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Women's Groups - Page 2

post #31 of 66
Touche re Jenn Metz. But you're not listening, Rusty. See, that's the trouble with men: already thrusting when it's still parrying time.

How can you call something a women's program if it's open to male students? I just don't buy it.

You and Eminem, like to crack me up. I guess I shoulda seen it coming, though--the day when men would want to be women, like white guys shaving their heads and talking Ebonics. Oh happy day.

The cultural experience of females in our culture is different, Rusty, just like the cultural experience of blacks is different from that of the Chinese, the Jews, the Episcopalians.

When the Brotherhood of Skiers comes to Eldora, will you be sulking because they don't want you as their instructor, given a choice between you and a black instructor? (HA! Like that would ever happen!)

Try to see it my way. It may not be "right" but it's mine and I'm a worthwhile person who is entitled to herstory instead of always having to sit politely listening to history.
post #32 of 66
Thread Starter 
Now it begs the question why don’t we have male only clinics or we do? [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #33 of 66

The situation with non certs and/or level I certs involvement in the program arose in years past under the former SSD. I suppose it was merely a supply/demand/timing situation. The numbers were "up" and the resort operated under the warm body theory. I guess I would ask the question why not allow a level I cert take a LTS class?


Again, why the fencing analogies? Why not simply a discussion without mock battle? How does the discussion evolve into my, or any other man, wanting to be like women? The raging generalities that you put forth are no different than me suggesting all women should be home baking cookies and folding clothes. If that wasn't enough toss in race. Perhaps you can suggest I and every other white male is a bigot. I would love to hear how life has been different for Episcopalians in America. I suppose that depends largely upon your definition of different.

Here is a recent quote from a member of the Cincinnati Bengals football team. They just hired their first black head coach.

"I don't care what color the coach is. I want to win games ... I'm glad he did get the job. He has a great football mind. He knows the game real well. That's what we need."
- Brian Simmons, Bengals linebacker

Perhaps female customers merely want to win games as well! Thrust your weapon back in it's scabbard. I simply want to help others enjoy our wonderful sport.

[ January 20, 2003, 05:54 AM: Message edited by: Rusty Guy ]
post #34 of 66
OOOFFFTAH! Now that the paint has somewhat dried...I'll come out of my corner to address some of Nolos questions (since, I admit, I kinda inadvertently "generalized")
Men in a women's clinic as students? Nope.
Men are MORE likely to chose a male instructor than women chosing a female (I didn't imply we were the more enlightened sex)
Male only clinics tend to be an unmitigated disaster! Unless you can get John Elway or Bruce Willis to sit in over a beer.
In the middle of New Mexico, surrounded by rednecks, I had 5 african american instructors (4 fulltime) out of a staff of around 100....not exactly U of Michigan quota level but better than most. They are good friends and seasoned pros (members of NB of skiers). Jim M. was on the cover of our brochure 2 seasons in a row.
Since this is MLK weekend....a short funny. An un-named marketing director in AF, NM couldn't understand why on MLK weekend with 3500 National Brotherhood guests, I thought it a bad idea to have a torchlight parade! Nice image.....
post #35 of 66
Originally posted by Robin:
[QB]Male only clinics tend to be an unmitigated disaster! Unless you can get John Elway or Bruce Willis to sit in over a beer.QB]
Now the answer I expected would have been “They are all male clinics!” The quotes are real from when I have asked the same question to a few of my friends that are female type instructors.

Personally I prefer a knowledgeable woman instructor. It allows my testosterone level to lower and I learn a lot more. For some reason I also have a considerable amount of female clients?

I can’t imagine someone would not have seen the stupidity of a torch light parade. Personally MLK is the day I stay away from the ski area. Any ski area! However this Saturday and Sunday was a big zoo anyway. We were offering ½ price lift tickets for another day if people in line or coming down the drive would “GO HOME”. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #36 of 66
Part of it comes from the peculiarity and uniqueness of the female anatomy. They have fleshy protrusions at the side of their heads called ears. These are in turn connected through electrical impulse neurons to grey matter located within their craniums which seem to be exclusive to the female of the species. These neurons travel bi-directionally from regions of their anatomy (like the feet) creating sensations and relating them to their physiology. These senses, alien to the male of the species are called hearing and feeling.
Alan Alda, Phil Donahue......and me!
post #37 of 66
Thanks, Robin. I'm glad to hear there are some black instructors, but I'll bet there are very few. Our entire division has ONE black member, to my knowledge, though he now lives in Jackson, so he may have transferred to IM. We went through certification together, examiners' training, etc.

Rusty, I think you need to work a bit harder to get what I'm saying. I am not saying that teaching ability doesn't matter as much as gender in leading a women's clinic. I am saying, everything else being equal, gender matters, or we wouldn't call it a women's clinic, exclude men from taking the clinic, and so on.

