I happened to have scheduled an Outsiety ski into Bowman Lake the same day that, what would turn out to be millions of women around the world, took to the streets with signs and chants to say their bit about the importance of not only advancing, but protecting women’s rights, and for that matter human rights.
But as the group of 17 women set out for the 12 mile ski into Glacier National Park, I got to thinking more about how well this adventure represented many of the rights and privileges I enjoy that so many were raising their voices about that day.
I’ve had a lot of amazing women as role models in my life—both of my grandmothers were badasses in their own right. One lived through Nazi occupied Poland then later fled communist Poland with her small children for Africa, later settling in the US. She was a Lady with a capital ‘L’: think Zsa Zsa Gabor. But she loved mountains and wilderness and had a wicked sense of humor.
The other raised 8 kids to love the outdoors, taking them on backcountry trips, and taught preschool in inner city Oakland. When she started school at UC Berkeley in the 40’s she studied geology because she was fascinated by the science but also wanted to be able to spend time outside. When it came time to go to field camp they told her, the only woman in the department, that she couldn't go. So she told them a big ‘screw you’ and switched to chemistry. Growing up with these women, along with my mom and aunts, set a pretty high bar for me for what it means to be a strong woman, but it also made me take a lot for granted because they, along with so many others, had blazed the trail ahead of me.
Some of us had made signs to carry along on the Bowman Lake ski, and we passed the time and the miles coming up with even more funny slogans. But we also talked about what some of the rights that are most important to us are. It made me think about how inherent some rights and privileges are to my outdoor lifestyle and to making an organization like Outsiety possible.
Take healthcare—I’ve been able to make decisions about my health to put off having kids for a while to prioritize other things in my life—my education, my career, and adventure (of course having kids doesn’t exclude or detract from any of these things, but the point is that it is a decision I’ve been able to make because I’ve had good access to healthcare).
Or take my education—those same doors that were closed to my grandmother were open to me. I was able to pursue a course that would deepen my love for the outdoors and eventually would lead me to a career preserving access to wild places and public lands, just like the ones we were enjoying a beautiful day skiing on.
Even the fact that I can say ‘I want to learn to ski/bike/fish/do anything’ and be able to walk into a gear shop, get set up, and connect with people to learn how without someone questioning it or trying to stop me because I’m a woman is significant.
These all reflect rights we have, rights that women were marching for, that have helped to facilitate us having the kinds of lifestyles we do and being able to spend a Saturday skiing together. It’s important to remember those rights and the privilege that underpin the opportunities for adventure that bring us together, and the Women’s March on Glacier was the perfect reminder.
Stay nasty y’all!
Post by Margosia Jadkowski, Outsiety BadAssador