There’s a lot of hype right now in the outdoor world about women in the outdoors.
And for good reason.
The tides are finally changing, and woman are stepping into bold new roles. We’re seeing more women in the outdoors, more women (and men!) advocating for women in the outdoors, and more non-profits, organizations, and companies dedicated to woman than I can keep track of.
It. Gets. Me. So. Stoked.
Because when you look back over the course of history, the sh*t women had to put up with is pretty abysmal.
Like when Arlene Blum wanted to trek Denali and was told women weren’t allowed past the kitchen at base camp.
Or when Margaret Smith Craighead, Margaret Bedell, Ann Sharples, and Mary Whittemore made the first female ascent of Owen-Spalding on the Grand Teton, and the Salt Lake Tribune wrote, “Another successful invasion in the field of sport by the weaker sex.”
Yeah, it was a common thing.
Even earlier this year, when Austin, TX mayor, Steve Adler, decided to host an all-female showing of Wonder Woman, a livid man sent in a letter saying, “the notion of a woman hero is a fine example of women’s eagerness to accept the appearance of achievement without actual achievement,” and “achievements by the second rate gender pale in comparison to virtually everything great in human history which was accomplished by men, not women.”
I literally cannot even. Literally. Cannot. Even.
Even looking at our political landscape: our current Vice President OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA thinks women shouldn’t be paid the same rate as men for the same amount of work.
I promise you, though, we have come a long way.
Because despite the amount of backlash women’s programs have received in the past year (and the past entire history of mankind), women have defended their rights, and gained momentum. The Women’s March garnered at least 3.3 million protesters across the nation.
H O W E V E R
We may be doing ourselves a disservice by saying the future is female.
For too long, women were undervalued. Their opinions weren’t respected, they couldn’t run/swim/bike fast enough, and they didn’t ‘deserve’ the rights of men. I want to be very, very clear here, I am 100,000% for women’s rights, for equality across the board, and for every woman who believes she can. I am not, however, about promoting women in a way that demotes men.
Men are pretty awesome. I think they’ve gotten a lot of flack for their past transgressions (and by “their past” I mean all the men who made a bad name for the lot thousands of years ago). Take my husband for example. He’s a feminist. He supports my career. He washes the dishes and does the laundry. He’s kind, generous, strong, empathetic, and courageous.
The future, I hope, is symbiotic. I hope this movement empowers women to come alongside men so that both genders are recognized for their strength, courage, and all the talents they bring to the table. We’re not one better than the other, but we are better together.
So yeah, the future has a lot more female influence (THANK GOD), but I hope we can play to the strengths of both genders to create a more peaceful future.