C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby Hikin_Jim » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:14 am

I came home late one night, and a skunk was eating out of the neighbor's cat food bowl -- at the bottom of the stairs leading to my apartment. I desperately wanted to get some sleep, but no way was I going to disturb little stinky. :shock:

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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby zippetydude » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:26 pm

Why do I feel like ... "and that's how I met your mother..." was supposed to follow that story?

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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby cynthia23 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:54 pm

Ed, what a fascinating story! You should write a memoir or book, I think you have many great tales like that. Yes, it's probably too reductive to try to fit people down to these large social frames--people are driven by a wonderfully complex web of personal, social, economic, political and historical forces.

While I do think there can be (a lot) of elements of the unhealthy, the obsessive, or the status-seeking in hiking, sometimes with a particularly 'macho' cast, I've come to the conclusion that overall, that's okay. Even if people start out with 'bad' motives in ordeal or endurance hiking, I feel that with enough time in the wilderness, people grow more humble and appreciative and less 'jerky', if you will, and that being outdoors is always a healthy activity in the long run. Our society is so dangerously sterile and unnatural that anything that gets people outdoors, even if it's toxic masculinity, is still good for the world. And quite honestly, for some very driven people such as Ed describes, I think it's a form of medication--a way of dealing with internal pain or a mental illness such as depression. Well, obsessive mountaineering, so long as it doesn't put others in danger, is healthier than being a drunk, so more power to them, really. I do agree with Wildhorse that being around such obsessive or competitive people on a hike can be stressful and irritating. Hiking with others really has a way of reducing people to their elemental natures. Which can be good or not so good. :wink:
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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby tekewin » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:58 am

Like zippedydude, I am confused by the broad brush painted over half of humanity. Most people, men or women, or however people want to identify, have a complex mix of personal reasons to do what they do. Most rescues in the wilderness seem to be due to accidents or people who were unprepared or just bad luck (like changing weather). I do sometimes do ordeal hikes to push myself, to grow, and learn deep things about myself. To find my own limits. Sometimes, I fail, and I am disappointed but I don't assign any gender to feelings of success or failure. I know a lot of people, male and female, that are not summit focused. I don't think that makes them girly. People can have different motivations and I don't think there is any inherent right or wrong in that. There is a semi-prominent ultramarthon runner (Aar Jay Soria) who regularly organizes mass trash pickups in the San Gabes. He obviously cares about the land. I know several ordeal hikers that bring back loads of trash on every outing. That ordeal hikers are toxic and don't care about the land doesn't ring true in my experience.
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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby Wildhorse » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:07 am

Cynthia, your observation that hikers become more humble is consistent with the observation of female PCT hikers. After the first month, the abusive males have mostly aborted the hike and the trail has humbled the survivors. It is also notable that female hikers seem to hold up better. Something to do with chemistry and having a better way of dealing with adversity. The disadvantage of men here seems partly related to toxic masculinity.

Tekewin, I think your observations may be explained by the unevenness of the effects of toxic masculinity. Some men have worse cases than others, having suffered more emotional neglect or abuse as infants and children.

Many trail users, unlike wild land managers and ecologists, are unaware of their adverse impacts. If we were fewer in numbers, the impact would be less, toxic masculinity or not.
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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby hawkbill666 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:00 pm

I have not filled up one hand yet on C2C hikes, as I am just a C2C tourist. I hike it to have an excuse to get back home to Palm Springs, but also to also create a bit of healthy fear in me that is both humbling and exciting. And lets not forget the health benefits for those of us locked in 8 months of rain up here in the NW, as the prep keeps me 'nonfat'.
And this whole "toxic avenger thing", not sure about that. The final reason I hike it and hike any bigger mountain is one of my favorite sayings, "Never Trust Anyone Under 10,000 feet" :). Not sure that's a male thing as usually above that altitude everyone has let their guards down and you start to see the real people.
Either that or I suppose they are just whacked from thin air :)

With all due respect to this somewhat confusing topic - just trying to find my way down to C2C again shortly.
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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby tekewin » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:39 am

Wildhorse,

In your mind, is there such a thing as "non-toxic masculinity" or did nature/God condemn males with toxic genes?

I recorded these young bucks on a trailcam last week. It looks more like they are playing than fighting to me. Toxic masculinity?

https://youtu.be/5vWKP14qjvM

Trying to understand.
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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby zippetydude » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:20 am

Wow! You actually recorded that!? How did you know where to place the trailcam? (Perhaps the area reeked of male hormones?)

BTW, in training for the Tram Road Challenge last weekend (the race is on the 27th, I was just training) I saw two fairly large bighorn sheep relaxing on a boulder just a mile up the road and a couple hundred feet from people hiking up the road. They appeared totally relaxed. (Good thing they were far away from the PCT...)

Now the dark side. I'm afraid the male on the left was abused when he was very small, as he keeps up his vicious male aggression throughout the whole video. The male on the right appears to still be somewhat functional, although he most likely suffers from poisonification. Sad. So very sad. :wink:

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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:34 am

Hi Tekewin, my understanding is that psychologists believe it is a result of childhood emotional neglect, not genes. The neglect is part of culture. I think it is a misunderstanding to interpret this as a condemnation of men, although that happens in the case of some political writing on the right and the left.

Personally, I do think it is a legitimate part of understanding of our ways and lives. My wondering in this thread is only what hiking would be like without it. It does require some reading in the subject and has become part of education now at schools and colleges.
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Re: C2C, Skyline and Toxic Masculinity

Postby tekewin » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:47 pm

Wildhorse,

OK, thanks for clarifying that. I guess I need to read up on it. I don't see that much bad behavior on the trail, except in really crowded areas where people of both genders show bad behavior. Litter and graffiti are the common offenses, but I usually only see that after the fact. I see males and females posting furiously on social media. Also, isn't gender considered a spectrum now and non-binary? I am certainly no expert on any of this stuff.

Z,

I don't want to hijack the thread, but I am quite proud (in a non-toxic way) of my recent side hobby of "camera trapping", placing cameras to capture video of wild animals. I followed an obvious game trail to a clearing where I caught those bucks. Placing cameras is an educated guess based on animal trails, tracks, and features that attract animals like watering holes. It took me multiple placements and many months to get my best video: two cougars in the Santa Ana Mountains!

https://youtu.be/jgJgG9TNtbU

I currently have one camera deployed in the San Gabriel Mountains to try to get some black bears.
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