TLF Friendly to Women?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by Merrily, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Michelle

    Michelle New Member

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    I'm a woman, I post here fairly often and I race radials and full rigs. I also lurk on Sailing Anarchy but almost never post there partly because it truly is a hotbed of aggressive sexist anonymous jerks. It's also a much, much larger community with some good posters and interesting perspectives among the c**p, which is why I bother with reading it from time to time. I find the Laser Forum to be very well-behaved most of the time, and anytime people get too out of hand, the moderators crack down on them. Even the same individuals (you know who you are) who post here and on SA are much more polite here. Perhaps I missed the rude Laser Forum threads people are referring to.

    My guess as to why few women post here has more to do with simple proportions. Think of all the Laser sailors you know and how few of them post here. Also, look at all the people registered that don't post, either. There just are a lot less women Laser sailors than men around, especially with adults, so if you took the percentage of active men Laserites who post and then applied it to how many active women Laserites there are, it can't be that big of a number. Why less women race Lasers would be the topic of another thread, and probably has been but I don't feel like searching for it right now. (now I remember-the red rhombus thread started to go there) We're not going to get more women posting until more women are out sailing. This is, of course, just my opinion.
     
  2. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    I was going to post something similar to what Michelle just wrote. It's a numbers game and her last paragraph stated it well.
     
  3. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, there is something to the proportions idea, but there's an average about 150 members who log in here daily, so two women posters still seems low to me. I figure that some of the women only read, and some have names that aren't gender specific. I guess that some of the anonymous posters could even be women.

    I say to the women, come out, come out, where ever you are!
     
  4. grrladventure

    grrladventure New Member

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    I'm new here. Just bought my laser 2 weeks ago, but... I have been pretty actively sailing both Tasars and big boats for the past 4 years. Point blank there just aren't that many woman sailors and even fewer who feel comfortable taking the helm - including a laser. So, to augment the above post, I think it is a numbers game as well as a confidence game. 1) We need to get more women out there sailing, 2) we need to get them comfortable enough to step out and take the helm 3) we need them to realize that they can be an active part of the fleet discussions and this forum.
     
  5. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Here, here!

    Welcome to the forum, Grrladventure!
     
  6. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    As soon as I have finished composing my sexist rant, I will further contribute it to this thread.

    Meanwhile>>>

    What does Eliza Doolittle, AKA Ribecca have to say about this subject??

    And Rebecca Mandeville AKA Laserbabee?? Anybody heard from her lately?
     
  7. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    Hey Gov, how do you think TLF is for women compared to Sailing Anarchy?
    I know there are quite a few women that are loved and adored over on SA. In fact, I think there are many, many more women on SA than here
     
  8. tammi5256

    tammi5256 New Member

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    I'm new to this laser blogging thing but I've been racing against a majority of men for over 20 years now - first in windsurfers and now lasers. Thus far I haven't had an issue with the content of the blog - but maybe I'm jaded when it comes to guy "talk". The bottom line is if you want the blog to be more lady friendly there needs to be an increase in women's participation in the sport. Face it - the ladies are scarce! At my last regatta it was me and one other woman. The rest of the female competitors average age was 16 years (and they rocked it!). In my winter frostbiting fleet (30 boats) the same story exists - me and 4 teenagers. And most of them stopped showing up 4 weeks into the season.
     
  9. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    You, sexist, Fredders ;)? Never! That would reduce the number of boats on the starting line, and I know you don't want that.

    I think Ribecca meant it when she said goodbye. I'd love to know what Laserbabee thinks.
     
  10. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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  11. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    I make 4 women, counting you, Merrily, who have now responded to this thread..

    I agree with Michelle's assessment of Sailing Anarchy. I too "lurk" there but hardly ever post anything. Sexist doesn't even come close. They do have interesting and fun discussions, though.

    Numbers - Tracy confirmed during our infamous "Rhombus" thread, that worldwide, the Laser Class has only about 15% women. That's way up from when I was active in the Class. (can't sail a Laser any more, too fat and my back kills me if I do) Since Rad became Olympic, I'm sure female membership is up, too. Young, smart and highly competitive females, a lot of whom migrated to Rads from the Europe Class. They might enjoy a more edgy Forum like SA.

    So, let's look at it from the standpoint of Laser sailing being a mostly guys' game that some women also enjoy. Those of us who are comfortable with this demographic are, like you, women who are at ease being "one of the guys" and like to be treated as such at regattas and generally when sailing.

    I'd bet we're also considered pretty "quiet" by the guys we sail with and against, compared to other women in their lives. Quiet, meaning that we can keep our opinions to ourselves when it's warranted, don't giggle or cry, and only rush out on a limb in print when it's something worthwhile.

    Like the da*n Rhombus issue. I did invest some sweat equity over that, years ago, honest. But, that's maybe a reason there aren't more women on the Forum.

