Never having experienced inequality, therefore, the majority of straight white men will be absolutely oblivious to their own advantages – not because they must necessarily be insensitive, sexist, racist, homophobic or unaware of the principles of equality; but because they have been told, over and over again, that there is no inequality left for them – or anyone else – to experience – and everything they have experienced up to that point will only have proved them right.Let the impact of that sink in for a moment.By teaching children and teenagers that equality already exists, we are actively blinding the group that most benefits from inequality – straight white men – to the prospect that it doesn’t. Privilege to them feels indistinguishable from equality, because they’ve been raised to believe that this is how the world behaves for everyone. And because the majority of our popular culture is straight-white-male-dominated, stories that should be windows into empathy for other, less privileged experiences have instead become mirrors, reflecting back at them the one thing they already know: that their lives both are important and free from discrimination.And this hurts men. It hurts them by making them unconsciously perpetrate biases they’ve been actively taught to despise. It hurts them by making them complicit in the distress of others. It hurts them by shoehorning them into a restrictive definition masculinity from which any and all deviation is harshly punished. It hurts them by saying they will always be inferior parents and caregivers, that they must always be active and aggressive even when they long for passivity and quietude, that they must enjoy certain things like sports and beer and cars or else be deemed morally suspect. It hurts them through a process of indoctrination so subtle and pervasive that they never even knew it was happening and when you’ve been raised to hate inequality, discovering that you’ve actually been its primary beneficiary is horrifying – like learning that the family fortune comes from blood money.Blog post 4/12/2012: Why Teaching Equality Hurts Men
Foz Meadows
Despite the dangers and discomforts, climbing is for many an all-consuming passion. They interrupt, end, or never start their careers, focusing exclusively on completing the next climb. Climber Todd Skinner said free climbing means going right to the edge of your capabilites. For many climbers, this closeness to death - the risk of dying - produces an adrenaline rush that most other life experiences simply can't. It is what keeps many of them married to the sport. Probably no other sport creates such a feeling of oneness with Mother Nature. Attached to a mountainside by fingertips and toes, the climber necessarily becomes part of the rock - or else. One climber says that while scaling a granite face, she felt close to God, so intense was her relationship with the natural world.Climbers speak of floating or performing a ballet over the rock, each placement of foot and each reach into a crack creating unity with the mountain. The sport is one of total engagement with the here-and-now, which frees the mind from everything else. Climbers' concentration is complete and focused. Their only thought is executing the next move...Ken Bokelund... said: Climbing for me has always been the strength of the body over the weakness of the mind. If you train so that you are very strong physically and you have mastered the techniques, then all that's left is believing. Freeing your mind of fear is the key. This is very difficult to do, but when you can achieve it, then you are in true harmony with the rock. Fear is just one more thing to worry about and is very distracting. It can make you fall......when you know you are strong enough to complete any maneuver, once that level of physical confidence is achieved, then you are able to put fear out of your mind. Climbing becomes a very simple pleasure. It's just you and the rock. It's a total clarity of being, a time when nothing matters, you're moving without any thought, you're in a place where time stands still. Even when you're on a wall for days, when you get down, everything seems exactly the same, as though time never passed.'s Half Dome
Bob Madgic