Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream
March 18, 2016 6:48 AM   Subscribe

 
God, these men. That level of poisonous entitlement-- treating these women like THINGS. Dave Loeffler-- and those others-- what disgusting, predatory scumbags.

I hate the patriarchy.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 7:20 AM on March 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


It's kind of amazing the things the harassers do admit to, as if they think it makes them sound better:
Edwards wrote in his response, “I did flash a camera below her skirt as she stood next to me. It was intended for shock value only” as Anne had been drinking, he explained.
and
In a court declaration he said Lopez-Crowder had “tripped” and that “before I helped her up, I jokingly placed my foot on her pack.”
and
“It wasn’t to have sex,” Harris said. “I think I said something like ‘We could snuggle and that’s all.’”
You want an excellent example of male entitlement? The fact that they admit to this kind of behavior as an example of what they think is OK is perfect.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:23 AM on March 18, 2016 [96 favorites]


This is awful. We need to do better.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:25 AM on March 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's so much horrible stuff in that article but the snuggling anecdote is what really got me, for some reason. The fact that Harris could stand there and defend it on those grounds and feel that was a reasonable explanation. I have no doubt he asked for snuggling. But most of us know what that means - just another opportunity to push the boundary once he's got you in the bed.

You know what, dudes? Grow up or get the fuck out of our way, we're trying to work here.
posted by sallybrown at 7:32 AM on March 18, 2016 [37 favorites]


I'm having a hard time reading past the part where the women are run out on sexual harassment allegations. I mean, how great that the powers-that-be found their sense of decorum and propriety just in time to enforce it on these lewd and inappropriate women!
posted by amanda at 7:38 AM on March 18, 2016 [13 favorites]


1. The title of the article seriously makes my blood run cold. Nothing is scarier than hearing the words "no one can hear you scream," and I can't think of much I've been taught (implicitly and explicitly) to be more afraid of than being so incredibly isolated and alone with a man. For a lot of reasons, but mostly because

2. when you're isolated and alone with a man, it's going to be your word against his, his word is going to mean more than yours, he knows it, you know it, and he knows you know it. Even if he's the nicest, kindest man in the world. Even if he would never, ever hurt you. Letting yourself be so utterly alone like that with no one else around but a man (let alone several men) involves so much risk calculus. So

3. fuck every single dude who has ever whined about a woman not feeling comfortable being alone with him -- god, it's not like he's a rapist or anything! Listen: Even if you are, we already know no one is going to believe us. Listen: You have no idea how many tiny worried voices we need to silence, our own and others', before we can start thinking about being able to trust you enough to be alone with you. Listen: This is why.
posted by amnesia and magnets at 7:39 AM on March 18, 2016 [121 favorites]


Are there other/private companies that can take you out on the river in the Grand Canyon? Maybe woman-owned ones? I've been thinking of visiting the Canyon, but ugh, not if that kid of organization is my only option...
posted by amtho at 7:41 AM on March 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The fish rots from the head down. Start targeted firings at the top (along with disqualification from future government employment), work your way down. "But that would eviscerate the Parks Service!" I hear you saying. "We'd have to do a massive hiring effort that would take years", and that's fine. Some things are more important.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:42 AM on March 18, 2016 [15 favorites]


fuck every single dude who has ever whined about a woman not feeling comfortable being alone with him

It's a legitimate complaint, but it's the fault of the patriarchy, not the woman.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:42 AM on March 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The dangerous culture of male entitlement and sexual hostility hiding within America's national parks and forests.
posted by paulcole at 7:44 AM on March 18, 2016 [35 favorites]


A female friend has been working as a ranger with the Parks Service for a few years now, and at every post, every season, she has experienced scary stalking behavior, open harassment, and (according to her, but I don't know the ins and outs of that particular bureaucracy) discrimination in promotions and assignments. It's almost like...things are rigged...to discourage women from being there?
posted by witchen at 7:54 AM on March 18, 2016 [19 favorites]


I'm not an outdoorsy person, but have been thinking as I get older of perhaps exploring nature. Admittedly, I'd probably be doing so with my husband (who is outdoorsy), but it angers me that if we needed a guide, the fact I am with a man might be the only thing that stops that person from harassing or assaulting me. If I wanted to do it alone on my own? I'd spent more time being terrified and nervous than actually enjoying the experience I wanted for myself.
posted by Kitteh at 7:55 AM on March 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Edwards added, “But as the joke goes: ‘ ... ach, you fuck one sheep!’” [boatman claiming his good deeds necessarily outweigh any misdeeds]

I'm not sure that joke means what he thinks it means?
posted by asperity at 7:56 AM on March 18, 2016 [23 favorites]


I'm appalled by the disgusting behaviour, but this also jumped out me.

