For Men Only

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by David Lyga, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Each camera show I have ever attended had about 95% of its attendees and dealers to be of the male sex.

    Each camera store I have ever visited was run almost exclusively by males.

    95% of the people on both apug.org and photo.net are males.

    Why? Are we either missing something or are we somehow interested in an exclusively male endeavor, the subliminal attributes of which are not easily understandable or readily defined? -- David Lyga
     
  2. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    women are smart.

    duh.

    they do have one weakness -- they tolerate us.

    more seriously, i suspect you need to ask a sociologist, but it is probably related to the same cause of all the customers at Sears tool department being men.
     
  3. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Most female photographers I know are not gear-heads, and don't worry about different films, cameras, and lenses and such. Most of them are almost entirely focused on the pictures themselves, and simply just DO.
    I admire that a lot and wish I could dial back my own approach to that level of 'matter of fact' photography.
     
  4. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    summicron1: I know that cameras are 'tools'. Thus, the men, whether at Sears or at camera shows. But it is also art. And, yes, Thomas, women do not like gadgets as much as we men do. In fact, it's amazing how they distance themselves from anything concerned with 'hands on' and 'tactile'. Let's face it: don't we love to 'fire' the shutter without film?

    Answering the thread's inferred question which I posed is rather easy to do because it is so natural for us men. However, I am glad that I asked it because, although 'known' to us, it is rarely questioned or even thought about. Looked upon entirely ojectively, it is a very relevant question and points to fundamental differences between overall outlooks and value determinants between men and women. - David Lyga
     
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  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I find that at least 40% of the people I work with are women, I think the gear head thing is part of the reason some do not see this.
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Thomas is correct, as they are not into gear as much as men. When I started teaching photography, my classes were predominately male. For about the last 14 years they have been predominately female. I have also noticed that many are very artistic and gifted in producing photographic imagery and development of ideas. I am not suggesting a female/male gender bias, but would say they are about equal.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    FWIW...There are as many, if not more, females in our university darkroom photo classes than males.

    But I do not think it is because of my good looks and magnetic personality.

    Old joke:

    Good News: Coeds really dig older professors.

    Bad News: They think 25 years old is 'older'.
     
  8. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Very interesting, Vaughn. Show them this post and pose the question to them. You just might get a rather enlightening answer. Let them know that they, specifically that class, is somewhat of an anomaly.

    Is it the 'trendiness' or is it the immersion into the physical? - David Lyga
     
  9. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    My experience is the same as Vaughn's. Women outweigh the men in my classes 3 to 1 in enrollment.
     
  10. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Our local (and only) photo store is staffed 50/50, as was the one before that closed down.

    I don't think our female to male participation in photo classes in an anomily. Even our photo teaching staff has been 50/50 for over 35 years.

    PS -- I'll have a show of my carbon prints and platinum prints at the University of the Arts, Feb 15 to March 15, if you are in the area. Don't know if I will be able to be there for the opening...being on the left coast and all.

    Vaughn
     
  11. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Again, I wonder why?

    Apparently, on the East Coast this is not the case. Kentucky and Colorado just might have different mindsets. - David Lyga
     
  12. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Most women I know (myself included) are tactile in nature who like to create and work with their hands.

    While not quite a gear head, I'm certainly OCD when it comes to my art and require learning all I can about all areas. I also have a mild shopping problem... :smile:
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    What evidence do you have to back this up? I would say the posts so far speak on a global basis.
     
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  15. Jim17x

    Jim17x Member

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    There is a photo store by me that has been there for over 60 years on the southside of Chicago and is run by 2 women..
     
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  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    No, they just think that they are smarter. :whistling: However women who enjoy photography are more into composition than the hardware.
     
  17. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I have lived in the NorthEast (CT, NYC, BOSTON, PHiLA) for all my life. I have been going to camera shows since the early 80s. I have been going to camera stores since 1964. This is what I have experienced in that time. Interesting (and happily enlightening) to find differently. Smarter or not smarter than us? I think that women have an equal mental capacity but, at least culturally and maybe genetically, they do think differently for the most part. This can be both good and bad but, essentially, 'good' in that there is a social need to round things out in life. I do not want a world run exclusively by either men or women.

