Is the Future Female?

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.

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Photo by Utomo Hendra Saputra on Unsplash

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.”

WHAT.

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.

Sigh.

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.

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Photo by Roya Ann Miller on Unsplash

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.

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Photo by Matt Heaton on Unsplash


Photos courtesy of Unsplash

Midweek Round-Up #2

Who says you can’t have a midweek round-up on a Friday?

For the first time ever, a group of badass lady setters are coming together to create a space for women to learn the art of route-setting. From the founder: “SheSets intends to create an environment where women are taken seriously, where expectations of women are high, and where women don’t have to fight the urge to grow.” The weekend takes place in Loveland, OH, and has a variety of pay options. Check it out, http://www.shesets.com/

REI’s #forceofnature movement. This year, REI has made a commitment to grow the presence of women in their advertisements, and provide better and more technical options for women in the outdoors. You can check out their movement on any social media outlet with the hashtag mentioned above.

Isaac Lowe-Anker, son of Alex Lowe, and adoptive son of Conrad Anker, is not only an adventurer, but also a talented artist. Check out his IG @iloweanker for beautiful pen and pencil artwork.

The IFSC heard us! Two weeks ago, the International Federation of Sport Climbing announced they would start charging viewers to watch the World Cup Series for $20/month. I don’t even pay that much for Netflix. Of course, climbers everywhere took a stand and protest signs were prominent at the first IFSC World Cup of the season. Shortly after the IFSC released a statement rescinding their decision to charge. Keep climbing free!

To the Badass Babes

Everyday I am inspired by the accounts I scroll through on Instagram. I’m impressed by the women overcoming their fears by heading into the mountains, or onto the rock, or into a yoga pose they’ve never tried before. I see women of all ages sending 5.13s in iconic places like the Red River Gorge and Yosemite. I see women breaking their PR’s in the Ironman, or 50 milers, or ultramarathons. I see women training in rain, and snow, and the humid heat.

I see progress pictures capturing how far so many have come, and I am blown away by the determination and dog-heartedness of all these women overcoming challenges that so many of us have faced, are facing, will continue to face.

We’re in this together.

I know what it’s like to be unhappy with my body and then see minor changes as my muscles begin to show themselves. I know what it’s like to be terrified in the wildnerness, by myself, wondering if I’m capable of taking another step into the unknowable forest. I know how it feels to stand at the top of a run in the backcountry, anxious about avalanches, pumped for the thigh-deep powder.

This is why whenever I see other women overcoming challenges and walking alongside their fears I want to cheer them on in their victories. I am so dang excited that I’m not alone in my trials, that we woman are a tribe. A strong mother-effin’ tribe.

So here’s to you, badass babes. Whatever stage of your adventurous journey you’re on, know that you’re not alone, that you have so many adventurous, wild women who have come before you, who will come after you, and who will come alongside you. There are women all over the world who have faced your trials—in fact, there is probably at least one other woman somewhere in this world right now, at the same point in her journey as you are. What a wonderful thought to rest in.

Wherever you are today, and whatever it is you’re working through—whatever trial you’ve faced, whatever victory you’ve won—whatever process you’re journeying through right now, know that you’re not alone, and that I’m cheering you on, you strong, inspiring woman.

Cheers!

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