About.com, Male vs Female MTs

Discussion area for male practitioners on issues and topics related to their practice.

Moderators: Pete, JasonE

User avatar
RelaxandRejuvenate
Registered Member
Posts: 1919
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:06 am
Contact:

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:25 pm

Blisss wrote:I like the policy of mentioning names & appointments times that are available. The information's given, without leading the client into prejudicial thinking.
Unless everyone has gender neutral names (It's PAT!) mentioning names is just "code" for leading the client to the same place. We have Steve and we have Suzie available vs. do you prefer a male or a female. Same information, you just put Proper Nouns in place of the common nouns.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

User avatar
Blisss
Registered Member
Posts: 1521
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:36 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains

Post by Blisss » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:09 pm

R&R,

Many massage therapists have expressed that they see a difference between these two scripts. Obviously we can't convince you. However, if you believe there's no difference, why not switch your corporate policy anyway? To you, there would be no change. To your MT's, it would be a sign of fairness & respect. Win-win. By the way, the script we suggest isn't "Would you prefer to receive a massage from Susan or Tim?" Rather, it's this: "We have an opening Tuesday at 4pm with Tim or Wednesday at 10:30 with Susan."

User avatar
BlackSwanMassage
Registered Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:44 pm
Location: Gulf Breeze, FL

Post by BlackSwanMassage » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:16 pm

The spa where I work doesn't ask the client whether they want the 11:00 session with Mike or the 11:30 session with Jane. They ask what time they want to come in, what kind of massage they want, and then they check the computer and see who's qualified to do that massage and assign it to the person who, at that moment has the least on their books (all things being equal.)

Example: Client calls in looking for Therapeutic Massage at 1:00. There are three of us available. All three of us are capable of doing the work, but Joe has a client already booked in that slot, and Jane already has four clients for the day, whereas John only has two.

At this point, the client is told, "OK, we have you down for a 1:00 appointment for Therapeutic Massage with John. Please be here about ten minutes early to fill out some basic paperwork."

If the client refuses to see a male therapist, then the front desk places the client with Jane, and the next two massages that come in will go to John. All in all, it tends to balance out.

But never does the front desk ask them if they want the 1:00 appointment with Jane or John. It's irrelevant. In the interest of fairness, all they do is look to see whose turn it is on the books.

It works out better than a lot of places I've seen.
Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.

User avatar
moogie
Site Admin
Posts: 3191
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:16 am
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Post by moogie » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:38 pm

RelaxandRejuvenate wrote:
NaplesLMT wrote: She attempted to file worker's comp and was denied because the insurance company said these kind of injuries result from poor body mechanics rather than because she was overworked and compelled to perform at 120%..
Can you give me the name of their insurance company?

Mine just had to pay out to a gold-brick who claimed she developed De Quevains syndrome averaging between 1 and 1.5 hours of massage per day. I always though the only way to get a RMI was to do something repeatedly, not occasionally!

But I suppose in a job-sieve of a state like IL, I should not have expected sanity from the Worker's Comp Board.
FWIW, I'm in Florida and had no problems at all filing a WC claim for shoulder injury resulting from repetitive strain from doing massage. There was absolutely no opposition to the claim. It was through State Farm I believe. After filing the claim, I was contacted by the State WC division and given contact information of an advocate in case I had any troubles.

:smt102

Angie

NaplesLMT
Registered Member
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:20 pm
Location: Naples, Fl

Post by NaplesLMT » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:30 pm

Hi Moogie, I have lost contact with the injured therapist. She moved out of state. I am no longer with the Ritz, so no way of learning any more. However, it is good to know that filing a WC claim in Fla is not a lost cause. Thanks for the post.
Naples LMT

NaplesLMT
Registered Member
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:20 pm
Location: Naples, Fl

Post by NaplesLMT » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:35 pm

BlackSwan, it sounds like you have decided to not let a lifetime of injuries and pain stop you from living and loving life. For that I salute you. Many would give up.
Naples LMT

User avatar
BlackSwanMassage
Registered Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:44 pm
Location: Gulf Breeze, FL

Post by BlackSwanMassage » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:02 am

That's just not in my nature, Naples. :)
Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.

User avatar
RelaxandRejuvenate
Registered Member
Posts: 1919
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:06 am
Contact:

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:54 am

Blisss wrote: Obviously we can't convince you.
I don't see this forum as being about convincing people. I don't expect anyone to see things my way, meaning I don't care if you ask for gender preference or you don't.

