Having just finished editing the first proof of the March 2021 issue, Zep (Editor-in-Chief) pointed out with great pride that we’d created our very own “women in sailing” issue. After all, four out of five of our feature stories are about women in the sport, the subject of our On Watch article is a woman, and Coop’s Corner is (partially) about a woman as well. That is six stories in one issue. I confess, during the gathering and layout period prior, I had noticed the preponderance of articles about women in the sport but, frankly, being the son of a trailblazing female, I had really only come to the subliminal conclusion that a) it’s about time and b) it should really not be out of the ordinary and of course c) the more you call attention to it, the more unusual it will appear to be and in this situation, that much less fortunate.
Perhaps I’m lonely in this sentiment. Without question, we could have broken our arms patting ourselves on the back with having six articles about women in the sport in a single issue. We certainly could have run a cover “blurb” proclaiming “Women in Sailing!” and nobody would have called us on it for gratuitous promotion. (To be fair, perhaps more than a few sets of eyes would have rolled). But honestly, and this is the good news, that’s what it would have been, gratuitous, not celebratory.
These are stories of achievement; not of exceptionalism based on sex. And they arrived organically for the most part. And yeah, I thought about the potential a few weeks back when I saw the collection of really cool stories and interviews crossing my screen that, and I’m not making this up, just happened to coalesce around this issue.
So good news for my arm, and shoulder too, we are not looking for any groundbreaking praise here. But, what we do want to call to everyone’s attention to is that Hey! Just by luck, we have five stories coming together about women sailing in the Northeast, all in one issue. Did Coop have the idea about “The Women of Newport”? Yes. And was Martha Parker, a trailblazer herself, a natural first victim? For sure. Had we already committed to covering double handed sailing, which is often co-ed? Yep. Did Zep purposely tip the scales by picking a woman to feature in this month’s On Watch? Maybe. Did Kerstin pick a cover shot with a woman driving? Well, um, yes, as a matter of fact. Yes, she did.
So, is this a). A conspiracy! or b). Simply the natural evolution of things without claiming that WindCheck or sailors in the Northeast are special?
I vote for b. Of course, the former Publisher of WindCheck is a woman, so just maybe……Naaahhh.
See you on the water!
Benjamin V. Cesare