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Thread: Gender biases

  1. #1

    Default Gender biases

    Do gender biases exist on hiking trails? If so how can males address it when its exhibited against them...when it crosses the line?

    We most often hear about it occurring to females. There has been much discussion in this regard...how females can sometimes avoid or be alert against it and males needing to be more alert and sensitive not to engage in it. How can females be more alert and sensitive to not engaging in it as well?

  2. #2

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    I'm not clear what you mean. Can you clarify which biases against men you're thinking of?

  3. #3

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    While I cannot expertly speak on the Appalachian Trail, I can say after seeing maybe a thousand backpackers in the last couple decades---in the Southeast mountains of NC and TN and Georgia and Virginia---that in all these hundreds of backpackers I have only seen at most 5 Solo Female Backpackers. This I would regard as a sort of gender bias.

    One was backpacking up Slickrock Creek with her dog and a recent transplant to NC from Idaho. The other 4 were BMT or MST thruhikers.

  4. #4

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    Perhaps thread reassignment is in order

  5. #5
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Bias or prejudice?
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  6. #6

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    In my limited experience on the trail, the short answer is "of course there is, but... probably less than I see elsewhere in the world.

    There are all sorts of biases. Gender, generational, racial, political, religious, etc. I met far more people who were willing to put aside their preconceptions and just chat with the people alongside them about common interests... than those who truly would not shut up about, and put aside their prejudices.

  7. #7

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    Are you trying to start a range war? Identity politics killed a hundred million people in the 20th Century. Good luck with that.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    While I cannot expertly speak on the Appalachian Trail, I can say after seeing maybe a thousand backpackers in the last couple decades---in the Southeast mountains of NC and TN and Georgia and Virginia---that in all these hundreds of backpackers I have only seen at most 5 Solo Female Backpackers. This I would regard as a sort of gender bias.

    One was backpacking up Slickrock Creek with her dog and a recent transplant to NC from Idaho. The other 4 were BMT or MST thruhikers.
    Most of the sexist behavior I see from females involves them being so wrapped up the idea that men are discriminating against them because of their sex that they delusionally interpret every behavior and attitude to be a result of sexism, which is very far from the case. We frequently see women posting on here about being afraid to hike alone. That in itself is a sexist attitude that assumes that men are something to fear. Their fear of men does not make men dangerous, it is born of their own imagination. Why does nobody challenge them on this? If someone said they were afraid to walk through a black or hispanic neighborhood they would be called racist. But somehow its ok for women to be afraid of men just because of their gender. It my mind this is sexism and glaring evidence of a double standard.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Bias or prejudice?
    Both........

  10. #10
    Lnj's Avatar
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    Bronk,
    I am a woman and I teeter totter between dreaming of hiking alone to entertaining all the what ifs and being scared to. I am a BIG woman and I am no shrinking violet. I am afraid of NO man. I feel I can take most. BUT..... I am afraid of spiders and bears and falling and breaking or spraining an ankle and having no one to help me or becoming a burden on a stranger, or getting violently ill with no help... etc etc. That's where I am afraid to hike alone. Was it said that the hiker mentioned above was afraid of men in particular, or of just being alone as there is a huge difference.?
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Most of the sexist behavior I see from females involves them being so wrapped up the idea that men are discriminating against them because of their sex that they delusionally interpret every behavior and attitude to be a result of sexism, which is very far from the case. We frequently see women posting on here about being afraid to hike alone. That in itself is a sexist attitude that assumes that men are something to fear. Their fear of men does not make men dangerous, it is born of their own imagination. Why does nobody challenge them on this? If someone said they were afraid to walk through a black or hispanic neighborhood they would be called racist. But somehow its ok for women to be afraid of men just because of their gender. It my mind this is sexism and glaring evidence of a double standard.
    Oh for bleep's sake. Found the misogynist.

  12. #12
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    I'm pretty sure Dogwood is just stirring the pot. I'm pretty sure he can handle any bias that gets thrown his way, real or imagined.

