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Eugenie • 7 months ago

"Historically, however, walking [going out for a walk] has been the privilege of white men."

We might smile and excuse that observation, given the pressure on modern academics to be demonstrably woke. On the other hand, it is even more amusing to see an anthropologist make such an ethnocentric error in the cause of wokeness.

Cary Alan Johnson • 7 months ago

Interesting comment. I enjoy walking too as I am pondering an idea during a writing project. Or for inspiration. Even for a visual that sparks an idea. But as a Black man living in a heavily policed neighborhood, I always make sure to have my i.d. with me, something I suppose Darwin never had to think about.

Snead Hearn • 5 months ago

What about where black people have hiustorically lived? The situation is not the same as a black person Europe or the USA>

Jane England • 7 months ago

Yes Cary! Perhaps Eugenie could ask black people or women - including black women - what taking a walk at night or in an isolated place is like rather than deciding the author was 'woke' - a term I loathe. I am a white woman who can only walk at night if I dress like a man and even then it is hard to shake the hypervigilance and knowledge that women have been assaulted and changed forever in these very streets, the trauma of that does not stir the soul, it makes it harder, not easier to live. Walking is a freedom and to be able to do so without fear is a wonderful privilege all men, women and children should know.

ed blarney • 3 months ago

"I am a white woman who can only walk at night if I"- this is not true. Men are about 4-5x more likely to face violence and murder. If it's dangerous for women, it's considerably more dangerous for men.

Furthermore, walking, even at night is a safe activity for almost everyone other than in some acute circumstances which are worth pointing out, but not in the context of this article.

Eugenie • 7 months ago

"I am a white woman who can only walk at night if I dress like a man...." Like a rich white man?

Walk where?

I also loathe 'woke', which is why I mock it.

I suspect that I am much more likely than you to have an understanding of the fears of non-white women and men. Need I explain?

Saltfleet The Unwell • 3 months ago

who does the assaulting? overwhelming men of high melanin content.

Blessèd Crumb Tray • 3 months ago


JoeyB • 7 months ago

There are presumably some places in the world where it is unsafe to walk. However, I come from The Bronx, and the vast majority of The Bronx is safe for everyone to walk in, during most hours of 8-8. The issue is much more that it is so crowded that the type of relaxed walking the author mentions is problematic.

However, I am curious what part of the country you are referring to that is too dangerous for you to walk in?

hoosierpdx • 7 months ago

The author is correct here. Wealth and power allow people to walk without fear. It’s not being woke, it’s being observant.

JoeyB • 7 months ago

Of course it is different with women, but walking was not the invention of Europeans. I'd bet serious money that guys in Africa, South America, China, India, etc., all walked.

Further, it should be noted that a key component of the article is that Darwin never actually left his property. I only mention this because obesity is a pet peeve of mine. A run thru the woods is more dangerous for a woman than a man, but virtually everyone can walk to the corner and back, as many times as they want.

Eugenie • 7 months ago

It's being ethnocentric, at least, which clouds observation and generates error. The author needs to look outside the USA cocoon and beyond the whiteness factor. This part of your comment is particularly dubious: "Wealth and power allow people to walk without fear". Anywhere and everywhere? Do you think a wealthy, powerful white or black or Hispanic or Chinese or Arab man can walk without fear anywhere in Chicago? New York? Johannesburg? Bangkok? Shanghai?

ashley howard • 7 months ago

They can walk with less fear than women of any make and model can in those places.

ed blarney • 3 months ago

It's more dangerous for men on the streets than women by far.
Men do almost all of the killing but are also almost all of the victims.
Where's it's bad for women is intimate partners.

Ladies face way more danger at home that out on the streets almost anywhere.
It's something that defies the easy stereotypes, I mean, it's just really easy to be 'scared at night' on the streets. But I don't think the notion of domestic violence should come as a surprise either. That said, for domestic violence as a whole (i.e. not murder), it's actually evenly split between men and women being victims and perpetrators.

By and large ... it's mostly safe out there for all races, it always has been, other than in acute areas where victims and offenders are almost always of the same race and class.

This is not a woke issue there was not need to introduce this into the argument.

Canadian Friend • 7 months ago

If one is wealthy, he can NOT just walk anywhere, which is why some of them have bodyguards and/or live in gated communities.

