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Old 10-29-2012   #201
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,302
Originally Posted by Don View Post
Cutch- you forgot to add Pyrahna to your list. I saw their boats and Brown Claws (Team Pyrahna's Gimick), and if they didn't want to be associated with BDP they would trash they for stealing their shtick.
True, although let's not confuse a Brown Claw as degrading women (it's a gesture of humbleness, as in, I just scared the shit out of myself).

Although in no way can I speak for Pyranha, I believe they find themselves in the same predicament as LL. This is truly an industry wide problem that nobody wants to address, and unfortunately there are a lot of great companies (run by great people) that are loosely associated with people engaging in questionable behavior.

The great thing is that all of this can, and should, be dealt with by the great people that are trying to grow the wonderful sport of kayaking, spread the love of rivers, etc, and hopefully our industry will finally figure out how to welcome women to the sport of kayaking. Because, historically, and currently, we suck at it.

I have no doubt in my mind that all of the companies I have mentioned are proud to support many athletes, such as myself, that won't tolerate the degradation of women.

Kyle McCutchen
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Old 10-29-2012   #202
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

Clutch- I hear you loud and clear, being the father of a daughter my tolerances have changed to.

Still the real focus be on openning the world of kayaking up to the masses and not pushing it toward elitism. Pros should be getting people into the sport and not driving them away. No company is in business to loss money- if they are they won't be here long.

I know we as a nation are very used to things happening instantly and we come to expect that when we make a request on the internet, everyone is listening and they will jump to our commands. It's just not true.

I know several in the industry and I have spoken to them first hand on issues like this. Truely, the guys I know in the industry have written off internet forums long ago. They don't believe that they represent the masses, but the voices of a small few (with multiple personallities) and if you ask them- they are not interested in hearing it. Now things change when it comes to writing preseason orders and then their ears are open. A few years back there was a well known kayaker that decided that it would be a good idea to make a quick buck doing Porn. That made for some real interesting meetings at OR that summer. Some, stood behind hm but most dropped him. Now you'll only see him pop up from time to time as a bit player, but in all he's done.

WCK can either choose to address the issue and correct it by distancing themselves from the blood letting, or they can pull a Penn State and deny it's happening. They will change their stance once it starts effecting enrollment, but again nothing happens over night.

Dagger ran into this issue a few years back, and still there are people on this board that would support their friends no matter how bad the team members act around the campfire. It's just the nature of the beast. When we bond with people and paddling partners on the river it can scew our impressions of them. It's like you've been to war with someone and you know they got your back (they would do anything to save your life). Then you watch them get drunk and get behind the wheel and instead of pulling the keys out of the ignition- you give them a "brown claw" and send them on their way. It's not good, but it's what people do.

I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 10-29-2012   #203
White Salmon, Washington
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3
Paddling community at large,

It is great to see that much of the discussion has turned rational, critical, and civil. As Phil has noted, there are many conversations going on 'behind the scenes' about this and, in general there are a lot of good things that are happening as a result of our collective outcry. Everyone who has raised their voice against misogyny, against reckless behavior, against the degradation of our sport, THANK YOU!

Kyle, and others who have noted a non-committal tone in our previous post:
You are right; our message in a few key lines was clearly not reflective of our position on these issues. I chose wording that took away from our meaning. What I was hoping to convey through the entire message was this:
There is a big problem here. Our vision of right and wrong is different than what has been portrayed by this group of young paddlers. It is, generally, not our policy to discuss or take formal stances on people that are outside of our program. HOWEVER, as you point out, Kyle, there is a connection between BDP and WCA. They are mostly past students of ours, and yes, it is natural for people to see the correlation between our groups.

And certainly, as most of my waking hours recently can attest, there are many conversations and meetings happening explicitly looking at these deep-seeded maladies affecting our community and what our role as an academic institution should be. We are not waiting to see how this turns out, holding our breaths, wishing this thread goes away. This is a real issue, with real problems. Please know that we are not passive on this issue.

WCA is committed to looking hard and long at the societal issues that our paddling community faces. We are committed to working directly with our students' parents, industry leaders, our budding Alumni Association and many others to find real ways to overcome these issues.


Adam Mills Elliott
World Class Academy
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Old 10-29-2012   #204
Yopal, Colombia
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 5
@Cutch, I'm not sure who you pulled the quote from, "Dagger is threatening to drop me, too bad they can't afford it..." but it reminded me of reading a few years back a series of essays sponsored by American Whitewater with Doug Ammons about the cutting edge of whitewater. One part of that series is "Brief cost-benefit of sponsoring paddlers" by Corran Adderson, and whoever you know that said that might want to give this essay a look. Sounds like it's pretty much never better business to sponsor a paddler than it is to make a new boat. Check it out:
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Old 10-29-2012   #205
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 27

Since writing my innitial reply based on the peculiar timing of this incident with my own personal struggles, I have read the entire thread. Truly, I have been one of who knows how many women who have been troubled by the adversity of degradation towards women in kayaking (& beyond). This is upsetting as I was raised on a greater sense of camaraderie &, to refer to punk rock terms, "brotherhood" in the sport. I have been in many mosh pits as a young woman, and was always picked up quickly, carefully when I fell down. Though the bonding seemed through rage, there was always greater compassion present.

