As I was fighting my way through the brush, I heard the sound of something low to the ground and definately heavy crashing through the undergrowth. I didn't see what I'd scared off, but a few yards later I came upon a big, steaming pile of cougar poo. Anybody camping at Jay Lake would be well advised to keep the kids and dogs on a short leash.
When I arrived at a crossing of Shaw lake's outlet stream, the orange blazes showed the trail proceeding up a steep hillside full of unstable looking debris. I was within 1/2 mile of the lake, but at this point I reconsidered. I told my wife I was only going as far as Jay Lake, I was alone, the trail was dodgy and that cougar was somewhere nearby, so I let caution trump adventure. I turned around.
In many ways, Endurance by (, 2011) is a slightly unusual book for a man to write because, at its heart, it’s an exploration of feminist issues. Not, of course, that this choice of subject matter bars a man. Our culture should always embrace contributions to intelligent debate, no matter what their source. But it’s interesting that a man should elect to explore the persistence of patriarchal power. The theme introduces itself quite innocently in Green, the story of a young woman taken from her home and then groomed to make her suitable as a consort for the Factor. This process assumes men do not find women acceptable in their natural state. Women only achieve value in a patriarchy when they have been taught the behaviour men want and expect. In our own society, there are complex systems for socialising women and teaching them how to dress and behave, and so become attractive to men. The implicit assumption is that women’s primary roles are to give men pleasure and, when the time comes, sacrifice their independence to become homemakers for the children. In the world described by Jay Lake, however, there are layers of divine beings who may, to a greater or lesser extent, interfere in or direct human affairs. Matching the human world, some of these divine beings take on a feminine aspect and, through their presence, empower the women who follow them. Indeed, some of the followers are trained to become the finest of warriors. They are role models for the young and may reach out to society in a policing function. Not surprisingly, this access to physical power is offensive to many men. Indeed, the more women assert the right to independence, the greater the pressure to force women back into a submissive role and bring down the female gods who would support them.