/ Distasteful route names exclusion

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freelunchprovider - on 09 Jan 2017
Wyndecliffe quarry is in Monmouthshire just wondering why such a stunning and convenient venue was not included in the S.Wales Rockfax Wyndcliffe QuarryLittle Slut (6a)
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scope on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:
Cunty McCuntFace (4b) Because it's in the Wye Valley guides with the other Wye Valley crags, some of which are in England, some in Wales. Wyndcliffe does have some cracking route names though.
Post edited at 16:09
The Ivanator - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

From my understanding there is a story behind this and there may have been intention by Rockfax to include it at one stage. The people responsible for much of the recent development at Wyndcliffe Quarry are currently producing a Sport Guide for all the bolted Wye Valley crags, so they were certainly keen that replication between guidebook areas was avoided and managed to persuade Rockfax to omit WQ from their guide.
The Wye Valley Sport guide should be out some time this year.
MikeSP - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

That's a shame. I haven't got a copy (yet) is this one included?
Don't Jis on my Sofa (6a+)
zimpara - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

One Less White Nigger (VS 4c) is quite unsatisfactory
9
mountain.martin - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

That is a line from the Elvis Costello song "Oliver's army" a political song from the late 70's. The n word seems taboo now, but it wasn't then in the right context.
John2 - on 09 Jan 2017
Wanderer100 - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to mountain.martin:

I always thought it was about mercenaries?
Seems I was wrong!
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver's_Army
Hooo - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

That is terrible. It should of course be One fewer white nigger.
marsbar - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to zimpara:

It's all about context.
cwarby - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

Wogs (HVD)
Gollywog's Cakewalk (HS 4c)
The Nitty-gritty Dirt Route (E1 5a)
All distasteful according to todays PC world.
9
freelunchprovider - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to MikeSP:

I do believe it is but if you haven't got the guide yet I can lend you the original vinyl to catch up on the lyrics. Good route,good(depending on your taste) music.
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freelunchprovider - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to cwarby:

Golly gosh,oh I say steady on old chap!
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cwarby - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

Someone bites!
A bit tongue in cheek, but tonight I watched the news about the blacked up Morris dancers in Birmingham being accused of racism- complete tosh. So I bit as well.
scope on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to cwarby:

I had heard that Wogs (HVD) was in fact an old term for dirty, muddy cracks, which the route probably was in the 1920s when it was first climbed. Whether that's true, or just a modern attempt to hide the racial slur of the past, I'm not sure.
Martin Hore - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to scope:

> I had heard that Wogs (HVD) was in fact an old term for dirty, muddy cracks, which the route probably was in the 1920s when it was first climbed. Whether that's true, or just a modern attempt to hide the racial slur of the past, I'm not sure.

I've climbed it several times and been embarrassed by the route name on each occasion. My vote would be for the next guidebook writers to change the name. We have few enough climbers from ethnic minorities as it is - no need to further discourage them by keeping a route name which is clearly offensive.

I believe there's a precedent for not accepting sexually offensive route names (relating to one of John Redhead's Welsh routes). The two quoted in the top two posts clearly fall into that category.

It may be the right of first ascensionist to name their routes, but with all rights come responsibilities.

Martin

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freelunchprovider - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to cwarby:

Hey Mister (6a) no Innunendo (7b) intended take a bite on your Spam Javelin (5b) after a Hot Beef Injection (6c) then ease out the Pork Sword (6b) and Buff The Happy Lamp (6b) unless you've given up theseEvil Ways (6a)
> Someone bites!

It's all in the context as zimpy says

1
sammy5000 - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

Sorry i did find that reply funny from a man called Mr hore. God you must hate derogatory names. Dont worry i got shit at school too i was called sam tw.t!
1
freelunchprovider - on 09 Jan 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

Yawn..... go blow your Spunk Trumpets (6c) or you will get a Dishonourable Discharge (5c)
1
stp - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

What's the problem with offensive route names? Why do people feel the need to change them? Maybe the F.A intended them to be offensive? And who should decide anyway if not the first ascentionist? What's offensive to one person might not be to someone else. People can offended over all sorts of stupid sh!t.
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FactorXXX - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to cwarby:

Nitty-gritty has got nothing to do with slave ships.
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marsbar - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

I'd never heard that one before. From what I've found, it sounds like a wind up taken seriously.
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to cwarby:


I saw the stage play of Fawlty Towers recently, this section was edited out;

The Major: And the strange thing was... throughout the morning she kept referring to the Indians as niggers. "No no no," I said, "the niggers are the West Indians. These people are wogs." "No, no," she said. "All cricketers are niggers."
Basil: They do get awfully confused, don't they? They're not thinkers. I see it with Sybil everyday.

