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I had learned that boats were called "she" because they carry, protect and then deliver the crew (or cargo) like a mother does her child.

Since we sailors are generally a suspicious group, and that it's know the name you give your boat affects the "personality", I'm not sure Ralph would be a good name.
First, a male boat may run around trying to "hook up" with every female boat willing to give him the time of day.
Second, a boat name Ralph may just "shoot your eye out" (Christmas Story) and spend too much money on Ovaltine.
she, because they carry protect and deliver the crew.....hum..I like that .

But while "she" is doing all that Ralph is keeping her from harm by caring cleaning and keeping her off shoals, navigating bars etc. Poor Ralph does all the hard stuff but no credit. When she skillfully crosses a nasty bar onlookers amply praise her, when she cuts a picture perfect profile against the sea onlookers again give her praise. No one ever says, look there goes ralph, dosent he look grand!....poor poor Ralph

personally I like the she thing, I have no desire to sail in a "he", do you?
 

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“A ship is always referred to as a she because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder.”
-- Chester W. Nimitz
 

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Captain Obvious
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While this thread has been meandering, my wife has gradually been turning into a pretty good sailor. This gives me a lot of hope. Didn't take an all female training program, or a marriage counselor. Just time, patience and a few perfect days. She just has/ had a bit more fear and less strength. But as she herself said - where I go, she goes. Not only is her fear less and less, but the work ethic and speed with which the work is done has improved at an amazing rate. What it really took was again endless patience, and letting her come to her own realizations about what needs to be done and how to do it.
 

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I find the context in which some men refer to their wives as "The Admiral" to be sexist. I'd never heard that term for a wife before reading it here on almost a daily basis. To me, it sounds like giving the wife an important title to make her feel good, but really saying she's not good for much at all.

My wife is the co-owner of our boat, and she's just as likely to be at the helm as me.

 

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I find the context in which some men refer to their wives as "The Admiral" to be sexist. I'd never heard that term for a wife before reading it here on almost a daily basis. To me, it sounds like giving the wife an important title to make her feel good, but really saying she's not good for much at all.

My wife is the co-owner of our boat, and she's just as likely to be at the helm as me.
Ahhhh. That's a can of worms ye've cracked open. :) I totally agree. A few other women I know totally agree. On the other hand, there are more women who think there's nothing wrong with it and then the argument from the men is that "admiral" is a higher rank than "captain."

I think that's a summary of this particular circle that we've gone around in this forum.
 

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I find the context in which some men refer to their wives as "The Admiral" to be sexist.
Yeah, that always strikes me as a bit off. That and the SWMBO thing. I understand the spirit in which it's used, but it just doesn't come off quite right for me.

That being said, when my wife saw our new (used) boat parked in the driveway she said "Well then I get a leather sectional sofa for the basement," and I said "Yes ma'am."
 

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I find the context in which some men refer to their wives as "The Admiral" to be sexist. I'd never heard that term for a wife before reading it here on almost a daily basis. To me, it sounds like giving the wife an important title to make her feel good, but really saying she's not good for much at all.

My wife is the co-owner of our boat, and she's just as likely to be at the helm as me.

I think it goes deeper than that. I had a german lady tell me before she died that American women as spoiled and don't know how good they have it. That was forty years ago and as time passed I realized that we American men do spoil our women. We always put them on a throne and give them the best we can so of course they would have to be the admiral because that is the highest position upon a vessel. Not sexest at all just a way of telling the lady friend that she is the best.
 

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I find the context in which some men refer to their wives as "The Admiral" to be sexist. I'd never heard that term for a wife before reading it here on almost a daily basis. To me, it sounds like giving the wife an important title to make her feel good, but really saying she's not good for much at all.

My wife is the co-owner of our boat, and she's just as likely to be at the helm as me.
That might be the case for some folks, but for a lot of people, that's just the nature of the on-board relationship. The wife often decides where to go and the husband, being the more experienced sailor, is in charge of getting the boat there. Very much like an admiral-captain relationship in the Navy.
 

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That might be the case for some folks, but for a lot of people, that's just the nature of the on-board relationship. The wife often decides where to go and the husband, being the more experienced sailor, is in charge of getting the boat there. Very much like an admiral-captain relationship in the Navy.
This one hit home. Almost exactly how it works here. Now, I don't refer to my wife as Admiral. Not because I consider it sexist, but because its corny. I also refuse to wear anything that has the word Captain on it either.
 

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I find the context in which some men refer to their wives as "The Admiral" to be sexist. I'd never heard that term for a wife before reading it here on almost a daily basis. To me, it sounds like giving the wife an important title to make her feel good, but really saying she's not good for much at all.

My wife is the co-owner of our boat, and she's just as likely to be at the helm as me.

