As a teenager in the 1980s, my first experience of surfing was on a giant woodchip pile at Port Nelson. While I was welcome to hurl my body down a pseudo-wave, the boys never invited me into the ocean. Most often I’d watch them hightail away to the surf, wedged in their rusty Datsun, with that high beam of adventure thick as thieves between them.
Likewise, a friend told me that when she was growing up on a Central Otago farm she dearly wanted to go mountaineering with her father and brothers. “They climbed to the top of Mount Aspiring and I was left to be allowed to drive the tractor around the farm and have a holiday job teaching disabled skiing,” my friend recalled. It was apparent to us that free will was encouraged only between the men and boys.