Snowflakeism.
2
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Nitty-gritty has got nothing to do with slave ships.

http://www.nittygritty.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitty_Gritty_Dirt_Band
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:
> I've climbed it several times and been embarrassed by the route name on each occasion. My vote would be for the next guidebook writers to change the name. We have few enough climbers from ethnic minorities as it is - no need to further discourage them by keeping a route name which is clearly offensive.

Bollocks, utter steaming bollocks.

Post edited at 02:04
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Steve Perry - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> What's the problem with offensive route names?

I don't really find them offensive, from a climbing point of view I just think they're shite.

Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

How about calling it Honky? It can only be climbed clean handed, i.e. No chalkie!
Hugh J - on 10 Jan 2017
Big Ger - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

You're a bad boy Hugh!
1
JIMBO on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

I know some names have changed completely whilst some others have been shortened to initials so if you know the FA you will know what they stand for... e.g. F.Y.B. (6c)
Phil Anderson on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Bollocks, utter steaming bollocks.

Is that a route name?
Timmd on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
> Bollocks, utter steaming bollocks.

That's such an erudite and thoughtful response, I can really see the alternative point of view to the argument that climbing culture should follow any progressive norms adopted by wider society.

Fancy that, well I never, it's like some blinkers have been removed, clarity dawns. I quite see the alternative point of view so agreeably broached.

;-)
Post edited at 15:05
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cwarby - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to scope:

I'd heard that it meant something utterly different and never found out what. V.interesting how words/phrases become adulterated to suit a political agenda. I'm complete lost as to how the n.. word is OK to use if you're black American and not if you're white. Anybody educate me?
4
mrphilipoldham - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Over the last few years The Dambusters has been broadcast on both ITV and Channel 4. One of them dropped the scenes where Gibson referred to his dog, Nigger. Which one kept them? I was actually somewhat annoyed by the cutting, as it's historical fact and about as far from offensive in context as you could get.
Nevis-the-cat - on 10 Jan 2017


Is this when we do that massive long argument about Zyklon b again?


IMHO Guy Gibson's dog is about context - it was a different time and anyway, neither saw out the end of the war, so it's a matter frozen in time.

As for the use of the word Nigger - I think it's a word that drips with hate. Sure, if you're black then you can adopt the negative, but outside of this, it's a word that comes pre-loaded with the horror of slavery, of "Strange Fruit", oppression, violence and inhumanity.

We've moved on and most of us are better than that.

If you think this is me being a snowflake, then we clearly haven't met.
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C Witter on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:
Famously, some routes called Sodom and Gomorrah, both by H. M. Kelley, and separately called Sodom by J. Menlove Edwards, had their names erased. Particularly in relation to Menlove, this kind of erasure seems symptomatic and symbolic of the way in which a general prudishness merged into homophobia and a generalised, narrow-minded imperative toward self-repression.

When I come across homophobic, misogynistic or obviously racist route names (e.g. 'Wogs' or 'Little Slut'), it's deeply embarassing and annoying. But, I don't think the answer is to erase this history - either by changing names, or by denying they are meaningful (e.g. offensive). Instead, it's more worthwhile to observe this micography, to contemplate the way in which even 'neutral' spheres are historically and politicially fraught, and to avoid repeating these kinds of abuse in future FA names. E.g. 'Wogs' (FA 1923) might reveal the extent to which climbing was bound up, in the early C.20th with the colonial/imperalist imaginary, with both being connected by the tropes of expedition and adventure into 'the uncharted wilderness' by rich, young, aristocratic men.

It also avoids the absurdity of retroactively setting oneself up to try (futiley) to determine whether or not, and to what extent, route names like 'Harlot Face', 'Indian Face', 'The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies' and 'The Gay Dwaves and Mister Plod Go to the Tupperware Party' are acceptable, and to whom...
Post edited at 16:45
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Timmd on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:

Well put.
1
alan moore - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

To be purile; isn't there a route name about Kershaw being a cracker?
Mick Ward - on 10 Jan 2017
alan moore - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

Exactly.
Nevis-the-cat - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

On a lighter but naughty note.

There's a route at Hueco entitled "Beer, pizza and three foot flat headed toothless woman".

Or summat.

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Hooo - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to cwarby:

> I'm complete lost as to how the n.. word is OK to use if you're black American and not if you're white. Anybody educate me?

The word itself doesn't mean anything bad - it just comes from a word for black after all - it's the way it's been used. For years a white person saying it to a black person has meant "I hate you and think you're inferior because of the colour of your skin". As a result, any time a black person hears a white person saying the word, they will be reminded of that hate. For that reason, it's not acceptable to use it if you're not black. Even if your intentions are innocent, it can upset people, and you will never really understand how much because you've never experienced that hate.
On the other hand, black Americans calling eachother niggaz do understand the hate, and they are putting a finger up to the haters by reclaiming the word for their own use - saying they are proud of who they are.

