Tracy Edwards' Maiden film is a must-see for all girls: OPINION

Maiden, a film about Tracy Edward’s epic undertaking in the late 1980s to put an all-female crew together to sail in the Whitbread Round the Word race is a must-watch for every teenager.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 5:40 pm
Tracy Edwards MBE, second from left, and crew reunited with Maiden 27 years after sailing into the history books. Christopher Ison/PA Wire.

It’s eye-opening, and shows wonderfully what it was like growing up in the 80s for girls. While so many of our current crop of teens are busy donning scrunchies and harping back to the music of yesteryear – seriously, this is a thing – Maiden is a perfect illustration of why they’re better off looking forward.

I’m not sure my children have ever quite believed how rubbish it was to be a girl in the 80s, how dismissed females were, how ridiculed.

They smile through my stories of belittlement but I can see it in their eyes, they think I’m the queen of hyperbole.

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But Maiden proves it, with terrifying footage of dismissal and patronising of an elite team of sailors, simply because they had vaginas.

One of the highlights for me was a shot of the boats leaving from Ocean Village Marina, and the news voiceover talking about the girls ‘trying their very best’ as they’re amidst the fleet.

The journalists, now old men, sit there and still seem stunned that women can sail, and that they did so well, rather than stunned at their attitudes. Misogyny runs as deep as Tracy’s determination to move away from being a cook.

The story deserves to be made into a children’s book, about a girl who goes after what she wants, surmounts obstacles, uses her networking skills and shatters the glass ceiling.

It is so moving and brilliantly done, and is an example to us all of changing the world by doing, rather than talking about doing.

And yes, the ending isn’t what you’ll want given as they don’t win the race, but I was in floods of tears looking at what they did get – a hero’s welcome home in the Solent.

Even if the only boat you’ve ever been on is the Gosport ferry and you don’t give a fig about sailing, still watch it with your children, or anyone who thinks feminism is a joke, or anyone who has any interest in equality and marvel at what willpower can achieve.

So much about the Windsors is public we feel we own them

Why are we so fascinated by the royals?

I suspect it’s because we’ve been fed their history over and above anyone else’s, so we think we own them.

Remember the toe-sucking scandal? I was amazed that a colleague I worked with had got up two hours early to get a copy of the newspaper and its incriminating pictures as she was worried it would sell out.

This was before the internet. I was astounded at the time, but I think it neatly illustrates why some national papers continue to print this invasive tripe, claiming it to be in the national interest.

It’s because there are so many of us who want to pick over lives of other people and – I suspect – glory in their misfortune. 

We must keep at it to give wild animals half a chance 

It’s been horrible week for the animal world. Aside from the elephants in the Thai waterfall, the story of the tiny turtles washed up on the beach in Florida, who are all dying from eating minuscule pieces of plastic caught my eye. 

Tonnes of plastic particles get stuck in the seaweed and the baby turtles snack on it thinking it’ s food. Dissections show they consume so much it punctures their organs.

One baby had more than 100 bits of plastic inside it.

It’s gross to pick up other people’s litter, and we don’t have turtles, but litter picking and avoiding single use plastics is all we’ve got until our politicians take decisive action.

So let’s keep at it.