Why the Outdoor Adventure Industry Makes it Harder For Women to Enjoy their Sports
There once was a little girl who loved the woods. When no one was looking, she’d escape to the trees, climb into a nook, and read a book for hours.
When she was sad or scared, the rustle of the wind, the whisper of the river, and the tranquility of the lake was what soothed her soul.
Yet, it was her brother who was brought on adventures. He climbed every mountain with the boy scouts, camped in the cold, learned to survive in the wilderness, while the little girl was taught to cook, put on make-up, and even her cold-weather campouts were kept indoors.
In the gear stores, she felt like she didn’t belong: Hiking pants made her feel as if she had to lose weight; Gear never fit her right; She felt like her body was all wrong and felt ashamed.
But the little girl grew into a young woman, who loved adventure. She took on all her dreams, no matter what anyone said, and she did the best she could with the gear she could find, refusing to enter again into those stores that made her feel like she was all wrong.
She climbed the mountains, rafted the waters, and took solace in nature’s wonder.
It wasn’t until she asked other women about how they felt whenever they bought gear or looked at the outdoor magazine covers, did she realize she wasn’t alone.
Kayaks weren’t in their weight range, didn’t fit their hips, were made for men’s bodies. Clothing wasn’t designed for women, instead the gear industry said, “We’ll just shrink and pink it. That will be good enough because women aren’t the market.”
Angered by the knowledge that not only was the girl made to feel shamed by her strong and curvy body, no one had bothered to make gear that was truly made for her. The Patriarchy was alive in the outdoors — a continuation of the “boy’s only” club.
But women are meant to be in nature — they are meant to get dirty, to feel nature’s blissful peaceful song. They are meant to find solace to be able to leave behind what they should be, and get to be who they are.
This young girl, now a woman, said, “No more! Nature is where I feel most free, and most like myself. It’s my meditation, my connection to life, and I will not be kept out by an “old boy’s” club.
“I will change the gear industry. I will help other women to feel the breeze on their faces, the exhilaration of reaching the top of the mountain, or to listen to the river’s song. I will help them to rise to see that they are just as welcome in the woods as anyone else, and that they too belong, no matter their shape, age, race, gender identity or that they have periods and have to squat to pee.”
So this woman, launched a new company, fearlessly, determined, and decided that it was time for change.
Check out her mission at www.e2tadventures.com and be a part of the change.