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sendit1023


Apr 13, 2009, 6:45 PM
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Thoughts Opinions on Climbing as an Egalitarian Sport
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Is climbing an equalizer between men and women, or is it like other sports developed by men that compliment their body types? Is it possible for women to rival men in this sport, for us to compete equally?


dingus


Apr 14, 2009, 2:22 PM
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I'd say certainly possible to rival yes. Compete equally?

No way. I take that to mean across the board, heads up 'can you do it or not' equality? Not yet anyway.

Cheers
DMT


kiwiprincess


Apr 14, 2009, 3:53 PM
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Slabs are the great equaliser.
We differ in our strengths, between the sexes and from person to person.
I see people of both sexes doing things I can only dream of all the time.


grampacharlie


Apr 14, 2009, 5:13 PM
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To "compete" in climbing, you have to have a sickeningly strong drive for competition, and training. Just like any other sport.

Read Lynn Hill's "Climbing Free."

Lynn seemed to be able to level the playing field in her prime. I guess it comes down to what drives you.

If I can add a personal opinion, climbing is a very self-involved sport, very individualistic. So it may be a question of psychology, as well as physiology.


aerili


Apr 14, 2009, 6:57 PM
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GOD I wish I could remember this quote by Frank Deford from two summer Olympics ago.... He said something about how everyone keeps trying to measure men and women athletically against each other, but many/most female athletes aren't pushing themselves to be measured against men, only against each other. Why do women always have to be pushed to become men?

He felt if women had ever had any say in the Olympic credo, then maybe it not have come out as "higher faster stronger." Maybe it would be more than that. Maybe it would just be other things, things women value in athletic pursuits that aren't defined by those three words.

I feel both sexes exhibit their own unique athletic strengths. Total crossover will probably never happen for either.

The only way to ever truly equalize the sexes athletically is to give women equivalent male hormones and give men equivalent female hormones. Preferably starting in the womb. Cool


iamthewallress


Apr 16, 2009, 3:56 PM
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Egalitarian doesn't mean identical.

And what is true on average doesn't mean much for the outliers.

I'm neither a guy nor am I Lynn Hill in terms of what nature gave me.

But among those w/ whom I climb, I can, on average, keep pace with the guys. And the girls.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Apr 16, 2009, 4:01 PM)


clausti


Apr 19, 2009, 10:53 AM
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iamthewallress wrote:
Egalitarian doesn't mean identical.

always good to remember!

i find that, among those with whom i climb outside, i usually climb less hard then the guys and about par with the ladies.

but there are a heck of a lot of guys that i outclimb at my gym.


aerili


Apr 20, 2009, 10:47 PM
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iamthewallress wrote:
Egalitarian doesn't mean identical.

This is true. So tell me how you would interpret her question then?

Climbing is fairly egalitarian to women in that it's equally available for them to pursue (unless maybe you're a mom...but hey I won't go there!).

Otherwise when we compare equality in sports between men and women, we usually compare numbers of participants in an activity, money spent on each gender having access to the sport, quality and quantity of training/mentorship/resources devoted to each gender pursuing the sport, and performance in the activity. (There's other stuff, like injury research between genders, etc., but these seem like the biggest points to me.)

Maybe the OP can rephrase her question so it is more clear what she means by an "egalitarian sport."


robbovius


Apr 21, 2009, 6:06 AM
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since I took up climbing as a serious enthusiasm (oxymoron, there?) 6 years ago after a couple decades of infrequent dabbling, it has been my experience adn consistent observation that climbing, purely as a phyisical activity, favors neither male nor female body types. of the men and women I climb with regularly (and have over the last 6 years) it seems to me that they climb/outclimb each other in fundamentally equal measure, dependant on the day, route/problem, and personal level of risk aversion.

...and most of them outclimb me.

of all sports I've been involved in, climbing seems the least sex-prefrerential in terms of pure physical ability.
this is one of the great enjoyments of climbing, that about anyone can come to it, and find enjoyment , achievement and satisfaction, regardless of sex, or age for that matter.

If anything sullies this "purity" its the attitudes that people bring to it. some people tend to evaluate every athletic endeavour in terms of the competitive aspects, and this can add an unpleasant tension, that doens't really need to be introduced.

IMO, YMMV.


dingus


Apr 21, 2009, 6:18 AM
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To say competition has no role in climbing is utterly ridiculous. Competition in various forms has been the driving force behind most climbing advancements.

DMT


clausti


Apr 21, 2009, 6:22 AM
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also, i have to say: i see a lot more groups of mixed sex who all climb about equally well in the 5.9 to 5.11 ranges than in the 5.12 to 5.13 ranges.


robbovius


Apr 21, 2009, 8:02 AM
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dingus wrote:
To say competition has no role in climbing is utterly ridiculous. Competition in various forms has been the driving force behind most climbing advancements.

