided to seriously try it. My S.O. being a skier was never a requirement. My S.O. accepting that I was a skier was a requirement (ask my ex-wife; on second thought no, still probably a sore spot with her!) When I was single (either time), actually none of the women I dated were skiers.
It was very nice that Lisa and I tried each other's favorite sports. Neither one of us made taking up those sports an issue or requirement. "I've got a road race" or "I'm out for a long run" was always ok with me to hear from her; "I'm going skiing for the weekend" was always ok for her to hear from me.
3) Do we ski together? Not all that much, and again that isn't a "requirement for the relationship." I do like to share a warmup run or two, and meet up for lunch, and at the end of the day. We're at slightly different levels, but I'm only a level or so past where she is now. And as I've mentioned before elsewhere, her fitness level is so much higher than mine that her natural (and trained) athleticism comes very close to compensating for my slightly higher skill level.
But I think stylistically we have different preferences. Although I do like to work on technique, and often will choose an easier trail so that I can work on skills rather than do "survival skiing", I also like to "see what I can do" within reason. So I will challenge myself on a black diamond sometimes (yeah, boring to all the "real" Epic Skiiers out here but I'm just an upper-intermediate/low-advanced at best). If I feel I can do it safely at the limits of my skills. That doesn't mean that I have to do it "pretty" with perfect technique. While my wife tends only want to do trails she can do elegantly and skillfully.
I also like to ski fast (within control, and "fast" is relative to my skills of course). That's actually something which a female ski instructor encouraged me to do.
No, I don't think any of these differences between my wife and I are gender differences. I think it's people differences.
Now by extension, and by other replies, your 'Observation #1' also implies "there are few women skiing" (compared to some implied standard of the "correct" proportion). I think that's not particularly true either, but I'll believe that there are (some amount) fewer women than men skiing. Why?
Some ideas (in no particular priority):
1) Skiiing is a gear-intensive activity. Women in general (no brickbats please) are less of the "gearhead" than men in general. I think this is largely, maybe entirely, due to socialization rather than inherent nature, but nonetheless it's true. Thus a sport which requires the purchase of about $500-1000 USD average equipment, with bewildering ranges of selection, and lots of jargon, maybe is just not attractive to the average women. Compared to the way men are socialized in Western society, to be into "hardware". Now that hardware may be audio equipment, cars, guns, boats, radios, fishing gear, golf clubs, or skis, but typically men are brought up to be into the "stuff", be into talking and reading and arguing about the "stuff". Skiing, and skiing books & magazines, may tend to play to that viewpoint.
Carrying this further, being an active member of a computer-based forum about skiing implies being into yet another set of "gear". Two gateways of traditional socialization (and expense) to overcome.
2. Time constraints. Women are still (again maybe mostly socialization) the primary child care givers, and even in "equal" relationships often the primary "domestic engineer". Perhaps many women self-perceive that they have too many other requirements on their time, while men with typical Western socialization may think that they can drop everything more easily.
3. Financial constraints. I don't think the wage inequality is as much as it is reported to be - at least not in my industry for equal professional levels and levels of personal career development commitment. But I think it's fair to say that the average woman is still making somewhat less than the average man. Skiing is very expensive. Computers are very expensive. Talking on the computer about your skiing becomes even more expensive. More men than women can afford it.
4. Childbearing and Child Care. Women still do 100% of the childbearing! And again, even in the most egalitarian marriages and relationships, there are almost always at least some periods where the woman is doing more of the childrearing than the man involved. Let's ignore nature/nurture here; the reality in today's society puts the mom spending more time with the kid than the dad. Consequently less ski time, less ski-posting time for mothers of young children.
Plus mid-to-late pregnancy and at least early postpartum puts a bit of a damper on ski time.
5. Woman as better consumer. From the same socialization, most women are better consumers, better observers of value than are most men. (Again, not deciding whether it's nature/nurture here.) The ski industry is a crummy value right now, and for a long time: lifts closed due to not enough lifties, $8 crummy hamburgers, overcrowded base lodges, disorganized ski schools, overall poor customer service. Women are trained in this society to distinguish good bargains from bad. In many ways, skiing is a bad bargain from poor companies, even though it's a wonderful sport and activity. Men may be socialized to put up with more garbage in order to get the end result; women may be socialized to reject such a "bad deal" as the typical American ski experience.
Just some ideas. Again, I still don't think there's some special women-specific "problem" that needs to be addressed (other than the good trends of skis, boots, instruction that are correct for women's biomechanics.) In general, skiing and the ski industry needs to make itself more attractive for people in general. Then it probably will be more attractive to women as well as men, and perhaps the numbers will balance out more.