Thursday, August 5, 2010

Best of Luck Laura Dekker

Laura Dekker, the 14-year old Dutch girl, has left port on her solo around the world sailing adventure, see her Website (English translation). She is sailing with her father to Portugal before starting her solo trip. But unlike the recent non-stop trip by Jessica Watson, Laura plans stops to meet her parents, refurnish supplies and make any necessary repairs.

I, along with many others, wish her the best and hope she succeeds. I hated the criticism by many in the media, and even young men who have solo'd around the world, when her initial plans were curtailed by issues. They criticisized her inexperience, your youth, but more so her gender, and wrongly on all counts, and more so on her gender. Even ESPN's Outside the LInes moderator criticisized her but never voiced opposition when young men, or boys if you call Laura a girl, to their solo trips.

They were arrogant and sexist in their criticism of her when not equally criticizing the same when boys tried, and even praised them when they succeeded. Yet the same criticized the Australian Abby Sutherland when she had to discountinue her trip when her boat was damaged during a storm in the Indian Ocean. They argued it was a waste of money to rescue her as her parents were bad for letting her go. Yet it was her preparation, her boat and her experience which ensured she handled it, learned and will do better the next time.

These are the situations the media praises boys and men but rarely equally praises girls and women. And I'm very happy when those "girls" and women prove them stupid and wrong. So I wish the best to her and hope everyone does so with interest to see she succeeds.

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