Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Chickification: the process by which a formerly male activity is ruined for the men who enjoyed it.
I subscribe to a couple of airplane magazines. In the past, the articles mostly covered maintenance and repairs, flying safety practices, and heads-up notices of regulatory changes. There was endless encouragement to take kids flying to develop a love of aviation to keep the sport alive. The phrase “$100 hamburger” was tongue-in-cheek (it refers to the practice of flying your airplane to another airport for no real purpose, just eat lunch and come home. Adding up all the costs of owning and operating an airplane, that hamburger cost you $100, at least. But hey, considering the boat, motor and trailer, what did that walleye cost you? It’s not about the money, it’s about the sport). Flying apparel was logo ball caps. Flying club meetings were sitting on folding chairs in a hangar shooting the breeze with other pilots.
Lately, I’ve noticed a change in the magazines. Now that the editors are women journalism majors hired to make the headquarters office acceptably diverse, the content of the magazines has shifted. They’re all about getting more women flying, more girls interested in aviation. Flying articles emphasize mothers juggling flying careers and family. Glossy photos show foodie destinations. Flying apparel is fashionable. It’s a noticeable shift in emphasis away from old men in favor of 30-ish women. I fully expect Standards of Conduct and Speech Codes for flying club meetings within the next year. Nobody is allowed to say it, but adding women to a club changes the club and seldom for the better.
Women don’t need special programs or rules or encouragement to be accepted at a male activity such as flying (or shooting at the firing range). Just show up and the guys will fall all over themselves welcoming you. Forcing your way in is a sure way to force the guys out and after that, it’s just one big cat-fight which nobody ever wins until everyone stomps off in a huff and the club closes.
Which may be the goal, at least for some.