Me too. It sounds derogatory to me, no matter who you're calling the "admiral", everybody aboard that boat, loses. :)

Another one is "She who must be obeyed", which I finally figured out is abb. -swmbo-,... silly and sad. :)
 

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Captain Obvious
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I see it as corny and dumb, not derogatory. Sounds like something old people say.

Some people really truly like to be told what to do. They want their spouse to make the decisions and they go along. Nothing terrible about that. Its not for my wife and me its the way some people are. And statistically, 50% of those people who want to be told what to do -- are male. So maybe thats where the admiral thing comes from some times.
 

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Isn't "She Who Must Be Obeyed" from the Rumpole of the Bailey books? Or does it pre-date that?
 

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Somewhat relevant to the title of this thread was an article in "Sailing" magazine. To me, I do not see sailing as inherently sexist. That said, many boats are set up with winch and line loadings that are designed around what an average fit man can routinely manage. My wife who is in good physical shape complains that these loads are bigger than she can handle easily. While there are many un-fit men out there, and many very fit woman, perhaps it is time for designers to increase the mechanical advantage so that a larger cohort of the population can easily manage the loads.

Anyway, below is the article on recent growth in sailing coming in the from women taking up the sport....

GROWTH: The secret is out, and she’s female

You sail like a mom: It’s a compliment, not a put-down



While sailing industry types scratch their heads trying to find the right formula to increase the number of kids in sailing programs, and sailing clubs and racing associations nationwide worry about declining memberships, sailing is shifting and growing under their feet.

Promoters repackage races to appeal to shoreside fans of testosterone-loaded extreme sports, selling sponsorships to brands which, in turn, hope fans will buy shirts or drinks, and sailboat builders seek designs hoping for mass appeal or some new “breakthrough” formula, all while sailing is being revolutionized from the inside out.

Sailing is becoming the activity of adult women.

Don’t believe it? Quick, say the last names of Ellen, Dawn, Betsy and Anna. You got them all in a few seconds right? Now try to do that quickly with the names of four guys who sail.

But it’s much more than a few popular female sailing athletes. This revolution isn’t being led by pros or celebrities, but by grassroots changes and on all new terms.

Here’s some evidence: Facebook analytics reports that among 1.1 million Americans who express an interest in sailing, women account for 51%, and 88% of them are over 25 years old. But they’re not just fans. Women under 24 and over 35 share their own sailing experiences on Facebook almost twice as often as men.

Consider that only 20 years ago, men outnumbered women in sailing 7-to-1.

You might see it in your town. What sailing center’s teaching staff isn’t dominated by strong, athletic, articulate and confident female sailing instructors? What collegiate sailing team doesn’t have at least as many women as men? What yacht club doesn’t like to boast about its first female commodore? And what regatta doesn’t overplay its all-female entries?

At the 2012 Soling Worlds for example, someone stood up at the opening ceremony to announce that boat No. 601, skippered by Whitney Kent and crewed by Cate Muller and Ashley Henderson, was the first all-female team ever in a Soling World Championship, and everyone loudly cheered and applauded, as if it was something strange and new. Sure, Soling fleet demographics lean to older guys who still seem focused on the Olympic trials of the 1970s, so they may not have noticed what has been happening recently in other fleets. The No. 601 team wasn’t there as a novelty or to be called out as tokens. Between them, the three women have decades of sailing experience and stellar records, racing and winning in one-design and handicapped events all over the country. They had trained for the event all summer because it happened to be coming to their hometown, and sailed respectably against tough competition.

In many cities near water in the U.S., women are organizing all-women teams and events. These events often grow organically out of a small network of veteran sailors who cobble together some used boats and recruit and help train newcomers until they’ve built a decent-sized fleet. In my town, summer Monday nights (the night the women sail) are the busiest nights on the bay. You might also notice that unlike classically organized sailing events, those for women organized by women don’t have a “yachty,” “club” or an “exclusive” feel. They don’t originate behind a closed gate or in the haze of cigar smoke at a bar. Instead, friends call friends and they go sailing. Everyone, regardless of skill, affiliation, age or experience is welcome, except, of course, for the men.

And here’s something new and different: unlike most adult men in sailing who will tell you that they’ve sailed forever, many women are entering the sport as adults. Often it happens while seeking social connections before or after marriage or kids. A woman will move to a new city to take a job, and the local sailing center looks attractive as a place to meet people and relax in the evenings. Friendships are sparked and a lifelong sailing adventure begins.

Women who get a taste for sailing in women-only events or in community programs often join teams that also include men and when they do, they’re just as good as the men, sometimes better. In my experience, among my crewmates, the women have the deepest commitment, train the hardest and can be the most motivated and motivational skippers.

