Not all sexism is of the degree of holding women back from doing things they'd like to do. The only sexism I've experienced in sailing, as described in my earlier posts, rates as "irritant", not "major impediment" but it's still sexism in the sense of treating males and females differently on the basis of gender.
In my opinion, its not correct to say that "any woman who wants it badly enough can overcome and find ways to become a sailor" = "there is no sexism in the field of sailing".
In my personal experience, but bearing in mind that I don't speak for the entire sisterhood and that I get to decide who steps on my boat, it is true that it's not too bad in sailing compared to many many other things.
(Zee - not a smiley, but just for you: @>--'--,-- )
The issues in this thread keep bringing me back to what I believe are some of the inherent difference between men and women. Although there are probably many stereotypical male attributes I don't consider a woman's reference to them, even the negative ones as sexist. Im Ok with the stereotypes, negative and positive. For example, the stereotypical man's reluctance to ask for help with directions to me is not a negative. It's an indication of tenacity and independence.
I don't think most men would even acknowledge male sexism. From a males perspective to acknowledge obstacles is counterproductive. It provides an excuse for failure. If you ignore them they are diminished. It's better from a performance standpoint to pretend obstacles don't exist. When you are sick before a big game you ignore it. It doesn't really matter in sports but in real life it can matter.
The difference between men and women are a good thing. I'm definitely not for women becoming more like men and women more like men.