The brief and incomplete future of aquascaping

shangman

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Hi @Onoma1 & Everyone,

Excellent thought-provoking thread. May I toss into the melting pot a question over which I've pondered many times? I do believe my question is relevant to the thread title. Here it is:

Why is the world of aquascaping seemingly dominated by those of the male gender? Or, am I wrong in thinking this to be the case?

I'm male and I'm not much of an aquascaper so that's where I stand.

JPC
As a woman (despite the username), I think most explanations for why there aren't more women in it are gonna end up as dodgy old-fashioned cliches that don't really get at the truth. It reminds me a bit of video games which I also love - it's dominated and gatekept by men, so women that play games just don't bother advertising their interest or getting into the community side. Fishkeeping doesn't seem to have the nti-woman stance of gamers, but it does look like a big boy's club from the outside. As Melll said, I imagine there are a lot of low-key women fishkeepers just doing their thing. I'm a member of a few facebook groups for swapping and selling, and there are lots of women buying and selling tanks there It is nice one of the most famous people in the hobby is a woman (Walstad), and that she represents some of the most scientific parts of fishkeeping. I don't think that love of nature is a one-gender thing, and bringing it back to topic, perhaps bringing more women into the hobby, and particularly the communities would encourage a greater range of aquascapes.

I do suggest that all the men here bring their daughters into the hobby as much as possible :) That's how I was introduced to it.


Women like new toys too :thumbup:
Hell yeah!!
 

oatfish

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I agree with above (I'm female too). I'm not put off by the seemingly male domination of UKAPS but I expect some are. I have automatically assumed to be male in PMs several times which I find a bit irritating but I'm encouraged by the number of female friends who want to know about by new (rather crappy right now!) aquascape. I think as it becomes more mainstream there will be more high profile female aquascapers in the future.
 

Tim Harrison

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I'm surprised that there aren't more ladies what scape, keep fish, and planted tanks. I don't really think of the hobby as gender specific. But I think we've had more join lately.
What do you think we can do to encourage more ladies to join the forum and get over the impression that UKAPS is a boy's club?
 

oatfish

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I'm surprised that there aren't more ladies what scape, keep fish, and planted tanks. I don't really think of the hobby as gender specific. But I think we've had more join lately.
What do you think we can do to encourage more ladies to join the forum and get over the impression that UKAPS is a boy's club?
I'm not sure Tim. I find UKAPS to be a very respectful and friendly forum and far less prone to the male posturing that I've seen in the cycling forums that I also frequent.
I think carry on as you are and more women will join hopefully!
 

Melll

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I used to be on another forum, predominately fish care based and had a weird gender neutral user name. I answered questions that some people had on fish such as Flowerhorns, Arowanas etc as I have them. I sometimes would get a "thanks or cheers Dude/mate/friend/sir/man" If I then said, actually I`m female, I had sometimes private messages asking me to video chat, send nudes, sometimes I would be verbally abused on the open forum, I mean real nasty stuff or my perfectly acceptable advice was ignored and the OP would ask for " a man to give advice as women don`t know sh*t" yep that was a quote.

When I worked in a store I was also verbally abused by male customers, physically grabbed as well on more than one occasion.

Maybe these are some of the reasons women keep quiet and accept being called dude etc or have gender neutral user names.

Personally I don`t give a toss if someone calls me mate but I will correct them as I have already on here :) but if I then get treated differently, as in being ignored or talked down to which didn`t happen before my gender was known then that person will receive back what they give out.

I`m a 55 year old Granny with 22 tattoos and into heavy metal as a way to relax, I`m not easily put down :)

As for encouraging women/girls into the hobby/forums, maybe encourage users not to automatically say dude, man etc when replying to posts. A simple @ username reply is good enough :thumbup:
 

Melll

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Let`s face it, does it matter if we are male, female or not yet decided, we are all in a hobby that is slightly weird, keeping livestock and plants in water in glass boxes in our homes, these can be cheap or expensive, high energy, low energy but on the whole it is something that brings us together, share ideas and thoughts, buying, selling, swapping and so on.

Everyone has something to contribute in some way and being pleasant and treating others how you yourself wish to be treated is the way to go and not just on the internet :)

End of sermon, time for coffee and a smoke :)
 

shangman

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As oatfish said, I have also found this place to be very friendly and haven't seen any weird attitudes, which is why I joined (plus I accidentally killed some fish setting up my fist tank and needed good advice, UKAPs gave off the most expert vibes compared to other forums). It's a very nice creative community. And it's nice that this discussion has revealed some more awesome women fish keepers who I didn't know where here. The forum has attracted women fishkeepers by being a great place, and since the male-dominatedness of fishkeeping is across the whole internet, the fact that there are already some who are happy to reveal ourselves without flack shows that the forum is already doing well.
 

Melll

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And it's nice that this discussion has revealed some more awesome women fish keepers who I didn't know where here. The forum has attracted women fishkeepers by being a great place, and since the male-dominatedness of fishkeeping is across the whole internet, the fact that there are already some who are happy to reveal ourselves without flack shows that the forum is already doing well.

