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i touch myself

We have all discussed the type and number of problems that have led to the shrinking of the sport. One aspect which has not been widely discussed is that of the overwhelming patriarchy and sexual harassment within the sport. The sailing industry, specifically sailmakers, need to lead the way in change, for a few, not all, are among the worst offenders.
Go to virtually any big boat regatta in the US, the competitors are overwhelming male. Dinghy classes tend to have a better gender balance as there is a lot less male bullshit for females to wade through. However, the sport largely centers around males in every respect. Most are pretty decent people, but the alpha males that sailmakers hire are too often people that do more harm than good for the sport, and in the end, the sailmaking company itself.
Maybe there are females who sell sails or are “class experts” (or as is often said, “experts with no class”), but if there are, they are few and far between, and they are not household names.
Obviously, it has never occurred to the management of all the sailmakers that there are customers, and more importantly potential customers, who really do not enjoy the sailing bro culture that exists within the sailmaking business, and would rather instead purchase sails and have has the “class expert” females.
Perhaps women are not interested in selling sails or being a “class expert”. Maybe they do not want to bother trying to break through the carbon ceiling that the sport has created for women. Or maybe some women want to, and have no chance at either of these jobs because of the obvious gender bias by the owners and management of the sailmaking companies.
Couple this with some too often sexual harassment by rather obnoxious sailmakers and experts with no class and what self respecting woman would want to be part of this culture, to try and change the norms within the sport?
Case in point : expert with no class flies across the country for a one design big boat regatta to help an owner who bought sails from the company. He steps aboard for the first time with his entitled arrogance and wandering eye. He quickly figures out the one female aboard is now his target for the week. As the week progresses he gets more overt in this attention of the female crewmember. Funny comments become overt suggestions. A glance across the dinner table becomes an unwelcome game of footsie under it. He escalates his attempts, is continually rebuffed, but keeps trying. Of course, there’s the butt grab whenever possible. Oh yeah, he’s married with a kid at home, so he’s either in an open marriage or he’s just another creepy middle age sailing industry semi bro who goes home empty handed and has to touch himself instead.
There is not going to be a single solution to getting more people to race sailboats more often, but the things that can be fixed should be fixed one by one. So to the owners and CEO’s of sailmakers – here’s a challenge for you – get more (some?) women selling sails and being experts with class. Watch your sales increase and see more people having fun more often. Discuss here.
Title inspiration thanks to the Divinyls