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  #21  
Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

beautifully said jeff and true. now if we can just get production cruising boats to more completely reflect that reality I could have saved a ton of money.
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  #22  
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Boats can be set up to require less strength, but it will cost $$ to do so. Furlers, larger winches or even *gasp* electric!

Perhaps we can remind all the purists that routinely dump on these mechanical devices that they are all sexist. Some argue that you should always be able to manually override. While I agree that one should at least know how to sail without these advantages, there are plenty of large boats where no amount of crew could overcome the loads, without electric or hydraulic advantage. Why should this be different for those with lesser strength on recreational boats.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Sailing isn't inherently sexist, but men are and the sailing community is made up predominantly of men. Admittedly, more women are coming into the sport, and, at least in the racing sector, men are increasingly amenable to sailing with and against women. The introduction of the mixed-crew Nacra 17 catamaran into Olympic sailing is also a sign of progress. And though in the Laser class the Standard fleet is overwhelmingly male, there's a very good gender mix in Radials at the Junior level (and in my own fleet at the Masters level).

Nevertheless, the sailing world does remain testosterone-drenched in many respects, as a quick visit over to Sailing Anarchy forums will reveal. Plenty of unabashed sexism (and homophobia) on display in any given thread, and seldom called out by anyone who should know better. Pretty much what one would expect from men who prefer spending their free time offshore in the company of other men, doing manly things, far from the company of wives and girlfriends.
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  #24  
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPelicano View Post
Sailing isn't inherently sexist, but men are.....
In evidence above, by some of our female colleagues comments, men have not cornered the market on sexism.
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  #25  
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
In evidence above, by some of our female colleagues comments, men have not cornered the market on sexism.
And what would that "evidence above" consist of, pray tell? Don't quite know what you mean by "cornered the market" but I believe most folks would agree that men dominate that market, and this manifests itself in many, many ways. Too many, in fact, to itemize in this post.

By the way, it's "Mr" Pelicano.
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

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Originally Posted by MrPelicano View Post
And what would that "evidence above" consist of, pray tell? Don't quite know what you mean by "cornered the market" but I believe most folks would agree that men dominate that market, and this manifests itself in many, many ways. Too many, in fact, to itemize in this post.

By the way, it's "Mr" Pelicano.
"Pray Tell", very Connecticut.

I have to retract my comment, as I looked above and must recall comments made in another thread. There are a couple going right now. Many women are not shy about posting critical comments about men. Although, it usually a seagull attack. They swoop in, crap all over the place, then fly away never to be seen again. In fact, I bet I could find more male bashing in "her-sailnet" than I would female bashing in all the other forums combined. If there was a "his-sailnet" we would probably catch up.
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  #27  
Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
"Pray Tell", very Connecticut.

I have to retract my comment, as I looked above and must recall comments made in another thread. There are a couple going right now. Many women are not shy about posting critical comments about men. Although, it usually a seagull attack. They swoop in, crap all over the place, then fly away never to be seen again. In fact, I bet I could find more male bashing in "her-sailnet" than I would female bashing in all the other forums combined. If there was a "his-sailnet" we would probably catch up.
I'm from California and haven't heard the "pray tell" expression used in the two years I've been in CT. Maybe its sumbliminal.

Sexism isn't about "bashing" except in its cruder forms, just like racism isn't simply about trashing people not like oneself. And you can trash / bash people in ways that don't fall into the realm of either -ism.

Where one crosses the line is when one makes sweeping generalizations about other groups - positive or negative - or when one creates or perpetuates an environment where members of those other groups don't feel safe or welcome. What started this thread was the observation that the title of a particular book implied that a woman's role on a boat is predominantly supportive - i.e., that skippers are men and first mates are women. And the question was: Is the title sexist? The thread then veered (or backed) into the larger question of whether sailing, itself, is a sexist environment. My position is "No" to the first question and "Yes" to the second.

But sailing is sexist to the extent that it reflects the larger society in which it takes place, where women continue to be economically disadvantaged, compared to men, and are disproportionately responsible for the kinds of tasks - e.g., child raising, housekeeping, etc. - that present obstacles to sailing, in general, and boat ownership in particular.

