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  #71  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Is it sexist to recognize that there are physical and psychological differences between men and women. I don't think so. It would be sexist to discriminate against a female in favor of a male in circumstances where those differences don't matter. Where physical strength is an aspect of a job or activity you would be crazy not to expect men to perform better.

You want a captain for an Americas Cup racer man or woman, who ever you think can get it done. Want a grinder for that same boat it's going to be a guy.

Kind of telling the lack of participation by women in this thread. Guys like combat.
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  #72  
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Some sexism on a boat is self-reinforcing. An example is something like a winch, it could be made to have whatever mechanical advantage the manufacturer wants to give it based on the diameter of the winch, the length of the winch handle, etc, but because most sailors are men it is designed for a man, for a man's reach, the amount of power a typical man can apply to it. Think about it, it could easily be twice as hard to turn, or half as hard, but it is designed so that an adult male can raise a sail in the shortest amount of time using a fair amount of his muscle strength, it is optimized for a typical male. If it were designed for a woman, sure, it might take a little bit longer to raise a sail because it would require a few more turns, but a woman wouldn't have to work any harder to use a winch than a man does. So you end up in this situation where it really is harder for a woman to work a winch, maybe even beyond her strength, because the winch was never designed for her, and then men use that to justify to themselves that women can't handle the boat. Well, most men couldn't use a winch on a boat if they were designed to be used by professional football players.

We all need mechanical advantage to operate a sailboat, and it would only take just a little more mechanical advantage for women to operate one just as well as a man.

I'm not saying there aren't differences between men and women, of course there are, but that shouldn't matter where winches and windlasses are involved.
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  #73  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

before winches and windlasses it was easier, i think--didnt have to suffer crappy winches when the awesome blocks and tackles worked just fine n dandy , thankyou. i still prefer belaying pins to cleats and i prefer block and tackle set ups to winches. i especially appreciate them as my sheet winch for main has failed nicely.....

ggrrrrr.....


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  #74  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

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.
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  #75  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Hmm, here's a thought from a different angle.

Women have had a BIG effect on sailboat design in recent years, probably more than those America's Cup racers.

Why? Because production boat manufacturers recognized that wives have a big say in the purchase so they started asking what was important to them. They found women had different priorities than men and that influenced design.

So if manufacturers are catering designs to women why are there still fewer women owners?

First couples outnumber singles by a pretty wide margin in every marina we've been in.

But maybe the reason you don't see more single women owning sail boats has as much to do with marketing as anything else. Boat manufacturers only advertise in sailing magazines, mostly read by people who already sail.

Maybe advertising outside the sailing rags would bring new people into the sport and reach more women who might be interested.

BTW, for us sailing is a reason to spend time together and that's a good thing.
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  #76  
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?
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  #77  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Whenever I've had new sailing friends (couples) on the boat, the Women are the better helmsmen(person). seems the gals have a better touch on the wheel, something about finesse I guess. The guys want to muscle it and drive all over creation. I'll take a gal at the wheel any day.
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

It's a pretty open ended question..

It seems to me that, Sailing is sailing. People like it or they don't. Many who don't seem to take to it view it as " alot of work"

There's certainly enough men who feel the same way, evidenced by the number of powerboats and jet skiers who prefer to simply turn a key and go.

Typically, I think people are introduced to sailing somehow..either by a parent, a friend, school etc. IF that was a good experience, there's a good chance you might continue.
There are two sisters who occasionally sail with me, whose dad owned the same boat as me growing up. One likes the relaxing aspect, one loves helming, trimming and going fast.

I think Wind Magic's point re: the loads on winches etc is valid and something for designers to consider.
They do make electric winches and those power assist drills that I see at boat shows..I expect that I'll need them someday..or I'll make the typical trawler transition when I can't manage the forces.

There's no shortage of women sailors in my marina. There are several women who own their own vessel. There are quite a few couples who appear to share all the work and the women are all very knowlegable, capable and enthusiastic sailors. My slip neighbor's wife made a leap to the dock last summer that I wouldn't attempt. He was getting blown away from the finger pier. She made the jump before I could get there to help.

I've worked with three female sailing instructors. though, there definitely seems to be more men.

As it happens, my marina is family owned and run. 3 brothers and 6 sisters. ( one a competitive sailor) Three of the women are over 6' tall, any one of them could/would kick my @#$ if I suggested that they had limitations because they were female.
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Hello. First post here, long one to make it worthwhile.