Sailing belies gender. Women have everything it takes—strength, quickness, smarts and creativity—to sail at any level, from boat rides to blue water, from match racing to solo around-the-world adventures, from dinghies to tall ships.
But there is a more important aspect to this trend. When women who sail also happen to be moms, as they often are or will be, sailing becomes the activity of their families too.

When a sailing mom’s kids are very young, they get an inspiring early taste. They learn to be on and around boats and sailors, to wear life jackets, to touch water, and to be safe. Then, when her kids are old enough to be on a sailing team, the family becomes the team. Mom doesn’t sit in the bleachers at a soccer field, she trims the kite, steers the boat or calls tactics.

So I propose that the most important person on any sailing boat is the mom. Think about it this way: When a mom sails with her kids (instead of driving them to soccer) she’s doing something deemed suited only to men just a few years ago, and she is not doing the things thought to be the status quo for moms today. She’s a renegade. An innovator. A leader.

And that, all you industry types, club and racing association managers, boat makers and sponsors, is how you get kids into sailing.
interesting article. all I have to say is," where are all these sailor women, darn it? I want one!"

seriously, though. I think there is something the article mentions but does not draw attention to: while more men, generally, tend to sail, than women, men do not keep women from sailing. they do not oppose it. the women sailors, however, do keep men out of their groups. if listen to the article, it is women that are sexist, in the sailing world; not the men. and the article doesn't find fault with that. we live in a double standard society and refuse to admit it. think about it

you can have an all minority group or school or other activity.
but any all white organization or group is automatically racist.

you can have an all female group or club or whatever, and that is applauded.
but an all male group, activity, or club is sexist...even if it's because women just aren't interested.

it's a double standard. but it's an ok double standard. I think it's funny. we are such a self delusional society.

I want to point out that the writer was sexist in assuming cigar smoking is only a man's activity. I have known a number of women that smoked cigars and one that smoked a pipe, like I do.

it has been my observation that, often, the most racist or sexist are the ones going around griping that others are racist or sexist.

I bet no one ever tried to say that quilting bees were sexist. ever met a guy that was into quilting? it's a conspiracy, I tell ya!
 

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I find the context in which some men refer to their wives as "The Admiral" to be sexist. I'd never heard that term for a wife before reading it here on almost a daily basis. To me, it sounds like giving the wife an important title to make her feel good, but really saying she's not good for much at all.

My wife is the co-owner of our boat, and she's just as likely to be at the helm as me.

I wouldn't say it's sexist at all. in some cases, when a man refers to his woman with a title of authority, it is a loving recognition of her importance. however, most of the time I have seen men refer to their wives as "the boss", it's because they are hen pecked and wouldn't dare make a decision, even regarding themselves, without their wife's permission. but I have never known a guy who referred to their wife with a title of authority that did so in a depreciating manner, with intent on implying she is useless.
 

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I had learned that boats were called "she" because they carry, protect and then deliver the crew (or cargo) like a mother does her child.
not accurate at all. calling a boat ( or a motorcycle or a car ) "she" comes from the pre-Christian Germanic culture ( we live in a world that is highly Germanic influenced ). it was ( is by those still true to the old Gods ) believed that all things have a spirit. some things have a more developed spirit than others. nothing can manifest in the material world if it does not also manifest in the spirit world.

a sword, and a boat, was felt to have a very developed spirit. the original spirit essence comes from the materials from which it's made, but the smith or boat wright gives to the sword/ ship a part of his spirit, as he makes it. future owners also give a part of their spirits, as they utilize these things. this is why you never loan your sword to someone who you do not believe is an honorable person: he might taint the spirit of your sword. there is a similar belief, about swords, in japan.

now, when you manifest your spirit, in something you use or make, it manifests as the gender opposite of yours. the sword is close and intimate with the swordsman, like a lover not like a brother.

traditionally, for almost 95% of human history, men were the sword smiths and the swordsmen. men were the ship builders and the sailors. so, naturally, these things had a female spirit and were called "she". this is not, at all, sexist. it is an honor. nothing is so cherished as a sword, by the swordsman, or a boat, by the sailor. these things were loved devotedly.

this tradition wasn't tainted by the coming of the church, which was very anti-woman. it follows it's old heathen roots. one must remember, no Viking, regardless how mighty, would even undertake a simple raid without seeking the advice of the oldest woman of his family or community. In those heathen societies, women were respected and honored; felt to be somewhat divine.

it was the cultures to the south that held women to be second class citizens. at one point, the church ( Christianity being a middle eastern religion ) was debating whether women actually had souls or not.

similarly, the tradition of giving boats, and swords, names comes from this belief. in fact, christening a boat is a Christianization of the name fastening ritual, in which a sacrifice is given ( that which is sacrificed gives it's life force to the ship ) and the name proclaimed to the Gods and Norns.

you have to remember that much of our nautical tradition comes from the Norse and other Germanic cultures, like the Dutch and English.
 
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