When one is wealthy, he becomes a target for criminals and can NOT walk just anywhere.

In fact the more money you have, the less you can just walk anywhere and feel safe.

Wally Wally • 4 months ago

(from the amren story: “minnesota-sets-new-state-records-for-murders-assaults-on-police-officers-in-2020”)

And you said:

The connection between race and crime is obvious; More blacks ( and hispanics) = more crime.

During the prohibition era wars, which race was committing the most crime?

Wally Wally • 4 months ago

It’s been two days and you haven’t answered the question. In case you can’t answer, either from ignorance or a “personal” reason for not wanting to, the answer is: YOUNG WHITE MEN. They were committing crime against each other at exorbitant rates. And that puts the mighty kibosh on your “racial theory” regarding crime and race. Amren race realism makes you stupid.

hoosierpdx • 7 months ago

I was thinking about women, actually.

hoosierpdx • 7 months ago

Of course it’s not “anywhere and everywhere” . But rich neighborhoods are safer than poor neighborhoods in every place I’ve lived. Ecuador, Tanzania, Germany , Australia, dc , Baltimore, Indiana, Oregon, turkey.

alison hill • 7 months ago

I thought much the same that the reference to “privileged “ was a very modern observation and also a cultural one. Outside the US cultures walk much more and even outside of the western world for centuries their is no telling how walking has contributed to the advancement of society by enhancing thinking.
Many things recorded by modern thinkers I believe may have well been known and discovered but not recorded. The articles author simply weighed in through current experience and culture, where the book author expands through vast segments of time, culture and human evolution

ed blarney • 3 months ago

Totally false. Walking is safe for almost everyone, even walking at night.
'Wealth' is almost assuredly more likely to make you a target.
A Black man above lamented having to carry an ID in a heavily policed neighbourhood, which is not nice, but rather upside down: the police are absolutely not a danger to him. Unfortunately, by far the most likely of his assailants are other Black men. In reality, if the streets are unsafe for Black Men (and in some places this is the case) then its due to the actions of others in their group. Not the 'Rich and Powerful'. Finally, it's mostly safe out there for everyone, so ideological totems like this really do not have a place in the discussion.

hoosierpdx • 3 months ago

I'm not sure where you live, but when you say that "walking is safe for almost everyone" and that "the Police are not a danger to a black man" you lose some credibility.

Saltfleet The Unwell • 3 months ago

The biggest danger to black men is other black men, by orders of magnitude compared to the next biggest threat (other than maybe obesity).

Saltfleet The Unwell • 3 months ago

Also, living in a place with not too much "diversity" (esp of the African variant) really helps with safety.

hoosierpdx • 3 months ago

This is a site for educated people. If you want to post racist drivel I'm sure you can find a better place to do it. Just google "white nationalist" and you'll find your friends.

Canadian Friend • 7 months ago

"...Historically, however, walking has been the privilege of white men...."

The author of the above article surely knows that that is not true.

I will give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he only said that because in this crazy age we live in, he felt he had to ( or was pressured to ) insert some anti-white comment in his article or he would risk being accused of white supremacism. ( which I will be accused of for this comment, any minute now )

Historically, for tens of thousands of years, humans - of ALL races - had only one way to go from point A to point B, and it was walking.

If anyone has Historical documented evidence that 3000 of years ago Chinese did not walk because they were not white or that 50,000 years ago blacks in Africa did not walk because they were not white, please provide it.

I rest my case.

JoeyB • 7 months ago

I come from The Bronx. The African-Americans, the Latinos, and the Asians all buy groceries, have kids in school, have jobs, go to Church, etc., but apparently, none of them walk.

JoeyB • 7 months ago

A couple of notes here:

The study by Weuve could easily be selection bias. I'd would bet real money that the folks that are aware of the health benefits of walking/running were likely more cognizant to start with.

The second is that, I have no idea why you would tune out squirrels because they are an invasive species. The benefit of walking is to allow your mind to relax and allow all manner of noise and sights to seep in. And to allow the issues of the day to slip out. To make a mental effort to tune out various stimuli would seem counter-productive. I'm not a scientist, but my own personal experience is that it is best to do no real thinking at all.

matt • 7 months ago

The idea of tuning out the squirrels is because the author was trying to replicate the walk exactly as Darwin experienced it (before squirrels existed in the UK)

TR • 7 months ago

Red Squirrels have been present in the UK for about 10,000 years, grey squirrels are more recent arrivals. I would add that Wordsworth wouldn't have had to walk very far to find the daffodils - they were in his garden (and are still grown there).

