top of page

Wed, Sep 06


Virtual Webinar

Who is gonna take me down this river!?!

An investigation of how people develop the idea of who their raft guide will be

Who is gonna take me down this river!?!
Who is gonna take me down this river!?!

Time & Location

Sep 06, 2023, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

Virtual Webinar

About the event

Speaker: Maria Blevins Ph.D.

When a person comes whitewater rafting, especially the first time- they are showing up to an unfamiliar experience in which they probably have a lot of incomplete information.  If they are sensible, they are maybe a little nervous. So, when they meet their guide, they have created an expectation of who will get them down the river. Perhaps they expect Jeremiah Johnson or Grizzly Adams to greet them. In a research project that I have conducted interviewing 65 whitewater rafting professionals about negotiating gender in the whitewater profession, participants had had multiple experiences in which the customers experienced disappointment upon discovering their raft guide would be a woman. As Martha said “from guests. It's not harassment as much as it is, like I said, just, aw, we got the girl.” Women described one of the most challenging parts of the job was proving to a new set of people on every trip that they were capable guides.

I don’t think that this occurs because customers are consciously sexist, they are showing up for an activity with an expectation in mind of what the activity will be like. They created this expectation from ideas they have about outdoor activities and adventure sports. To get an idea of how first-time rafters have built their expectations about rafting I looked to sources in popular culture that may impact building the expectation around an activity. To do this I did a content analysis of rafting company websites and advertising, I looked for travel articles by newspapers and magazines describing rafting trips, and I watched any movie I could about whitewater sports.  Through examining these cultural artifacts about whitewater, I believe I gained a better understanding of the expectation of rafting customers might have when they show up.

In this workshop I will present the findings of this research and make suggestion on how to expand people’s ideas of who might be a raft guide.

Watch the Recording (use password: ADASHWeb#52023)

About the 2023 A-DASH Webinar Series: Understanding, Preventing & Addressing Sexual Harassment on Rivers

May - November 2023

This year’s series is provided free of charge, but registration is required.

Registrants will receive an email containing a link to the recorded presentation (conversations among attendees will not be included).

About the A-DASH Collaborative

We are river and training professionals collaboratively inspiring and supporting organizations to eliminate workplace discrimination and harassment through policy assessment, training and organizational change. Our name A-DASH (Anti-Discrimination and Sexual Harassment) reflects the group’s focus on a behavior and culture commonly accepted and tolerated in many organizations. This focus does not diminish the importance of the larger or other equity issues, but instead seeks to create a fine point on this area as part of a portfolio of tools and methods available to organization leaders.

The A-DASH Collaborative knows rivers, for we work on them for those who work on them. We are educators, trainers, business owners and non-profit leaders. Our Collaborative includes representatives from River Management Society, National Park Service, Arizona Raft Adventures, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Engage Coaching and Consulting, Strand Squared Solutions. and Respect Outside.

Share this event

bottom of page