Only in California:
1. A student club at the Claremont Colleges has for years sponsored an annual "Speedo Hike" to the top of nearby Mt. Baldy in which the guys wear the ultra-brief swim attire and the gals wear bikinis–because, hey, it's L.A.!
2. This year the same student club abolished the Speedo Hike–because hey–it discriminates against people who don't look good in bikinis and also encourages "bro-iness."
It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. On the one hand, nothing says "Eurotrash" on a human male like the garment that's sometimes nicknamed…well I won't go into the nickname because I'm a lady. When I see a man wearing a Speedo, I always want to ask, "What happened to your gold chain?"
On the other hand, what a political-correctness two-fer! Attacking fat-shaming and toxic masculinity in one fell swoop!
The Facebook entry in which the Claremont outdoors club, On the Loose, announced it was canceling the hike is just plain lugubrious:
By having the Speedo Hike as our official welcome event each year, we unintentionally sent the message that to participate in OTL, you must be fit and comfortable with your body image. The name "Speedo" itself inherently implies bro-iness. OTL is so much more than just that, but many potentially interested students get turned off to our club each year because of Speedo Hike.
We always welcome leaders to organize strenuous trips (especially the goofy half-naked kind), but when we put all of OTL's institutional weight behind an event, we send a strong message about who is and isn't welcome on ALL our trips.
And as the Claremont Independent reported:
Clarissa Worcester, a staffer at the Outdoor Education Center, added, “the publicity/legacy surrounding that of the speedo hike is immediately and inextricably ostracizing. Not to mention how it directly excludes individuals with religious dressing practices. No matter what work you do, the ‘speedo hike’ will manifest itself as OTL taking out and funding a group of students that is nearly guaranteed to be almost exclusively outdoor-experienced, fit, and heavily swayed in the direction of outdoor—and otherwise—privilege that OTL is trying to work against.” Worcester added, “OTL’s decision to not put many folks’ organizational effort and time into an event that is widely associated with bodily shaming/exclusion just seems to make a lot of sense.”
Love the new social-justice buzz-phrase: "outdoor privilege."
We are always working to make OTL a more open and inclusive space, which is why this year's kick-off event was the Potato Mountain Spud Crawl.
Oh, why not go all the way and call it the "Couch Potato Mountain Spud Crawl"?
Now, hiking in the nude or the near-nude has always struck me as a bit peculiar: You know, sunburn, bugs, and the problem of trying to take a rest break by sitting down on a rock. But why have an outdoors club at all if your target membership isn't going to be people who like the outdoors–and happen to stay fit because that's what happens when you clamber up and down mountains outdoors?
Next: The student orchestra at the Claremont Colleges disbands because it discriminates against students who can't play the violin.