While I am overjoyed at all of this, it certainly reiderates my own personal sense of empathy. I care to demonstrate my own instilled values. I want to represent. While there may be trouble here, and certainly, as I can attest, it has its affects on women's involvement and well-being in the sport, I maintain a stance of caring for the people involved. To Kyle, I see your resistance to sexism and support for a community open to female athletes inspiring and reassuring. World Class, I recognize your role neither condemning nor condoning your alumni as something respectable in terms of caring more deeply for them in ways where they can change, grow, and evolve beyond their trouble. They are your students. You maintain a stance to be supportive of them, not their troublesomeness. CasperMike, it's noble that you are standing up so directly to those responsible for this. To the parents of intelligent, talented "kids", your concerns are viable and it is of great importance to everyone in the kayak community to look out for one another.

I sold a kayak to the Griffith's years ago, and have known many of the guys in the films. As I mentioned, I care, about them, about our "cool subculture", and about our futures. Agreed, this has crossed the line, and I know that I am glad to find the support in all of this that does not condone these obscenities. My own reactions, have at times, been turned brutally unacceptable, and I know it. This has been a reassuring opportunity to realize a better way to fight, to withstand oppression and degradation, and to live up to what I have always been about: Strong, beautiful, intelligent, free spirited, passionate, perhaps somewhat rebellious, yet honorable with deep-rooted, community based caring. It isn't always easy to take on these controversies. Realizing our own inner-mediators is at the core of the empathy and nurturance taught by greats like Ghandi.

I have had a hard time with these struggles and continue to uphold my loyalty to the people, the sub-cultures, and the image inspired by years ago. They are not always the most wide-spread image aspired to (tattoos, beach-bum like scenes, etc.). They still hold honor. I have fought not to be "hidden", smothered, and "taken off the stage" for my own bouts with degradation... from rebellious images to trauma from sexual assault. It is strange to encounter these problems at a time when I am pushing to rise up regardless of the adversity. I see support, I see opposition, there is controversy. What matters above and beyond all is the core passion we share. May this be respected and let a light of reassurance shine on each and every person involved to offer support, guidance, and make peace.
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Old 10-29-2012   #206
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
MountainLove270, thank you for writing. Your courage, heart and openness makes this thread worthwhile, as do many other posts, but yours stand out to me.

I awoke to this on my facebook page from my good friend , the Dali Lama, this morning. Your most recent post reminded me of this...

"Warm heartedness
Honest concern for others is the key factor in improving our day to day lives. When you are warm-hearted, there is no room for anger, jealousy or insecurity. A calm mind and self-confidence are the basis for happy and peaceful relations with each other. Healthy, happy families and a healthy peaceful nation are dependent on warm-heartedness."
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Old 10-29-2012   #207
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
I've been seeing my posts in a new light after mountainlove's post (postS - another one went up while I was writing this). It's tricky to express my position well. I feel some empathy towards hard corey (kayaker turned porn star). I feel like there should be at least some leeway. I didn't know he had lost sponsors, and I don't think that's right. Similarly, (although I don't want to encourage sexism, bigotry, or misogyny) I feel like the bdp outcry is out of proportion.

However, this leeway has some very strict limits. I don't believe anyone should be hurt. The instant that humor turns from tasteless to cruel, it has crossed the infamous LINE. The things I saw in the video struck me as offensive, sure, but I did not see anything truly harmful or cruel. That's why I have argued in favor of bdp. Perhaps I wasn't seeing it from the right perspective. It's easy to say something's not hurtful when it's not directed at yourself.

Also, although I do not support the video, I wanted to note that I've actually gained a tiny amount of respect for bdp. Once the outcry started, the public bdp communications have been mostly conciliatory, and relatively well worded. It would have been easy for them to counterattack and escalate (think of conor's response to el scandalante). Instead of arguing in favor of all the negative aspects of the video, they tried to describe the fact that they intended no harm. There then followed a large number of posts attacking bdp, which for the most part bdp has just ignored, which shows some restraint. Maybe these attacks were warranted based on the movie, but my point here is that bdp could have handled things much worse once the debate began.

Again, I don't want to support bigoted behavior, but I feel like we shouldn't instantly condemn people at the first hint of offensive behavior. I didn't donate to their fundraiser before p.strokes, I'm not planning on donating to any future fundraisers or supporting bdp in any way, but I'm also not going to judge boat companies just because they sponsor someone who knows the dudes in bdp.
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Old 10-29-2012   #208
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 27
Overcoming adversity of degradation balanced with "the scene"

I have to say, after watching the 11/12 video, I wasn't particularly offended. It is that wreckless, wild, boys will be boys gnar you've got to love and yet rise above. Truly, I don't know that I do know those guys so much as I am acquainted with the others whom have been mentioned. My responses are based on what was previously quoted from them as well as the experience of this kind of trouble with the realization that there are way better outcomes than degradation to aspire to, accomplish, and thrive according to.
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Old 10-29-2012   #209
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 27
Proper balance

I am glad to have figured out what's up with all of this, though there are important priorities to attend to... perhaps to revisit this once all is in a more proper balance (academia, training, family, work, etc.) Thanks to those whom have extended some caring in regard to this trouble, for myself and everyone involved.
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Old 10-29-2012   #210
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 27
Crash course

One last thing, I want to make clear that it is wonderful to reiderate Anna's support for women and what opportunities these avenues offer, even while mellowing out the greater picture of the sport. I remember when Jamie Simon told me as a baby girl (maybe 9 yrs old), that if a man didn't offer to carry her boat, it was time to get a new dress. Also, reading up on Katie Dean's post is helpful with establishing respect & defense from letting lines be crossed. The posts suggesting women shouldn't have to be on guard are true for all of those whom care to prevent durogatory conflicts. Perhaps this will help better accomplish that, yet what interesting reading going into ski season, rocking the ski town ratios, the park scene, the night life & video premiers... A very well-constructed tapestry from the kayak community handling real world issues.

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