Any river "guide" who encourages a client to swim a rapid without a PFD (that is, life jacket) as a "joke", should be fired, and not allowed to be professionally responsible for people on a whitewater river for a long time.

It shows the depth of the contempt and lack of empathy he has for women and other people really.
posted by other barry at 8:09 AM on March 18, 2016 [32 favorites]


That kind of patriarchal harassing shitty behavior is everywhere. It's more overt in male dominated environments, but there really are few genuinely female dominated environments. It's male privilege. It makes life hard for women every. single day. Add any other discrimination, like race, age, handicap status, and it gets even worse. People need to make this better, and it takes a lot of effort.
posted by theora55 at 8:15 AM on March 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


It's kind of amazing the things the harassers do admit to, as if they think it makes them sound better:

Dr. Lisak has done a lot of work regarding rapists. Just take a look at this "Interview with a Rapist". One of his findings is that rapists (or at least a particular subset of them) generally don't understand themselves as rapists, but are in full understanding of the actions that they are performing.
posted by Dalby at 8:16 AM on March 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


fuck every single dude who has ever whined about a woman not feeling comfortable being alone with him

It's a legitimate complaint, but it's the fault of the patriarchy, not the woman.


It's a legitimate complaint about the patriarchy, not about the woman.
posted by Etrigan at 8:23 AM on March 18, 2016 [22 favorites]


This has also been a topic quite a few of the women I have skied in more remote areas with have talked about; about how we plan trips, who we look for in a team, not being willing to go on multi-day trips without fully vetted partners (and not just from a pure rescue perspective).

I do a lot of backcountry skiing and mountaineering, and I often get asked (only by guys...) why I pretty much only do long trips when my brother is around; I mean yes, I do really enjoy skiing with him, but also, I know that he will look out for me if anything started going badly for me. Last year, the only time so far that I've planned a backcountry ski trip abroad alone, I did end up talking to several guiding companies and paid a premium to go with one that voluntarily talked to me about my safety as a woman in the region and group, not just as a mountaineer/skier.

The wilderness/backcountry is gorgeous; there is a peace found in mountains and woods that is hard to find anywhere else, and 90% of the time it's an awesome trip, but man, you ARE far out from help if something goes wrong.
posted by larthegreat at 8:50 AM on March 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


I think this is really clumsy wording. I had to read it several times before I understood the point that was trying to be made. But, even so, it's a yes, and kind of thing.

It's a legitimate complaint, but it's the fault of the patriarchy, not the woman.

It's a legitimate complaint about the patriarchy, not about the woman.


The patriarchy as a concept...sure, it's to blame for the ocean we swim in. But in that ocean, there are bad actors. Women don't mistrust from birth. It's bad actors who teach them to mistrust. For an individual man and an individual woman in a situation, it's on both to act trustworthy. A woman might not trust a man for any number of reasons that may or may not have to do with that man. On the other hand, it may indeed have to do with how that actual man is behaving. Or, maybe she doesn't like you for no particular reason. Or, she likes you just fine but she's not going to fuck you so either deal and move on like a normal person or change your own expectations of this woman so that you can be a good actor. The patriarchy doesn't make you act like a jerk, it does give good cover for your actions. The patriarchy soup that women swim in is constant hyper vigilance for who will do them harm. The same soup for men is never having to think much about any thing or any one person beyond the end of their nose.
posted by amanda at 8:52 AM on March 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


I just wanted to point out how well this dovetails with research on sexual harassment during fieldwork in a bunch of different academic fields as well.

Men take advantage of unstructured, fairly isolated environments and the fact that institutions tend to believe men instead of women to behave terribly with relative impunity. Widespread harassment and assault in fieldwork is certainly a symptom of our sexist patriarchal society, but specific things are magnified in the context of remote fieldwork, and it's worth treating it as its own category of problem with its own specific set of solutions.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:55 AM on March 18, 2016 [49 favorites]


Man, I often lament that I didn't turn my BS in Natural Resources into a career doing wilderness sciencey stuff like I had intended when I was still in college. But this article had my heart racing (in both empathetic fear and anger), and my comfy safe desk job at a company that's majority women is looking pretty nice right now.
posted by misskaz at 9:03 AM on March 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is one of the things that angers me so much -- the way that society limits what I can do, takes opportunities away from me because I'm a woman.

Obligatory. ("I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night...")

IMO, we don't really need men to feel sad or disappointed about women not being able to feel safe or pursue careers in any number of arenas because men harass and stalk and terrify us out of them. And while I do appreciate the solidarity, we don't really need men to express their frustration about the terrible behavior of all those other, bad men to us, either.