    Bronk, I think it is sensible for women to be particularly cautious around strange men they encounter on the trail. I know that I am. Does that make me sexist? So be it.

    RockDoc said it well. Dividing people up by identity is so damaging to our society. How about we just try to treat each other like we would want to be treated. Assume the best of people, and develop a thick enough skin to deal with the jerks. This seems to be a recipe for a happy life.
    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


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  13. #13

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    <---- lady person here. Afraid of no particular man. Likes to hike. Has never been solo hiking. The most solo I would consider is me + a large dog. Has been physically assaulted by men and only men.

    From early girlhood you're told about safety in numbers, and taught how to carry your keys between your knuckles. Oh, and if you don't follow every single safety tip ever written, you're blamed for your own assault.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Most of the sexist behavior I see from females involves them being so wrapped up the idea that men are discriminating against them because of their sex that they delusionally interpret every behavior and attitude to be a result of sexism, which is very far from the case. We frequently see women posting on here about being afraid to hike alone. That in itself is a sexist attitude that assumes that men are something to fear. Their fear of men does not make men dangerous, it is born of their own imagination. Why does nobody challenge them on this? If someone said they were afraid to walk through a black or hispanic neighborhood they would be called racist. But somehow its ok for women to be afraid of men just because of their gender. It my mind this is sexism and glaring evidence of a double standard.
    The "woman alone" phenomenon might be a world wide bias against women traveling alone or hiking alone or hitchhiking alone or backpacking alone, or whatever else. This bias could be due to the predatory nature of men---as many men are often "on the hunt" for women to meet for whatever reasons. Fill in the blanks.

    Then again, to your point---There does seem to be an exaggerated fear of men by SOME women, whereby they won't attempt any kind of solo hike or solo backpacking trip. I guess I'd call it The Deliverance Syndrome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lnj View Post
    Bronk,
    I am a woman and I teeter totter between dreaming of hiking alone to entertaining all the what ifs and being scared to. I am a BIG woman and I am no shrinking violet. I am afraid of NO man. I feel I can take most. BUT..... I am afraid of spiders and bears and falling and breaking or spraining an ankle and having no one to help me or becoming a burden on a stranger, or getting violently ill with no help... etc etc. That's where I am afraid to hike alone. Was it said that the hiker mentioned above was afraid of men in particular, or of just being alone as there is a huge difference.?
    Spiders and yellow jackets and pit vipers do not discriminate between human males or females---they have no gender biases.

    But all backpackers no matter gender have "what if" scenarios which could keep them out of the woods. Then again, what's more important: Worrying about what might happen or just getting out into what's left of the great outdoors???

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Most of the sexist behavior I see from females involves them being so wrapped up the idea that men are discriminating against them because of their sex that they delusionally interpret every behavior and attitude to be a result of sexism, which is very far from the case. We frequently see women posting on here about being afraid to hike alone. That in itself is a sexist attitude that assumes that men are something to fear. Their fear of men does not make men dangerous, it is born of their own imagination. Why does nobody challenge them on this? If someone said they were afraid to walk through a black or hispanic neighborhood they would be called racist. But somehow its ok for women to be afraid of men just because of their gender. It my mind this is sexism and glaring evidence of a double standard.
    Seriously, you're playing the victim card?! Find your own statistics, from a website, or combination of websites that you trust. Take the time to understand the limitations of the statistics, when only a percentage are brought to authorities. A disturbing percentage of women have been subject to rape, or attempted rape. A far higher percentage of been subjected to sexual assault. A far greater percentage of women, than men have been assaulted. The fear of men, doesn't make men dangerous, but a disproportionate percentage of bad men, are what make men as a group, more dangerous.

    One could argue that women are safer on the trail, than they are with predatory family members, authority figures such as religious, coaches, bosses, and such. I'm the most harmless guy in the world, I'm a feminist who raised two amazing daughters and taught them how not to be victims. That said, I fully understand why most women don't rush to embrace and trust me immediately. Like it or not, I'm part of a group that has some serious issues. I'd rather teach my fellow men to behave like humans rather than get sad about it because someone looked at me funny.