However, if your way of doing things contradicts your stated goal in doing them, I will point that out so that you can achieve your goal.

Blisss wrote: However, if you believe there's no difference, why not switch your corporate policy anyway? To you, there would be no change.
There would be a change, because I don't have a problem with asking a client a gender preference. What I was pointing out was that your approach does not achieve what you think it achieves. It just makes you feel good that you are not using the words "male" or "female", but you are still practicing gender bias by giving names.
Blisss wrote: the script we suggest isn't "Would you prefer to receive a massage from Susan or Tim?" Rather, it's this: "We have an opening Tuesday at 4pm with Tim or Wednesday at 10:30 with Susan."
To compare apples to apples, you have to state what you script is when therapists of BOTH genders are available at the same time. Otherwise you are introducing another variable of time constraint, which for some folks will trump gender bias on some days, but not other people who are steadfast in their preference. And this is not just about men not wanting men, it is also about members of the gay community steadfastly refusing massages from our female therapists. I don't care either way, but gender bias exists in all communities.

All things being equal -- availability, modality etc - "we have Tim at 1pm or or Susan at 1pm" is the exact same as "do you have a preference for a male or female"
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

User avatar
BlackSwanMassage
Registered Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:44 pm
Location: Gulf Breeze, FL

Post by BlackSwanMassage » Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:00 am

This is, of course, true, R&R. That's why, where I work, the question is not asked. They simply state: "I have you down for a 2:00 with Jack (or Jane). Should that be unacceptable, it is the burden of the CLIENT to speak up AT THAT TIME.

If they accept the appointment and arrive at the spa, and then refuse the service, well, they were told on the phone who the appointment was with. If the name is ambiguous, we've found that those who really care will ask, "Is that a man or a woman?" If they don't care, they don't ask. Thus, a refusal on site will result in a shuffling (if at all possible), or a cancellation and rescheduling--with a 75% charge for insufficient notice. (We require 24 hours' notice on all cancellations.)

This will probably be deemed poor business practice according to you, but we've yet to have much of a problem with it, and apparently this procedure has been in place for years.
Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.

User avatar
RelaxandRejuvenate
Registered Member
Posts: 1919
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:06 am
Contact:

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:58 am

BlackSwanMassage wrote: This will probably be deemed poor business practice according to you, but we've yet to have much of a problem with it, and apparently this procedure has been in place for years.
Why would I think that is a bad business practice? I DON'T CARE IF YOU ACCOMODATE GENDER PREFERENCES. In your practices case, you are accomodating such preferences by giving the name of the therapist.

I think this is a great way to handle it. It would be deemed a poor business practice by those who believe clients should get what they get and be happy, and heaven help them if they express a gender preference.

You book the client based on who is available -- gender neutral

You give the name of the technician -- allows client to express the preference, gender bias

You try to accomodate them if they object - gender bias

You charge them if they show up and were not paying attention -- gender neutral

BlackSwanMassage wrote:That's why, where I work, the question is not asked.
Does not matter if you ask the question. If you give the therapists name and allow the client to back out or change when they get their if you can, then you are not gender-neutral in your booking procedure.

Gender-neutral booking is

"We have you down for 2pm 50 minute massage."

"Who is that with?"

"One of our fine staff therapists"

"Male or female?"

"They are all equally good"

"I want a female therapist"

"Sorry, we don't accomodate discriminatory requests, just as we would not honor your request to be with / not be with a person of color, an in shape therapist or different sexual orientation. Would you like the appointment or not"

Click or "OK"


OF COURSE, THIS IS AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION.

But providing ANY information about who the therapists is that allows the client to choose means you are NOT gender neutral.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

User avatar
Breathe
Registered Member
Posts: 1989
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:52 pm
Location: Oregon

Post by Breathe » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:26 am

I don't know why MASSAGE THERAPISTS keep arguing with R&R about this. As a BUSINESS OWNER he/she is okay with discrimination as long as he/she isn't breaking laws. It is in his/her best interests as a BUSINESS OWNER to discriminate as long as he/she doesn't break the law. He/she will only quit DISCRIMINATING if the laws change to make it illegal to discriminate against the people that he/she is benefitting by discriminating against.

