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Old 04-20-2014, 09:52 AM   #1
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Why Not Women?

The broker thread was drifting into a pretty interesting topic before it closed: Why don't more women participate in TF discussions? I was posting the following, but it closed too quickly:

Why not simply ask our wives/significant others? Mine says it's a combination of excruciating technical detail that she would often feel ill-prepared to participate in, PLUS no desire to be in a pack of male dogs peeing on trees. (She can be pretty candid)

I imagine the women who DO participate would have some valuable insights as well.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:43 AM   #3
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angus99,
I think your wife summed it up nicely.

But there are many topics discussed here that women could have lots to say. Cooking obviously, painting and decorating, design from an aesthetics standpoint, for some .. navigation, stoves, heaters, bedding, planning ..... yea come to think of it women could be significant on TF.

But I think they consider it (TF) a man cave. And most posts are responses so you've got to read the thread to respond and our girls don't.

I sure don't run OUR boat by myself so Chris is a big part of our boating. But not there on TF. I'll ask her about this. Big Easter egg hunt thing today so not a good time as she's a planner and very busy .... as I will be soon.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:50 AM   #4
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The thing to look at is why there are almost no women in traditional forums like TF, SailNet, CruisersForum, SailboatOwners, etc., but the cruising groups are filled with women participants on Facebook.

Even suggesting that women aren't interested in cruising is nonsense. It's just not true as a generalization.

I can add one fact to the discussion. More than 50% of the participants on ActiveCaptain are women. More than 50% of the people writing in to us are women. When we plan a Defender 1st special with Defender and target a "women" type of product, it sells through the roof.

Karen and I have spent hundreds of hours analyzing this and trying to understand why it happens. For some reason, traditional forums bring out bad behavior and a nasty environment. Some are worse than others and like I've said before, TF is better although it still goes on here. I think it's better here because the numbers are quite small - too small - to have the same piling on effect common in many other forums. I don't know why it happens as a general rule. It just doesn't happen in other media in the same way.

We've talked to hundreds and perhaps thousands of women about it. They all target the same types of reasons - they think it's mean spirited and women won't put up with that for social interaction. Men will for some bizarre reason.

I think it has something to do with the email notifications. Email from a known place tends to make you react. People go into Facebook to purposely look around and interact. Here, it's a reaction to something you're "subscribed" to. It's subtle but it's a major difference.

I also think that forums are generally more anonymous in nature. Certainly they are much more anonymous than Facebook. Anonymity leads to worse behavior especially in men from my experience. There are things said publicly in forums between individuals that would never be said in person, face-to-face.

I really don't think forums like this will exist in 10 years. They are the "bulletin boards" and chat rooms from the 1990-2000's that no longer exist for much of the same reasons.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:11 AM   #5
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100 years ago when dinner was over the men retreated to one room, women another. When I was a little kid, after Thanksgiving, the men and women separated. To this day, my wife is in a book club where the poor husband of the hosting wife has to disappear on club night (disappearing into the garage or basement is usually sufficient). I love my wife's company, we spend 90% of our lives together, but there's a chemistry and rapport by gender that still exists and probably always will. That gender chemistry or atmosphere is pretty strong on TF. It's probably because we're overwhelmingly power boaters. It's the mechanics. You notice on sailing forums it's a little more balanced (although clearly skewed toward men there too). Not PC, not a very contemporary thing to point out, but the genders have different chemistry and affinities (generally, of course) and so it ever shall be.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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You know, I'm not so sure that forums like this will vanish eventually. These forums are a lot like the bulletin boards on the 'net in the 90's - packaged in a much nicer way, but essentially the same thing. Look at the persistence of email. I was sending email in college in the 80's and here I am 30 years later still sending email. Sometimes things just work, they just fill a need and that's it.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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These sum it up pretty well ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by angus99 View Post
... Plus no desire to be in a pack of male dogs peeing on trees. (she can be pretty candid) :d
Quote:
Originally Posted by activecaptain View Post
... we've talked to hundreds and perhaps thousands of women about it. They all target the same types of reasons - they think it's mean spirited and women won't put up with that for social interaction. Men will for some bizarre reason.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:46 AM   #8
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I have to pretty much agree with Jeff. I have participated on other forums/lists where there is more female involvement; T&T was that way and still is to some degree; the Hatteras Owner's Forum has several active female participants (though far from 50%!)
Then you have the testosterone free for alls like THT...

In my experience, women are better at sniffing out bluster, posturing and BS, and in general have less tolerance of it.

Almost everything of what I post on cruising, living aboard, destinations and the overall lifestyle is informed by Ann every bit as much as me.

I agree that more open, social-oriented venues will dominate; what will be popular 10 years from now hasn't been invented yet.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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You just have to look at the way Galaxy Girl was treated here.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:56 AM   #10
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angus99,
I think your wife summed it up nicely.

But there are many topics discussed here that women could have lots to say. Cooking obviously, painting and decorating, design from an aesthetics standpoint, for some .. navigation, stoves, heaters, bedding, planning ..... yea come to think of it women could be significant on TF.

Eric, I am surprised at you. I know you didn't mean it that way, but it was a sort of a sexist remark. It just could be one reason more women do not participate. I know women who are the main operators of the boat, others that are excellent navigators, and even one that does the mechanical stuff on their boat. (her husband was a stroke victim) He runs the boat, she navigates and does engine checks, etc.

