Oct 15, 2020 at 11:17 am #3679844jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
“If a woman is interested in a guy she will give off signals that let it be known. For example, if you’re a guy and a woman you pass on the trail stops, smiles and starts asking questions, and as she does she keeps a relatively close posture and doesn’t back up one inch throughout the conversation, she might be into you.”
Maybe give it a half hour? My guess is that most men are terrible at reading so called signals, especially it that’s the first thing they’re attempting to do.
Woman to herself: I wonder if this guy knows if I missed the cutoff?
Guy: I think she’s into me! She stopped and initiated a conversation!Oct 15, 2020 at 11:23 am #3679845
Ben H’s response to MB was much better.
Well to be fair to David, we were responding to two different posts. My response was to MB’s initial post, which was more nuanced. His response to me was in fact staggering ignorance. Suggesting that, with the rates at which men sexually harass and sexually assault women, is nothing but women being afraid of their own shadow is ignorance, staggering ignorance.Oct 15, 2020 at 11:37 am #3679846
I think MB was trying to say to not let fear enjoy the outdoors when he meant shadow…..
Anyways, I think a better topic would be to discuss what one should do when you are in a creepy situation. That knowledge can be put to good use.
While this is an interesting topic, I also think that there are lots of solo hikers in the west who obviously have not let the fear of statistics prevent them from their adventures in the wild.
Regarding acting like a gentleman and other pieces of advice – are you not giving women false sense of security? That if a man does these things, they are “safe”? Man or woman – you need to be prepared of creepy situations or always have a plan/deterrents. Don’t e fooled by a trojan horse as well.Oct 15, 2020 at 11:40 am #3679847David GardnerBPL Member
@gearmakerLocale: Northern California
“I actually thought that David Gardner went on the offensive by saying “off base….staggering” and “you are the problem” etc”
True that, and my apologies to the community. No excuses. I should have at least tried reason and persuasion, but I just reacted. Overreacted. My heated reaction just drew a more heated response, which is of no value to anyone.
I respect this community and value whatever credibility I might have, and don’t want to blow that. It won’t happen again.Oct 15, 2020 at 11:45 am #3679848
You are good David. You are passionate guy who cares. We all say things in heated debates – it is just that – debates.Oct 15, 2020 at 12:07 pm #3679850bjcBPL Member
@bj-clark-2-2Locale: ColoradoOct 15, 2020 at 1:04 pm #3679858
Murali, I think you are focusing too much on the appearance of predatory behavior. I suppose you could argue that teaching men not to appear like predators is also training predator how to be more efficient, but this is much bigger than that (at least in my opinion).
Take the advice not ask a woman where they are headed. It wasn’t obvious to me that would be problematic. The problem though isn’t really about me being falsely assumed to be a predator. It is more about normalizing that interaction. If the innocent people stop asking for that information it is more obvious when predators are trying to get information. We men can take actions to isolate predators.
The other important part of this thread is what can we do to identify when someone is in distress and what actions can we take to help. The answer may not be simple rules of thumb but ignoring the issue will not make it go away.Oct 15, 2020 at 1:28 pm #3679862
My guess is that most men are terrible at reading so called signals, especially it that’s the first thing they’re attempting to do.
How men think —
Man goes into a bar that has a woman bartender. Sits down.
Bartender is very friendly to him.
Woman bartender (thinking to herself): I would never date this guy, but will be really nice and friendly so I get a good tip.
Man (thinking to himself): Wow, this woman just sent a subtle message that she wants to sleep with me!Oct 15, 2020 at 1:37 pm #3679863
If you read the article by forwarded by “bjc” – it is obvious that some of these creeps ingratiate themselves to women, gain their trust and then harass them. I am not sure how one can prevent that. There will always be creeps. Women should definitely ask for help from other hikers when they are in a tough spot and I hope other hikers will help them. I definitely will as will the members of BPL.
I am not ignoring the problem – I am just saying that a bunch of us being nice to a woman is not going to prevent creeps from what they are going to do.Oct 15, 2020 at 1:45 pm #3679864
Nick – I call this “dog and cat” problem. Somebody once told me that a dog thinks a wagging tail is someone who wants to play. A cat when it is scared apparently may also wag/swish its tail. The dog not realizing the cat is scared and doesn’t want to play mis-reads the tail signal of the cat and goes after the cat…..
