Thursday, August 11, 2022

MENU

‘Camping’ is new code word in national debate over abortion

By Mike Gast
RVers and all camping enthusiasts may think their favorite pastime is far removed from the country’s heated debate over abortion access, but that isn’t necessarily so.

Online social media posts offering to take people “camping” have suddenly become coded language for those supposedly offering aid to pregnant women seeking abortions who may live in states that ban the procedure. The posts include offers of transportation or out-of-state housing.

You might wonder how in the world a seemingly innocuous word like camping now finds itself being bandied about the internet by those in the forefront of the contentious abortion debate. It seems using a “code word” like camping instead of the word abortion is an effort to avoid algorithmic censorship on social media, and even potential detection by law enforcement agencies.

It all sounds so silly until you consider the potential fallout from abortion rights advocates using “camping” as a code word to avoid detection.

Abortion advocates warn that online offers of help from strangers just isn’t as helpful as connecting those in need with local abortion rights organizations in specific states. Advocates said this sort of advocacy is no place for those without the proper training and information and may deter some women from support networks that already exist.

In essence, posting your desire to take someone “camping” is a way of making a statement on the issue even if you don’t intend to follow through. It could be all for show.

Another much-less-serious effect of the code word confusion is that online advertisers who pay big bucks for keyword search words like “camping” could find themselves popping up in all of the wrong places.

Camping goes viral

It looks like the social media platform TikTok was Ground Zero for starting this latest trend. TikTok fans started using camping as a code word shortly after a draft opinion of the Supreme Court decision was leaked in May.

An example of one TikToker’s efforts to use the word “camping.”

When the final Court decision was announced June 24, social media channels exploded with folks reflexively taking action any way they could, including offers to transport people out of certain states under the guise of “camping” trips.

Some Twitter users chimed in with their own camping offers, like this user who offered trips to “camping friendly” states.

One TikToker even posted “Camping in Maryland is still possible… always be open to campers, with as much time as you need to recover from your hike.”

Camping isn’t the only word in play in the abortion debate. Opponents of abortion bans have also used the terms “learn to knit” and “wine tasting” as code words.

Why are we telling you this?

We at RVTravel.com certainly didn’t intend to ruin your Sunday morning by inserting such contentious national news right in there with info about sewer hoses, potluck casseroles, and crowded RV parks. But it’s important that you know that your next Google search for “camping” might return some links you didn’t bargain for.

Since the cat is out of the bag on the use of camping as a code word, it’s likely the trend will die out quickly. A secret code isn’t very secret if everyone knows about it.

Telling you about the trend of using the code word “camping” in this way also shouldn’t be construed as this website taking any side in this wrenching national issue. This isn’t the place to voice such opinions, whether you’re pro-choice or anti-abortion. So don’t waste your time trying to post such opinions in the comments section.

We just wanted you to know why you may see the word “camping” used in very strange ways going forward, at least for a while.

NOTE: Please keep your comments civil, respectful and relevant to this article. Angry and/or disrespectful comments will be deleted. Thank you.

##RVT1059b

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

78 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tim
1 month ago

Thank you for sharing this information.

Lillian
1 month ago

I had not heard of this new trend and I appreciate the information.

Catherine M Lagrange
1 month ago

Thank you for the information. It is very relevant and helpful.

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
1 month ago

Thank you for the article. I admit to being very puzzled when I saw the first few camping posts-I thought, since I’m an ultra light backpacker in my former life I should be supportive of people just starting to get out of the city….so I shared and said me too, listing some backpacking experiences- a few days later the light finally dawned! I feel a bit of an {bleeped} now.

Dave
1 month ago

Read your long disclaimer at the end, so I understand you were aware of the controversy in bringing this up. Regardless of my position on this subject, I think it was a wasted use of space and time for an RV newsletter. Just my opinion.

Mike M.
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Agree 100%.

Mia
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike M.

It’s an very important topic,so I disagree.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, and other readers agree with you. But you understand that many RVers look to this newsletter and website as a source of news for RVers, and we would be negligent if we didn’t report any news that we believed was relevant to the RV community. Please tell me where else on the Web or anywhere else you can find a source of weekly news that is especially relevant to RVers? I don’t think there is any other source, and if so, one that puts honesty ahead of simply gathering up eyeballs to please their advertisers and pad their pocketbooks. So. . . if you think this particular article is a waste of time, you are not telling us something we don’t already know — that every article we publish will be of interest to some RVers and of no or little interest to others.

Rebecca
1 month ago

First, thank you for this information & being willing to take some heat in order to share it.
Second, on language & symbols getting highjacked: I just quit wearing a favorite shirt in public because it has upside-down pineapples on it which (according to the internet,) signifies “swinger” culture. Not a good look on a 70+ year old. Finally, I just read an article on a non-RV topic that absolutely sounded like Johnny Robot & I was able to recognize it because of your efforts at educating people. Which may seem off-topic but it’s not. I appreciate your broad view of what is of interest & importance to your audience. This article included.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Thank you for your kind words, Rebecca. We certainly appreciate them, and you! Too funny about your “pineapple” shirt! 😆 Have a good night and a great Fourth! 😀 –Diane

Teri Blaschke
1 month ago

Glad that you’re making this known because like you said, once it’s no longer secret. It will probably drop in usage

Diane Mc
1 month ago

I could say so much….but I won’t. Only one thing that is so perplexing. I’ve seen nothing that says it is or will be illegal to cross state lines to have an abortion. So not sure why they need a code word to offer a transportation service.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

It doesn’t appear to be law yet, but chances are good it will. In this political climate I doubt I’d want anyone knowing what I was doing.