3
James Mann - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to C Witter:

WOGS
Wall OverhanG Slab

James Mann

Lusk - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Hooo:

I assume you must be a black person having such an informed opinion?
20
Timmd on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Lusk:

> I assume you must be a black person having such an informed opinion?


There's such a thing as empathy. ;-)

5
Big Ger - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:

Thanks timmd, I deserved that.

But the idea that "wogs" should be retitled as it may scare non-whites from participating in climbing, was so frigging farcical I could not be bothered typing a reasoned response.

Brought to mind this rant;

> “Make jokes about Swedes and Germans and French and English and Canadians and Americans, why can’t we make jokes about Mexicans? Is it because they are so feeble that they can’t look after themselves? It’s very very condescending there.”
J Cleese
Chris Ebbutt - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:
I've long wondered what the guide book writers felt was "Unprintable", what did Whillans originally want to name this route?

The Unprintable (E1 5b)

Funnily the name as used rather suits the nature of the climb.

Chris
FactorXXX - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

Joe Brown, a pioneer in more ways than one: -

T'ouse Wall (E3 5c)
Mike Highbury - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to James Mann:
> Wall OverhanG Slab

Or the Metropolitan Police drinking club, Walthamstow Overseas Geographical Society.

We have this thread every few months, it gives the bigots chance to breathe.
Mick Ward - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Chris Ebbutt:

> I've long wondered what the guide book writers felt was "Unprintable", what did Whillans originally want to name this route?

> Funnily the name as used rather suits the nature of the climb.

It does rather suit, doesn't it!

The tale goes that the late Eric Byne could be somewhat 'over-enthusiastic' at times, recording climbing history as it was being written and trying to get the participants' views. Today we'd regard this as perfectly normal but the 1950s (when most people didn't even have television) were much more private times. People weren't used to being on camera, as it were.

Brown probably bore such attention with stoicism and good grace, Whillans perhaps less so. Apparently when Byne raced up to the top of the Roaches to get Whillans' view of the FA of Sloth, the admonition that it wasn't so hard 'if you use your loaf [head]' left him scratching his. Was there a sneaky Raspian head-jam en route?

But Whillans (like the rest of us) probably found The Unprintable a bit uphill and apparently when Byne peered over the top with an, "Eh Don, what's it like?" all he got was an exasperated "F*ck off!" in response.

Obviously this wouldn't do for the guidebook, especially back then. And so...

The Unprintable has always seemed a most graceful solution. I wonder who thought it up: Geoff Sutton perhaps.

Mick


ads.ukclimbing.com
ripper - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

The one I find quite unpleasant is Black Bastard (Llanymynech) - I don't know if there's a 'tale' behind it, but have always assumed it was so named because it's on Black Wall, and the FA found it a bit of a bastard to climb. Given that this was in the 80s, though, there's no historical excuse for the obviously racist double meaning.

On the other hand, I have no issue whatsoever with The Pigskin Bus Pulls Into Tuna Town (Cheyne Wears)
1
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> But the idea that "wogs" should be retitled as it may scare non-whites from participating in climbing, was so frigging farcical I could not be bothered typing a reasoned response.

I agree. A guidebook author might want to comment in the description something like "reasonable route, despite the name" if they think a name deserves it, but the actual impact of offensive route names is...making the few climbers who stumble on that route (after all, we don't have 3* VSs at Stanage called "Paki Crack" or "Batty Boy Buttress") think that maybe the FA was a bit of a tw*t - or just from another era.
1
dr_botnik - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I was once pottering about on the boulders at higgar when a young black couple were walking by, both enthusiastic and wanted to know what I'd just climbed. Luckily, their kids showed up and I was able to get distracted showing them the moves as the only name I'd heard it called was dirty higgar. Think the bmc censored this in their guide though....
freelunchprovider - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> What's the problem with offensive route names? Why do people feel the need to change them? Maybe the F.A intended them to be offensive? And who should decide anyway if not the first ascentionist? What's offensive to one person might not be to someone else. People can offended over all sorts of stupid sh!t.

Well said,quite right
2
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to dr_botnik:

Haha! The likelihood of that occurrence has to be one in a few billion. In over a decade of bouldering, not once has anyone other than another boulderer asked me the name of the problem I'm on. For it to be a black family when you're on something that's a pun on a racist slur is, you have to admit, rather amusing!

Before you all start calling me a racist, the amusement is in the hideous embarrassment of all concerned, not in calling people racist names...
freelunchprovider - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to C Witter:
Thank you citizen Witter!
Post edited at 12:09
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freelunchprovider - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Phil Anderson:

> Is that a route name?

