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post #312 of Old 08-01-2014
Donna_F
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

I suppose it's inevitable that this thread gets off the beaten track but please, maintain some level of civility. Nothing says we have to think alike, but we can discuss opposing ideas without beating each other up and engaging in personal attacks (however cleverly cloaked).

I was never into the hardcore feminist movement like some wrote about here. I'm not against it but extremism isn't my thing. But I do believe that I (and all women) have been a beneficiary as I feel free to choose my path as a female. Some days are Little Black Dress days and some days are rebuild the head days. Some days I feel like standing up for an ideology, some days I don't. To me the main benefit of that movement was the (perhaps perceived) notion of being able to choose.

Every woman, just like every man, approaches sailing differently. Some women lack the self-confidence to try docking on their own, some women don't give it another thought and just do it. I learned to sail because I wanted to learn to sail. Just like I did with kayaking, scuba, and whatever other activity I wanted to try. The fact that I would have a problem doing any of it because I'm a woman never crossed my mind. What other people thought of me doing it never crossed my mind. I really don't think of it much at all until I read this thread.

There have been some harsh words thrown out in this thread. Again, I get that it's inevitable. I get the attitude that feels "life is harsh, deal with it" but I will try to stand for those women who have told me those attitudes are the main reason they don't participate more in forums and tend to just read and for those women who prefer that this forum follow the original intent. So, one reason why there are fewer women responding in HerSailnet let alone across the entire site.

One thing that crosses my mind when I read a comment, usually from a male but not always, saying that he or she is against having a forum like this, is what happens to the women who are feeling their way? The ones who have been continually put down and are trying to break out of that pattern in baby steps? The ones who *thought* HerSailNet was a safe place to ask a question without being belittled? Do we simply let Darwinism kick in? It's really not about a segregated forum because those people who are going to attack them will do it *out there*, too. Those people who will be blunt to the point of being hurtful will be no matter where. But, the people who started herSailNet way back when thought it was worth a shot if it helped the less self-confident get into sailing and get enough of a foundation to sail into the big, "bad" outside world. At least they were trying to reach out. They tried to help. Whether it worked, I don't know. Probably not. Comments about how they shouldn't have tried serve no useful purpose, I don't think.

It really isn't segregated because, unlike the women-only forum on CF or the couple of women in sailing Facebook groups I belong to, men are allowed to post here.

In my mind, the women and men who can stand up to sarcasm and snarky remarks, the women and men who can but choose their battles and this is not one of them, the women and men who feel too intimidated but want to learn, they all deserve respect no matter how they choose to approach life (unless, of course, they are total flat out jerks or serial killers).

Donna


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