9 March 2012

On Women and Angels

Yesterday was International women's day and I got to thinking about a forum thread on UK climbing that was a bit disturbing really.

Katy Walker repeats one of Jonny Dawes' test pieces from a while back The Angel's Share and some people (men I assume) start to belittle what was surely a pretty impressive acheivement for anybody.

We get comments about how she was not really doing the route in the right way as she put pads under it, which is somewhat bizarre. I'm pretty sure Jonny would have used them if they were around at the time.

Having stood under it, I know if I'm ever strong enough to leave the ground on it. I will have a stack of pads and all the spotters I can find before I set off. Next we get comments about how Dawes was over grading at the time and was small so he couldn't grade accurately. Why didn't they just come out and say it "We don't like it when women climb hard it makes us feel weak, so lets demean their achievements." That sounds like shite sexism to me.

I was hoping people would just go for "well done, good effort." Face it gents some of the best climbers are Women. If they participated in the same numbers, I suspect there would be as many great women as men. This game more than many others seems to have no innate gender bias, get over it.

Update 12/3/2012 Here's a nice article by top US climber Alex Johnson talking about sponsorship but touching on the sexism she has encountered.

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