What we do need is for men to get angry about it, and to express their frustration to other men. Men, please talk to other men about this. Women already know. A lot of us already have to fight against it every day. Do your best to change the vibe from "boys will be boys" to "boys will be social pariahs if they continue to pull this shit." Don't make fixing the patriarchy our responsibility. Don't leave the work of dismantling male supremacy to the people who are most directly harmed by it.
posted by amnesia and magnets at 9:08 AM on March 18, 2016 [82 favorites]


As soon as I used the word ‘harassment,’ he was like, ‘Whoa, stop. I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”
Edwards wrote in his response, “I did flash a camera below her skirt as she stood next to me. It was intended for shock value only” as Anne had been drinking, he explained.
The assistant captain was briefly placed on administrative leave. (In a court declaration he said Lopez-Crowder had “tripped” and that “before I helped her up, I jokingly placed my foot on her pack.”)
"BRO! BRO! IT'S JUST A PRANK BRO!"

Plausible deniability only works if it's plausible you fuck faces.
posted by Talez at 9:21 AM on March 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


[content warning : rape] i just this second realized why i freaked out when i was 20ish year old me and my guy group of friends took a muddin/4 wheelin/hill climbin type detour - i thought it was about automobile safety. my dad worked on the tech parts of wrecks and so i knew how wrong things could go so quickly. but reading the post and this thread, i got a tug at my chest and suddenly things came into focus. i was probably scared about brakes going out or flipping the jeep-like vehicle, but what really terrified me was being off road with 4 guys and me, in a place no one knew i had gone, in a place miles from anything one might call civilization. and i realize that terror and panic is surely related to when i was 14 and i went on a (unapproved by parents, no one knew where i really was) date with a senior boy who suddenly pulled off the road in his big truck and sexually assaulted me where no one could hear me scream, so i didn't dare try it.

thank you for posting this.
posted by nadawi at 9:32 AM on March 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


A close relative I love very much has worked for the US Forest Service since her teens. She is now in her early 60s.

She does not have romantic or sexual relationships with men.
Despite this fact, she became pregnant in the field during the late 1980s.

She bore and raised the child as a single mom - despite heaps of castigation due to childbearing out of wedlock - because Catholicism.

That is all.
posted by sutureselves at 10:15 AM on March 18, 2016 [32 favorites]


Are there other/private companies that can take you out on the river in the Grand Canyon? Maybe woman-owned ones? I've been thinking of visiting the Canyon, but ugh, not if that kid of organization is my only option...

The NPS trips are for research/management. Commercial river trips for tourists are operated by a handful of concession-contract holders. I'm not aware of any woman-owned river companies, but there are women working as commercial guides on the river. Memail me if you want a suggestion.

This is one of the problems with the concession-contract-based system: Contracts for guiding services come with preferential rights of renewal, which has the effect of locking new businesses out of the marketplace. If none of the first-to-arrive companies were woman- or minority-owned, you're stuck with nothing but white male ownership.

I should mention that commercial river guiding in Grand Canyon was developed in large part by a guide named Georgie White and her company, Georgie's Royal River Rats. She sold her company before she died in 1992; I'm not sure who bought it or what became of it.
posted by compartment at 11:42 AM on March 18, 2016


Ugh. I'm male. This article alternately made me a little sick and a whole lot of angry. Which, I suppose was the intent.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that those two reactions gave me a yearning for a little Amos Burton-style justice.
posted by Thistledown at 12:47 PM on March 18, 2016


The fish rots from the head down. Start targeted firings at the top (along with disqualification from future government employment), work your way down. "But that would eviscerate the Parks Service!" I hear you saying. "We'd have to do a massive hiring effort that would take years", and that's fine.

Especially since it would provide the opportunity to replace these senior leadership positions with women, which would further curtail this kind of activity.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:03 PM on March 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


fuck every single dude who has ever whined about a woman not feeling comfortable being alone with him

It's a legitimate complaint, but it's the fault of the patriarchy, not the woman.


No, it's not a legitimate complaint. It's (yet) another symptom of entitlement, because no one is owed that kind of company in the first place.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:10 PM on March 18, 2016 [19 favorites]


The dangerous culture of male entitlement and sexual hostility hiding within America's national parks and forests.

This can not be repeated frequently enough. It's everywhere. It's a part of the foundation of our culture. "Rape Culture" is NOT an inappropriate term for it, despite the previously successful efforts to very narrowly define Rape.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:39 PM on March 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


I just wanted to point out how well this dovetails with research on sexual harassment during fieldwork in a bunch of different academic fields as well.

That was my first thought as well. There are specific environments, including schools and other total institutions as well as isolated fieldwork and wilderness sites, that seem to create maximum opportunity for perpetrators. Sexual access should never be a job perk.

i went on a (unapproved by parents, no one knew where i really was) date with a senior boy who suddenly pulled off the road in his big truck and sexually assaulted me where no one could hear me scream, so i didn't dare try it.