  16. #16

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    And yet Puddlefish---There are outstanding examples of women backpackers who go out alone and thrive. I'm thinking of the German Tourist aka Christine Thuermer, Carrot Quinn (rail-riding hobo!), 4 time BMT thruhiker Regina Reiter, my backpacking friend Amy Willow (AT Thruhike 2006), and others.

    TRIP 141 038-L.jpg
    Here's a pic of the German Tourist in the Big Frog Wilderness.

    TRIP 115 586-L.jpg
    Regina Reiter on the BMT.

    TRIP 174 597-XL.jpg
    Amy Willow on Upper Creek in Pisgah NF.

    TRIP 157 173.jpg
    Heather Housekeeper on her second MST thruhike (on Gragg Prong in Pisgah).

  17. #17
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    I feel like this discussion has gotten off to a bad start, so here's my attempt to re-direct:

    I read this article written by a female hiker on my facebook news feed a few weeks ago. Not about the AT per-se, but the thru-hiking community in general, and I think it is more in line with what the OP intended.

    https://www.autostraddle.com/the-pac...canada-408954/
    It's all good in the woods.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Most of the sexist behavior I see from females involves them being so wrapped up the idea that men are discriminating against them because of their sex that they delusionally interpret every behavior and attitude to be a result of sexism, which is very far from the case. We frequently see women posting on here about being afraid to hike alone. That in itself is a sexist attitude that assumes that men are something to fear. Their fear of men does not make men dangerous, it is born of their own imagination. Why does nobody challenge them on this? If someone said they were afraid to walk through a black or hispanic neighborhood they would be called racist. But somehow its ok for women to be afraid of men just because of their gender. It my mind this is sexism and glaring evidence of a double standard.
    Why would you assume that a woman afraid to hike alone is afraid of men? Maybe we are afraid of bears, snakes, getting hurt or lost? Besides, most times when a woman says they are going on a hike "alone" to family/friends/etc. it's immediately met with "warnings" and questions for our safety. I'm 47 and last year when I was hiking without my husband my mother and others all expressed concerns about my safety. If it had been my husband going to hike by himself, no one would have said a word. I think the inherent bias of the world gets planted in our minds and can follow us onto the trail. Personally, I don't worry about guys hitting on me. I'm confident enough that I'm "not that attractive" and "blunt enough" that if it happens, I can put a stop to it. But does it happen on the trail? Absolutely. I've seen it and when you're hiking and ending up at the same places night after night with that guy or group of guys who don't understand that you aren't in the woods looking for someone to hook up with, it gets creepy.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    And yet Puddlefish---There are outstanding examples of women backpackers who go out alone and thrive. I'm thinking of the German Tourist aka Christine Thuermer, Carrot Quinn (rail-riding hobo!), 4 time BMT thruhiker Regina Reiter, my backpacking friend Amy Willow (AT Thruhike 2006), and others.

    TRIP 141 038-L.jpg
    Here's a pic of the German Tourist in the Big Frog Wilderness.

    TRIP 115 586-L.jpg
    Regina Reiter on the BMT.

    TRIP 174 597-XL.jpg
    Amy Willow on Upper Creek in Pisgah NF.

    TRIP 157 173.jpg
    Heather Housekeeper on her second MST thruhike (on Gragg Prong in Pisgah).
    I have no idea what point you're trying to make, and why you addressed it to me based on what I said. Of course women thrive on the trail. Most every woman I meet on the trail has far more hiking experience than me, can walk further and faster than me. I've only been at this hobby for seven years or so.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    I feel like this discussion has gotten off to a bad start, so here's my attempt to re-direct:
    I read this article written by a female hiker on my facebook news feed a few weeks ago. Not about the AT per-se, but the thru-hiking community in general, and I think it is more in line with what the OP intended.
    https://www.autostraddle.com/the-pac...canada-408954/
    That link just makes it worse. Also, if the discussion has gone off the rails, consider who started it.

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