The Realities of Handling Sexism With Grace

Claire Heginbotham
5 min readSep 19, 2022

Despite my profession being that of copywriter, I’ve never considered myself much of a “writer”. Because it’s not passion I have, it’s need. Its a need that crops up when complex emotions arise and no amount of spoken conversation will resolve the feelings. This article is here to tuck those feelings into bed, give them a kiss on the head, and say goodnight. If you too are struggling with sexism, I encourage you to try writing a similar article. For you cannot change the world, you can only change yourself and hope the world notices.


At the age of twelve, I was introduced to the world of boating. Instead of a gentle cruise, my father, myself, my friend, and my younger brother were all at the behest of a raging southeast wind that threatened to topple our teeny yacht over. Despite our safe return to sweet, sweet land, I wouldn’t step foot on a yacht for the rest of my childhood.

At the age of twenty-one, I was rough, stubborn, angry, and in an overwhelming storm of emotions, that threatened to take my life. I wanted to fight the world, and I wanted to fight myself. Growing up, my undiagnosed BPD mother had taught me that I wasn’t allowed to be soft (or as I mistakenly interpreted, “girly”). I was simultaneously looking for a fight, desperate to prove myself, craving punishment, and looking for a savior. At an interesting moment, I realized that sailing provided all those conflicting desires, and so, full of youthful swagger, I found myself on a number of racing yachts.

I loved being on the sea, I loved the all-encompassing focus that the ocean demands. While you’re made powerless in the face of mother nature, you’re also made powerful in yourself. Because what is power but the ability to react to the uncontrollable?

When I first started sailing, my hands weren’t strong enough to hold a rope fast. My legs couldn’t keep me from stumbling. And my arms couldn’t muster up the manual strength required to carry even the smallest sails.

But fuck it, I was stubborn and angry.

And so, over a few years, I put in the effort. With my body and mind fully engaged, I had moments to reflect while watching the waters rush by. Conversely, I had moments where thinking was…

Claire Heginbotham

Tech and travel copywriter who writes content, kickass websites, and emails that convert. Low key Star Trek fan.