This isn't a conclusion I arrive at lightly, nor without some consideration. No, I have to examine the boys clubs I've survived so far, mostly through luck and amazing circumstances. Apologies in advance if this gets long.
As a girl, I ran in a neighborhood consisting entirely of boys. We had our friend Jeff, a quiet and kind little boy who still lives today in his parents' house. He wasn't a problem. We also had Mike, a sadist who considered torturing frogs and kittens great fun. We all saw him sneaking to his school psychologist sessions every week. He kicked my 7 year old legs to and from the bus stop before and after school, every day for months. Then one evening when our families had dinner at their house, a group wrestling session led to a split second when I accidentally socked him in the eye, and he ended up crying on his mother's lap. I got to watch that lucky humiliation from the doorway. He ignored me from then on, all the way and out the door of high school.
|Cassie Punches Kon, Teen Titans 1960s, credit|
Next we have the Catholic Church, probably one of the most closed of boys clubs. But even here the glass ceiling can be shattered with a little bit of luck. Well, maybe more than luck. I took a job as a young nun at a parish directing the religious education program. But I guess a young nun was a little too scary for the local priest. At the end of the first month, I arrived at my office to find the keys to the rectory, the sacristy and the safe along with a letter saying he was moving to another parish with his live-in housekeeper and their two basset hounds. Yes. The diocese didn't have anybody else to assign, and I was told the parish would be closed within a year or two. Had to run that place and an attached mission church by myself to train the people there to do everything themselves to avoid closure. I was 23 years old. One of the most amazing moments of that time occurred one evening when I had to attend a deanery meeting, which is the club of diocesan priests, who had gathered to receive a series of parish policy updates. The Green Bay diocese was run at that time by Bishop Adam Maida, one of the most conservative of John Paul II's appointees, and a real political climber, so I'd heard. You can bet he was in the club of men wanting to see nuns like myself clad up in habits and locked away behind cloisters. But that evening he gave me the policy books, and said: "I hear you're doing a really good job out there. Keep it up." He gave me a heart-warming smile and a special blessing and I heard the glass splintering over my head.
|"Radical" Nuns, lafinjack|
|Not me, but damn close.|
My professional life clearly didn't give me enough trouble because I seem to pick hobbies that are dominated by male voices. My first video game was Pong in 1975 and I've played ever since. Keeps my brain sharp. But if I found bishops or professors a challenge, they are nothing compared to the boys who play games. Lately this boys' club even made the BBC with the death threats against Anita Sarkeesian, a "feminist video gamer" intending to speak on images of women in video games at a conference. She not only withdrew from the speaking engagement, but had to go into hiding. Having translated games from the Japanese, written game guides and moderated gaming forums, I've had enough shit slung at me from the boys to see Anita's problem immediately. Her gamer creds consisted of Wii and IPad gaming and she hadn't even mastered the games. It's not Anita's fault she's a girl, and she shouldn't have to put up with death threats. And she knows when to Walk Away. But take it from another girl who wanders through the hallowed halls of boy-dom, don't even bother to comment unless you master your game. Even on the relatively polite Japan servers, my Chinese guild mates used to tell me "we don't think girls should really game after 20 years old." Why not? "Because you should be focused on being mothers." I had a son already at university; my age in life and well, my mastery gear too, earned me a pass.
|The Paragon Choice, Mass Effect poll|
Here we are yet again when the BEST sheng puerh forum on the internet, in English, bar none, is badgerandblade.com "Sheng of the Day." Yes, people we have a website dedicated to men's shaving which also hosts the Best of the Best in Puerh Commentary (or Dysentery, depending upon the teas, and where "dissent and commentary have mixed," old Annie Hall joke). We can actually read about how Hobbes got started drinking fresh, raw Xiaguan almost 10 years ago, and how all the boys followed suit. I read all 340+ pages of the forum.
After someone sent me a link to this incredible topic of thousands of posts covering years of puerh drinking, I wrote a few well-known teaboys who post on there. The responses I got were unanimous.
"It's a shaving forum? It is? I never noticed that."
Look at the forum home page. You'd think you walked into a male locker room. Oh, and don't drop the shaving soap, there's guys like Greek Guy in there. A whole site full of Goodfellas, err, maybe the English public school version with aristocratic nicknaming conventions intact and in play.
"Well, why don't you become a member and join in the discussion?"
Don Cherry on female reporters in men's locker rooms.
workopolis.com 1 May 2013 Editorial
I wonder if Steepster gets such a bad rap among the Boys not just because of the rating system, but because the site has so many women? Splat, spat. Is this such a controversial thing to say? Are there any examples of Puerh Tea Moguls out there who are women? Does anyone know of any? I mean, serious women buyers and sellers walking to Taiwan in high heels, splat splat, buying the best tea at auction up from underneath the boys. Do we know of them or do we only know how many sons they've got? Or are all the girls wearing the sun hats and doing the picking of tea buds out amongst the bushes?
"Now the moon is a sliver in our eyes, we stumble bleeding on this broken glass. There was too much repetition, over and over and over again. You know we're past the point of sane, over and over and over again. And all this broken glass we've left behind won't let us make a clean, clean. I said, Walk Away."
|Indigo Girls, reimagined by munecas|
|2014 Guinness Book of World Records. Yep.|
Gonna raise my cup now to all the gals, the ones trying to break into the tea business. The ones with the cash keeping all those boys afloat and doing the housework while they are all online. The girls doing the pouring and the talking where it counts, cuz she's a good old boy. It's up to all of you younger ones, this old biddie is tired and I'm-a drinka a cuppa for you. Splat, splat. Cheers!