Our thanks to Martin for a piece in the International Business Times four days ago, Women-only climbing clubs take participation to new heights. Written by a female journalist – what are the chances? – it’s firmly set within the ‘women are as strong as men!’ genre. Extracts:
She [J4MB: Wing-Sum Wong, didn’t Benny Hill do a sketch about someone with a similar name?] is hoping for a better understanding of equality [J4MB emphasis] between male and female climbers: the 34-year-old frequently finds herself as the only woman in the training area.
“Quite often I will come into the training area and train and I get told ‘Oh, you’re really strong’ and that’s great, it’s a compliment, but at the same time it’s almost like it’s not expected of me to be strong,” Wong says.
“It’s an unconscious bias that people have adopted through being part of a society [where there’s] the expectation that women aren’t strong and they’re very surprised when a woman is strong,” she adds. [J4MB: Hmm, might that ‘unconscious bias’ be linked to her comment that she frequently finds herself as the only woman in the training area… so CONSCIOUS bias would be perfectly reasonable?]…
“Some of the best female climbers can outclimb male climbers [J4MB: the worst ones?] on the competition circuit,” says Wong. “We just have to take a different approach to climbing something because we’re different sizes, different heights, but we get there. We all get there.”
A string of female achievements in climbing has followed the sport being included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games for the first time. World bouldering champion Shauna Coxsey, [J4MB: you wouldn’t know from the article, but there are men’s and women’s events, including bouldering – here] who recently confirmed her bid to compete at the Tokyo games, received an MBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours in 2016. [J4MB: Jenni Murray and three-times winner of our Lying Feminist of the Month award, Caroline Criado-Perez, received OBEs, your point would be…?]
And in October, Austrian climber Angela Eiter became the first woman to complete one of the world’s hardest climbs, the La Planta de Shiva near Malaga, Spain. [J4MB: She’s a strong climber for a woman, we get it. But why the relentless pretence that women’s sporting prowess comes anywhere near men’s? The emotional neediness is off the scale.]