It does not matter to him/her what MASSAGE THERAPISTS think about this, because HE/SHE IS NOT ONE. And right now, with the laws the way they are, he/she has a nice little legal loophole that allows him/her to discriminate, not only with impunity, but even with aplomb. He/She has made this policy abundantly clear on many many occasions, and has no interest or motivation to get his/her knuckles off the ground.

Why waste your time, therapists?
abusing the word "actually" since 1973

NaplesLMT
Registered Member
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:20 pm
Location: Naples, Fl

Post by NaplesLMT » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:03 pm

Breathe, thank you so much for speaking the truth!! I think that this thread has gotten it's original point well discussed and is no longer constructive the way it has evolved. A worthy subject originally.
Naples LMT

User avatar
RelaxandRejuvenate
Registered Member
Posts: 1919
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:06 am
Contact:

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:52 am

Breathe wrote:As a BUSINESS OWNER he/she is okay with discrimination as long as he/she isn't breaking laws. It is in his/her best interests as a BUSINESS OWNER to discriminate as long as he/she doesn't break the law. He/she will only quit DISCRIMINATING if the laws change to make it illegal to discriminate against the people that he/she is benefitting by discriminating against.

It does not matter to him/her what MASSAGE THERAPISTS think about this, because HE/SHE IS NOT ONE.
I love how you bury your head in the sand to the fact that many non-business owners -- the vaunted therapists -- are also OK with discrimination as evidenced by the procedures they support.

THAT is my point. If I am ok with it "oooh...evil discriminatory business owner" But an MT that thinks it is just fine giving out the therapists name -- which does nothing to prevent gender bias -- somehow feels absolved from the practice and is lauded by you simply because they went to massage school.

Why waste you time, logical people?
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

NC_kneader
Retired Moderator
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:24 am
Contact:

Post by NC_kneader » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:18 am

NaplesLMT wrote:I think that this thread has gotten it's original point well discussed and is no longer constructive the way it has evolved. A worthy subject originally.
I agree.

User avatar
BlackSwanMassage
Registered Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:44 pm
Location: Gulf Breeze, FL

Post by BlackSwanMassage » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:44 am

Wow, I'm finding myself agreeing with R&R. :shock:

Breathe, having had the conversation to its actual completion, rather than proclaiming it a dead subject as some seem to have done, I believe I have reached an understanding of R&R's thinking...and I tend to agree. From a business standpoint, a LOT of potential clients could walk out the door--or not even show up in the first place--based on the refusal to discriminate due to client's preference. What I objected to (and I think a lot of others did as well) was the practice of ASKING the person UP FRONT which gender they wanted.

It's a question of client satisfaction, and a very subtle difference in wording, but the psychological effect is what makes the difference.
Nemo liber est qui corpori servit.

User avatar
moogie
Site Admin
Posts: 3191
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:16 am
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Post by moogie » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:03 am

It's time to agree to disagree.

This thread has gone from a discussion to a "back and forth determination to have the last word" and is dangerously close to personal attacks.

If you do not have anything further that will add to the content of this topic and simply want to argue you point ad nausem, please take it to PMs.

Angie

User avatar
EgoMagickian
Tech Admin
Posts: 2273
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 12:34 am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Post by EgoMagickian » Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:08 am

From a business standpoint, a LOT of potential clients could walk out the door--or not even show up in the first place--based on the refusal to discriminate due to client's preference.

BlackSwan, this is true, and it is not justification for discrimination. A LOT of potential clients in, say, the Southern US, could walk out of the door based on a spa's refusal to discriminate based on the client's racial preferences. How is gender different morally/logically?

What I objected to (and I think a lot of others did as well) was the practice of ASKING the person UP FRONT which gender they wanted.

Indeed, I think there's a lot more agreement on this because it is so overt. Subtler forms of discrimination that are more resistant to change.

I'm not sure if I agree or disagree with R&R's take on the wording (that it does not end the discrimination, but simply makes it more covert). I think it depends on how it's implemented and handled. If the client is always given a choice of male or female names intentionally, then I agree with R&R's assessment.

If the client is simply offered the next couple availabilities (which could conceivably be staffed by massage therapists with names all traditionally of one gender), then this is a good start, but really depends on what happens next: how does the employee handle it if the client asks about the gender of the therapists? If this is handled any differently than if the client were to ask about the race of the therapist (litmus test), then there is a problem.

