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Old 29-05-2010, 08:57   #76
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I'll try again, probably in vain.
It's not a derogatory or put down in any way. It's a plain admission between men that the Lady is in charge of when he's allowed to go day sailing, where they go when they are sailing together or in company.
It is also a clear marker to his friends that she is a valued part of his life and he wants to keep it that way.
I've put my name down for a delivery trip. I asked her first, she said 'I'll miss you but I understand your reasons for wanting to do it.' In other words I'm a valued part of her life and she wants to keep it that way.
Please, take 'Admiral' as a term of respect and deference, don't take it as anything more than a way a man can admit he's not free to 'go out to play' just because some one knocks on the door.
Those of you without an Admiral have found a different balance to your lives which are richer in some ways, poorer in others.
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Old 29-05-2010, 09:34   #77
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...we're basically acceding to the age-old belief that women don't really have any place on board. Or at least, that's what the feminist in me is saying.
And the "keep the admiral happy" thing is the worst. No one else can make you happy. You either decide to be happy with the situation as it is, or do something productive to change it. 4 year olds expect other people to make them happy, and throw a tantrum to make everyone else miserable when it doesn't happen; grown women know better. And that's the psychologist in me, who is usually more reliable than the feminist.

But then, if a guy use it humorously, not in a derogatory way, and if their partner likes it, good for her/them.
My $0.02 ...
I agree with both your feminist and psychologist perspectives. I've always interpreted the use of the term “The Admiral” as dismissive at best and derogatory if accompanied by a rolling of the eyes.

The main problem is that it introduces a hierarchical relationship that is well defined in a Naval environment to a situation where there it does not apply.
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Old 29-05-2010, 09:54   #78
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I respect anyone's right to find something offensive. My TRUE perspective? I don't give a rat's *ss about terminology/semantics. Call me anything you like - it won't bother me. What DOES bother me isn't labels but ATTITUDES. I enjoy the humor and verbal exchange of pejorative banter - as long as its joking around. Just don't BE a racist/sexist. To reiterate: call me anything you like - if its negative (and wrong - hey - they could be right) ya better be joking around....
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Old 29-05-2010, 12:08   #79
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It's a plain admission between men that the Lady is in charge of when he's allowed to go ....
It is also a clear marker to his friends that she is a valued part of his life and he wants to keep it that way.
I'll try again too.

I think it's the aspect I quoted above which is usually meant another way. She "allows" you to go? No. You choose to go or not go based on your own decision process, which in your case includes your love of your wife. You are in charge of your own destiny, not to mention how you spend your time.

And the meaning of it to that group of buddies? It's really, "you know I'd rather go with you, but I'll catch hell (read: get no food/sex/conversation) if I don't. That's not respect for her, that's self interest. The message to the buddies should be, I'd rather spend the time with my wife/family, but thanks anyway.

Can you see the difference? and if you use words that mean something clearly to your buddies, knowing that's not what you mean, but letting them think that anyway, what's that ... a white lie?

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Old 29-05-2010, 13:25   #80
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I
And the meaning of it to that group of buddies? It's really, "you know I'd rather go with you, but I'll catch hell (read: get no food/sex/conversation) if I don't. That's not respect for her, that's self interest. The message to the buddies should be, I'd rather spend the time with my wife/family, but thanks anyway.

Can you see the difference? and if you use words that mean something clearly to your buddies, knowing that's not what you mean, but letting them think that anyway, what's that ... a white lie?

Margo
Not a white lie. A man thing

He knows what it means. and so do I. and it ain't automatically meant in a bad way to either wife or buddy. It's also short ............it's being able to encapsulate complex stuff into short phrases which is the reason why telephone calls between men tend to be shorter than those of females

Having said that, if a partner (a horrible word ) is referred to as "Der Führer" on a regular basis then perhaps they have moved a tad over the line between strong minded to PITA
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Old 29-05-2010, 13:41   #81
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I don't use the term to refer to my wife. She doesn't do any of the sailing duties. She is consulted on whether we go somewhere, where we go, and so forth. She watches when I take a rest, and she does the galley and some clean up. Elsa is not "into" sailing and so having her aboard is a treat for me as I get her company and sense of humor and so forth... and a little help with the domestic things. To keep here wanting to be sailing I make it as comfortable and enjoyable for her as possible. When the wind beckons me to sail she might want to knock about some antique shop and so we do shore stuff. Considering I've been sailing for 24 years now one day doesn't matter much and antiquing for her is a rare event so I defer gladly. She also gets seas sick (less now than before) so we've become more fair weather sailors and rarely use foulies or have to reef. But we've been caught in nasties and she soldiers on without a complaint.

Life is compromises....

You don't compromise with respect to the wife's comfort - physical and emotional.
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Old 29-05-2010, 13:59   #82
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I would like to propose that however it was used originally, because the term Admiral has been used primarily to describe women-in-straight-couples, that the term now is very similar to the way Americanadians use "the Wife" ...except on boats.

The way people use "the Wife" (as opposed to saying MY wife) runs the same gamut of meanings depending on the underlying relationships.

Sometimes it is a term of endearment, sometimes it is derogatory, completely dependent on the speaker and how they relate to the spouse.
For some reason, I can't stand the term "the wife". I just don't get it and it seems like it refers to a piece of property rather than to one's partner.

I was married for 35 years and never even thought of using the term in referring to my ex-wife.

"The Admiral" is not widely used as far as I know except on boards like this. Do cruisers actually use the term in daily life? It's another term I can't really relate to, although it's less objectionable for me than "the wife".