We should embrace the differences, because that's the secret of niche marketing. I know this from my own business. I have one day a week for mixed adults and one for women only. I have 24 regular students. Wednesdays are for the people who want a clinic and Thursdays is sort of a skiing sorority group. I don't think you can get that sorority thing going if you're a male instructor, but you certainly can nail the clinic.

As soon as you introduce a male instructor into a women's group, you have mixed adults. That's a fact. I have nothing against you personally and I am sure you are a wonderful instructor for women students. I am against the practice of rationalizing and disguising the truth about things.

To me, the real issue here is: where are the qualified women instructors? Where are the expert women skiers? I know so many qualified instructors who no longer teach because they never felt appreciated or acknowledged and 90% of them are women. Women too intimidated by the process to stand up to an examination at Level III. Women who dropped out of examiner training because they were misfits in the fierce competitive culture. Women who got tired of playing that game, gave up, and are raising families or pursuing other interests now.

To my way of thinking, staffing women's programs with male instructors should be a stopgap measure until the ski school can develop qualified female instructors. This would enhance the integrity of the program and better serve this niche market.

That's my opinion.
post #38 of 66
Originally posted by nolo:

Where are the expert women skiers?

Jackson and SLC but mostly Jackson??
post #39 of 66
Nolo, as it is a stop gap, but it may prove to change our perceptions and/or biases....we are getting rave reviews about what Rusty is accomplishing. Ideally, these sessions would be for women by women, no sh*t. We just have "emptied the bench" in terms of coaches.
Incidently, in Angel Fire, our top 5 requested instructors were women (200-300 annual request hours) and our top childrens 3-5 year old instructors were men. We had more women than men teaching and have had up to 3 instructors from Taos Pueblo.
Ski Schools are truly becoming a reflection of society at large (you need to get out of cattle country, Nolo). At Mountain High a large % of our SB instructors were Asian or from Arab American backgrounds.....lot's of Latinos too. A lot different from when you and I started out....THANK GOD....I hate mayonaise!
post #40 of 66
For the sake of information, Lori Knowles wrote an interesting article for Ski Press magazine back in '99.
post #41 of 66

I find this interesting. You say I need to work harder to understand what you are saying.

Could it be the case that you need to do a better job of explaining?

Isn't this scenario exactly what transpires on snow. What if I said to a need to try harder or you need to listen more carefully or you just don't get it do you moron.

For the record, I think I now understand the gist of what you are saying, and could not agree more!
post #42 of 66
Hooray! We have shared understanding.

A fellow last week said he thought I was a nice Catholic girl since I had graduated from a Jesuit institution. I said, well you got one right.
post #43 of 66
we are getting rave reviews about what Rusty is accomplishing
Ahhh Robin; but could it be Rusty Guys good looks and charming demeanor instead of technical skills. We could be back to square one again. I just couldn't resist.
post #44 of 66
Mas Qui, Pierre! Some of it is definitely those matinee idol eyes and freshly scubbed hometown boy looks....but, he has not yet resorted to wearing stretch pants....
post #45 of 66
There seems to be a couple of different discussions going on here.

Is it better to have mediocre woman instructor or a top-notch male instructor in a women’s only group?

Should men be allowed to teach in a women’s only class.

And then, specific programs are more about being in the "club", the Ya-Ya sisterhood and superfluous HorseSh*t than learning in way too many cases.

I seem to be the only student here that has taken women’s only classes. In each I had level III instructors. MJ from Copper and Karen Z at Keystone. In neither case did I feel like I sacrificed quality for gender.

If the marketing materials tout the program as women only I would expect women only. Jeez. Rusty I am sure that I would enjoy a lesson from you, but if I showed up and there were Male instructors I would question all the other promotional claims made regarding the clinic.

Robin, I can only speak from my limited experience but in both cases. The women in my group came to improve their skiing. Period.
post #46 of 66
I've taken several women-only clinics - some had top-quality instructors, others not so. Taos women's ski week was probably my best experience from an instruction standpoint, because of the passion the instructors brought to their teaching. I'm not sure the variability in instructor quality (as perceived by me) is a "girl thing" - the same thing might exist with male instructors.

I have heard at some places that it's hard to get the "top" female instructors to commit to the women's clinics, especially if they're having to give up private lesson opportunities. Any truth to this?

I think women's clinics can be great fun and a wonderful way to ski with a bunch of gals (an acceptable word in my book - I don't even mind being called a girl!). They're probably not the best way to go for pure technical instruction, but there's more to skiing that a perfect turn [img]smile.gif[/img] (except I still want that perfect turn).
post #47 of 66

You make a lot of great points. I guess the only thing I might question is expecting to see a male instructor. I may be nuts, however, I don't think the women in my two groups had that specific expectation, were surprised when I was assigned, or were ticked off.

