We are here to discuss sailing. There is no need to segregate mechanics in the Gear and Maintenance forum, instructors in Learn to Sail, or Jeanneau owners in the Jeanneau forum.
The Sailnet built-in search feature is crap. It is helpful to me at least to have the categories so it's less time consuming to find my interest du jour. All of the subjects in one long, in-line list of postings would be a nightmare.
I see no reason to segregate male and female either.
It's kind of not segregation in the pure sense if you have a choice. The women don't have
to only post in herSailnet. That said, while I'm comfortable posting in the non-female-centric area, I don't think that all women are. The forum certainly can't provide space to accommodate all personality types, but I recognize that there are women out there who may be entering this sport alone, with no support from family or friends and who may be pushing their personal envelopes to not only do that but to ask questions of perfect strangers. Should we discourage their personal growth by saying if you can't stand the wind get off the deck? I hope not. I've done things in which I've stretched my personal boundaries so I know what it feels like. Sure, the people (women and men) who can't get past the fact that in most cases the gruff responses are sometimes made without regard to gender and aren't meant as an attack against their person
but against their approach or theory
may drop out, but then there are those who will begin to reach inside themselves and develop their own way of dealing with such responses. They will hopefully come to realize that in life, on these forums, and on their boat when they get there, part of learning and growing and reaching a goal is dealing with obstacles (human and otherwise) and figuring out a way to learn from those obstacles and turn that knowledge into something that moves you forward.
This is what I love about sailing. It's more than just learning how to use the wind and current and all the rest to move a boat from point A to point B. If one is open to it, it's also about opening up one's own mental horizons beyond your expectations.