After posting the video of my wife Shirley Braley flying my DJI Phantom quadra-copter on a Facebook group one of the guys in the group posted a question under the video.
“I’ve been in this RC thing for a few years now, and I don’t understand why it’s so rare to see women & girls doing it. Is it just too nerdy for them?”
Then, men responded by explaining to other men why women are the way they are.
It is a good question. But, the responses didn’t seem right. The women in my life, my mother, my wife, my daughter, and so many other women I know wouldn’t have any problem excelling in this or any other technical men’s dominated world. So, why is it so rare for girls and women to be involved in the Remote Control hobby world?
So, I asked my wife because she’s a woman. Hummmmm… What a concept!
Right off the top of my head, here are my explanations:
1. They are not encouraged, from childhood to play with RC toys. They get play stoves, boys get RC cars and trucks.
2. What would their entry point into the hobby be? A hobby store, staffed with young men? When I started getting into quads, I would ask a question in a hobby store and the staff would answer my husband. He has to walk away in order for the staff to pay any attention to me.
3. Women can do tinkering, and really, women love tinkering! Craft stores are full of women who build stuff. I have friends who do incredibly technical jewelry-making, and then never even wear the stuff. They just like soldering.
4. Why aren’t there more women software engineers? Mechanical engineers? Race drivers? Chefs? Because these are male-dominated professions. Women don’t have role models encouraging them to do this stuff. It’s not the norm.
5. Lastly, maybe women are afraid they will be made fun of if they crash a copter. If they want to try flying, and crash their boyfriend’s copter the first time, and he never lets them hear the end of it, maybe they will decide they don’t want to fly after all. I’m sure this happens and then they never get a chance to see that it’s actually not that hard to do with a little practice.
To clarify my Point #3 in the “off the top of my head” list: this is actually a reason women would LOVE to do RC. Someone in the discussion said that women don’t like to tinker with technical things, but women tend to be pragmatic and thus unafraid to pick up a screwdriver and set something right.
So, there you have it. From a woman.
Now, as you watch the video of Shirley flying my Phantom think about this. When a guy crashes his quadra-copter, we all feel bad for him… Poor guy…
Now, if a woman crashes a quadra-copter, what’s your gut reaction?
Think about it.
Enjoy the movie:
DJI Phantom 1.2 with 9″ self-tightening props.
Piloted by Shirley Braley
Video recorded and edited on an iPhone 4S by Merle Braley