Brief: “Design a garment that can solve a problem for a woman living in today’s reality. We want you to tell a story.”
This cape forces people to pay attention, no woman can remain invisible while they spread their arms wide.
The Cape of Visibility
Sometimes the playfulness in a woman’s soul is mistaken for weakness.
Women are used to being brushed aside or overlooked.
It’s been known that getting the attention or recognition that we deserve isn’t easy. Many times people who need to look to you for direction will look elsewhere. This, as we know, can cause miscommunication, mistrust, and, potentially, danger.
Taylor is an outdoor professional. She loves getting her hands dirty, literally, and often finds herself in her guy co-workers’ company rather than her few lady co-workers’. That is the nature of the industry. Women outdoor professionals are the minority and though precedents are shifting things can still get a little weird. Many stigmas still live on in people’s minds. Women are too “fragile” or “soft” to be able to “handle” the outdoors. We all know that’s not true. These misconceived notions, of women not being able to handle the outdoors, can actually make situations dangerous.
Taylor is leading a group of people into the backcountry. They are going on a whitewater rafting excursion down the Colorado River. There are a few others on the trip who have rafting experience. The group is approaching a rapid, and Taylor starts to explain the safety protocol that they will be executing. The two participants with rafting experience decide the woman can’t possibly know how to handle such a strong class of rapid better than themselves. They don’t listen to the procedures. The group goes down the rapid as Taylor instructed. Suddenly, the two participants bolt forward down the rapid in their kayaks. One makes it down safely, but the other gets flipped over and needs to wet exit (a technique used to escape a flipped kayak). His head pops up out of the water in the middle of the rapid. He starts swimming towards his closest bank, however, if he’d been listening before he’d known the safety boat was waiting not far from his location. Now, he is swimming straight towards an outcropping of rocks that are getting thrashed with waves. The safety boat starts to yell out to warn him as they chase him down. Thankfully, he hears over the waves and starts kicking in another direction to narrowly miss the rocks.
Ladies, if you are in this position, a leadership role where you can feel yourself being undervalued or disrespected, show them what you are made of. Put on your superhero cape and force them to take you seriously. You know you belong and deserve to be where you are. If you are in an outdoor role those lives are in your hands and it’s your responsibility to be heard and respected. If something goes wrong it is on you.
Suit up and don’t take the disrespectful contempt from any man or woman. If someone thinks they know more than you, fine, but make them see you as you are. You are a badass woman who has proven to the world that you are great at what you do and you know your shit. Spread your cape and show them your stuff.