Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, Aug 14, 2020.
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Edit: When I first started out with mail auctions (age 14) Frank L. Kovacs was a big name in San Francisco, but there also was Renatta Galasso with an auction house called Coin Hunter (based on the east coast) and I bought a number of coins in her auctions.
...If there was one single guiding light in the early years of my collecting online, it had to be Sue Hagadorn. She used to list on ebay, and before long (as of the 2000s) had her own website. (In both cases, overwhemingly medieval.) Her listings invariably demonstrated the highest level of numismatic erudition. ...And her generosity, on every level, was phenomenal. You could start with her willingness to buy (and sometimes re-buy) coins, during the occasional, but effectively endemic rent emergencies to which I was then subject, at a better 'wholesale' than I ever got from anyone else. ...Proceeding to her time; she was a joy to correspond with.
...And she finally gave up on the business, presumably out of gradual, but aggregate, as such inexorable disgust with the kind of reception she received as a seller.
Just from here, I promise you, it was a smoking crater of a loss.
Economic: Coin collecting, even on a budget, requires disposable income. Depending on the focus of the collecting, the disposable income requirements can be considerable, basically limiting that realm of collecting to the very well to do. Historically, women have had lower incomes compared to men in comparable positions. This gender discrimination could limit the amount of money available for a woman to spend on something like coins. Keep in mind that many women work in the service sector their entire lives, resulting in low wages against ever-increasing costs of living.
Generational: While there are younger people collecting coins, and who are well represented in this forum, the fact is that coin collecting has been for decades an activity limited to an increasingly aging collector base, primarily white and male. Again, there is an economic factor at play here; older people are more likely to have the income, even into retirement, to buy coins. Younger people, both male and female, are raising families, too busy with life's daily demands, and for many collecting coins is of no interest.
Sociological: While women have made strides over the decades in achieving equality, barriers still exist. I think, to a degree, this exists with coin collecting. When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's (yes, ancient times) collecting anything, including baseball cards, stamps and, yes, coins was the domain of boys. It seems that this male domination has continued over the decades. Perhaps our educational system is one contributing cause, but also, and probably of greater import, our societal norms and expectations have been a prime contributor not only to female under representation in the hobby, also the under representation of people of color.
All three of these factors are intertwined and, I think, help explain why there are so few women engaged in numismatics.
While there are women collectors, it often seems like there are just plain more men interested in collecting coins than women. Women often seem to be more interested in collecting other types of things. I'm sure if you were to look at the various types of things collected, you'll notice some sectors dominated by men, and some dominated by women.
Would I like to see more women collectors? Sure. Just like I'd want more younger collectors as well. I don't think there are any major barriers to women collecting - we're welcoming to all here. But if you look at the CoinTalk population, you'll see a similar profile - mostly men, and a few women.
Planchet" podcast was called "A Brief History of Women Coin Collectors." One collector dates back to the 15th century. Interesting stuff. Numismatics definitely needs more women.
Yes, at my level .. (hobby collector, enjoy CoinTalk, etc) I don't see any barriers or any way that a woman is disadvantaged or kept out of a "mens club". I cannot speak for educational institutions, professional numismatics, etc. There are women that post here that have a lot more knowledge and experience than myself (Donna, TIF, etc) and I know many here respect their opinions and I don't recall seeing any derogatory comments (unless I missed them?). Also with many of the usernames on CoinTalk I frankly have no idea of the sex of many posters - and it doesn't matter.
People collect what they like... if I am wrong in this or missing something please let me know.
@TIF and @DonnaML and many others here in CoinTalk.
Thanks bud. I appreciate the shoutout...but I'm a dude
The other two however, are top-notch female numismatists.
opps I thought you said your wife was into coins. my bad. sorry, opps I must have been thinking' about someone else. Into my 4th Strongbow hard apple cider. lol
Historically, they have also had more control over disposable income, so there's that as well.
Just a sociologist view, which I ain't one . . . .
My wife graciously allows me to collect coins
Enjoy that strongbow. That was my drink of choice when I lived in London.
What happened to Woodpecker cider? That used to be my choice.
A solid analysis, especially with the element of semantic nuance that you freely acknowlege.
...But, as with the rest of life, there are more moving parts --all, as you say, intertwined-- than admit of easy categorization.
Can we shift to the elephant in the room, involving centuries and millennia of socio-cultural (and economic) history? With gender, as with that famous one-word oxymoron, 'race' (find it in zoological taxonomy: I Dare you), the worst impulses are perpetuated by means which are less than fully articulate in the first place. If a meme is irreducibly irrational to begin with, the most efficient way to promote it is (...wait for it; picture a train crash happening in slow motion --along the lines of the leadup to certain recent wars) correspondingly irrational. Y'know, innuendo, feeding on groupthink. (...We've all been to high school. --Or the equivalent; y'all know the drill. ...For instance, in the absence of a course in Civics, which needs to be required, instead of nonexistent.)
...The crazy part is, in America, over most of the past half-millennium, this has Worked! ...From my admittedly limited frame of reference, I guess the advice would be, Watch, Vote and Pray --not necessarily in that order. (You are cordially referred to the example left us by Rep. John Lewis.) Sure, as metaphorically or not as you prefer, regarding some of it. ...Besides watching and voting.
My other go to is Angry Orchard hard cider...yummy.
I lived in England from 2002-2004. Our choices were pretty much Strongbow or "K" which had a really high ABV and was super cheap. I'm sure there were others as well, but 18-20 year old FF didn't shop around too much haha.
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