Women can feel catergorized, and shy away from rendering opinions in discussions dominated by men. They don't enjoy mens' pissing matches, but men better stay away from a cat fight. Oooooh, was that a sexist statement?
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:21 PM   #11
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Here's where I should probably amplify on my wife's interests and abilities. I'd rather have her on the wheel of any of our sailboats than myself, especially during a race. She can sense minute shifts in the wind and coax the optimal speed out of the boat in any conditions. While she wasn't raised fixing cars or helping her dad repair the furnace, she insists on learning engine and mechanical system basics on our new-to-us trawler. I doubt she'll ever get into discussions on the perfect anchor or the finer points of crimping tools, but she'll learn enough to get the boat home should I ever become incapacitated.

And Eric, while I know you meant well, I can only hope she never reads your second paragraph
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:26 PM   #12
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Obviously a lot have you have never worked in an office full of women....they make guys look like amateurs at skewering each other.

GG was treated better than most guys who went through the same series of posts....the chivalrous supported her when there was even nothing to support/defend. Actually that was the problem...most guys NEVER went through the same series of posts (or at least so few I can't remember any.

Using most of out sig others is irrelevant...they are the few percent of women booaters....lots of newbies/lurkers never pipe up for all kinds of reasons....not because of sex.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:32 PM   #13
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Women just humor us until we die. They got better things to do with their time than waste them typing on computers. So far I've never seen a Lazy Girl chair advertised anywhere, nor ever noticed a woman sitting in a Lazy Boy. In a whole house of furniture thats the last place you will see one. Women know what they're doing.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:34 PM   #14
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100 years ago when dinner was over the men retreated to one room, women another.
...and not long before that, dinner was prepared and cleaned up by slaves and servants.

Thanks goodness we've progressed past all of that including and especially the need to have men and women separate into different conversations. Perhaps there is an underlying desire by some men to go back to those days and make places like forums unappealing to women. Thankfully, those very old and sexist ideas are gone.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:40 PM   #15
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...and not long before that, dinner was prepared and cleaned up by slaves and servants.

Thanks goodness we've progressed past all of that including and especially the need to have men and women separate into different conversations. Perhaps there is an underlying desire by some men to go back to those days and make places like forums unappealing to women. Thankfully, those very old and sexist ideas are gone.
Glad I'm not you. Yankees will put on their own leash. Smh
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:46 PM   #16
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You just have to look at the way Galaxy Girl was treated here.
Exactly!

Thats why I opened up a thread about her buying a boat.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:50 PM   #17
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Wifey B:

Sorry I didn't see this thread and started another. I'm a woman. Captain. Equal participant. Women, if you're not, you're missing out. Men, if you're not encouraging her, you're one day dooming your continued boating.

As to the forum, I don't know. It's like it's built up as men and so women don't feel comfy. Have you dudes invited your wive's to participate, read with you, sometimes jump in with comments? If not, then freaking do it dummies....or are you trying to keep the men's club? Think about it.

That old bit of women to kitchen, men to tv and ball game just isn't with younger men and women today. Stereotypes fading. Women can be just as passionate about boating.

Perhaps they aren't interested in some of the tech stuff here but don't bet on it. My hubby is just as disinterested in that stuff as I am. Perhaps with some it's not enough socialization here, missing that aspect of boating. Talking about friends, what you do onboard, things you like to see and do on land, food and cooking, making love on the bridge. Maybe not enough sex, here....nope that's equal man's thing I guess. Seriously, perhaps if women were more involved there would be more about the emotional rushes of the water, the beauty of nature, the thrill of diving into the water in this secluded cove after a long day, tossing the bikini and just enjoying the commune with nature. Maybe how to have enough water, especially hot water for showers and washing hair.

My hubby and I are both passionate about boating. It's not just the acts of buying, then getting in a boat and going from point A to point B. It's the passion for the beauty of being on the water, wind in your face, gentle salt breeze. The dolphins playing at your bow, show offs that they are. Cheering for them and they give you more of a show as they love the attention. Perhaps that's it, that sometimes the discussions are too much fact and figures and not enough of the emotions and feelings, the very things that drive you to loving the water. Open up dudes. You didn't get into boating so you could drive a boat with twin 800 MAN's. You got into it because it gives you this feeling. Sometimes a rush. Sometimes a serenity. It has a peace, a beauty, so in contrast perhaps to your careers and the stresses of life. Worst day on the water is still a good day. Something new every day even if the same places.

Come read this forum and you see lots of boaters, but not sure you do hear enough about what makes it the greatest thing for a man and woman to participated in on the face of the earth. Well, second greatest. But second greatest is even greater on a boat....hehe.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:57 PM   #18
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I think Galaxy Girl was treated appropriately to "her" posts, it had nothing to do with her gender. And that's all I have to say about that.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:07 PM   #19
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I think Galaxy Girl was treated appropriately to "her" posts, it had nothing to do with her gender. And that's all I have to say about that.
Wifey B:

Not sure it was all appropriate, but don't think it was gender. Think it was posts. I've been through two years of her posts on multiple sites. I think a dude posting the same would have gotten same treatment. Now whether the treatment was right or wrong is another story.

But I've seen dudes treated tough too when it's like they weren't really doing anything on their own to develop knowledge, just wanted to be spoon fed on the forum.

If I felt it was sexist, I'd kick you dudes in the you know what, but this time I don't think that was it. On the other hand might it scare other females? Yes, cause they might not know the whole story.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:40 PM   #20
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If any doubt as to women and their mark in boating, study Linda Dashew's experience, contributions and writings.

For those who have had mothers, sisters and daughters doesn't there seem a very pronounced difference between the sexes? To manifest itself on TF is not surprising.
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