Similarly as you indicated, women are much more friendlier in general than guys. They give big smiles even if they are not interested in that person. But, the man thinks she is interested because of the warm/big smile.
I think educating men that smile/conversation from a woman or how she dresses doesn’t mean she is interested in you will be helpful. But there will always be creeps who are going to ignore that tip.Oct 15, 2020 at 1:45 pm #3679865KarenBPL Member
The problem with moderating and removing the really obnoxious and rude comments, is that then the rest of the thread and responses to that rude comment seem like overreactions! It does say “comment removed” – should be in red, so that future readers know they’re missing some other parts of the discussion.Oct 15, 2020 at 2:04 pm #3679868KarenBPL Member
Side but related topic. Should women sign trail logs if they’re alone? Read that Daily Beast article, yikes. Glad I’m old and have resting bitch face to be summoned as needed.Oct 15, 2020 at 2:15 pm #3679870
Should anyone sign a trail log? I find the idea dumb, encourages more people to visit the log location, and is just another piece of backcountry liter.Oct 15, 2020 at 2:17 pm #3679872
I think educating men that smile/conversation from a woman or how she dresses doesn’t mean she is interested in you will be helpful. But there will always be creeps who are going to ignore that tip.
Educating the non-creepy men not to act in a way that is perceived as creepy is a good first start.Oct 15, 2020 at 2:49 pm #3679877PedestrianBPL Member
“Educating the non-creepy men not to act in a way that is perceived as creepy is a good first start.”
To me this is the main point of this thread. Too many guys don’t seem to grasp that small changes in their behavior/demeanor can go a long way towards putting that woman hiking alone more at ease. A matter of self awareness.
This thread is not addressed to the creeps of this world – who knows what drives those behaviors…Oct 15, 2020 at 2:59 pm #3679879
Wow, that Daily Beast article is exactly what this thread needed…. and it was published today! Who on here is Melanie Hamlett?Oct 15, 2020 at 3:07 pm #3679880Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
Nevertheless, there actually are some female backpackers who are open to meeting a nice guy out on the trail, a guy they fancy and one who shares a common interest with them. It’s better than dating apps in most cases. Old people like us might not realize it, but there are a number of hookups that take place out on long distance trails. If a guy feels as if a woman is interested in him and she’s displaying the right body language, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with asking her if she’d like to join him for afternoon tea. That’s pretty benign really. If a guy never asked a woman he thinks is game to do anything, he’d spend his entire life celibate. But no means no and that’s what a guy has to get through his head.Oct 15, 2020 at 3:13 pm #3679882bjcBPL Member
I posted that article since it appeared in my newsfeed in the midst of this discussion. I can say that I have seen women hikers, on the AT in particular, who have been uncomfortable with some of the male hikers. I can count at least four or five times where a woman has asked me for a favor, either hiking with them for awhile or camping near them to discourage the attention of someone. Must be my fatherly demeanor!!! In each case I didn’t see the men as stalkers or dangerous, just oblivious to to the woman’s discomfort with their behavior. I’d like to think that coaching males and females for almost 40 years has made me fairly sensitive to this issue. That and my wife’s comments on those types of behaviors!Oct 15, 2020 at 3:43 pm #3679886obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
^^ The Mark Sanford school of AT backpacking.Oct 15, 2020 at 5:25 pm #3679894
Perhaps a slight tangent, but still in the spirit I think…and a part of why I would argue so many have so much difficulty with this subject…
Some general, but obviously very leading questions about how men and women interact in our society:
Do you have a good friend in your life of the opposite sex that is not related to you through blood or marriage?
Is there someone of the opposite sex that you regularly….say, pick up and go have a drink with? A coffee? A hike?
If you have a partner, would this create conflict with your partner if you did?
If your partner did this, would it create conflict for you?
If this person a coworker, and you look forward to seeing them at work, do you fear consequences from a partner (yours or theirs) if you were to extend the relationship beyond work and invite them out?
Do you model any healthy, non-sexual, non-familial opposite sex relationships for your children? Did you have any modeled for you?
And the million dollar question: Do you think healthy, non-sexual, non-familial, opposite sex relationships are even possible?
