A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2019 Jun 10, 08:39 -0700
Tony Oz, you wrote:
"I'm however stunned by the reaction! That "political correctness" thing gets frighteningly wide spread. Did not expect to see it here..."
It's interesting how Russians, and those strongly influenced by modern Russian culture, have become so excited, so energized about the concept of political correctness. Although "PC" behavior can certainly be over-done, that is not the case here.
Oh, and you could easily fault me for making a broad, sweeping generalization about Russians. That would be quite "politically correct" of you. :)
Sexism and even misogyny can be major problems in the community of celestial navigation, as in other technical fields. Men in engineering and science have a strong tendency to believe that they have achieved their place in life because of the purity of their skills. We frequently naively see life as a meritocracy. We can be blind to blatant favoritism and prejudice in our technical cultures. While I certainly saw Geoffrey's comment as a joke, that's mostly because I know him well, have met him on two continents, and can spot his style of humor. Others might not recognize that, or at least might question whether that type of subtle comedy is appropriate. I'm not worried about it either way, and I'm glad Geoffrey stated plainly that it was comedy just in case anyone had lingering doubts.
There have been NavList members over the years who were quite open about their sexism. A prominent member, no longer with us, openly stated that he believed women were poor mariners (something quite close to that), and that their work was instrinsically inferior. Would you call it political correctness if someone forcefully objected to that? That sort of sexism certainly does not create a "welcoming" environment for intelligent discussion, no matter how else you feel about it. But more importantly, it is simply wrong -- a false worldview.