DMT

I didn't say it has no role (to be sure, each of us is propelled to further our abilities by that same aspect, whether internalized or externalized), but was speaking simply about climbing with regards to the OPs question about its egalitarian qualities, as regards the sexes.

to reiterate, it has been my experience and observation that purely in terms of achievable physical abilities, as measured by the most-climbed route grades climbing is not preferential towards either sex.

clausti's observation has been my own, though I would expand the range to include 5.7-5.10. into the morel elite grades, 5.12 and up it does seem to be mostly males pursuing those levels, but i think that has more to do with males driven to higher levels of competitive urge (and in this case, arguably of an internalized source) simply by their nature.


(This post was edited by robbovius on Apr 21, 2009, 8:08 AM)


dingus


Apr 21, 2009, 8:11 AM
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OK.

Consider basketball as a counterpoint...

using some of the points made in this thread, basketball doesn't seem to be egalitarian by comparison.

For both climbing and basketball - at the very pinnacle (haha) of performance, males dominate. Sorry, they just do, there is no arguing the point. Sure you can cite a woman or two who has held their own for a time but they are the exceptions.

In climbing, as pointed out quite correctly in this thread, we men and women tend to mix it up a lot, sort of in our 'intermural league.'

In basketball? You really don't see this much? You see guys playing guys - you don't see a lot of women if any at all, on these pickup teams.

Using basketball I can easily see the difference in how climbers 'integrate' when compared to other sports.

I suspect other adventure oriented sports (do the DEW!) have a similar dynamic as well?

DMT


clausti


Apr 21, 2009, 8:27 AM
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robbovius wrote:
clausti's observation has been my own, though I would expand the range to include 5.7-5.10.

i actually deliberately left out the lower ranges because it seems like that is more trad, and at those levels it's mostly guys chuffing around with it. the women that i know that climb 5.7 at their limit only follow. and i don't know any women who lead trad who lead less than 5.9.

In reply to:
into the morel elite grades, 5.12 and up it does seem to be mostly males pursuing those levels, but i think that has more to do with males driven to higher levels of competitive urge (and in this case, arguably of an internalized source) simply by their nature.

emphasis added. i'm actually not sure if i would say that quite like you said that. i know a number of women who climb 5.12.... but those women climb with guys that climb .12+ or 5.13, whereas it's more common to see mixed sex groups where everybody climbs more moderate grades, and sometimes the rope gun is a guy and sometimes the rope gun is a girl.


iamthewallress


Apr 21, 2009, 9:43 AM
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dingus


Apr 21, 2009, 9:47 AM
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Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT


iamthewallress


Apr 21, 2009, 9:48 AM
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dingus wrote:
For both climbing and basketball - at the very pinnacle (haha) of performance, males dominate. Sorry, they just do, there is no arguing the point. Sure you can cite a woman or two who has held their own for a time but they are the exceptions.

On average, the intermural league is probably a better measure for the whole "sport".

For most of us, the elagitarian nature of the sport has little to do w/ what the superheros can climb and more to do with what happens when you head to the rock with someone who has been working about as hard as you to get where they are.

Are you both in more or less the same place for your efforts?

Can you share responsabilities...not identically, but can each person constribute his/her share? Can your strengths and deficiencies complement each other? In this way, I find climbing to be very egalitarian.

Society isn't egalitarian, so whereas many of my male partners would quit before indulging their inner wimp in ways that are totally socially exceptable for women, plenty of gals that I know are having a great time but not necessarily pushing their comfort zone as far as they might.

Biologically, the guys will always have more strength than us at the top end and most will have more reach too. Sometimes, biologically, they will be able to outclimb us or do climbs that, biologically, we might not have the equipment to ever do.

The reverse can be true too for other reasons.

Undeniably, there are biological advantages and limitations for every individual. Perhaps because there isn't much we can do about our biology other than learn to work w/ what we've got as best we can, I don't see much utility in whining about what nature didn't give us.

Often, the biology seems to get overstated to me when people aren't making the most of their own body and technique. (Personal pet peeve is people w/ shitty technique on any given crack size whining about their body doesn't fit right and reducing someone else's accomplishment to being merely due to their magic, effortless fit. It must suck to be the tall guy getting told that he can only climb x, y, or z b/c of his long reach too.)


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Apr 21, 2009, 9:52 AM)


iamthewallress


Apr 21, 2009, 10:00 AM
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dingus wrote:
Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT

You mean weight in the back pack?

I think everyone should do what they can. I carry as much as I can, you carry as much as you can.

If I climb harder thin hand than you, I'll lead that pitch. If you're better at slabs, you lead that pitch.

I'll try to get better at carrying loads and climbing slabs (instead of leaning on biological excuses) and will appreciate your skills instead of reducing them to something that you should be able to effortlessly do b/c you're a guy who is built a certain way, even if that is a factor.

In a perfect world, that's how I like to go, anyway.