I started the process with a very open and frank discussion with the group. I told them a controversy existed, I explained it had become somewhat politicized, and I gave them an out on day one as well as any subsequent day.

In the event I went to a men's mogul program I wouldn't be surprised to see Jennifer Metz teaching. She is widely regarded as the best "bumper" in this area.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Robin and Deb Benson our ASSD for their support in the last two weeks. I want to succeed at this. I'm putting my heart and soul into every moment with these students. I'm determined to give them a wonderful product. Life in the locker room hasn't exactly been peachy. In all honesty, a few of the men are ticked off. I have been encouraged and motivated by Robin, Deb, and the best damn supervisor in the business Skip Kitely who has been doing it with smile and grace since 1961!

Pierre you're a dog
post #48 of 66
Rusty, please translate your acronym. What is an "LTS class"?
And relative to your paragraph on asking your daughter to "have a seat" because it is "men's mogul masher monday", I am also unclear as to the tone and meaning of the statement you want to make to me.
Sorry if I seem dense but clarity for me would help particularly in this written format where I can't see your face or hear your tone of voice. I am sensing some sarcasm behind your words, although you compliment my initial post for being "well said" and "cogent".
Please clarify. Thanks.
post #49 of 66

Sorry....LTS=Learn to Ski or a first timers class. My comment about my daughter was really to any and/or all. My point is simple. I do have a daughter and I want her to have the chance to do anything she wants regardless of gender.

This is not directed to you vera, just a thought out loud. What is the causal basis for women seeking to be taught by other women. Is it a bad male instructor? If that is the case let's fix that problem.
post #50 of 66
I have not responded to this, because I am saddened by the direction this thread is taking. Why does everything have to be an "either/or" scenario?

My favorite instructor is aa male. If you ski with a guy, you need to occaisionally ski with a male instructor, or in a mixed group.
If anything, to develop empathy.

In ski lodges, with my own students, all over, I hear the same conversation. For the most part, but NOT always, men and women have different goals in skiing. Guys tend to be on a death wish. Girls just wanna have fun! Guys want to ski the absolute hardest terrain they can handle. Girls like finesse. Many men enjoy fear. Many women do not.

Yes, this is not always true. I often suspect its hormonal. Some females are hormonally more masculine than others. Some men are hormonally more feminine.

So understanding where the other side is coming from is important.

But how can ANYONE say that all women groups are not effective????
First all women's workshop had me skiiing blue terrain after only 5 times skiing. Me , who was never going to get off the learning slope!

The next one got me facing downhill for longer periods of time. Then there was my 1st black diamond in last year's women's spree.
This year it was finesse and subtlety, and an understanding of how different types of equipmnet will effect a women's skiing style.

There is a problem with putting a male onstructor in an a women's ski workshop. Years of feminism have not over ridden a basic female instinct.
If there is a man present, women will compete for the the man, as opposed to concentrating on her own skill level.

We see this with male instructors at the gym. Every starry eyed girl in John's spin class thinks she is "John's special student!" :

Speaking of male group exercise instructors. They get paid higher, because they are a commodity.
Why does'nt the same thing apply to FEMALE ski instructors?????
post #51 of 66
Male exercise leaders are a commodity and therefore are paid more?

Did you mean they are an oddity? Commoditization generally means the sellers compete on price.
post #52 of 66
If there is a man present, women will compete for the the man, as opposed to concentrating on her own skill level.

At first I was going to say no way, but then I realized that in recent memory in my "mixed" groups, I was the only female. Funny I guess I have never really been in a mixed group. For the sake of argument lets say you are right. If so that would be all the more reason for me to be in a womens only class, Yikes.

Rusty, I checked out the Eldora web page. There are no claims that it will be taught by women. I would not be as suspect as I originally stated.

Robin, I saw on the web site that your women clinics were midweek days, consecutive weeks. That may explain your perception of a Ya Ya sisterhhod thing. I do not know many woman that could take that many days off. Maybe they are looking more for ski partners available midweek that instruction. I am NOT saying that is wrong. I can certainly understand, it's hard enough to find ski partners on the weekend!

I will say again that in my classes the women came to ski and ski better! My husband, however, was disapointed to learn that there was little hugging and no pillow fighting. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #53 of 66
I would like to learn about skiing from a woman for the same reason I enjoy reading women authors. The fem. perspective represents over half the people in the world! I admitt too, that reading of "the yikes zone" did very little for me. I just did not relate to much of it, though some. Perhaps a woman's perspective in ski instruction would be missed by me as well. I don't think so however.
I would feel very out of place if placed in a women's group setting, except by invitation.
I would have a problem not playing the role of a male in such a setting. So, my chances of getting the most out of such a program would be lessened.
I have little idea why women specific programs out number "men's programs" in any activities. Certainly there have been many traditional men's associations that are now falling out of popular acceptance.
To be honest, I have always wondered why girls/women (generalization here) want someone to go to the powder room with, or to go outside for a smoke. I just never see the need.

