Nov 11, 2020 at 10:35 am #3683418Murali CBPL Member
In spite of this thread – I hope you all enjoy backpacking:-) In case you forgot – here is a nice video to remind you:Nov 21, 2020 at 9:00 am #3685052Robert RBPL Member
@rob-rLocale: North Texas
I was never interested in theater while school and therefore I can never “act” out in public.Nov 27, 2020 at 4:42 am #3686010Robert RBPL Member
@rob-rLocale: North Texas
Just noticed I forgot the word “in” for “while in school” :-DNov 27, 2020 at 8:14 am #3686021BonzoBPL Member
@bon-zoLocale: Virgo Supercluster
Interesting thread; lots of different perspectives. Two things to add:
1. The substance of any message is dependent on both the sender and the recipient, and as such there’s no universally-correct way to handle any given situation. As members of a social species, we have certain traits and behaviors that are very common…but no matter what you intend, say, do, telegraph or imply, the other party to your actions is free to interpret them at will, by way of instinct, thought, hope, fear, experience, or any other motivating reason. This being the case, the simple axiom of “less is more” usually holds true in the case of the topic at hand: a friendly and polite greeting and/or acknowledgement as you pass on the trail offers the best chance for healthy interaction and the least chance for problematic misinterpretation.
2. Awareness – and by extension, proactive employment – of local and cultural norms often makes interactions with strangers much easier. People think, act and live differently in different parts of the world, and knowing what behaviors the people in any given area consider to be normal, polite and acceptable makes passing encounters much simpler and less potentially-threatening.
Both of these points were driven home to me when I was hiking in a different country: Germany. Before spending time on trails there, I had adopted a mostly-silent demeanor when encountering other people on the trail, and that behavior has always been acceptable for my usual tramping grounds…but in Germany, it became quickly apparent that not saying anything wasn’t just an unacceptable and mildly-suspicious behavior, but downright impolite. Thus, I began to mimic what other people were doing: a smile and a greeting from a few meters away immediately put people at ease and actually opened up a few nice conversations here and there. I carried the behavior back home, and although hikers in the US certainly aren’t as chatty as the Germans, I have found that the simple act of pleasantly recognizing another person’s presence on the trails as we cross paths – and by default, recognizing a basic commonality between us – usually carries no penalities, and it offers me up as an example of how one person can comfortably share a moment – even the most fleeting of moments – with another.Jan 13, 2021 at 9:24 pm #3693685Dale KBPL Member
No different then how I would normally see women. Didn’t realize I was to act differently. Play it by the situation. Sometimes they are friendly and we may have a conversation. Once in a while I get the vibe of keep on walking.Jan 13, 2021 at 10:35 pm #3693702
My husband and I were talking the other night, and he remembered that a few years ago, when we were visiting Boston, he went to a Dead show at Fenway Park; my kids and I went out to eat and then watched movies at our apartment. The show ended in the wee hours, and my husband hopped on the subway and rode back to the neighborhood where we were staying, near downtown. On the walk from the train station, he stopped off at a neighborhood bar and had a beer, hanging out with strangers at the bar, before finally coming back about 3-4am, walking under a highway overpass, past a hospital, through dark and almost empty streets.
I said, wow. I would never do that. I could never do that. I could never do what you just did, that isn’t an experience I can ever have, without fear. And because of that fear I wouldn’t, ever do that. He just sat there for a while, settling into the realization that he is more free.
Some of us feel it on trail too, it’s just how it is. But we go anyway, because the experience is more important than the Boston bar. Women’s FB groups on hiking are filled with “how do you protect yourself on trail” posts. Reality bites. I appreciate the intent of the OP and the guys who get it.Jan 14, 2021 at 1:24 am #3693709
So he took the T towards Beacon Hill, drank at the Bull & Finch, then walked past Mass General and under the 28/Charles St. overpass to the West End, maybe?
I probably wouldn’t do that either.Feb 12, 2021 at 6:35 pm #3699107Link .BPL Member
@annapurnaFeb 12, 2021 at 8:55 pm #3699128
@Link: Thank you for that link. Hers is the kind of situation I had in mind with the OP.
Without intending to suggest that women on the trail, or anyone for that matter, needs to be protected, rescued, or saved, I would suggest that in a similar situation someone should not just hike away and leave a person alone with a stranger without at least checking in first.
It could be casual and subtle, as in “I was thinking of heading off. You good here?” which might draw similarly casual “I’m enjoying hiking with you. It would be nice to keep going.”
Or it could be direct and explicit: “I was was thinking of heading off, but I don’t want to leave you alone here with a stranger you just met.” or something else equally clear and direct but perhaps a bit gentler. That would both alert the person being left to their situation if they hadn’t considered it, and others who already had, and give them an opportunity to make a choice that feels safest to them, as well as put the other person on notice.
I suppose gender could make difference in deciding which approach to take.
Random thoughts on a locked-down Friday evening.Feb 12, 2021 at 9:29 pm #3699145jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
“I probably wouldn’t do that either.”
when I was at college in Santa Cruz I would often close the library at 11:00 or so at night. then I would walk through the deep wooded road a quarter mile to pick up a late bus home. No big deal, I loved it. Then my women friends pointed out they couldn’t do that. And then a woman was raped.
