When we dream of becoming adventurers, we do not think of sexual violence.

We dream of the heart-pounding thrill of summiting a new peak or of riding a dogsled through new territory. Not the heart-pounding fear of having your Norwegian exchange parent force his hand under your clothes.

Blair Braverman shares her story of sexual assault on her journey to becoming a dogsled racer in her book WELCOME TO THE GODDAMN ICE CUBE (2016). See it on Amazon here.

This morning, Blair shared more thoughts via Twitter on the disconnect between the male and female experience–which is one of the major roots to this issue.

See the full thread below. Before we get there, though, it could not be more important to point out…

Sexual violence in the outdoors isn’t just Blair’s story. 

This Spring, Lily Cohen shared a story of sexual harassment while on a climbing trip with a man. She was there to climb, and he was there for more: “I bet you bought the hippie peanut butter with no sugar […] You’re my [climbing] partner you should be giving me some sugar.” Read the piece on the Moja Gear journal here.

The thing to realize is:

These stories are not isolated incidents. Sexual harassment and violence happens with near-epidemic frequency, although they often remain peoples’ unspoken traumas. It’s hard enough for people to tell them to close friends, let alone write about them in a blog or a book. 


Read the thread below and read this book. And realize: the female experience is something you will never fully understand, because you will never live it (unless you change genders).

But you can understand it better, and you can help stop harassment. First, you need to listen. You need to believe people when they say they’ve been harassed. Start to understand what it’s like, and then use that understanding to actively educate people who don’t understand.

It’s hard to even know where to start with something that seems so basic.

When in doubt, share the stories of others. If you can’t directly relate to it from your own experience, anyone who has experienced it can be more insightful than you. Sharing their story preserves their voice and experience, and it sheds more light on this dark issue.

Read Blair’s thoughts in the wake of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s admission to committing sexual harassment and assault here:



“The Bechdel Test asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added.” (Wikipedia)

Another major user of Twitter, Kelly Oxford, recently shared several of her own stories of sexual violence, asking women to share their stories and help expose this traumatic and unspoken side of the female experience. She’s receiving literally tens of thousands of responses:


50 per minute. It’s important to reiterate: this is not an isolated issue experienced by a small subset of society. There are literally tens of thousands of women who have shared their story with Kelly Oxford in the last couple days via Twitter. And, to use Kelly Oxford’s trending hashtag, that’s #notokay. Don’t ignore it.

Blair’s adventures in WELCOME TO THE GODDAMN ICE CUBE are at times exciting, and at others terrifying + harrowing — in every sense of the word — and they’re a great place to start.

Note: Men are sexually harassed, too. By all genders. But the majority of harassment is man-to-woman, and that’s what this article focuses on. This is not meant to discount others’ experiences of harassment, but rather share these specific stories and, hopefully, increase awareness around this particular issue.

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