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Does sailing sexually discriminate at top level?

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    Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 8:03am
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.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote winging it Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 8:16am
oh god, can I even be bothered.....

women are constucted differently to men, with narrower shoulders and broader hips, They typically do not grow as tall, and have different muscle composition.

Look at athletics - women do not run as fast, jump as high, throw as far as men, simply because they are built differently.

Allowing woment to sail less physically demanding craft than men is therefore a necessary and welcome discrimination.
the same, but different...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 8:38am
Until 1988, all the olympic yachting was "open", but with very few female competitors in any class. Even at the 2008 beijing games, three out of the eleven events were officially open- the Finn, 49er and Tornado. A single female (Carolijn Brouwer) competed in the Tornado- she came 12th.
 At the 2016 games, the cat will be enforced-mixed.
So what we see is that the "segregation" happened naturally anyway, but that in its modern form (with defined segregated events) you actually women in sailing at the Olympics.
 
As wingining it says, physiology is quite different between men and woman, even of the same stature. As all the olympic classes have become more atheltically demanding at the top level, these differences are emphasised- whereas at lower level/less athletic classes these fundamental differences are less important.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 9:46am
I'm normally in the absolute merit camp on positive discrimination - if a job needs doing, it needs doing best.  But in sailing there is no imperative 'need' , and fact is sailing clubs are much more pleasant places and more likely to thrive if we have both sexes well represented.  Currently there is a shortfall of women; anything which increases women's interest in sailing is therefore positive.

That said, I'm not sure the majority of women would find single-sex racing as socially attractive as mixed racing, so I'm all for making the 470, say, a mixed fleet - must have one woman and one man on board.  Remember Cathy Foster and Pete Newlands? They went pretty well.  I, at any rate, find sailing a mixed boat more enjoyable - less pressure somehow, as most of the women I know aren't so frantically competitive as the men.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 10:15am
Originally posted by Medway Maniac

That said, I'm not sure the majority of women would find single-sex racing as socially attractive as mixed racing

I dunno, at the club I sailed at as a kid a lot of the mums decided to get together in Toppers and start some Thursday Night sailing for women only- it was a mix of cruising and racing, all very lighthearted and about encouragement rather than all out competition.  The numbers swelled year on year, it added another social night on the week calendar (blokes and kids were allowed in the bar afterwards)

It became a real success that then boosted the number welly-wearers on Sundays for yacht crews- one thing's for sure, having a mixed crew on a racing yacht is a much more fun way to trash some estuary cans than just blokes treating it like the the Sydney-Hobart and taking it all wheeeey too seriously for sunday racing. 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 11:49am
Does sailing sexually discriminate at the top level?
 
I would say yes and for various reasons.
 
If the discrimination is for genuine differences, fair enough.
If the discrimination is based on pre-judged assumtions (prejudice masquerading as discrimination for genuine differences) then it's not OK.
 
I have never in my life come a cross an organisation that didn't display prejudice of one kind or another and the recipient quite often colludes in order to fit in (confluence). The only possible way of avoiding sexual (or any other) discrimination is to have equal numbers with equal influence making decisions.....since this is probably impossible in organisations and certainly isn't anywhere near the case in sailing (or anywhere else come to that), then yes there is discrimination.
 
Judging from what I've seen at various clubs prejudice on this issue does seem more prevalent in sailing than in many other institutions. There are worse sports probably, but that doesn't justify, particularly because olympic sailing has a female category.
 
Example at lower level FWIW:
Our club has a Ladies Championship. The trophy is named the "Dolly Bowl". My wife in past years has been more than capable of winning it but she's not interested...."I'm not a fecking Dolly" is how she sums it up.
 
Not an easy problem to solve, being aware of it does help. Pointing it out generally goes down like a turd in a punch bowl though.


Edited by GK.LaserII - 05 Apr 12 at 12:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Contender443 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 12:21pm
I think the Toppers are now offering prizes to 1st 2nd 3rd male and also to 1st 2nd 3rd female. SO equal billing to each sex within a fleet. They recognise in racing and training that each sex has different needs.
It is still believed that single sex classes in schools makes good sense.
 
As far as equestrian events go is it not the horse that is doing all the physical work and it does not the rider that matters.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 12:59pm
The rider needs to have a fair degree of fitness (and be pretty light)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 1:38pm
Originally posted by winging it

oh god, can I even be bothered.....

women are constucted differently to men, with narrower shoulders and broader hips, They typically do not grow as tall, and have different muscle composition.

Look at athletics - women do not run as fast, jump as high, throw as far as men, simply because they are built differently.

Allowing woment to sail less physically demanding craft than men is therefore a necessary and welcome discrimination.
 
+1
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 12 at 1:43pm
Originally posted by GK.LaserII


Our club has a Ladies Championship. The trophy is named the "Dolly Bowl". My wife in past years has been more than capable of winning it but she's not interested...."I'm not a fecking Dolly" is how she sums it up.

 
We used to boycott the Ladies Race at my old club - all the arguments in favour of it pointed to having a crews' race instead.  

But I recall the comments afterwards like "I see Geoff won the Ladies Race again", which did at least acknowledge/promote the idea that the crew's input was important!
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