When taking on a new hobby, there is always the fear of walking into the class for the first time and being judged. This fear is usually amplified if there are mixed genders in the class, and so single gender classes can be a way to try new things with less of the social anxiety that can come with that. Sailing courses are no different.
Many women want to learn in a fun, relaxed environment and gender politics can often cloud that. Female instructors tend to have a better understanding of these fears and thoughts and can be better at teaching women in ways that women learn best.
Ladies only sailing courses are often easier as it takes away the problem of sharing a cabin with a stranger of the opposite sex. This can make many women (and men for that matter) uncomfortable and significantly detract from the overall learning experience. You are of course, there to learn so that you can enjoy your new found skills later with loved ones, or potential partners, as well as friends and family. Some men also have the tendency to ‘mansplain’ – that is, re-explain something in their language just to check women have understood. This kind of condescendence is not conducive to good learning in such settings. When learning with people of the same gender, it is easier to believe there is no such thing as a stupid question. It is also easier when on board if you don’t have to hide your lady bits and bobs (meaning toiletries and sanitary products, not just physical body parts!) for fear of an unknown male walking around the corner.
Women tend to have a calmer demeanour when learning all together outside of the company of men. It is not that men are not liked, or appreciated, (we can meet up with them after the lesson) it
is just this way of learning is more fruitful, and less distractive. Women tend to make friends with other women, and when learning a new hobby such as sailing, it can be nice to form such bonds in the process. Many women make friends for life on women only sailing courses, and this is more easily achievable and facilitated by the single gender learning environment.
Ladies learn in their own gentle way. It is a great feeling to work with other women alone, as the ladies truly are doing it for themselves. It can be a much nicer experience on board with only other women, and it’s the little things like cleanliness of the bathroom, proper cups of tea, great food, and an aura of calm that really makes it a unique experience.
The bottom line is, women only courses encourages more women to consider taking up sailing as a sport. In the sport world, men still very much lead the way and it is initiatives like women only sailing courses that help ladies break that glass ceiling.
We must try in every way possible to encourage more women to take up water sports, whether for pleasure or for sport (hopefully both), and the women who have taken part in such courses cite the single gender element as being a big contributory factor to their interest.
Women only sailing courses are a great team building, confidence boosting experience. They make it so much more enjoyable than a simple learning exercise and can encourage further personal development or diversification in the area of water sports. Although very much a team endeavour at the learning stage, the ultimate aim is to empower women to go forward, and feel confident in skippering their own boat someday should they so wish. It could even be possible that working with other women proves so inspirational, that one day a woman may wish to become an instructor too.
Women’s only sailing courses have numerous advantages; confidence boosting, fun; suits a woman’s learning styles; more relaxed; etc. But most of all, taking part in a ladies only sailing course is an extremely empowering experience, and one that you may want to repeat in other water activities or hobbies.
To find out more information about our sailing courses please contact us.