I have heard variations on this story so many times from friends who grew up in small towns and on ranches. It is heartbreaking how common it is.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:36 PM on March 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


This made me think of the movie 'Wild', which I think did an excellent job of evoking that sense of menace that these abusers create.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:46 PM on March 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I should mention that commercial river guiding in Grand Canyon was developed in large part by a guide named Georgie White and her company, Georgie's Royal River Rats. She sold her company before she died in 1992; I'm not sure who bought it or what became of it.

Georgie White sold her company to Western River Expeditions back in 1992 which is still in operation today. There are a lot of woman running boats for commercial raft operators in the Grand Canyon both as boat guides and senior trip leaders. Commercial trips tend to be closer to 50/50 male and female and a fair number in their 50s and 60s. The boatmen are respectful to the customers. After all, they are working for tips.

The NPS trips tend to be younger and more male dominated. Getting onto an NPS raft trip in the Canyon is a rare privilege that most aspire to once in their entire Park career. Generally there have been at least three or four woman on the NPS trips I have run into. The boatmen cited in the story weren't on commercial trips. They were employees hired by the NPS and weren't treating the others like clients as they would on a commercial trip. A completely different dynamic of office harassment by peers.

The last two NPS trips I ran into were actually operated by one of the commercial outfitters, using boatmen and boatwomen. That may be a result of this story and the elimination of the NPS internal raft operations.
posted by JackFlash at 1:01 AM on March 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


I told some of my male colleges about this article (of course the other woman in my department had already read it) and they all shrugged and said it was all totally unsurprising. Which. I hadn't brought it up because it was surprising. I brought it up because I wanted to talk about the issue with fellow ecologists. So if you want to know how male allies are doing in ecology? Not well. Not well at all.
posted by hydrobatidae at 7:30 AM on March 19, 2016 [10 favorites]


This is awful. We need to do better.

Nah. Men need to do better. I get what you're saying, we as a society, but us men have been putting all the work on women for far too long.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:33 AM on March 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, there are a number of women-operated outdoor recreation companies. The Sierra Club runs a number of trips, including many women-only trips.

One of my favorite woman backpackers has a page (and many blog posts) dedicated to resources for women and outdoor recreation.

This is definitely something always in the back of my head as a woman who spends a lot of time outdoors, both solo and on group trips where the men:women ratio is often 4:1. But I also think it's worth highlighting that a lot of women DO spend time outdoors alone (women solo thru-hikers are a particularly bad-ass group of people) and find deep fulfillment and peace while doing so. I just got back from helping a friend pack resupply boxes for her solo PCT thru-hike. The amount of criticisms she's getting for going solo is breath-takingly condescending, and many of the cautionary tales IMO reinforce patriarchal concerns over the risks women should/shouldn't take.
posted by mostly vowels at 10:22 AM on March 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


FFFM, I appreciate your alliedness and willingness to speak up about this, but I kind of wish you wouldn't tell me what I mean to say?

When I say "we" - that encompasses a lot of people, both men and women. We as a society, we as ecologists, we as outdoorspeople, we as the communities of people working in these conditions, we as mentors sending students and staff into potentially dangerous places and not believing their stories. I wish that it was going to be as easy as saying "MEN STOP!" and women in general resting on our laurels as good people who never contribute to rape culture, but all of us need to participate in these conversations and women can't be let off the hook just because it happens to us, too. We're also part of the institutions that need to change, and we need be part of the work to change them.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:41 AM on March 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Park Service was originally organized as a military branch. They are SUPER serious about chain of command, hierarchy, who gets to tell who what to do. It's also next to impossible to get fired once you are entrenched. At the park I was at you could harass someone in front of your supervisor and still get a hearing. Even if you were judged guilty you would have the option to move to another park. The culture reminds me of the pedo priests shuffled around from parish to parish. Also if the powers that be want you gone they don't fire you, they make your life miserable until you quit. Some departments are worse than others, some parks are worse than others. The women I know in the maintenance department are constantly having to deal with bullshit from a higher-up man. My section was run by a woman and that shit didn't fly with her at all.

On the other hand, if you are at a good park or have a supportive boss it can be awesome. Their internal hiring, training programs and promotion patterns are amazing. The pay and benefits are great. I knew lots of lifers, both men and women. I left for a few reasons, but I am currently trying to get back in.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 4:28 PM on March 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry for not being clear enough; I was disagreeing with you (slightly), not telling you what you meant. My fault that it was misinterpreted.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:56 PM on March 19, 2016




Homunculus - I note from the article, however, that even if the unit is dissolved, the men themselves will not lose their individual jobs.

So all that happened is that the rest of us just lost a channel of access to the Grand Canyon and the perpetrators are just being moved to new hunting grounds.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:56 AM on March 26, 2016


« Older The Billion Dollar Spelling Mistake - Digital...   |   Woman Disappears During Live TV Interview. Aliens... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments