Today, I want to talk about how really annoying shit can happen sometimes even when you are having a sweet day of skiing at a sick mountain. Case in point: on day 3 (and final ski day) of a trip to Mt. Bachelor (thanks, now-defunct MAX Pass), I was teaching my friend and ski buddy on the trip how to telemark, a sport that I have engaged in for the past 8 (eight) (8) consecutive ski seasons, exclusively.
I shouldn’t need to credential myself to set up this story, but I will anyway, just to quash the temptation to nay-say my point of view.
I am not an authorized teacher of anything. But I am pretty good at doing this, and he asked me to teach him. This should be enough for anyone, since we’ve all asked unauthorized but experienced people to teach us things in the past.
Anyway, we were on a lift and I was explaining to him some nuanced point or another about something specific to this style of skiing as it differs from alpine (regular downhill) skiing. The other guy on the lift (and because it does matter, probably in his 40s, white man)
piped up butted in.
“Are you instructors?” -him
“No, I’m just teaching him how to telemark.” -me
“Oh, it’s easy, you just put your weight here and go downhill.” -him, gesturing to literally the exact opposite edge of what you would weight on telemark skis
“That’s not — Can you not undermine my teaching?” -me
[Inexact quote since it became of jumble of self-aggrandizement, braggarting (bragging?), disparagement, and clear lack of understanding about how the sport is actually done.] “Oh well I know how to telemark too, I do it sometimes. But I just like to go fast, so I’m just telling you how to do it. You just do it like this, it’s easy.” -him, subtext: I obviously can do it better than you
“I’ve been doing this for eight years, I think I know how to do it.” -me, 9/10 on the angry scale
“Oh, hey, I hope I didn’t ruin your vacation. Blah blah blah blah” -him
“You’d have to try a lot harder.” -me
“What’s that? Oh, well, hey, don’t get mad at me. I just want everyone to have fun.” -him
“Do you want to ski? Put on your teles, let’s go skiing. Right now.” -me, subtext: I will ski circles around you, you arrogant ass
“Okay, sure, tomorrow morning, 10am, bottom of Pine Marten. I’ll show you how it’s done.” -him
“I’m not skiing tomorrow.” -me
“Well I hope I didn’t ruin your day.” -him
What about (some) men makes them think that if someone asks a woman to teach him a skill, that somehow he is better suited to teach it, simply because, I don’t know, he does it sometimes? Like once in a while kind of sometimes. Like you’re wearing alpine racer shit with a gaper gap kind of “I know how to telemark” sometimes. Because he’s a man? That even though I’ve been telemarking, and only telemarking, for 90% of my skiing life, I’m somehow ill-suited to share my knowledge with a willing recipient? Fuck off, asshole.
This dude is a hardcore mansplainer, and I give him 0/5 stars.
Don’t worry, he didn’t ruin my day. But I would love to ruin his.