Beyond that, in the racing community with which I'm intimately familiar, women tend to occupy their traditional "roles" of wives/girlfriends of men who go out and commune with one another on the water. The more serious the racing program, the less likely you are to find women on the boat.

However, let me say that the advent of sport boats like the Melges 24, Melges 20, J-70, Open 6.50, etc., has opened the door to more women at every level, for a variety of reasons, and this is a good thing. At the same time, when I raced in the Melges 24 circus for several years, one could hear no shortage of disparaging / crude remarks from men about the top woman skipper on that circuit - i.e., it was okay to have women on the 24 in "supporting" roles (to help make weight targets), but not so okay (with some) to have them in leadership roles.

And, at the risk of appearing ungenerous, your own remark comparing women's infrequent critiques of men to seagull attacks, strikes me as rather problematic, along the lines I've noted above.

In closing, I'm stepping onto a new boat for AYC Spring Series and I don't think there are any women on the boat. And there weren't any women on the last big boat I crewed, on which the conversation was frequently crude when the topic of women (or gays or minorities) came up. Contrast this to the Laser fleet I sail in, where women (and juniors) are well-represented.
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  #28  
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Agreed, not all sexism is bashing. However, all gender bashing is sexism and it is rampant on her-sailnet.

I stand by the seagull analogy, because most of the bashing is done by posters that don't stick around long. I believe that is in part because most of the consistent female posters, such as DR and Denise30 don't take the bait, although, can rightly dish it out when the guys cross the line.

Personally, I reject the simplistic conclusion that women are economically disadvantaged, etc. That's just too easy to say and hard to correlate to the outcome. As I think about every person I know, both male and female, more males have a passion for the sport than female. It has nothing to do with roles or when they started sailing or money. There are all kinds in both genders, but I can count 1 passionate female sailor for 10 males. I know many other female sailors who enjoy it and prefer to take the lesser role, as they don't have any desire to become a student of the sport. No one is stopping them. My wife included. I would prefer she did, but she only wants to know enough to get by and relax.

Is there a passionate female sailor that is blocked? I'm sure there is. I'm sure there are males too. I would even stipulate that there may be more blocked females than males, but we don't know it to be true. In the end, however, I do think more males choose the sport than female and it isn't going to be gender neutral as a result.

p.s. sorry about the CT swat, it was intended to be kidding. I certainly realize by now that the smiley doesn't always communicate well.
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  #29  
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Here's the most recent post that I read in another active thread that I incorrectly attributed to this one. I've omitted the poster, as I really don't intend to start a sword fight. I'm just trying to show what I'm referring to. Have a male post something like this and it would start a war.

Quote:
Right on sailor wench, screw those stupid men, they are so insecure and I really could care less about what they have to say or whine about! I go my own way alone without the BS they put forth!...........
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  #30  
Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Thanks Brian,

At the very least you opened my eyes to think about some things. Your Op might be deliberately vague, as you asked about "this lifestyle". I'm not that familiar with your lifestyle. maybe I'll read your blog some more.

As for my own lifestyle - my first thought is I'd kill to be the first mate and have my wife be captain. That's probably not going to happen. After 20 years of marriage I love her dearly but some fantasies are just not going to happen in this lifetime, for either of us. I don't think she is going to go out and buy a 40' sailboat and teach me how to help her sail it to Grenada, although I imagine I would really like that. :-) I don't want to pursue some sexist behavior that makes my wife feel second rate, but I really just consider sailing itself to be an innocent thing, a positive thing, a worthwhile thing.


One time she took the boat out herself with one of our boys and after spending the better part of an hour stalling the boat out and going backwards (and laughing hysterically) she came to admit that she really isn't the expert sailer she once claimed to be. At age 47, I also am at that age where I know less than I did when I was 20. If you are my age, you know what I mean. Life teaches you to be humble. But something inside me drove me to spend days and years learning how to sail better and better and for her that same urge hasn't really happened yet.

All that said, I know my wife gets scared and frustrated sometimes aboard and anything I can learn that would help me to help her enjoy it more and be more knowledgable is very helpful. We are lucky in that our whole family loves sailing. After all these years she and I really are best friends and more. Who wouldn't want their BFF to enjoy and learn all about sailing? I think I might take a look at that book.
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Last edited by Sal Paradise; 04-19-2013 at 11:11 AM. Reason: typos
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