JoeyB • 7 months ago

I understand that, I guess, but that's not what the walk is all about.

And I'd bet real money that is exactly what Darwin did NOT do. I'd take a pretty good guess that Darwin was probably more fascinated by that which did not belong, rather than that which did.

If the author wanted to replicate Darwin's experience, he needs to think and act like Darwin was likely to have done.

James Henry • 7 months ago
Historically, however, walking has been the privilege of white men. Black men were likely to be arrested, or worse

It depends, as they say, what you mean by "historically".
Bruce Chatwin in Songlines not a scientifically reliable book. I'd agree, but still well worth reading - looks at the importance of walks and the memory of walks to Australian aborigines and generalises that early humans were nomadic and that their lives centred on their walks.

Frank Ciccarelli • 7 months ago

My first thought after reading the article was to see if the Berkeley Public Library has a copy yet ..

Timmy Seventy-five • 7 months ago
Tarun Bindal • 7 months ago

The photographs of described walk away would have been so much better to provide readers the glimpse...

Snead Hearn • 5 months ago

Even better, a video, so we can take a virtual Darwin walk,

paxmaker • 7 months ago

Thanks for the era reminder and the authors. if we can get off the gender politics psychosis for a minute, let me suggest, if you have the time, to take another look ay "My Fair Lady" on your favorite film site. Music is great. Satire as well. Remember that style of writing? Then discuss, exactly what you think Audrey Hepburn does at the very end, as the intent seems to be she engineers her real dignity.

Eugenie • 7 months ago

"...gender politics psychosis..." Beautiful.

Patrick Fort • 1 month ago

I'm fascinated and perplexed that almost all of the comments deal with the "privilege of white men" observation. So what. This excerpt is about the benefits of walking on thinking and creativity, not about who does it. That's irrelevant. I walk my dog around 5 miles every day, regardless of the weather, in the mountains in Alaska, and not surprisingly I do my best thinking on those walks, especially when I'm alone. If I have something I'm struggling with, I deal with it on my walks. I carry bear spray in-season as bears, and the occasional moose, are a very real threat. The weather can also be dangerous. I don't walk in fear, but accept the danger as part of being in the wild. Not surprisingly walking also has health benefits. It's the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth.

Photo taken 9/27/21, my dog confronting a moose in the trail. Yes, there was snow in September.

Delia • 6 months ago

Women writer/walkers:

Grandma Gatewood

Dorothy Wordsworth (as for those daffodils brother William wrote about....... https://human.libretexts.or...

Cheryl Strayed
Isabella Bird
Rebecca Solnit
Anne Labastille
Nan Shepard
This does not include the multitude of women adventurers who subsequently wrote memoir

HemithTIles • 7 months ago

Sometimes you need to start acting rather then thinking more about it. Like ” Good idea is not good unless you work on it.” From last 2 year i am thinking to start tiles company and not finally i decided to start Best Tiles Manufacturer Hemith Tiles and this article boost my thinking.

Rich Brady • 7 months ago

A priviliged, white, liberal pansy teaching at Dartmouth and living in the self-loathing state of VT. How does Jeremy DeSilva go on living when he looks in the mirror each morning and hates the reflection?

bill marsano • 7 months ago

I used to keep--that is, know where I kept--a list of noted thinker walkers. Certainly Wm Wordsworth & Co were notable in that line, and so was Albert Einstein. When stuck, he go for a walk. He called it 'incubating.'

Michael J Felock • 7 months ago

Because the brain which is the seat of consciousness, for arguments sake, and that part of the anatomy that provides the act of walking share a common elemental metaphysical source, it is easy to see why a vigorous act of peregrination creates an enhanced stream of thought

Michael J Felock • 7 months ago

Understanding the material source, principles and dynamics upon which the human physical body is 'designed' explains this phenomenon

Michael J Felock • 7 months ago

The parts of the human body that enable peregrination and the brain that enables consciousness are emanations of the same substance. Working in tandem the effect of the act of using the legs to walk increases activity in the brain