Absoflippinglutely 👍
 

Fiske

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Yep. Great to see more women joining in every where in the traditional sausagefests of videogaming, comics, heavy metal, and fishkeeping. To be fair, fishkeeping hasn’t been nearly as male dominated as the former 3.
I like my geeky hobbies with a healthy dose of gender equality, thank you.
 

Melll

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It would be interesting to know what the % is of registered female users here and what % of those are active participants compared to the male %.
 

zozo

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UKAPS indeed is one of the user-friendliest forums I ever came across. And IMHO for that, we have to thank the very pleasant and socially competent UKAPS staff. Who are very adequately moderating this forum. And also educating the members' how to behave and clean up threads if necessary.

Most other forums are poorly or not at all moderated... Or moderated by very small rather defensive and competitive insider group that claims the entire forum for them selfs and are rather unfriendly towards newcomers with a better background. Then you will always have members with wannabee moderator attitude, lurking and trying to take over if given a chance, turning the majority of discussions into flaming threads naming each other idiots and all sorts of disqualifying nouns.

And I must confess 99% of the cases at those forums I experienced, the problems are indeed caused by cheeky and cocky boys... Must be a testosterone thing I guess.
 
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Melll

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And I must confess 99% of the cases at those forums I experienced, the problems are indeed caused by cheeky and cocky boys... Must be a testosterone thing I guess.

Possibly you are right along with maybe cultural differences as well. In some countries/communities women are not allowed to vocalise their opinions/thoughts if they differ from what the male family head says so the sons in the family group grow up the same as their Dad, Grand Dad, Uncle etc so coming across women who not only have advice to give through experience but who are also vocal to give that advice are shouted down/attacked etc as they are just not used to it.

A good discussion :)
 

oatfish

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Possibly you are right along with maybe cultural differences as well. In some countries/communities women are not allowed to vocalise their opinions/thoughts if they differ from what the male family head says so the sons in the family group grow up the same as their Dad, Grand Dad, Uncle etc so coming across women who not only have advice to give through experience but who are also vocal to give that advice are shouted down/attacked etc as they are just not used to it.

A good discussion :)
It's closer to home than that I'm afraid. My Dad for one and my family is about as boring working class white British as you could imagine!
I do think the ratio of males to females is important to those young aquascapers coming into the hobby as I think it will put off talented females from engaging and learning from others (referring Melll's previous post about other fish forums) and I'm definitely of the opinion the more the merrier. Which brings me back to the first original post. Sometimes it just takes one person with a vision to change the whole nature of the hobby. Perhaps we don't even know what that is yet (pretty sure it's not dioramas though, I'm amazed at the skill but they are not for me, I find them a bit 'uncanny valley'). The more talent that enters the hobby the greater the chance of that 'something' being hit upon.
I've only just returned after a 10 year hiatus Things have moved on and I'm very excited to see what the next 10 years will bring. Hopefully I'll be part of it even as just an observer and tinkering around with my own piece of frustrating and relaxing (in equal measure 😂) slice of the underwater world!
 

Melll

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'uncanny valley'

That made me laugh 😄😄

Sometimes it just takes one person with a vision to change the whole nature of the hobby.

Takashi Amano, let`s face it did do so much for the hobby and his legacy will carry on for decades to come.

Who knows, maybe there is someone on UKaps who is the next ground breaker so we can all go "ah well we knew them back in the day" 😃

The more talent that enters the hobby the greater the chance of that 'something' being hit upon.

Agreed 👍
 

zozo

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Unfortunately, I speak only 4 languages and if I do my best I can read 7 if I need to... And I mainly do read forums in the 4 languages I can speak and fully understand. And must say UKAPS is indeed the one forum with the least female members. Or I simply can't see it, if female members present themself with neutral gender. That I can't know...

At the German forums, I actually see the most female members in this hobby and in my own country also quite a few ladies are active...

That this hobby yet still is a dominated male culture likely still is a post-war generation issue... Boys should be boys and are mainly raised with a soccer ball and a fishing rod etc. rolling around in the dirt so to speak. Girls should be girls and stay needly clean dressed at home, blowing nails and jumping rope and playing with barbie dolls etc. Our generation likely also still remembers exclusively boy schools and Girl Schools conditioning each other to fulfil a completely different role in society... All this is slowly changing, I don't know about other countries but where I live boy or girl school no longer exists. The entire education model already transitioned into mixed gender in the past 2 decades.

And we already see things slowly change, example 20 years ago a girl on a motorcycle was a rarety, nowadays we see it more often, same as girls riding a racing bicycle or playing soccer. It's still this very same post-war generation thing that it is received with mixed feelings but nowadays we have a female Tour de France and a female Euro leag soccer championship.

In a future generation, this will grow into something normal and generally accepted and I bet we will also have more females in the aquarium hobby as well.

It's a transition already in progress, this Barbie video proves it...

Sorry, it's also a generation thing that I also had to :lol: a bit watching it, but it was a positive laugh... :shh: It's definitively happening.
 
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