I do know that some "types of people" view almost everything as a competition or challange. This character spans the genders. I just hope while skiing, everyone is having fun!

viva la difference.

post #54 of 66
I have a bunch of emails from my women's ski group, Chix on Stix, that meets weekly over the winter and spring.

"I am really looking forward to skiing and am faithfully doing the snow-dance am & PM. Last year I looked forward to Thursdays all week."

This is typical of the notes I received after announcing this year's schedule. I feel almost like an innocent bystander in all of this. Once you bring a group of empowered females together, they organize! This group has regular yoga sessions before class at a member's house that's on the way to Bridger Bowl, conducted by a member who is a fitness trainer and yoga instructor. They have a monthly date for coffee during the off-season. This is a club, and I'm the ski expert, Sandy's the yoga expert, Jan serves as the communications hub, and so on. It all revolves around our Thursday ski class.

The Wednesday class is essentially marketed and promoted by the Thursday group to friends and family. The people in my groups are all connected to each other outside of class. I do pretty much the same content in all classes each week. This way when they ski together outside of class, they're all on the same page.

I enjoy directing their skiing development program. It's not unlike being a junior race coach. You have the same skiers year after year, you can develop a great rapport, and you can nurture a long range vision. Their races are visits to other ski resorts with out of state friends--They win when 1) they're able to ski the whole mountain with pleasure and 2) they impress their friends and get compliments on their skiing.
post #55 of 66
nolo, quoting myself from an earlier post:
Now I realize you have a smilly face at the end of this but I can't help but think that you would certainly know the answer to that question if you have ever listened to a couple of women getting ready together to go to some big event. More power to them.
Your last post sums up everything I was trying to illustrate with this statement. Women do not need to be prodded out of posititons by men in order to realize elaborate stuctured organization all on their own. They are naturally better than most men at organization.

[ January 21, 2003, 09:33 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #56 of 66
Folks, please be careful of generalizations. Relative to the issue raised that women's programs can tend to be short on technical content or a "club", the one where I work was started by two former PSIA National Demo Team members who are now the Director of Ski School and Director of Training. These women continue to inspire, appear at and mentor this program. Its content includes equipment and video analysis, product demoing and a strong emphasis on contemporary skiing. Instructors for this program are handpicked.
Rusty, your sincerity and heart in wanting to do the very best job you can is awesome. Yes, women have had negative learning experiences with incompetent instructors (just as men have). But know that women in some cases seek out female role models and coaches just as men seek out other males. In many cases there's nothing to "fix". It's an impulse that probably goes back before the Pleistocene!
I believe the best and most professional thing we can do as educators is to support and encourage all our students, male and female, if they desire this mentoring process. It ultimately leads to learning, growth, personal strength and taking responsibility for oneself by learning from another who has done the same. If this process does not, perhaps WE should hold ourselves accountable as directors, managers, trainers and teachers in what we are delivering.
And perhaps we also could defuse this entire issue by taking it less personally.
Those who do not feel the need to seek a same sex role model also could help by respecting others' learning needs and desires, rather than getting caught (again, this is only meant for some) in the ego trap of self-congratulation. :

[ January 21, 2003, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: vera ]
post #57 of 66
I think women's programs are a great thing. I call mine a club or sorority, but maybe network is a better term. Women tend to be very influential in the family. Economists say that women write 85% of the checks in the average American family. If women like skiing, the family will ski. If women do not like skiing, the rest of the family may still ski, but it will be at a lower level than if the whole family is gung-ho about the sport. When women's programs are healthy and growing, I'll bet that the ski area's business is too.
post #58 of 66
I can understand why someone involved in a womens "breakthrough" type program would be insulted by insinuations that it's nothing but a sisterhood event. However, I think people need to realize that both types of programs exist, and they both serve an important purpose. The sisterhood type programs can be just as important (perhaps even significantly more important) in developing a love of the sport as ones focused on skill development. As long as they're advertised accurately so people can find the type of clinic they're looking for, I think they both should hold a place in a good ski school program.
post #59 of 66
And nolo-
Your program sounds very similar to the one they hold at Alta:

"Enjoy the camaraderie of skiing with the same instructor and the same group of women 2 hours every Thursday morning for 6 weeks. The program is for skiers, levels 6 - 9 (intermediate to advanced). Lesson time is from 10am - 12pm beginning on January 9th and continuing through February 13th."
post #60 of 66
Nolo you are correct. Study after study shows that in families women make the majority of the vacation plans. They will decide if they will ski and where they will ski. I think that this is often overlooked at most areas.
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