Cere
1 month ago

Ugh … this is confusing … Why ‘camping’??? Why not, ‘I’ll take you to Waffle House for a nice pecan waffle and bacon but no eggs!’

MrDisaster
1 month ago
Reply to  Cere

In many states in the South a Waffle House is as ubiquitous as a Starbucks.

Mike M.
1 month ago

“Camping Pravda”.

suzanne Ferris
1 month ago

Happy Independence Day! I wish we cd avoid these road hazards around free speech. Did we need to know this Chuck?

When I got my first cell phone I was horrified to open porn shots before I cd delete them and spam filters had not been invented. I survived the visual shocks. We will get used to this borrowed language easier than you imagined.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
1 month ago
Reply to  suzanne Ferris

Suzanne, Did we need to know this? No, I suppose not. But that could be said of most of the dozens of articles and news items we published in today’s newsletter. We serve a lot of people with a lot of different interests. Unlike Google we deliver everyone the same news, not furnishing them with selective information we know through tracking that they want to hear, thus constantly reinforcing their beliefs.

Ellis
1 month ago

Thanks Chuck. Your newsletter continues to be informative, helpful and insightful. It goes great with coffee.

Jim
1 month ago

It took awhile for me to get used to the fact that I could no longer wear “thongs” as the terminology was changed to “flip flops”. Now what term do I use when I say I want to go “Camping”? Trailer Parking?

Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

I feel like people in RVs have hijacked the word camping.

Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Good point.

WrkrBee
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Agree. We don’t camp, we trailer. I camped for 20 years with the Scouts.

Last edited 1 month ago by WrkrBee
Carol
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Many of us “older” RV campers started out/ grew up camping in less fancy ways. I’m 66 and have been camping in one form or another since birth. Started in tents, bicycle traveling & camping, van conversion, and now have a small, very simple, class C. I typically stay in State and National parks but also fill in between with KOAs, etc. when on the road. Definitely more amenities than in my younger years but it allows me to continue to enjoy what camping offers and travel to and stay in many different types of locations. I get what you are saying but I still use the words camper and camping.

Molly
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Funny story. At least 15 yrs ago I was camping at Tripoli Rd in NH. (FYI. This is a dispersed campground. You look for a small clearing with a fire ring and that’s all you get.
Bring a shovel!) It was Oct, and I was by myself. Decided to treat myself one morning and drive into Lincoln for a good diner breakfast.
It was slow and I was talking to the waitstaff. For some reason, one of the younger women and I got on the subject of thongs and how they were uncomfortable and yet pretty much the only option if you wanted pretty underwear, as it was the peak of their popularity. One of the older waitresses (probably the age I am now) walked by and chimed in with: “Oh my! I hate thongs! So uncomfortable and they give me such bad blisters!”
It took us a couple of minutes to stop laughing and explain that we weren’t talking about flipflops. She was a little embarrassed, but was also laughing when she realized the implications of what she said.

Vinny
1 month ago

Good info. I just didn’t care for the words, sewer hose and potluck casseroles being used so close together.

Deena Jones
1 month ago

Thank You for the info. It’s hard these days obtaining information that you want, when the meaning of everything you are trying to get is changed to mean something else. Makes me want to throw my computer into the trash and go back to the old-fashioned way!

Admin
Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
1 month ago
Reply to  Deena Jones

Deena, boy do I understand you about just wanting to throw your computer in the trash. My computer and the Internet have been blessings to me — enabling me to have a successful business. But both have also been curses, too. Social Media is one of the worst things that ever happened to our society.

Joseph
1 month ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Well Said, Chuck!

Al H.
1 month ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Amen, Chuck. The older I get, the more adverse I get to this mad rush to embrace the latest technological advances. I like the old, black dial phone sitting on my kitchen counter.

David Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

I agree 100%. It’s a time killer as well.

Gary H
1 month ago

I have to admit, I don’t get it. Why not just use the word “abortion” in the above examples in place of the word “camping”?

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary H

I would guess because camping isn’t illegal.

Billy Vitro
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary H

Since abortion in some states is illegal, and women can go to jail for getting one performed (even if it happens elsewhere), it’s to maintain the image that the women have just “gone on a camping trip”, not gone somewhere to get something illegal done.

Much like, back in the day, when a young girl’s absence was explained as “she went to visit her aunt”, it was code for “she’s pregnant, and she went someplace else to hide her shameful condition.”

David Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Vitro

Billy, I remember that. They fooled me with that once, but the next time I figured that was too much of a coincidence! LOL

Joseph
1 month ago

Thanks for the info!! Who knew?

Reminds me of my wife’s aunt. She saw this cute bunny sticker in the airport and wanted to put it on her car. Her daughter told her that was probably not a good idea. It was the Playboy Bunny logo.

Stay safe and camp often,

Joe

Sean
1 month ago

The author has done a valuable service by explaining the trendy new use of the word “camping”. It is TOTALLY an appropriate thing to know. BTW I enjoy reading an article or two every Sunday with coffee. Thanks! I am contemplating getting my broken-down Rexhall Airex 32-foot Class “A” motorhome back on the road someday. Every interior accessory broke in the span of 2 weeks. It is going to be costly to repair it all, but I may find inspiration through this website to kick myself into gear.

Joseph Phebus
1 month ago

I wonder if the railroads had the same problem with terminology in the 1830s?

Orlan Jennings
1 month ago

My first thought was to safety. What an opportunity for a less scrupulous member of society to find a victim.

Jack
1 month ago
Reply to  Orlan Jennings

My first thought also, wondered if anyone else would pick up on that aspect.

Sheryl M.
1 month ago
Reply to  Orlan Jennings

Yes. I’ve read an article cautioning people to be very careful with this for safety’s sake.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.