One of the more reputable schools in my area has a stated policy of not accommodating gender preferences. All clients must sign an agreement which includes the policy. I am most approving :-)

User avatar
RelaxandRejuvenate
Registered Member
Posts: 1919
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:06 am
Contact:

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:24 am

BlackSwanMassage wrote:Wow, I'm finding myself agreeing with R&R. :shock:
Welcome to the Dark Side. Vice-Commander Cheney will be sending you your decoder ring.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

User avatar
RelaxandRejuvenate
Registered Member
Posts: 1919
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:06 am
Contact:

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:34 am

EgoMagickian wrote:A LOT of potential clients in, say, the Southern US, could walk out of the door based on a spa's refusal to discriminate based on the client's racial preferences.
Well, now there is a delightfully ignorant stereotype.

As I recall, it was LA that exploded into flames after a racially charged verdict.

It was in Boston where the cops went rampaging door to door in black neighborhoods looking for the killer of the pregnant Ms. Stuart, based on her husbands' vague accusation (when he in fact was the killer).

It was Philly that burned out a significant portion of the South Side when the cops bombed the militant MOVE compound.

And it continues to be NYC where Al Sharpton finds victim after victim -- all black -- gunned down, beaten or molested by the police.

Who knew all those ignorant southerners took over so many non-southern metropoli?

EgoMagickian wrote:If this is handled any differently than if the client were to ask about the race of the therapist (litmus test), then there is a problem.
Would anyone here be decrying a similar comment made about the sexual orientation of the therapist (litmus test)? I am quite certain their would be a problem.

Care to post a good Catholic joke while you are at it?
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

User avatar
Gaspen
Registered Member
Posts: 1143
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:17 am
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Post by Gaspen » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:25 am

R&R, I'm just curious. In your last post, you explained the various racial stereotypes of major cities.

I've two questions.

In your post, you essentially you supplied examlpes of racial issues (including profiling)? I'm not sure why you would raise this issue unless you are perhaps saying that potential clients may also have an issue with the race of the therapist. Could you please explain your stance on this?

With your post, however, you didn't deny the poster's opinion for potential clients who live in Southern states, or other rural locations, at having a problem receiving work from a male therapist? Is this or is this not a valid concern?

Also, did someone offer a non-Catholic joke somewhere in the thread? I'm sorry if I missed it.

(As an aside, you might want to use the word 'there' instead of 'their' when it applies.)
Glad ta meetcha...I'm your handy man.
www.SpencerMassage.com

User avatar
makingachange
Registered Member
Posts: 966
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 4:36 pm

Post by makingachange » Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:07 am

as a born/bred/proud woman of the south, the remark did sting. we will forever be making up for horrible things that happened in the past. MOST of us have made peace. yes, racism/hatred (the two are hand in hand) is everywhere, not just here. and you might be surprised to know that we actually have great tolerance for everyone here in dixie (hopefully the hatred that is left will die away with the people harboring it).

r&r's post, citing examples all over the US, not just the south, was a direct answer to this:
EgoMagickian wrote:
A LOT of potential clients in, say, the Southern US, could walk out of the door based on a spa's refusal to discriminate based on the client's racial preferences.

and i didn't see a non-catholic joke either - what i saw was r&r's sarcasm, or humor, that since we've already obliterated the gender and racial issues, we might as well throw religion in there as well.

although i was making the same, silent, remark to myself, i know that i would prefer that we get off of the racial/possibly religion turn this thread has taken and perhaps get back to that of gender. ;)
"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star."~
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

User avatar
RelaxandRejuvenate
Registered Member
Posts: 1919
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:06 am
Contact:

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:10 am

Gaspen wrote:
In your post, you essentially you supplied examlpes of racial issues (including profiling)? I'm not sure why you would raise this issue unless you are perhaps saying that potential clients may also have an issue with the race of the therapist. Could you please explain your stance on this?

With your post, however, you didn't deny the poster's opinion for potential clients who live in Southern states, or other rural locations, at having a problem receiving work from a male therapist? Is this or is this not a valid concern?
My points were the following:

Race and gender bias issues exist everywhere and are not exclusive to the South, so why single them out?

There are two perfectly acceptable biases / stereotypes that remain in America -- you can bash Southerners and inbred, bigoted idiots and you can make jokes about Catholics or other branches of Christianity and no one raises an eyebrow.

