Disgusted and unsurprised.

How I felt listening to Louis C.K. spewing vile words during a “comedy” sketch to an audience roaring with laughter. It makes me sick -- his chauvinistic pride, and the resulting approval of his trumpian audience, in dismissing the humanity of non-binary folks and trans people. He goes on to diminish and mock the students who survived the parkland shootings for the way they confronted politicians and led protests against gun violence, and he tapped into harmful, tired, cheap, and deplorable stereotypes about Black and Asian men.

After years of successfully covering up sexual misconduct accusations by calling them “rumors,” Louis C.K. issued an apology, which really wasn’t an apology at all, in which he said, “I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.” Clearly, he has been listening to nothing and has learned nothing. The only stepping he is doing is further into his kingdom of toxic masculinity and white supremacy. Instead of seeking to repair the damage he has done, and the harm he has caused toward women, he digs his heel into full-frontal, raging assholery. 

Louis C.K. is the poster boy for “male feminists.” His behavior is nothing out of the ordinary because all men have the potential to bite when called out. White male fragility is so real and so deadly. 

It seemed that because of the rocketship momentum of the Me Too movement (founded by Tarana Burke) we were going to see predatory men finally be held accountable for their actions. But apparently, performance of accountability and a lazy, disingenuine apology is Louis C.K.’s version of stepping back and listening. Louis C.K. is back on stage and making money from anti-gay slurs. Dan Tefler tweeted, “All it took for Louis C.K. to go from 'fuck trump' to sounding exactly like him was being caught.” 

Since Terra Incognita Media is a feminist response to the outdoor industry we know that pop culture, mainstream media, and the larger world, impacts our relationship with nature. Louis C.K.'s impunity, along with the normalization of abusive behavior and language on the part of white men and the lack of consequences they face, impacts our relationship with the outdoors, access, and the environment. It has everything to do with it. 

This is the kind of white male impunity that serves Alex Honnold quite well as we witnessed on the big screen with “Free Solo.” The common thread between Louis C.K. and Alex Honnold is power and privilege. These men have the audacity to treat people however they want because they know the system works in their favor. These behaviors and attitudes seep into all aspects of our society, not excluding outdoor spaces, climbing gyms, or national parks.

At Terra Incognita Media we take seriously what other media outlets may not. That includes exposing and speaking up about toxic masculinity, transphobia, racism, and sexism, and how these things are connected to our experience with the outdoor industry. 

The truth is that bringing light to these difficult issues means we refuse to rely on corporate sponsorship, advertisements, or private investors. We are independent, reader-supported, and it is our community (magnificent you!) who helps us jump financial obstacles. It is critical that we reach our fundraising goals so that we can keep delivering incisive and fierce feminist media. While talking about money is not fun, it’s also a very real threat to our sustained existence. 

Whether it’s through a one-time donation, or a recurring membership through our Patreon account, you can help us continue to break barriers in the outdoor industry. 

Yes, we are playing on an uneven field, but we refuse to be quiet. Our community of readers and listeners and advocates and patrons -- this is what keeps Terra Incognita Media going. Your enthusiasm expressed to us through shares, likes, retweets, reposts, and comments are not just drifting off into the void -- No! We think about these gestures of solidarity on the daily! It’s what affirms us as we push forward in our effort to take power back from a system that would rather we shut up. 

We know our work is worth fighting for because our communities are worth fighting for. We haven’t reached our goal of $1,000 just yet, but thanks to a few incredibly generous and ever-supportive folks (you know who you are!) we are slowly but steadily getting there. And we can’t do it without you! Please don’t hesitate to invest in independent, feminist analysis. Every dollar is critical to our raging, unapologetic success. 

A heartfelt thank you for being a part of our vibrant, diverse, and *humorous* community! 

Stay outraged and hydrated,

Erin Monahan
Founder, Terra Incognita Media

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