If we expect to only climb w/ people who have IDENTICAL skills too our own, the team is actually more limited. Lynn Hill made an interesting comment about this in the little video about climbing the Leaning Tower w/ Katie Brown...there was a limit to how well they would be able to complement each other biologically.

PS Sorry about the ordering thing. My post got copied when I was editing.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Apr 21, 2009, 10:04 AM)


clausti


Apr 21, 2009, 10:06 AM
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iamthewallress wrote:
dingus wrote:
Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT

You mean weight in the back pack?

jesus cherry-picking christ.

dingus, no matter how much you say that, i doubt you split your load evenly between you and your daughter(s?).


dingus


Apr 21, 2009, 10:32 AM
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iamthewallress wrote:
dingus wrote:
Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT

You mean weight in the back pack?

I think everyone should do what they can. I carry as much as I can, you carry as much as you can.

If I climb harder thin hand than you, I'll lead that pitch. If you're better at slabs, you lead that pitch.

I'll try to get better at carrying loads and climbing slabs (instead of leaning on biological excuses) and will appreciate your skills instead of reducing them to something that you should be able to effortlessly do b/c you're a guy who is built a certain way, even if that is a factor.

In a perfect world, that's how I like to go, anyway.

If we expect to only climb w/ people who have IDENTICAL skills too our own, the team is actually more limited. Lynn Hill made an interesting comment about this in the little video about climbing the Leaning Tower w/ Katie Brown...there was a limit to how well they would be able to complement each other biologically.

PS Sorry about the ordering thing. My post got copied when I was editing.

Sounds reasonable.

DMT


dingus


Apr 21, 2009, 10:35 AM
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clausti wrote:
iamthewallress wrote:
dingus wrote:
Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT

You mean weight in the back pack?

jesus cherry-picking christ.

dingus, no matter how much you say that, i doubt you split your load evenly between you and your daughter(s?).

They are dependant children. Not really a useful comparison, imo. Feel free to run with it though...

DMT


clausti


Apr 21, 2009, 10:41 AM
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dingus wrote:
clausti wrote:
iamthewallress wrote:
dingus wrote:
Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT

You mean weight in the back pack?

jesus cherry-picking christ.

dingus, no matter how much you say that, i doubt you split your load evenly between you and your daughter(s?).

They are dependant children. Not really a useful comparison, imo. Feel free to run with it though...

DMT

so, on her 18th birthday, she'll carry 40 and you'll carry the other 40 to celebrate?


clausti


Apr 21, 2009, 10:47 AM
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dingus wrote:
iamthewallress wrote:
dingus wrote:
Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT

You mean weight in the back pack?

I think everyone should do what they can. I carry as much as I can, you carry as much as you can.

Sounds reasonable.

DMT

ok, you acknowledge that that's reasonable there... but how is "i'll carry what i can and you carry what you can" different from "someone who is 110 shouldn't have to split by weight an 80 lb load with someone who is 170"?

it seems more than a little ridiculous that you keep coming back to this every time sexism comes up, especially since it doesn't really seem like an issue of sexism so much as practicality, to me. do you want to get there faster, or do you want the load to be "fair"?

if i went climbing with a girl that weighed 170 (with me at 110), i'd be perfectly incredulous if she informed me that we were splitting the gear in half by weight and that was the only fair way. i mean, i'd carry it, because i'd rather go climbing than have a fight in the parking lot, but i don't think that person would be very high on my list of people to call for future trips.


dingus


Apr 21, 2009, 10:49 AM
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clausti wrote:
dingus wrote:
clausti wrote:
iamthewallress wrote:
dingus wrote:
Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT

You mean weight in the back pack?

jesus cherry-picking christ.

dingus, no matter how much you say that, i doubt you split your load evenly between you and your daughter(s?).

They are dependant children. Not really a useful comparison, imo. Feel free to run with it though...

DMT

so, on her 18th birthday, she'll carry 40 and you'll carry the other 40 to celebrate?

80 pounds to go rock climbing? No that won't happen. She's not into bigwalls or first ascents, yet.

Look I get your point. And you get mine.

Climbing is egalitarian to a point and will likely get better over time, as well. And I say that is a good thing.

Cheers to you both
DMT


dingus


Apr 21, 2009, 10:51 AM
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clausti wrote:
dingus wrote:
iamthewallress wrote:
dingus wrote:
Yup got and see the point.

I still think climbing partners should carry an EQUAL share of the community load though. Along the lines of the thin hands comment, really.

DMT

You mean weight in the back pack?

I think everyone should do what they can. I carry as much as I can, you carry as much as you can.

Sounds reasonable.

DMT

ok, you acknowledge that that's reasonable there... but how is "i'll carry what i can and you carry what you can" different from "someone who is 110 shouldn't have to split by weight an 80 lb load with someone who is 170"?

Gonna keep hammering on this are you.

SOUNDS REASONABLE is me... trying to meet someone half way. Apparently that someone is not you.

That's OK.

Carry your own load.

DMT

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