Someone has lots of kids "And they're not even Catholic" or "they must be Catholic" is the common refrain, and everyone laughs. Bible-thumpers can't think for themselves. But put such comments through the aforementioned litmus test and you get shock and horror and cries of insensitivity.

Perpetuate a stereotype about other religions -- Judaism and Islam for instance -- or sexual orientation and you get flamed. Whack Southerners and Catholics or Evangelicals and everyone nods knowingly.

The hypocrisy is amazing, this comment coming from a poster who goes on an on about equality and sensitivity and tolerance.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

User avatar
EgoMagickian
Tech Admin
Posts: 2273
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 12:34 am
Location: San Francisco, CA

Post by EgoMagickian » Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:06 pm

Race and gender bias issues exist everywhere and are not exclusive to the South, so why single them out?

This is irrelevant, because I was neither singling out the South nor bashing it; I used it as an obvious, non-exclusive example. The direction your post takes completely ignores my point, preferring instead to latch onto the most obvious tangent and derail the thread.

But then it's much easier to attempt to discredit my character than address my arguments. I'm still waiting for an answer to my question: How is gender different from race, morally/logically, in this issue of spa workers?

As far as I can tell, R&R's answer is: "It's not, the only difference is legal, and if it weren't illegal for spas to accommodate client racial preferences, there's no reason for them not to do it."

That's fine. Wish you could just come out, say that, and let the rest go. Because I'm interested to hear anyone else's answer now.

as a born/bred/proud woman of the south, the remark did sting.

I'm sad to hear that, as I did not intend any sting.

although i was making the same, silent, remark to myself, i know that i would prefer that we get off of the racial/possibly religion turn this thread has taken and perhaps get back to that of gender.

I stand by the usefulness of looking at the way civil rights and equality have already been handled (so far) with the issue of race when examining other distinctions, such as gender.

I will explain why I think so. As soon as one sees that there is no defensible difference in this case between gender and race, one must ask the question, "Why is it ok to accommodate client preferences for one group but not the other?" My answer of course is that it's not.

My challenge to anyone who disagrees is to offer a cogent moral argument to the contrary.

I think substituting race for gender in any answer to that challenge is a good litmus test because it should expose any difference (or lack of difference) between gender and race.

If you can substitute race for gender in your statement and it still makes sense, then you haven't found a reason based on a real difference between the two. The fact that your new statement will probably be offensive or seem wrong on some level illustrates not just something about race, but something more fundamental to discrimination, something that obviously also applies to gender, as shown by the seamlessness of your substitution.

A real difference would show up when we're all able to look at the substitution and say, "Now wait, that doesn't make sense anymore [because race is different in this way: _____ that is applicable here].

User avatar
shivashiva
Registered Member
Posts: 823
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:04 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Post by shivashiva » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:41 am

There is a difference between race and gender. I have gotten into heated arguments about this before, and I hope I've learned my lesson. But I don't think my foundation is any less worthy of espousing.

The fact is that every woman or man has had an experience which was either sexual or explicitly non-sexual with a man and vise versa (sp?). On the other hand, to be completely clear, every man as had an experience that was either sexual or non-sexual with a woman. (bear with me!) And ethnicity has no bearing on this. The person of the opposite gender could be any race, and it would still be true.

I believe that the "discrimination" in massage therapy is caused by an inherent sexualization of touching. So that when someone is getting touched, in this country, it is hard for them to differentiate it from the touch they receive in a sexual/sensual environment. Hence, why many men refuse massage from a man, and why some women refuse the same. AND why Gay men may request a massage with a man.

Sex does not, on average, factor heavily into choices made based on race. But the gender issue is there. No matter what other qualities or groups affect you as a human on this planet, you are one gender or another. You are male or female.

I don't believe the sexualization of touching is right. But many people have not been touched except sexually. That's the only context they have to put it in.

I have actually had male clients ask me, maybe having heard some comment about a male therapist "So guys do this???" with incredulity in their voice.
EgoMagickian wrote:Race and gender bias issues exist everywhere and are not exclusive to the South, so why single them out?

This is irrelevant, because I was neither singling out the South nor bashing it; I used it as an obvious, non-exclusive example. The direction your post takes completely ignores my point, preferring instead to latch onto the most obvious tangent and derail the thread.

But then it's much easier to attempt to discredit my character than address my arguments. I'm still waiting for an answer to my question: How is gender different from race, morally/logically, in this issue of spa workers?

