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Does sailing sexually discriminate at top level?

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Menace View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Menace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 12 at 5:13pm
Originally posted by Do Different

If not, then why are we running trials for a new ladies Olympic skiff?

At Club and National level both sexes race on equal terms in the same boats. At my old club we were led very competently by a young lady commodore and my present club one of our top helms is a lady in a big two person trapeze boat.

The size and strength differences are not that great with modern diets. Why not let ladies who are big / good enough sail a 49er  and smaller men sail a McKay FX.

Before I took up dinghy racing I used to compete in equestrian events so am well used to going head to head with very fired up ladies! At Olympic level there is no discrimination and in professional racing both flat and over jumps ladies now have equal status.
 
I actually think it's a bl00dy good idea. I say this because as I've said before I sail as a mixed team in skiffs. We've done 14s and 49ers and my better half is the best crew I've ever had. She's agile, quick and has more balls than the blokes I used to sail with. This is not just my opinion as we have a few mixed teams local to us sailing 49ers and FWIW, seem to be as good as, if not better than the local Olympic wannabes. We sail the boat because we like it, but it would have been nice to have the same options as others in the class, actually, we are discriminated against.
 
The talk of "girls aren't physical enough for skiffs" is rubbish. Good skiff sailors are athletic and agile, not rugby players. My crew couldn't sail a Phantom competitively due to the weight aspect, but skiffs are different. I've lost count of the ammount of times we've caught funny looks as the two big blokes sailing the boats can't do it properly but we can. A lot is based on a wrong perception. Julian Bethwaite designed the 49er to be sailed at a top level, indiscriminant of sex. I think he got it right, just too many people associate a challenging boat with a guys boat.
 
The problem lies in the fact that more men sail than women, so the odds are more in favour of more males being competitive at a higher level. If you had open in all classes, it would be male dominated in my opinion, so segregating the classes may be a necesary evil. The easiest way to get round it is Male, Female and mixed in all disciplines. Mixed skiff would be 49er with open rig selection like the 18s, you make the choice of the FX or big rig.
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Contender443 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Contender443 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 12 at 9:25am

I think they should be kept separate. Yes one or two few women could do perhaps do well in mixed fleets but you can bet it will be dominated by men.

So the only way to go is to keep the men and women apart with equal numbers competing. There are very few sports where men and women compete equally and in the same competition. And there is a good reason for this.
 
As far as banning Saudi what a stupid idea. That is a very strong cultural belief that banning them will do absolutly nothing to change. We should not try to change it and we should respect it. Yes it may be wrong in our eyes but in their culture it is the norm. 
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Medway Maniac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 12 at 10:23am
Originally posted by Contender443

I think they should be kept separate. 


What about one of each sex in each boat?  Guarantees equal participation and probably enhances integration c.f. separate fleets.
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winging it View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote winging it Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 12 at 12:27pm
Mark, a cultural norm should only be respected if it is accepted and agreed upon by the entire population of that country.  In Saudi Arabia not only are women prevented from competing in sport, they are not even allowed to drive, despite much movement from the people of the country to change the legislation.  Unfortunately a male dominated legislature maintains the status quo.  Is that really to be respected and left alone?
the same, but different...

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Medway Maniac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 12 at 12:52pm
But banning...

I think it's likely more persuasive to say, "this is the way we're do things, you can join in if you play to our rules" 
rather than saying, "you can't come, we don't like the way you do things at home (we know best after all)".  The latter would tend to harden attitudes, I'd have thought.

On the other hand, we absolutely shouldn't change our rules to accommodate them, as someone suggested above.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 12 at 1:12pm
Banning would isolate those cultures, this in turn ends any dialogue and influence, they would stop listening......Better to invite them along and continue bending their ear politely but firmly.
 
It's the theory of persistent influence, it only works if there is friendly(ish) and honest communication.


Edited by GK.LaserII - 07 Apr 12 at 1:13pm
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kurio99 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kurio99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 12 at 1:40pm
Sailing is probably one of the few sports where you can tailor the apparatus to the group's physical norm.  Look at high jump which favours those with tall genes.  Or horse racing which favours those with small genes.  Put the women in the 49ers and you could be giving the advantage to those few that are exceptionally large boned.  With the new skiff, we can target the main body of women for their athleticism rather than their genetics.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 12 at 7:22pm
it is worth reiterating that the cat event in rio (assuming ISAF don't do something dumb, again) is to be enforced mixed crew.
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