Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore a connection between gender and wilderness in a very specific lens: the Appalachian Mountain Club trail crew and hut crew employees in the White Mountain National Forest. Nine female employees of the Appalachian Mountain Club working for the High Mountain Huts as well as the Professional Trail Crew were interviewed. Three male employees were also interviewed to provide alternative prospective and context. Through these in-person and remote qualitative interviews, I gained insight into the gender-based challenges for women working in wilderness. The interviews I conducted revealed common themes related to gender, including the role of micro-aggressions in their experiences; the process of confronting stereotypes about women’s strength; and development of skill sets to cope and excel in a wilderness setting. It was important to me to investigate a connection specifically of wild places and working and recreating, because this setting has been vital to my character but also because these wild spaces will be threated by climate change in future generations so therefore documentation seems fundamentally important.

Keywords: Gender, wilderness, empowerment, backcountry employment, generational change

Category

Humanities

Available for download on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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Apr 28th, 9:20 AM Apr 28th, 9:40 AM

Wild Places and A Thing Called Gender. Does This Social Construction Inform How We Work and Play Outside? A Qualitative Narrative of Working in the White Mountain National Forest

UC 330

The purpose of this paper is to explore a connection between gender and wilderness in a very specific lens: the Appalachian Mountain Club trail crew and hut crew employees in the White Mountain National Forest. Nine female employees of the Appalachian Mountain Club working for the High Mountain Huts as well as the Professional Trail Crew were interviewed. Three male employees were also interviewed to provide alternative prospective and context. Through these in-person and remote qualitative interviews, I gained insight into the gender-based challenges for women working in wilderness. The interviews I conducted revealed common themes related to gender, including the role of micro-aggressions in their experiences; the process of confronting stereotypes about women’s strength; and development of skill sets to cope and excel in a wilderness setting. It was important to me to investigate a connection specifically of wild places and working and recreating, because this setting has been vital to my character but also because these wild spaces will be threated by climate change in future generations so therefore documentation seems fundamentally important.

Keywords: Gender, wilderness, empowerment, backcountry employment, generational change