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post #76 of Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Almost without exception, whenever I see a couple on a boat the guy is at the helm and the Mrs is on the bow, jumping to the dock tying lines etc, even deploying or trying to break the anchor out.

Yes, she may be weaker physically and yes, it would be sexist to say she should do less physical work but; to reverse it and justify why he's at the helm because; "it's his boat, women can't park, don't have the intellect for navigation or it's "traditional" and male privilege. Is a very mixed message also.

It's not because she's incapable of Being a helms-person. It's the simple fact the men take, push, lead, assume, direct, teach, advise across almost all areas of life, with impunity. When or if a woman steps out of the "mold" she's quickly set straight, told where she needs to be, called a bitch (often by other women) when the men are being called sir in the same position or situation.

Many men thankfully in recent years are aware of these issues and don't coddle women or try to protect or fix things for them. These men, also often recognize this unique dynamic and don't step down or feel emasculated when she's trying to gain the skills that come so easily to males because she's not had the opportunities he has had.

I could go on about how so many women are self defeated, done before they start, run and hide when things get difficult, or just defer to the Man to do what she's learned to get done by being feminine. Gossip, peer pressure and derision are a very large part of what keeps women from becoming more able in the many areas that are traditionally male.

Mechanical advantage, "how things work" is a mystery to many women. (and many men) But, it can be learned.
Denise, just because someone is on the bow doesn't mean they're being demeaned.

And your comment about "self defeated, done before they start, run and hide when things get difficult, or just defer to (someone else)" could apply equally to a lot of men I know. I see that as a personality thing more than a gender thing.

Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
When or if a woman steps out of the "mold" she's quickly set straight
Umm, my wife is a Philly girl. 'Nuf said

In any long term relationship you tend to fall into roles and habits that are comfortable. I tend to do the mechanical stuff on our boat. Not because I don't think my wife could learn, but because I enjoy it and she has no interest. But then I don't get everything she enjoys either.

But if we were exactly the same life would be boring wouldn't it?

95 Catalina 30 Island Time

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau

Last edited by JimMcGee; 05-06-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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