MORNINGTON Yacht Club is reviewing its boat name policies after being accused of having an “outdated” culture and receiving a complaint that some names emblazoned on members’ boats are “misogynistic”.
Club member Kitty O’Sullivan said she was shocked and disappointed that “inappropriate” boat names were allowed at the club, giving the club the appearance of being “behind the times” and at odds with public opinion.
She said she was particularly offended by names such as Himalayan Women, on a boat which is believed to be for sale, Screaming Seamen, and Big Black Cock, and described them as being loaded with misogyny and sexism.
“As a relatively new member, it seems there is a culture of just accepting this poor behaviour that is not in line with public thinking,” O’Sullivan said. “I really think that in the shadow of International Women’s Day and all that is being done to work on female inclusion is sport, this should not be acceptable.”
Club spokesman Peter Davey said the club had been made aware of the offense taken at some of the names and was currently revising its boat name policy to ensure it reflected public thinking.
Davey said Mornington Yacht Club was an inclusive, family-friendly club that was continually reviewing its policies.
He said the club valued its place as part of the community and, like society in general, “we continue to evolve with the times”.
“We are proud of our women’s keelboat programs and our youth programs, as successful examples,” he said.
“There has been some recent discussion regarding inappropriate boat names and so the club has conducted an internal audit identifying a handful of boats with names that may cause some offense. Unfortunately, this is not new in the nautical world, nor are cheeky teenagers, who seem to be the main protagonists.
“The practice is not acceptable, and the club is taking measures to rectify the situation.
“MYC is developing a policy to ensure no boats can be named that degenerates anyone, particularly on the basis of gender or ethnicity.”