Pee Equity in Sailboat Racing

Published on August 30th, 2022

by Jordan Stock. SpinSheet magazine
How many times have you been out sailing or racing, looked up, and there’s some guy leaning off the back or side of the boat watering the Bay? Most of the time you may look in another direction or maybe feel a bit embarrassed. If you’re a particular sailor in Hampton Roads, you may yell, “Look! It’s like a penis, only smaller!” But how many times have you seen a woman doing this? Chances are not a lot, if ever.

This is an issue of equitable access to the normal and healthy bodily function of removing wastewater, also known as peeing. If you’re unfamiliar with the term equity, I’ve included this helpful diagram below.

According to the George Washington University Milken School of Public Health, equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

Equity essentially allows those with historic disadvantages the support they need to overcome them. If you were able to read the excellent article titled “Bridging Sailing’s Great Divide” in the Spring 2022 issue of Sailing World by Kelly McGlynn, you are familiar with the issue of women’s equity and equality in competitive sailboat racing. (If you haven’t read the article, I highly recommend it).

Allowing women to complete normal bodily functions during a race day or while on a long cruise is a small but very important step to increasing gender parity. In particular, I’m talking about peeing when you’re on a boat, or as I’m calling it: pee equity. You may be familiar with pay equity issues in other sports, which has been highly publicized recently through the US Women’s National Soccer Team. As the vast majority of us on a sailing racecourse are not being paid to be there, I think an essential conversation needs to be had around equitable access to peeing during a sailing event. – Full report

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