As of Monday night (November 2, 2015), the YLNTX Weekly Net is officially off the ground and it is with great relief that I say – thank you for showing up and participating. (Hurray for us!)
We had a decent turn out for our first net. Five YL’s including myself, plus there were several missing who had expressed interest. It’s a great start! We had three seasoned YLs, one relatively new YL and one YL who received her ticket just last week. (Way to go, Debbie! You were AWESOME.)
Getting this net up and running has been a lot like cleaning house before a party. The prep work has to be done, but the whole time I’m up to my ears in cleaning rags, mops and dustpans, and listening to my tunes at full-blast – I’m thinking of the fun in store.
We’re down to the fun part!
I admit it. I love “my” men, but there are times when I really miss my own kind.
No, not the ones that returned to the mother ship.
I mean my fellow women.
The further into this hobby I get, the more contact I make with intelligent, capable female operators. How exciting! As someone so eloquently put it Monday night, it’s nice to use your head for something besides a hat rack. It’s even nicer to be surrounded by others of like mind -- male or female.
It’s heartening for me to know there are women out there who do not shy away from the hobby because it’s typically viewed as a “man’s hobby”.
So, from the seasoned YL to the newest of the new, let me profess. You inspire and encourage me. I hope that I can return the favor.
I did get on a bit of a soapbox on Monday night regarding men in the ham community who seems to be all for having more women in the hobby, yet they shy away from YL Nets because they think it doesn’t pertain to them.
Actually, I believe what I said was: (GAH! and how arrogant is it to quote yourself?)
"If we want to change the demographics of the airways, YL Nets needs to be about everyone. It’s not about women and it’s not about men. It’s about us – and by us I mean the ham community. Wishing for change is not enough. You have to do the work. "
What can I say? I like to hear myself talk. Anyway…
The women had a bit of a roundtable discussion and we decided that for the second half of the net, we would let the men check-in in support of their wives or girlfriends or just in support of “us”. We added another seven check-ins and it was a nice warm, fuzzy feeling to hear the men sound off and be cheerleaders for the women.
It was even more inspirational to hear the men check in that had no significant other there. That is exactly what I was hoping for. The women need to know that the ham community is behind them.
Ironically, the actual topic for the evening was Mic Fright and First Timer Fears. All hams experience first-timer fears. But when you’re a woman, it’s hard not to hear that Sesame Street song in your head. You know the one. “One of these things is not like the others.”
The kicker to that whole negative tape playing in your head?
The men *want* us to come play with them. It’s not like we’re invading a foreign country. We’re welcome. Now that I’ve been on the airways for a while, I get it. It’s refreshing to talk to someone new. It’s refreshing to talk to someone who’s new and who’s different.
We should celebrate our differences.
The only thing stopping us is … us.