    Getting more women out sailing? Boy, that's one that's puzzled me for many years. In my opinion, athletic girls coming up through high school, even if they are exposed to sailing, are so much more likely to be diverted to other sports and things like gymnastics (is it a sport?) and dancing that the pool of women is limited from the get go. How to get more women into sailing? Offer it at more high schools. (pigs might fly, too)

    I got into sailing because my dad loved it. He scared my mother to death the first time he took her cruising, but she bravely went with him for years after. I have two sisters neither of whom sail at all. Of my two kids, my son loves to sail (but has no time) and my daughter learned, but just isn't "outdoorsy" and never raced.

    At our club, we have a women's sailing group. They sail Sunfish and prams once a week on Thursdays. They have a nice time, but very few of them would ever dream of racing in an open event against men. One example of how those who go "women's" sailing are very different from the women who race Lasers. They're just not . . . <what is it??> competitive? aggressive? They let their friends cross on port to be "nice". They never yell. They're like the people at the 4-way stop who wave you through even though it's their turn. (needless to say, I do not sail with them) So, that's a group of women sailors who might NEVER look at a forum.

    Female Laser sailors? We're a breed apart.

    Cheers Lainie p.s. I prefer yellow, the pink smiley . . gak.
     
  12. Cindy Taylor

    Cindy Taylor Member

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    Okay, now 5.

    I've sailed (in a Sunfish regatta) with the women at your sailing club and this is one source where recruiting could be done. Most may not be interested but there are a few that are more athletic, one a marathon runner and one that does triathlons. I even met one this weekend that now has a Laser Radial though I didn't get to talk to her much about it. Some even travel to Sunfish regattas. Sometimes I get asked about the Laser and I do tell them I like the Laser much better than the Sunfish. As far as being aggressive, the first time I sailed with these women I was yelled at by one who said I tacked too close and made her adjust her course. I did my turns.
     
  13. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

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    Cindy: Don't you just hate that "tacking too close" thing? Some people have a panic attack if you tack within 3 boatlengths. Not just women, either. We were protested at St. Pete in our Melges for tacking within a boatlength of another boat. There's no WAY he could have hit us, but he claimed he had to alter course, so . . . we took a 40% penalty.

    Yes, there are, as I said, a few competitive women in the Luffing Lassies and there are at least two very GOOD sailors. But they aren't Laser sailors. (did you know the Club manager playfully refers to them as the "Puffing Hussies") The names make me crazy - "Salty Sisters", "Broad Reachers" for goodness sakes!

    I've never ventured out to race, mostly so that they don't find out how merciless and mouthy I am when I race, but also because I refuse to sail a Sunfish. (My dad used to call that a "latrine" rig. Very apt.)

    Athletic is one thing, but a strategic competition is another. Runners aren't in strategic situations where rules such as right of way must be applied during their races, like sailors. It's a different, more direct type of competition and nice manners have no place on the race course in my world. If you're racing, you should go by the racing rules.

    As I said, I think the women who stick it out sailing Lasers in open competition are a breed apart. We don't ask or give any quarter to anybody. We want to race on the level field the Laser provides. We are of a different mind set from women who play at racing against only other women. It's another sport altogether, in my mind.

    On a different tack, the Laser didn't used to be a great boat for women, and still is a real handful unless you were/are big and tall and very fit. (I'm short, fat and arthritic) With the new control lines at least it's easier now to de-power the sail. The Radial, of course, is much better suited to female sailors. Maybe as the young Rad girls age into Masters, they will become more interested in forum discussions.

    Conclusion, Merrily I think there are more women out there than it appears, but yes, a very small group that race Lasers seriously. (Look at the entry list for the Masters Worlds). I don't find this forum at all unfriendly and I like the discussions/debates. But then, I enjoy a good argument at times. I really enjoyed the rhombus discussion, especially after Jeff Martin and Tracy jumped in.

    To be fair, I had my trial by fire years ago, when the old Laser List was active. I used to write a dozen e-mails a night when I was NA Class VP and I sure know that not everyone's going to agree and you can't please everybody.
     
  14. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Is that like when somebody wears colors that don't match??

    Tacky too close is more of a problem that you might think
     
  15. Txsailgal

    Txsailgal New Member

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    What we have to do is take the helm ourselves and show other women that we can do it and hopefully they will want to do it to!
     
  16. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    This is absolutely true. Sailing by example is the way to go, though the topic of the thread refers to The Laser Forum, TLF. :)
     
  17. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    You gals prefer diamonds or pearls??




    note....donw


    below



    This is in response to a recent offensive and absurd attempt by the debate hosts to have a student ask this question instead of a question about a real issue and trivialize a woman presidential candidate.
     
  18. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I prefer diamonds AND pearls and we're not allowed to talk politics by decree of Bradley.
     
  19. nybozo1

    nybozo1 New Member

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    the below shows the other side of the beloved Gouv.

    everybody, in the Laser Class anyway, knows who Gouvenail is whether it be here or SA.
     
  20. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm well aware that Gouv has another side, as we all do. He respectfully keeps it where it is appreciated and so is considered woman friendly at TLF (if that is your point). I've deleted your link because it is policy here to not have a link to something vulgar. Any more such posts will be considered a personal attack, which is not tolerated here. Anyone who is interested in Gouv's posts at SA can go there directly and read them. He uses the same screen name.
     

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