As far as I can tell, R&R's answer is: "It's not, the only difference is legal, and if it weren't illegal for spas to accommodate client racial preferences, there's no reason for them not to do it."

That's fine. Wish you could just come out, say that, and let the rest go. Because I'm interested to hear anyone else's answer now.

as a born/bred/proud woman of the south, the remark did sting.

I'm sad to hear that, as I did not intend any sting.

although i was making the same, silent, remark to myself, i know that i would prefer that we get off of the racial/possibly religion turn this thread has taken and perhaps get back to that of gender.

I stand by the usefulness of looking at the way civil rights and equality have already been handled (so far) with the issue of race when examining other distinctions, such as gender.

I will explain why I think so. As soon as one sees that there is no defensible difference in this case between gender and race, one must ask the question, "Why is it ok to accommodate client preferences for one group but not the other?" My answer of course is that it's not.

My challenge to anyone who disagrees is to offer a cogent moral argument to the contrary.

I think substituting race for gender in any answer to that challenge is a good litmus test because it should expose any difference (or lack of difference) between gender and race.

If you can substitute race for gender in your statement and it still makes sense, then you haven't found a reason based on a real difference between the two. The fact that your new statement will probably be offensive or seem wrong on some level illustrates not just something about race, but something more fundamental to discrimination, something that obviously also applies to gender, as shown by the seamlessness of your substitution.


"Now wait, that doesn't make sense anymore .
[because race is different in this way: 50% of every population is split by gender. 50% of every population is NOT split by race.]

I will be strung up for this, but evolutionarily, men and women have developed with different capacities. This doesn't mean a man can't love his children deeply, or that a woman can't be the CEO of a company. But, women are in general, evolutionarily equipped to do a good job at taking care of the kids. Even the most f'ed up women can have children and suddenly turn into loving mothers. Even the laziest guy, when faced with competition or a challenge, can sally up and plunge forward into success. We're built for it. Unloving mothers don't pass their genes on, and neither do unsucessful fathers.

This doesn't mean women can't be successful or men can't be stay-at-home dads. It just means that in general, nature has selected for the opposite.

What I'm trying to say is that there is a difference between men and women. We do have different qualities and different energies. Whether or not we choose to act on it, and many of us, especially because we are therapists, have learned to completely turn it off, but there is a sexual tension between different genders, or in the case of gay people, same genders. This is why men many times choose a female therapist. They like this tension. (or why men choose not to have a man massage them, touching creates sexual tension (for them) and they don't like this with a man.) This is why many times women choose a female therapist -- they don't like this tension, at least when receiving a massage.

I'm not saying that what we do is sexual in any way shape or form. Only that some amount of sexual tension will always be present between two organisms that could possibly mate.
Shiva
O friend, understand. / The body is like the ocean, rich with hidden treasures. / Open your innermost chamber / And light its lamp - Mirabai
Blue Lotus Day Spa, Ruidoso, NM | Residential Yoga Teacher Trainings & Bali Yoga Retreats

Zoe
Registered Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:33 pm

Post by Zoe » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:39 am

An interesting discussion to be sure.
EgoMagickian wrote:
This is irrelevant, because I was neither singling out the South nor bashing it; I used it as an obvious, non-exclusive example.
As someone who lives in the South (not born and bred, btw) I take exception to your use of the "obvious, non-exclusive example". You specifically included the words "Southern US" which definitely singled out and bashed a specific region of the country. Is it because you believe those who live in the South must automatically be racist? Possibly you did it without realizing that you were casting stones. Regardless, I had the same reaction that R&R and makingachange did to your statement.

I see your point regarding race and gender. I also see the point R&R makes.

In general I agree with the idea that men and women can work in any profession equally without prejudice against them according to race, gender or religion.

What I have a problem with is the idea that the client doesn't get to choose who ultimately gets to touch his/her body. The ultimate purpose of the work we do is to help the client. If they aren't comfortable with who the practitioner is are they going to receive the most benefit from their session?

We aren't talking about emergency situations we are talking about the client who frequents a business and pays for a service. Whether you or I like the fact that they may not want a particular gender or race working on them it should still be their choice.

As far as your challenge -- what pops into my mind is someone who has been victimized and chooses not to receive services from someone who reminds them of that person -- regardless of gender or race -- is it fair to traumatize the client further simply to be fair to the therapist?

Post Reply

Return to “Massage - The Male Practitioner's Perspective”