(Yes, I am a feminist)
Recently within the cruiser youtube channels, there had been a major blow up.
Sailing Miss LoneStar
One of the channels is going through a major change as a couple split under horrible circumstance. (If you want to look into it at all, check out Sailing Miss Lonestar). The woman in the couple decided to keep on with the boat, and ended up having it repossessed because he was no longer aboard, (don’t know the whole story on that, but let’s move on). Knowing that she wanted to keep on sailing, but realizing just how little she herself knows about sailing, she sent her kids to stay with her mother for the school year to give herself time to learn what she needs to learn to be safe at sea with her kids.
Now, I’m sure there’s much more to the story. I haven’t delved in deep enough to give all the hows and whys… and that’s not what I want to talk about anyway…
When you look at the comments on the video where she explains what’s going on, if you’re anything like me, you will be FLOORED at how brutal the responses are. This woman has gone through a violent situation, and instead of overwhelming concern for her wellbeing, she is being attacked for being irresponsible. Instead of being congratulated for the fore-thinking of having her children somewhere they will be safe, comfortable, and probably enjoy (getting to enjoy friends at school), she’s being accused of being a horrible mother for sailing the Caribbean away from her children.
What I did…
So, I did exactly what I would want someone to do if I were going through something like that (which I have, but I wasn’t in the public eye to be criticized or supported). I posted a comment encouraging her. Letting her know it was good that if she wanted to continue on, that she learn to really handle things on the boat herself. I would LOVE to see a single mom with her little kids out there on the seas. (There single dads that have done it, why not moms!)
Crickets…. I also didn’t think anything of not hearing anything. I wasn’t expecting to head anything.
Then, 2-3 weeks later, I get a notification that there’s a response…
“Are you actually encouraging her?” It went on to let me know she has no job, she’s irresponsible and a drunk… all kinds of things…
But the thought that kept going through my head…
If it was a dad separating from a woman, and he sent his kids to his mom’s for a school year while he learned to sail and fix a boat… I don’t think anyone would say a damn thing. Heck, as long as he was handing over some money every month, he might even get a pat on the back for being a good dad… and supporting his kids, (even if he never see’s them).
I let it brew for a couple days. I knew it just needed to fade away like so many of my frustrations. (Not that those things are actually okay, but my temper and anxiety about it abates and I no longer feel the overwhelming DRIVE to put in my two cents.
This time, however, even after a couple days, I just couldn’t let it go. I had tried to say my piece (on her video) and let it be, but clearly, that wasn’t enough, as someone wanted to draw me back into it.
I went out to the internet a couple (few?) mornings ago and made a video.
I used Miss Lone Star’s story as a starting point for an important topic…
How women are (sometimes? many-a-times?) treated within the cruising community.
I call it being “little missed”.
You know. “Don’t worry about that, little Miss.”
“Do you really know how to drive that boat, little lady?”
“Where’s your husband? I want to talk to the Captain?”
I even had a friend who owned her own boat, (and was working on it at the time), get harassed by a group of guys who didn’t believe that it was her boat.
Do you really know how to drive that boat, little lady?
And worse of all, when I posted the video, (aside from losing several subscribers), I was attacked for it.
I was told about how cancerous feminism is (by men). About how irresponsible and what a drunk the other sailor is, how could I defend her… (So she’s horribly irresponsible, yet you have a problem with her being away from her kids… but she’s wrong for that too… Wait, I forgot she’s a woman, so no matter WHAT she does, she’s going to be told she’s wrong.) I was told that I’m part of the problem, and it’s no wonder sailors like me can’t keep men. (Even though I’ve been with my husband for 20 years.) Oh, and I was told that being ignored while the man next to be is being talked to is called being polite. (I though greeting and talking to both people was polite. oops)
But what’s funny is the responses I got from the women. So far, I believe there is only one woman who wrote on the page, (though I did ask a bunch too). However, I got comments OFF youtube from women telling me how they have shared a lot of the same experiences, both in and outside of the sailing community. They cried out that this was a conversation that needed to be had.
NOW I get why some of the men were so unhappy about it all… Though many of the women stayed communicating in the safer place, being treated more like a full member of the community (or like a person) this conversation was and is one THEY want to have. The women were afraid of coming to the youtube page where the vultures were circling waiting for the vulnerable spot to be shown… Except these vultures don’t wait till your dead to eat you up… they just want someone that they feel superior to, and that’s good enough.
As long as they can feel superior, they have half (or so) of the population that they can see as the “lesser”, they can be raised up. They don’t seem to realize that you can be a magnificent human, and so can the person next to you. That there is enough love and respect to go around. The only reason we’re living in such a respect-scarce world is because people don’t seem to realize that when you GIVE respect, like love, it MULTIPLIES… it doesn’t subtract.