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 #4

I recently attended the No Man’s Land Film Festival put on my Wylder Goods. It was an EPIC night filled with inspiration, activism, and badass lady crushers. This round-up features non-profits and films from the event.

HEAL Utah is an active non-profit in the Salt Lake City area that’s fighting for clean air. The most negative side effect to being a Salt Lake resident is the inversion we face every winter. Unfortunately, this once wintertime problem is slowly leaking into a year-round problem as we damage the ozone above our beautiful city and mountains. They work tirelessly especially during the legislative session to promote the passage of Clean Air and Clean Energy laws.

Shannon Galpin is a doer. In 2009 she left everything behind to start a non-profit in Afghanistan to empower women through cycling. For five years Shannon had no success, and was unable to find even one female who rode in Afghanistan. After years of learning to understand the culture and the deep-seeded taboos behind women riding bicycles, Shannon was able to establish her non-profit, Mountain2Mountain, to get women riding. Since then, Afghanistan has developed a national women’s cycling team, which has found the support and gained generous donations from Liv cycles.

Save Our Canyons began in 1972 as Salt Lake residents saw the threat of urbanization on the Wasatch Front. They have worked endlessly to protect our wilderness and canyons from development and industry. Through the organization, Lone Peak, Mt. Olympus, and Twin Peaks, have been saved as designated wilderness. As the non-profit grows, they continue to take on new tasks like protecting the watershed, and, currently, raising funds to save Bonanza Flats.

Last note of inspiration: The Edges Film spotlights a wonderful passionate woman, Yvonne Dowlen. Yvonne started ice skating as a young girl, and turned her passion into her career. Even after a car accident and a stroke, both in her 80s, she continued to skate five days a week. I was so inspired by this film, and the fact that at NINETY YEARS OLD she was still ice skating. Age is just a number, people.

Seven Gifts for the Badass Outdoors Women in Your Life

The holiday season is finally upon us! I don’t know about you, but this is by far my favorite time of year. Not only do I get to string copious amounts of twinkle lights around my home and sing cheesy Neil Diamond Christmas songs, but it’s also the start of winter! Of hot chocolate mornings and ski tours and waking up to a peaceful, snow-covered city. I. Love. This. Season.

It’s also the time to start thinking about what to get your friends and family for the holidays. There’s nothing better than giving or receiving a thoughtful gift (although I think we can all agree that an REI gift card is something to celebrate!), so I thought I’d make it a little easier and pick out some gifts that the badass outdoors women in your life will love.

Without further ado:

  • Any kind of outdoors course.

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Being in the outdoors means taking chances, and putting yourself in foreign environments. Education is key in making informed decisions in the backcountry (and even the front-country …just as many people die inbounds as they do out of bounds), but these classes are often expensive and thought of as unnecessary. Surprise her with an AIARE course or WFA. If that’s too much, I’m sure she’d appreciate any amount to go towards it.

  • SWAG, Trucker hats. Beanies. T-shirts she can get dirty and torn.

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Figure out her favorite non-profit and snag something from their online shop. It’s a win-win. They get to keep a part of the proceeds for their cause, and she gets to represent something she’s passionate about.

  • Or just make a straight-up donation.

We’re outdoors people. We don’t need a lot of stuff. And let’s be honest, the stuff we do want is probably too pricey to put on a Christmas list. (Unless you have a lot of money, which, in that case, I would love a trad rack!!)

  • Desert Solitaire. Into the Wild. The Big Tiny. Eiger Dreams. A Walk in the Woods (Anything by Bill Bryson, really). Seven Years in Tibet.

Any and all books that document life in the wilderness. If she adventures she doesn’t need any old paperback companion–she needs one that inspires. So maybe not Into the Wild. Unless she’s staying home for a while…

  • Anything from Patagonia. Seriously. Anything.

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  • Something to sort through all those thoughts she’s bound to have.write-in-the-rain

She heads into the backcountry. She’s philosophical. She has a lot of thoughts. She needs something to track all the epiphanies she has come rain, snow, or shine. This bad boy will bat away any water that tries to ruin any good idea that comes to her mind.

Like these prints from Rachel Pohl, or anything climbing/skiing/outdoor related on Etsy.

 

That’s what I got! Anything to add? What would you love to receive as an outdoorsy woman?