Karen’s “I wouldn’t do that” is orders of magnitude greater than a male’s “I wouldn’t do that” in this instance. And many more. I think guys hear this and sometimes still don’t really get it. It’s not just Karen’s husband’s route home that she’s talking about. It’s a hundred routes that men take without thinking that are foreclosed to women for perfectly good, rational reasons. Not because women are irrationally fearful. Men make life more dangerous for women. It’s as simple as that. We have to not let men get away with it. Men have to police men. Men have to change other men. We have to change male culture in this regard.Feb 12, 2021 at 9:32 pm #3699149
+1Feb 12, 2021 at 9:43 pm #3699153
I went to UCSC too (hello fellow banana slugs) and one of my roommates was raped in exactly that situation. That was when I started becoming…”woke”?…aware of the differences between my situation and experiences versus those of women and people of color.
To whom much is given, much will be required. If we have been gifted with privilege, blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others.Feb 13, 2021 at 10:30 am #3699214
“I probably wouldn’t do that either.”
Thanks to jscott for putting it so clearly. What is so clearly evident to some of us, isn’t so obvious to others. My husband is a kind and wonderful man, but he’s definitely got a blind spot for women’s safety concerns. I guess it’s a compliment in that he sees me as just as independent and competent as he sees himself.
It’s not really a choice for me to walk somewhere alone in a city at 3am, even my own town; if I would decide to do something like that and end up becoming a victim, I would most definitely be blamed. I know a lot of women who have been raped or molested whose stories will never be heard, so many MeToos; they know that our culture will hold them, not the perpetrators, responsible. Going beyond sex and into race – many Native American women have been raped, but they know that prosecution opens them up to critique, with little assurance of justice for the perp. This is such a common story up here, it’s truly tragic. I know one of the rapists, who will never be prosecuted.
Our society deems some places off limits to women, still, including cities at night and bars. I would say that’s true of the trail also, despite many women solo hiking; if something happens to us out there, we are still to blame, in a way that men are not. Can you imagine if Chris McCandless had been a woman? Would Krakauer have bothered to make a film and heroine out of the story or completely ignored it? If I go out there and drown in a river, people will criticize that I was alone. If Krakauer goes out there alone and drowns in a river, people will talk about what a tragedy it is.
Ravensong’s story is very interesting; she’s led a tough life, but has overcome so many obstacles and always returned to the trail, supported others on the trail. Worth a read. I actually find her story more compelling than Cheryl Strayed’s and it would be nice to see at least a book come out of it, if not a book and a film. I hope someone else does it and not Krakauer. Please. So glad the bus has moved.Feb 13, 2021 at 10:38 am #3699215Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
” Men have to change other men. ”
Don’t laugh at jokes that are vaguely suggestive, or actionsFeb 13, 2021 at 11:03 am #3699221Michael BBPL Member
We all have to assess the situation we find ourselves in or about to enter, and decide whether we are to continue along that path, or choose a less risky or dangerous one. I believe it is rational and reasonable for everyone to make this decision for themselves in a realistic way, and then make their decisions. As we interact with others, we should be gracious, but also wary. I believe one put it “be wise as serpents, gentle as doves.”
That being said, I fully agree with the sentiment that we should always be looking out for each other, if it is possible. The idea of chivalry (not a popular concept in a world striving for egalitarianism)I believe, extends to the idea of men policing men. In a society, we have given some of this responsibility to our leaders and authorities, so it is also our (society’s, men’s, women’s) responsibility to ensure our authorities are working in the best interests of society, and to make sure corrections are made when needed.
I enjoyed Bonzo’s story of his change from silence on trail to a polite acknowledgment – that has been my strategy. Politeness is something lost by most Americans. It is especially bad in highly urbanized areas, where we just can’t be bothered to be nice to the people around us. I am hopeful people the likes of which peruse this forum will help to keep polite/caring society alive.Feb 13, 2021 at 11:15 am #3699222
A brief “hello” or a nod and smile on a trail goes a long way. Silence in a truly remote area is decidedly creepy. A guy waiting alongside a trail up ahead, smiling down, with no one else around, is also creepy. As if he’s waiting for you. Hand on the sidearm.
This is a bit of a tangent, but here in Alaska the traditional “rule” has been that if a car is stopped at the side of the road in subzero temps, that you stop to see if they need help. I’ve done this on occasion, but am very selective about when/where I stop and judge what the vehicle/person looks like. I hate that I do this, because I’d like to help anyone, any time. Ditto hitchhikers; I hitch rides, so I like to give rides. But the Ted Bundy memory is alive and well in all of us of my generation. If it were truly terrible weather and someone I didn’t think i could trust seemed to need help, I’d probably call 911, check my pepper spray, and then stop. The decision is very situational, and there are no clear guidelines; I don’t want to neglect someone but my first duty is to protect myself. There’s a ton of discussions on women’s FB groups on self-defense. Only a very few question the need for it.
There’s one area just south of the local minimum security prison facility where the escapees hitchhike (they can just walk out, so escapes are almost routine). I always wonder how often they get picked up by Alaskans following the old “always help” custom. Or by unknowing tourists. So far so good.
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