Why We Need the Women in Adventure Film Competition
The Women in Adventure Film Competition is now in its sixth year. Womenclimb’s Caitlin takes the time to explain why its still important to promote women-centred content.
A few weeks ago I heard something that shocked me. I was climbing with a group of children as part of a development programme. We were in a public bouldering wall amongst all sorts of other climbers. One woman was particularly impressive. As we left the session, a few of the group went up and high fived her. One of the boys went a bit further and spoke to her. Not to congratulate her for her efforts, but instead to say “Muscles don’t look good on women”. I didn’t know what to say.
In a world where men are frequently seen competing on television, whilst women are still limited to rare events with limited publicity, this was potentially the first time this boy had seen a female athlete. And he thought she was out of place so much that he was compelled to tell her so. If that’s the case, I can only imagine how some girls feel.
Today’s girls are more than ever inondated with images of external beauty, but athletic role models are still scarce. The peer pressure to conform, particularly at a young age, can be hard to counteract, leading to many girls dropping out of physical activity.
3 in 10 girls like taking part in physical activity
For me this is why the Women in Adventure Film Competition is so important. It’s true that seeing is believing and if we see someone like us doing something, the possibility that we might do that becomes that little bit closer. The Women in Adventure Film Competition shows us that Women Can. Women Can climb. Can run. Can mountain bike. Women Can direct award-winning films.
The Youth Sport Trust found that whilst 8 in 10 girls understood the importance of an active lifestyle, only 3 in 10 agreed that they liked taking part in physical activity. We can change this.
I wanted to share my favourite film from this year’s entries so far.
‘Should’ examines the challenges that teenage girls face as they battle the pressures to conform to society’s ideas of what girls should be like.
Yes, these films aren’t being broadcast on prime time Sky Sports in high definition, but they are making women more visible. They are challenging perceptions that sport is for boys, that athletes are men.
So take some time today to have a look at the Women in Adventure Film show reel. Take a minute to share a video you like and take that minute to show off what women are capable of.
I am proud to be an adventurous woman.
(Women’s Sports Foundation, Youth Sport Trust)