Don’t Care About Sexual Harassment? Don’t Read Outside.
It’s long overdue that we started talking about it, and it affects all of us
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
On November 29, we posted an anonymous survey to Facebook about sexual harassment in the outdoors and outdoor industry. We hoped to hear from readers about their experiences and take an honest look at a small portion of this global problem, from those who were willing to share their stories. And we were grateful to get lots of thoughtful feedback from many of you. However (and, of course, we were expecting this) we heard from a disturbing number of Facebook commenters—mostly men, unsurprisingly—and anonymous survey respondents who thought this was too political, too unrelated to the outdoors, and worth making light of.
Readers, we really value you here at Outside. You’re the reason we work to write great adventure stories and report on issues that will make the outdoors a better place for everyone.
But if you think that sexual harassment isn’t a real problem or if you like making jokes about people getting harassed in the outdoors, do us a favor: Unsubscribe. Make good on your threats to stop reading.
We’ll let a sampling of comments speak for themselves.
Anonymous Survey Comments:
“I would like to be flashed by a girl at some point in near future in the mountains.”
“I’m so mad that you guys are doing a poll like this. I read your magazine to get away from the life. I love looking at nature and being surrounded by it. I enjoy reading about other people’s adventures and gear reviews. I get enough political bull shit when I turn on my tv or log into social media and at work. Do what you guys are good at. I would love to talk to someone from outside about how I can cancel my subscription.”
“Bitches always be catcalling me for looking so sexy when I'm skiing. Plus women ski naked sometimes and that makes me feel really uncomfortable.”
“I was hiking the PCT. I'm a male. On several occasions, one or more female hikers approached me from behind. A few times, they said ‘hello’ as they passed. It made me very uncomfortable.”
To these readers and any others who agree with them, we’ll make our stance perfectly clear: we care about sexual harassment. We’ll keep reporting on it—it’s long overdue we kept this conversation going, and the outdoor industry is far from exempt. The unfollow button looks like this: