Geotema 53

Enrico Squarcina

Mare azzurro e vele rosa

Abstract: Blue sea, pink sails: women and navigation

Aphorisms, superstitions, stereotypes and misfortunes have been describing women’s incompetence on board of ships in the sea. However, there are substantial examples of sea women showing how these ideas are socially constructed. This ideally defines a sharp division between the the ‘land’ space and ‘sea’ space. While in the fi rst case normal life is conducted and men and women have the right to coexist in the second case rules and norms are different and women are not welcome. This dichotomy vision has been gradually changing thanks also to an increasing presence of women practicing sailing competitions successfully. The study presents a few female sailing athletes biographies to analyze how those walls were overcome and to describe diffi culties met while being in their forefront.

Keywords: Sea, Gender, Biography, Women