Women of Ufology, mid-series

4 May

The Women of Ufology…it’s an ambitious concept, especially since I only could devote a relatively short period of time to the whole series, and there are far more women who do work in ufology than there are programs to feature them.  Granted, I could have hostedfar more women if I had done all panel programs, but then we don’t see the individuals and their contributions as clearly either.

It meant tough decisions, made a little bit easier by a short deadline to scheduling the programs in the series.  It meant that if I couldn’t confirm someone during the week or two of scheduling…they were simply not scheduled.  Perhaps its not fair…but with radio programs and scheduling, that’s what I decided to do.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted to interview far more women than I could possibly schedule, and how was I ever going to choose who was a yes and who was a no?

I let the calendar do the choosing for me.  Maybe that’s “wimping out” but it was my answer to random selection, I suppose.

The first week was Eve Lorgen, an author and speaker that is familiar to many.  I’ve spoken with her before, and she was among those on my milab series last fall too.  She’s always a great guest, and I appreciate her for her realistic and grounded approach to it all.  November Hanson, Bet Dotson, and Angelia Joiner joined me the following week with the first panel discussion of the series, bringing their unique perspectives to the discussion as we embarked on a project that was very ambitious for the Dawn of Shades.  Bet Dotson had also appeared last fall during the milab series, and November has been a frequent guest and occasional guest host on the Dawn of Shades as well.  Her recent departure from hosting her own program was inspired by her current research into the abduction phenomena, which of course is intriguing to anyone interested in the topic.  Angelia is a journalist, as well as a radio show host, with connections throughout the ufology field, and as a relatively recent arrival on the ufology front, she is like a breath of fresh air herself.  Kathleen Marden joined us the following week, and she is well grounded in the early days in the field of alien abductions as the niece of Betty and Barney Hill.  She was delightful, and her own perceptions of how the field of ufology has changed were enlightening as well.  Tonight, I was fortunate enough to talk with Karyn Dolan, another radio program host herself, as well as the wife of a prominent author in the field, has her own unique story in regards to ufology, including her own path into becoming a speaker at ufology related events.

We have come about halfway through the series, and it is very interesting to talk with women involved in the field, yet in very different ways and with different areas of interest too.   Each of these women has their own unique story, born from their own lives, educations, and regions, and yet, together they are like patches forming a quilt–each piece becomes part of the whole.

What have I learned about the Women of Ufology?

  • They are as unique as any other group of women.  They each have their own stories, and they each see the world quite differently, yet at the same time, it’s interesting to see commonalities among them.
  • They’d all like to see more women involved, of course.  They’ve all noticed that all too often at conferences and symposiums, there are few, if any, women speakers.  Someday, they’d like to see it where gender becomes irrelevant, and no one is counting whether the speakers are male or female.
  • They’d like to get the truth, whatever it is, and find out what is going on and why.  I’m sure that the men involved in ufology are much the same, so this is nearly universal among people involved in the field.
  • They would like to see less rivalry and more cooperation, but at the same time, they have little hope that its going to happen anytime soon.  The egos and rivalry seem to be a continual plague in the field.
  • They would like to see more scientific and educational facets added to the research into the various areas of ufology, while at the same time, the resignation about the state of the economy and shrinking pools of potential funding make it an unlikely wish anytime soon.

What would I like to see out of efforts such as this series?

More unity and cammeraderie among the Women of Ufology.  We don’t need more rivalry, egotistical journeys, or sniping between the various camps in ufology.  It’s nice to see  people getting together and talking about the projects they are working on, and generally sharing information.

Why did I plan this series?

I felt that too often, women were overlooked as being valid researchers and investigators, being passed over as potential speakers and writers, and generally forced to push against that proverbial glass ceiling.  Their work was important, and yet, they were continually pushed into secondary roles, standing in the shadows of their male colleagues.  It wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t improving very quickly either, especially considering that women form a larger portion of our population than men, yet still…a small percentage of speakers at any event would be women.

I also wanted to hear other women’s theories about why there were so few women involved in ufology.  So far, I have a half-baked idea as to why, and it dates clear back to 1947 at least, and is rooted in the traditional male/female roles in American society.  We’ll see what the remaining guests have to say on the topic, so the jury is still out on that portion of my interest.

The feedback I’m receiving about the program indicates that women are receiving it very positively, while men are a bit less interested in the concept of Women in Ufology and more interested in what the individuals are doing.  I’ve also noticed that among men there is no perception of the so-called “glass ceiling” and they honestly believe that there are a large number of women involved in ufology with equal number of speaking engagements, etc.  That’s interesting, because when I look at scheduled speakers at any event in the past few years, the majority are consistently male.  Now I’m curious as to why their perception is so different from what the evidence indicates as fact.

If you’ve listened to any of these programs in the series, please…comment and tell me what YOU think!  If you would prefer, you may also email me at giascott at exogenynetwork.com (you know the routine, take out the spaces and put in the @ symbol to replace the at.)  I really enjoy getting feedback, but please…be polite.  (And if you truly hate listening to me, do us both a favor and find a more pleasant way to spend that 2 hours each week!)


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