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Oooooooooh! I'm so angry!!!!!!!! :(

Posted By: Martin Thoene <martin.thoene@lakenheath.af.mil>
Date: Sunday, 2 May 1999, at 6:40 a.m.

This isn't directly Loach-related, but does concern fishkeeping. I video'd a program that was on late at night the other day, and watched it last night. The hobby of fishkeeping gets prescious little TV coverage, despite it's popularity, so I was hoping for something interesting and informative to watch. The program was in a series called "For The Love of....." , and in this case it was Tropical Marine Fish. The format was the presenter and a bunch of male hobbyists sitting around in comfy chairs, just talking about the hobby and discussing the pros and cons of various methods, systems etc., whilst a fairly large-screen TV played a video of one of the guys several thousand-gallon tank, which was absolutely beautiful. This wouldn't exactly suck in any new hobbyists, but should have been interesting to anyone already keeping fish, even if they aren't Marines. What absolutely annoyed me was the completely patronising, chauvanistic attitude to the question why there weren't more Female Hobbyists. I've always considered myself a Feminist, and try consciously to uphold that without getting to the militant level, which I think we've passed the need for now anyway. As a Male that might put me at odds with certain "Real Men" (their definition), but I would have loved to have been in that studio! Their basic answer was that Women didn't have the necessary technical abilities to cope with all the electrical systems now used in Marine systems. A lot of Freshwater Tropical tanks use just as many electrical doo-dads, so that is totally bogus, because you only have to look at the Male/Female ratio of Hobbyists on any Web-Forum to see the ratios. I'm sure that there are just as many techno-phobic Males out there. They sat around, puffing on cigarettes and pipes, like a bunch of old guys at some Gentleman's Club, and I thought they just needed a glass of Brandy each to complete the effect. The next opinion was that Women were interested in the colours of the fish, and not how they lived! Also, women weren't interested in invertabrates in Reef-tanks. I presume that they would carry that over to Freshwater tanks too, assuming that there would be no distaff plant interest.Saywhaaaaat? Most of these guys were active members of Clubs, and in my experience of visiting clubs I've noticed a fair lack of women. I'm hardly suprised if that's the attitude that permeates the hobby. I'm guilty too, I have to admit, of having had the perception that the hobby was a Male dominated one, probably brought about by the club experiences. I soon lost that opinion when I got on the Web, although I'm still not sure if there are too many British Females out there? Hi Anne! One of these Good Ole Boys was from Yorkshire, which does seem to be the bastion of British Maleness. Real Yorkshiremen drink strong Ale, keep pigeons, and race Whippets, heard about deoderant, but have never used it, etc. They were all SOooooooo opinionated about their own little niche in the hobby (one ALWAYS uses Kalkwasser, one does this, one does that, etc), that it nearly got into a punch-up at one point over some point of conjecture.

I actually felt quite embarrassed being a Man!

Ladies of LOL, I for one appreciate all you contribute. But don't get into Tropical Marines as apparently you're not worthy!

God save us from stupid, narrow minded, elitists.

Martin.
 

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