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Sexism in climbing images

Today, something interesting popped up on the Womenclimb Twitter feed.  I had to take a second look at the strange image with which I was presented.  Was a climbing website trying to promote climbing, a sport which has freedom of thought and being at its heart, with the picture of a naked women in a reclined position scantily clad in a rope?  ‘Well’, I thought, ‘it must be a crap website if they have to resort to the ‘sex sells’ approach’.

It is often difficult to know how to respond to something that is sexist, without wanting to come across as a man-hater, which I certainly am not.  I love men.  And I love women; I love diversity and respect and difference.

I contemplated further and deduced that the person posting this image either a) doesn’t understand the climbing community very well, b) doesn’t care about alienating 50% of the climbing population (or more, as it seems that quite a few men think this is absurd/unnecessary) and/or c) lives in the dark ages.  Or it’s a publicity stunt.  Whichever combination of these this editor falls into, it’s probably an idea to reflect on the fact that we are in the 21st century.  A time when women in climbing are pushing boundaries in what they do rather than having to do it because of what they look like.

So, WHAT TO DO?

In this situation I find that voting with your feet, or your finger, is the best approach.  I’ve decided that I won’t be visiting that website now or in the future and for that reason I’m not posting the link on here.  They’re not having any benefit from me.

Thoughts anyone?

4 Comments
  • Anon.
    March 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Hi there,

    I find it very annoying when women think it’s okay to pose sexually and almost nude in order to sell a product, I don’t think they realise how it makes the rest of us women look. It definitely re-enforces the ‘woman as an object’ approach and I feel that lots of young women my age think it’s okay to act provocatively erotic ALL the time… It get’s even more annoying when women make the mistake that ‘we are empowering ourselves by acting this way’…

    This type of advertising is incredibly old-fashioned and male orientated, because in the not to distant past men were the bread winners, women are gaining more prestigious roles and hopefully as women become more affluent, the market will have to start catering to the OTHER 50% of the customers who can afford their own climbing shoes…

    I’m afraid that only when CEO’s are split 50% male and 50% female, when companies pay an equal wage, then will be a time for fair marketing… until then, women are unfortunately still seen as ‘lesser’ in the eyes of the economy.

    We’re certainly not helping ourselves if we agree to marketing campaigns like the ‘reclining nude in rope’ mentioned above.

      • Che
        March 28, 2014 at 3:09 am

        I feel climbing is still very male & ego orientated. I could nit pick all night but would probbly come across as a moaner (i sometimes do)
        As a very progresive ”modern” man I feel that only the typical blonde blue eyed model women are represented in climbing, whilst they may be excellent climbers women are under represented and the ones being represented are the model look types. Why are women like Samina Baig not on the front of magazines and the ”face” of North Face? She fights for equality in climbing, from a very poor Packistani village?
        However with comments from the likes of Uwe steck (sic) in his Petzel Scottish tour of ”now all we need is women” & while testosterone and egos dominate it will be a hard fight to get equality. Its certainly not the worst sport for sexism or inequality but its got a long way to go for equality not just for sexism but for class, education standard & race as well. rant over, great website, keep up good work.

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