I don’t “get out much” in that we rarely race, don’t use clubs and marinas and sail on our own or with only a few friends. We don’t have much to do with other sailors, so my experience probably isn’t typical.

Most of the sexism encountered personally is attitudinal over boat ownership and knowledge of one’s own boat - not something that has practical consequences, just irritating.

For some – male and female - it seems women only own boats when there is absolutely no boyfriend, husband, brother or male business partner within cooee that ownership can be attributed to. They also automatically view a boat co-owned by a male and a female as “his”.

I own our boats with my husband. In spite of one of them being entered in a particular event at a particular club for many years in both names every single time, he was not that long ago publicly noted as the sole owner with nil acknowledgement of me. I don’t think anybody thought, “let’s make sure we ignore the female owner because wives don't count” but that said, I doubt ownership of a boat co-owned by two men would have been attributed to one name only.

More than once, though it’s a while ago now, I was asked questions about this boat in my husband’s absence, which I answered, only to have the same men ask my husband the same questions about two minutes later. Hardly stops me getting on with life, but the dismissiveness is annoying. Things may be better now, a few years hence ... don't get out enough now to tell.

I note Sal Paradise acknowledges his wife’s 50-50 partnership but feels the boat is his because he does the work. Some comments below are prompted by this, but not aimed at or in criticism of him - everyone’s circumstances and views are different, and this is just my take on that issue.

My husband does the bulk of work on our boats too. He’s the lifelong sailor; I am not. However, he/we only have the boats in the first place because my job pays for them and also buys him the freedom to be primary boat hand. He for his part works long and hard to minimise our maintenance costs and does jobs/makes things that would otherwise cost us thousands. At times I’ve put up with employment situations that if it weren’t for what the boats mean to him would have had me walking out of my profession and settling for significantly lower pay. It’s not “my” money because I earn it, it’s “our” family income, but whether or not we have enough of it to remain boat owners with his time free for maintenance is mostly down to me.

He’s stronger and fitter than I, yes, but not built like a front row forward and there’s enough jobs that need my help. But that’s not the point – I earned and owned our boats well before I ever picked up a sanding block or helped re-step a mast.

(As does – in my view – a non-sailing partner who supports family income being spent on boats instead of retirement savings or things of mutual interest.)

The odd man has tried to take over from me on board, as has the odd man ashore when spouse and I are getting to and from boats. I can tell when a man “gets” that I normally manage for myself and he just wants be useful, and that’s kind and appreciated. When he starts giving me instructions, assuming husband knows what to do but I must be in need of direction from some random male I’ve never clapped eyes on before, that’s another thing altogether. There’s one individual, otherwise a decent bloke, that I won’t have aboard because of takeover tendencies, though he’s welcome to crew in my absence. I don’t “justify” my place on my boat – push me aside more than once and you’re not coming back. I’d blacklist a woman for this too, but so far haven’t had cause. Ashore, if it’s something I want to do myself, it’s a polite “under control, thanks, nice of you to offer though”. Gratuitous instruction doesn't stop me getting on with life, but is an irritation nonetheless.

In closing I’d also note that recognising that some people have a few extra roadblocks put in their way is hardly expecting life to be handed to you on a plate.

(Oh - and those women who say things to me like "there's nothing here [at boat show X] for us girls" or "we women don't know anything about [insert mechanical item or process]" or "we girls don't like [insert any aspect of sailing that might mess up your hair]" really annoy me. Ask my opinion before you presume to speak on my behalf, thanks very much. )
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  #80  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

I don't think it has anything to do with marketing. If ou are not into sailing in the first place ou don't see any marketing. It's not like Seinfeld has ads for beneteau.

The marketing is geared towards the target audience. It doesn't make the target audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
Hmm, here's a thought from a different angle.

First women have had a BIG effect on sailboat design in recent years, probably more than those America's Cup racers.

Why? Because production boat manufacturers recognized that wives have a big say in the purchase so they started asking what was important to them. They found women had different priorities than men and that influenced design.

So if manufacturers are catering designs to women why are their fewer women owners?

Well first couples outnumber singles by a pretty wide margin in every marina we've been in.

But maybe the reason you don't see more single women owning sail boats has as much to do with marketing as anything else. Boat manufacturers only advertise in sailing magazines, mostly read by people who already sail.

Maybe advertising outside the sailing rags would bring new people into the sport. Since half the population is female - well do the math.

BTW, for us sailing is a reason to spend time together and that's a good thing.
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