How to Dilute the Dude Soup
Women owned ski and snowboard company, Coalition Snow, recently came out with a new podcast called Juicy Bits. Coalition Snow CEO Jen Gurecki and Ambassador Jillian Raymond are taking the conversations that women have on the chairlifts and expanding on them, delivering them in juicy bits every few weeks. The premeire podcast tackled the topic of "Dude Soup". What is dude soup you ask? Dude Soup is everything male, all around us, all the time that we as women can not avoid. Jillian refers to it as "the smell, the consistency, the thickness, that surrounds. It begs the question, where are the women?"
Where are all the women?
A few minutes in and Jen brings up the Cooper Review Cheat Sheet, which is genius and so spot on. I've seen it before but when she brought it up in the context of dude soup it triggered me to start thinking about the all the times that I have been called ABRASIVE or AGGRESSIVE, or my personal favorite, BOSSY. I've been called these words for as long as I can remember and pretty much every time has been by another woman.
Now I'm going to digress a little bit here but stay with me... So I spent my summers as a kid in Grand Teton National Park, where my Dad worked as a mountain guide. There was only one other girl near my age and she wasn't around much, it was mostly just me and a group of boys. I was always surrounded by a bunch of dirt bag climbers and we were a community that was very tight like family. As kids, our free time was spent swimming in the nearby river, floating around in canoes, and jumping off rocks into lakes.
When I hit thirteen I suddenly got boobs, it was like I woke up one day and had a D cup. Puberty came for me before the boys of course and things changed fast. My friend's Mom suddenly decided that she didn't want a well-endowed teenage girl in a two piece hanging around her son. I wasn't invited around as much and when I was at his cabin she made it very clear that she didn't like my presence there. She even went to the length of telling her husband who then told my Dad that she thought that I was a "sex bomb waiting to explode" and that I was a bad influence on her pure son and his friends. I was crushed and instantly felt left out. It was hard enough not having other girls around my age but now I couldn't even hang out with my guy friends. I had been sexualized by a male friend's mother.
High school came with slut shaming, slut shaming from other girls. I know there are women that have been slut shamed by men but I received a lot of it from women. And here's the thing, I did it too. Girls shamed other girls for the way they dressed, out of jealousy from the guy they liked liking another girl and not them, pretty much for anything. High school involved loads of insecurity for me and probably for everyone else, but why did we as girls resort to putting down other girls?
According to a 2014 outdoor consumer segmentation study conducted by Outdoor Industry Association 35% of women are less likely to participate in outdoor activities with friends. Now that may seem like a low number to some people but to me it still made me question things. Why are these women not participating in outdoor activities with their friends? Is it because women are just doing these things with their male partners? Or is it because they are intimidated by other women?
So dude soup is obviously a problem for the advancement of women and can be quite annoying. It's frustrating being in your element, in the outdoors, surrounded by men when you really just wanna see some other bad ass ladies out enjoying themselves. But it goes beyond just seeing women as equal on the playing field, it comes down to women supporting and encouraging each other on the field, on the slopes, at the crag, and everywhere else. There's something to be said about a healthy level of competition but we need to stop pitting women against one another.
The reasons for women’s under-representation in sports, senior roles, and political positions across society is obviously frequently debated, but one thing is certain, times are changing. Society is not going to put up with the harassment, underpaying, undervaluing bullshit anymore. One of the ways to combat dude soup is to have stronger lady tribes. We may not all agree on the same things but I'd like to hope that we all want women to make more money, be more successful and basically take over the world right? Ok so maybe not the whole world, but in all seriousness we've got to have each others back. We've got to dilute the dude soup with our strong, bad ass lady tribes, because we're all in this together. So go ahead, keep joining those women's group, making new friends off the internet, and for god's sake, support you local girl gang!
I'm going to just leave you with an excerpt from my friend Keele Bergin's poem about WOMEN:
"...In my women’s group…
I want to show up
I want to belly laugh
I want tears
I want to show up lonely and leave overflowing with connection
I want to know that my insides are safe to spill
I want you to help me go into the world more courageously
I want to hold your hand to do the same
I want to discuss juicy topics that matter
I want to be both teacher and student
I want to watch you soar
I want to go deeper as a tribe
I want to belong..."