Good morning, y'all. Hope your weekend was great. Mine was. I crewed a sailboat for the first time, and it was during a race no less. My friend, Dre, put me in charge of the main sheet. I was scared I'd screw Dre's ranking in the race series. (He was in first or second place before the current race started, I think.) But oddly, as soon as I got settled everything just felt right. Dre's mentor--we'll call him Mr. B--only had to tell me a few things. Once I saw how the sail was supposed to look in the wind, I had it. (I'm a visual learner.) I'm proud that Mr. B didn't have to yell at me very much. Mostly, I just kept the tension in the sail on the edge of too tight. I knew if it flapped in the wind it was too loose. If it was too tight, it wouldn't gather enough wind. Once I got that down, Mr. B told me to watch the gunnel. I needed to keep it just above the water while balancing myself in the high part of the boat. I was sitting in a high seat. So, the angle of the rope was such that I was pulling up all the time. Pretty quick, I learned that hitting the line with my foot was the fastest way to release it from the cleat. So, I spent a lot of time standing on one foot or the other while dealing with the line. Tacking was interesting. I had to tighten, release, and tighten the sheet while moving across the tilting boat. It was like I was having this conversation with the skipper at the tiller, the wind, and the water. So. Cool.
Now, we come to the reason why I'm telling this story: I was the only woman. Given my interests, that happens a lot. Mr. B, naturally, launched off into misogynist jokes and "PC" comments as soon as we were on the water. Then he spent a great deal of time interacting with the guys. I decided that I'd just focus my job, listen, observe, learn as much as I could, and do my best to prevent Dre from losing his ranking. By the time the race started, a sort of pecking order had been sorted out among the guys. I was invisible. Mr. B had classified me as a mouse. I had a hunch if Mr. B actually knew his shit, he'd catch on. During the race, he didn't yell at me all that much. He spent a lot more time hollering at the guys. (Mind you, their jobs involved a lot more scrambling on the deck and seemed more complicated.) We finished in second place, I'm happy to say. We got the boat moored, and I mentioned that I must've done okay since I didn't get screamed at that much. My other friend, Fred, said to me: "Didn't you hear, Mr. B? He said the mainsail was down tighter than he'd ever seen." Basically, he didn't see that in beginners. That made me very happy. We got to the yacht club, and Mr. B introduced me as to others and state as much. It felt great to be right about him knowing what he was doing.
The thing that sucks is having to sit through all the manly posturing in the first place. Why is that even necessary? I suspect it's because males are always jockeying for a power position whether they warrant it or not. Men don't understand that women don't do this, not at the start. We cooperate first, then we get into the politics/power plays once things are working. At least, that's been my experience. It was interesting seeing things from a different perspective. Years ago, I'd have been too busy taking the insults personally. This time, I didn't let any of it touch me. I knew it couldn't unless I let it due to the situation. (I wasn't in danger.) That said, women have to judge for themselves when it's time to speak out and when it's not. (I did kick Fred when he started to join in because I knew it was appropriate to do so, and I knew that if I let that go the others would do the same.)There's no simple answer when it comes to harassment.
Now, today's video. X23. I am a fan. :)
Literary/Entertainment: If you're into the gaming industry and don't follow Jessica Price (@delafina777) on Twitter, you should. She's been making all sorts of eye-opening comments about the reality of being female and making games. Have a report on the black experience within genre fiction. Get Out’s $100 Million Success Destroys a Hollywood Myth. 10 Ways to Really Support Diversity in Comics. And Finding Yourself in Fandom.
General: The Radical [Christian] Theology That Could Make Religious Freedom a Thing of the Past. There are so many reasons we need separation of church and state. Christianity doesn't have the best track record when it comes to women's rights for a start. This is why women showing up in the Texas Capital building dressed as Handmaidens from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale are sooo spot on. (Have one more link.) WHAT THE G.O.P. DOESN’T GET ABOUT WHO PAYS FOR HEALTH CARE. And The CBO's other bombshell: the Affordable Care Act isn't imploding. This next story is super creepy. Only Black People Showed Up To The DC Town Hall Meeting To Address The Surging Number Of Missing Black And Latina Girls. And here's another report on the situation from Teen Vogue. I hope they catch the perp and soon. [shudder] And now, filed under questions to not ask your LBGT friends in committed relationships with children, Dear Straight People: Please Stop Asking Us Who The ‘Real’ Mom Is. The same is true of the question, "Who's the girl in the relationship?" It demonstrates a great deal of internalized misogyny because it assumes that women are always the subdominant. It ignores the fact that marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship. There is no constant "leader". Ideally, sometimes one partner is in charge and sometime the other is because sometimes one partner has expertise in an area that the other does not. (Example: I'm in charge of car repair. My husband isn't.) Today's Women's History story: Mo Mowlam who was instrumental in finalizing the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland--and she did it while dealing with a fucking brain tumor. Yeah. That. Let's remember her, shall we? Next up, an important announcement for white people joining the Anti-Racism movement: Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed. And New Study Finds White Women Are Unlikely To Help Black Women At Risk Of Sexual Assault. Arrgggh! It's Time To End The Pay Gap For Speakers At Tech Conferences.