For simplicity, my entire post exists within the hetero/cisgender world because the entire thread has been couched in binary man/woman terms …Other identities on the spectrum obviously add a whole new dynamic.Oct 15, 2020 at 8:43 pm #3679913David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Craig: I’ve had platonic female friends since middle school and am still friends with them 45 years later. It’s been gratifying to see my own kids have multi-gender friend groups among whom, there is some dating, but everyone is still speaking to each other after each teenage r-ship has run its course. It suggests to me that they’ll be touchstones throughout each other’s lives, as they have been so far, through their college years.
The mention of trail registers made me think of a few things. I usually sign them, just in case I go missing, so searchers would have a last-known known time and place. Likewise, if I sign in, I always sign out. In a big area with few people, it’s kind of nice reading the last week’s rooster and recognizing multiple people, but would I be increasing women’s safety options if I just sign in as “D B Thomas”? If no man does that, then every woman who does has identified herself as a woman. I could see a woman not wanted to sign in “Diane Thomas” both because it identifies her as a party of one female and also leaves open the prospect of being approached by some creep saying, “Hey, you must be Diane. . . “. Maybe just adopt a trail name like “Bruiser” or “Black Belt”?Oct 15, 2020 at 9:14 pm #3679914
I think what you describe is good and healthy David. I’m not going to venture into fabricated statistics or posit that you represent a minority/majority, but it certainly seems to me that there are a lot of people in this country that simply don’t know how to do it. When worlds exist where men and women cannot have a platonic dinner together, good luck sharing a general camping area with someone of the opposite sex.Oct 15, 2020 at 10:58 pm #3679923
What you are discussing is a healthy relationship between spouses or significant others, where trust and fidelity are paramount. Don’t see how this is pertinent to the subject at hand. During the years I’ve been married to Joyce I often traveled with women on week-long business trips where we stayed in the same hotel, shared a rental car etc. Not to mention the backpacking trips.
What is applicable to this thread is how I interacted with them, especially since I was often their direct supervisor who completed performance reviews and gave out raises, which potentially complicate things for some people.
Joyce has several male friends she socializes with without me. Some she has known long before we met. No problem. When we met she was sharing a house with a platonic male friend.
Not to mention our separate friends and business partners who are not “gender conforming.”
I guess it comes down to treating everyone with respect.Oct 15, 2020 at 11:44 pm #3679926
I think it’s pertinent because there are many spheres within this country in which men and women actually have very little meaningful contact or camaraderie outside of family or romantic relationships, all of which can heavily skew perception about what sort of behavior is appropriate. I believe this is partially to blame for some of the oblivious and ignorant behavior that could make people uncomfortable.
Teaching has taught me a lot. It’s not lost on me that in some cases I am one of the only males outside of family that some of my 17 and 18 year old female students have ever really interacted with and I can see the tension/discomfort it can cause, even with things as simple (to me) as eye contact. I’ve also seen countless males, often ones that have had little interaction with females outside of mom or their siblings, do absolutely insane and inappropriate things over “cues” that were mistaken for attraction. To assume we all know what respect looks and feels like is probably a bit erroneous- hence this thread.
Outright harassment and assault aside, I think more adults continue to carry this sort of baggage than we realize. I suspect it’s another factor in some of these uncomfortable interactions, on or off the trail.Oct 16, 2020 at 8:51 am #3679944
David, I think everyone signing with just initials is an excellent idea. The Daily Beast article mentioned women adding an extra male name when they sign the registry. That could be problematic in a missing persons case. Can you image law enforcement asking the hikers parents, “who is Bob Jones? Your daughter signed the last registry with him prior to disappearing.” It could change the way the search is handled when time is critical.
Wisner, I think you bring up excellent points when thinking about mixed genders interacting on the trail. I don’t think healthy, non-sexual, non-familial, opposite sex relationships are easy to negotiate. I certainly have plenty of friendships like that, but none I would describe as close. Like Nick I have traveled with opposite sex direct reports of mine. In those situations I try to be particularly aware of how my actions might be perceived by all of the parties involved so there isn’t the appearance of misconduct but still allow for personal interactions that are important for healthy functioning working relationships.
To think that any of this is easy is foolish.
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