I love Rick and am a faithful follower of both his radio show and his public television shows -- have been for YEARS now -- and this is not a criticism of his efforts to encourage 'right attitude travel'. But I was horrified at what emerged towards the end of his talk today with 'Dan Austin', and I would encourage ZERO contributions to Dan's bicycle venture until he drops the incredibly short-sighted discriminatory element that it embodies. I wrote this to his Fbook page after hearing the interview:
"Just listened to Dan telling his story on Rick Steves. Was really enjoying it until near the end when he mentioned that they actually 'play favorites' based on gender!! Astonishingly primitive outlook. And the thought of descending on another country and intentionally creating a situation wherein one gender of children ends up cruising all over Burma on wheels while the other, all the dear little boys, stand around watching (and likely and understandably resenting), is just something truly criminal. When questioned on it he justified it by saying that a girl told him that she "felt more equal", and he went on to verbally paint the picture of how incredibly happy all the girls are now. (Failed to mention the state of the the boys, however.)
In the long run this blatant discrimination against boys, as if 5 to 10 year olds were in any way responsible for how social forces over centuries and prior generations may have tended to structure the society that they were choicelessly born into, will only make for more long range social problems for everyone. I am SO sorry the Burmese let him 'do it his way'. A blind man, descending on them from one of the richest countries on the planet, to divide and discriminate between their children! -- deserving/non-deserving -- and to dole out 'special privilege' to half of them only, as the other deeply disappointed half stands hopelessly by. A damned terrible shame."
I'm really horrified by this. Just thought I'd toss it out there.