I think you have it right, Livia in saying that the way these terms are used in different situations is what's important. I might even agree with a husband saying "the wife" in a way that clearly expressed respect and affection, even though I can't really imagine such a situation.
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Old 31-05-2010, 03:30   #83
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I'm astonished by the amount of heat this topic has generated. At the end of the day, couples will have names for each other that suit them. Whether any one else likes them or not is a moot point...
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Old 31-05-2010, 05:24   #84
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no snark

I think Dan started referring to me as the "admiral" in rebellion against those who automatically addressed him not me because they figured he was in charge because he's the man, and therefore I was somehow lesser ... let's face it, assumptions based on gender stereotypes stink either way.

In reality, we split chores but not necessarily along gender lines: he's the better sail trimmer, I'm the better navigator; he helms better with following seas, I'm better at docking; he changes the oil, I troubleshoot the electrical system; and we both cook, vacuum, and do laundry.
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Old 31-05-2010, 05:25   #85
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I'll try again too.

I think it's the aspect I quoted above which is usually meant another way. She "allows" you to go? No. You choose to go or not go based on your own decision process, which in your case includes your love of your wife. You are in charge of your own destiny, not to mention how you spend your time.

And the meaning of it to that group of buddies? It's really, "you know I'd rather go with you, but I'll catch hell (read: get no food/sex/conversation) if I don't. That's not respect for her, that's self interest. The message to the buddies should be, I'd rather spend the time with my wife/family, but thanks anyway.

Can you see the difference? and if you use words that mean something clearly to your buddies, knowing that's not what you mean, but letting them think that anyway, what's that ... a white lie?

Margo
Nicely stated!
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Old 31-05-2010, 07:01   #86
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I just stumbled across this thread and can't believe it ... three pages on the use of the word Admiral! Another word no longer PC I guess.

This is why I cruise, to get away from this sort of thing. Guess I'll go back to what I was doing.
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Old 31-05-2010, 08:28   #87
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I'm trying to get a sense of what the term "Admiral" means to those in the cruising community -- not the actual naval definition of the term, but how it is used and applied by people who cruise. Fair warning - I'm trying to pin this down for a piece I'm writing.

Based on how you hear people using it, what does the term "the Admiral" mean?

Is there an Admiral on your boat?

((I thought Women Afloat was an appropriate place to put this but I would love opinions from everyone))
Men call their wives "admiral" in an ironic reference to their own lack of authority as "captains". They may be the skipper, but that does not mean they are in command . . .

The way it is usually used here, there does not usually seem to be any resentment implied. It's a humorous and somewhat self-deprecating reference to the man's lack of authority on board and in family life despite his captainly ambitions.

There also may be a hint of making fun of her own possibly exaggerated idea of her authority in the family but not in any mean way.

In the UK, the corresponding term is "SWMBO". That stands for "She Who Must Be Obeyed", another ironic reference to men being bossed around by their wives or girlfriends. It comes from some TV show I think. Here I think there is a little more resentfulness than the way guys here use the term "admiral".
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Old 31-05-2010, 09:01   #88
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I just stumbled across this thread and can't believe it ... three pages on the use of the word Admiral! Another word no longer PC I guess.
Amazing isn't it. What a tempest in a teacup. I think energy expended might have been better used discussing why women typically receive 80-85% of a man's salary to do the same job. What about domestic violence or the fact that in some countries women are not even allowed to drive a car or leave their house without a male relative as a "chaperone"? But since these are not boating related then should go to another forum.

I don't typically use the term, some apparently do. When used in the right context with proper respect I see no harm. Any term: admiral, captain, first mate, wife, my wife (isn't that a bit possessive?) partner, SWMBO, even honey or darling can be spoken in a manner that is derogatory, demeaning and insulting. At the same time, one can be hypersensitive and find fault with almost any terminology no matter how polite it may seem to the speaker.

I tried to resist jumping back into this thread. Seems too much like or but sometimes I just can't help myself.
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Old 31-05-2010, 11:29   #89
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tempest in a what?

Hey guys,

Strike a nerve, eh? Last I looked, this was the "women afloat" forum. Do you or don't you want to know what women think?

Guys are always saying how they don't understand women. Here's one small chance! but instead of listening and trying to see from our perspective, some try to dismiss us as causing a "tempest". Hint, we really don't like having our views dismissed as nothing.

I, I think we, are all too aware of the terrible state of women's rights around the world, but we don't live there. We live here, on our boats. And boats or not, women continue to live with all the day to day slights, if not slings and arrows, at least needles and pinches, that are thoughtlessly tossed around.

Think of "the admiral" as equivalent to SWMBO, and you'll get the picture. And we don't like men who try to blame us for being or wanting to be in charge, for simply wanting our views given equal weight in a partnership. We like our men strong, able to assert his views in the face of ours, and secure enough in himself not to need a cover story when they go along with ours.

Note, not angry here. I'm just sayin'!

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Old 31-05-2010, 12:33   #90
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Men call their wives "admiral" in an ironic reference to their own lack of authority as "captains". They may be the skipper, but that does not mean they are in command . . .
I hadn't really thought of it that way. Another possible use to add to my thinking, thanks.

By the way, I've heard a number of pilots use "the ATC" - another variation of the concept.

I sure hope the term wench doesn't go away either, or cabana boy. Now THAT would be a shame

Regarding the fact that we've reached 6 pages and also the increased, shall we say, "emotional energy", of people's posts is a sign to me that it is a topic good to air out and to think about. Certainly there are more important topics but this certainly isn't the least important topic on CF For those waving the anti-PC flag, I think this discussion has been a lot more nuanced than that and it is a shame to have it simplified so much. Most people here are posting their own reactions to the term in a way that is respectful of others - I like.
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