    But, again, have I been blind, willfully biased, unknowingly 'ingoring' women? I think not. That is my answer to 'how do I back this up', cliveh. - David Lyga
     
  18. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    It was the same when I taught in Miami, FL, as well. I also attend the regional and national conferences for SPE, the Society for Photographic Education. All of these have a 3 to 1 ratio in my experience.
     
  19. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    3 to 1 ratio of what?
     
  20. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    No, you are not blind, but we are talking about now, not then.
     
  21. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Then, as now. I attend the Fort Washington, PA camera show three times a year and it is the SAME. I do not choose it to be that way but that is what it is.

    And not only at the shows. Le'ts face it: on this board and on photo.net it is the same thing. Sure there are women but I'll bet there are more than ten men for every female on these boards. - David Lyga
     
  22. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    The responses above all point in the same direction...

    Camera stores, camera shows, and even forums like APUG are primarily about camera gear and the technical aspects of photography --> they attract an audience that is majority male. This then reinforces itself - I imagine a number of women drop by APUG and then leave again when they see the almost exclusively male population here.

    Photography/darkroom classes with an emphasis on art and creation (rather than just gear and technique) tend to balance things up by attracting the women back again.
     
  23. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    My experience as a student at Indiana University in the late 1990s was that most of the photo students were women, but almost none of them had any real artistic depth or professional ambition. It was something fun that their parents or husbands were paying for. Only one of them is still doing photography today. She is a very talented woman who has worked her butt off while dealing with poverty and serious health issues. The rest? most have become 'stay at home moms', or they're working retail jobs.

    There were a number of women working in other art media, like painting, sculpture, and ceramics, when I was in school. They seemed to have a much deeper commitment to their art, and more drive, than the female photo students. I've kept in touch with many of my classmates, and I'd say maybe 70% of the female non-photo art students are still creating art, and many of them are doing it as fulltime professionals.

    I have no idea why it is that painting, ceramics, and sculpture attracted more creative and ambitious women, while photography did not.
     
  24. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I also think there is a self-fulfilling action occurring, where manufacturers are aware the majority of their customers are male and then target advertisements, brochures, products, etc. toward men - this then leads to the implication that these products are for men and alienates women who might be interested, as it is seen as a "guy-thing". Thus, if all dslr's advertisements show men operating them and women operating smaller P&S's, the implication is that men should use dslr's and women should use P&S's. I remember trying to sell a dslr camera to a woman with delicate hands and should could not hold it and push the buttons - exact opposite to my large hands, I physically cannot operate a lot of P&S's because my fingers are too large to push only one button at a time. Look at any camera brochure, either men are using the dslr's or if a woman is, she is using a consumer model and is shooting either children or flowers while the men are using the pro models and are shooting sports or portraits.

    This is most noticeable in children's toys, where who is seen playing with the toy influences other children into believing that's who should be playing with it. However, many studies have shown that if you show children the same made-up job and men are doing it, more children believe women can't do it than if you show a woman doing it, they still believe men could do it but shouldn't. I actually see a lot of Foucault's power narrative at play in photography, both who does it and how they do it.
     
  25. MSchuler

    MSchuler Subscriber

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    I'd agree. It seems as though more than half of the photographers/opening attendees at Photo Center NW (PCNW) in Seattle are female, but the majority of people jawing with sales staff at Glazers are men.
     
  26. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Because women are a weird breed, that's why.


    ....what? :tongue:


    But in all seriousness, I think the reason why there are generally fewer women doing photography on a "hard core" basis, is that; While it is a typically creative and artistic profession, you need to master a certain amount of logic and technique.

    Photography can be very technical, especially when you get past the "pretty flowers and dogs" stage, when you start mixing in ligh theory, chemical theory, zone system and (dare I say) technical gadgets, women are put off.

    It's not that they are less intelligent, it's just that IMO, they want to focus on the art aspect, that may also be why pottery, painting and drawing, and sculpturing, is more popular as art directions.

    But, they are still pretty weird though..... :smile:
     
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