If not it soon will be.
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bpmclimb on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

> But Whillans (like the rest of us) probably found The Unprintable a bit uphill

A nicely understated euphemism - I'm going to start using that one
Ian Parsons - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Haha! The likelihood of that occurrence has to be one in a few billion. In over a decade of bouldering, not once has anyone other than another boulderer asked me the name of the problem I'm on. >

Ah! In a shameless bit of thread drift, albeit continuing your theme of exchanges with the general public, I offer the following:-

Quite a few years ago a Mr Foster and I were alternating attempts at Simpering Savage in one of the Burbage Quarries. At some point Neil wandered out to the quarry entrance overlooking the valley in search of climate respite - possibly sun that wasn't quite reaching the route, or maybe a cooling breeze; I forget which. While there he was approached and engaged in brief conversation by two respectable looking and apparently middle-aged ladies in conventional [ie non-climbing] wear, presumably out for a pleasant walk, who then continued northwards. Neil returned looking somewhat bemused and confessed to having had one of his more surreal encounters. Seeing them approaching with clear intent he had prepared himself for a number of possible queries: "How do you get the rope up there?", "Who takes the metal things out?", "Do you know Chris Bonington?" - and so on. What he hadn't reckoned on was the question actually posed: "Where's Parthian Shot?"
C Witter on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to James Mann:

Whatever.
James Mann - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to C Witter:

What does that mean?

James
WVRox - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

Fortunately, as in any publication or form of media, the editor, or editorial team, make judgements. That's the way it is. Of course the boundaries aren't black and white, but the vast majority of people are within a pretty narrow margin. I find some of the names mentioned here a sad reflection on both the first ascentionist, and, if they've gone into publication, on the editor.

Second point, which was made earlier: the first ascentionist by tradition names the route; they have has responsibilities too!

No reason why the guide can't include a reference to an earlier name, which has been changed as language evolves, and context of the original, now offensive, name is forgotten.

jess13 - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to ripp
> The one I find quite unpleasant is Black Bastard (Llanymynech) - I don't know if there's a 'tale' behind it, but have always assumed it was so named because it's on Black Wall, and the FA found it a bit of a bastard to climb. Given that this was in the 80s, though, there's no historical excuse for the obviously racist double meaning.

> On the other hand, I have no issue whatsoever with The Pigskin Bus Pulls Into Tuna Town (Cheyne Wears)

If the route had been called 'White Bastard' on a White wall would you have had a problem with that. Believe it or not there are some 'black bastards' in this world Robert Mugabe and Idi Amin come to mind. There are 'bastards' of all races and skin colour, but remember we're all the same- good and bad. If you start making exceptions because of skin colour you could be accused of patronising racism ( ' they are not really bad, they just didnt have our opportunities/education' ie they are different-not like us)
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stp - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Hooo:

Well explained.

Context is vital in understanding the true meaning or intention behind a word or phrase.
1
stp - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to jess13:

> If the route had been called 'White Bastard' on a White wall would you have had a problem with that.

Racism is significant when it's used a tool of oppression by a dominant group over a minority group. You couldn't have institutional racism against whites in a country where all the institutions are run by white people. But if 'White Bastard' was in Zimbabwe or Uganda it would be more significant.

But personally I doubt either is real problem anyway. The terms might well have nothing to do with racism.

1
stp - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to WVRox:

> Fortunately, as in any publication or form of media, the editor, or editorial team, make judgements.

That's true but haven't they also got a responsibility to be honest too? I don't think it's the job of editors to censor the wishes or intentions of other people, those who have nothing to do with guidebook and no means to argue their case.


> I find some of the names mentioned here a sad reflection on both the first ascentionist, and, if they've gone into publication, on the editor.

I don't think it's a bad reflection on the editor. It in no way implies they like or agree with a particular route name just by including it in a guide.

Big Ger - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Nice to be in agreement mate, the FA. was done by I. Prowse in 1923.

I think it should be upgraded though, it's one of those routes which is so polished that ice skates would be preferable to stickies.
Brown - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:
You sound perilously close to condoning antisemitism because it is punching up at a white minority of bankers and politicians who control the world.
Post edited at 07:24
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Dave Garnett - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> That's true but haven't they also got a responsibility to be honest too? I don't think it's the job of editors to censor the wishes or intentions of other people, those who have nothing to do with guidebook and no means to argue their case.

Editors have to be responsible, even if first ascensionists haven't been. Usually a quiet word does the trick, something that seemed funny initially often doesn't even a year later.

> I don't think it's a bad reflection on the editor. It in no way implies they like or agree with a particular route name just by including it in a guide.

As I say, they are still responsible. If something racially offensive or defamatory is included in a publication, the editor and publishers may still be responsible, even if it isn't their opinion.
Nevis-the-cat - on 12 Jan 2017

I suppose you take a view.

Rude or risque names - probably fair to leave in. Wanker's Quarry anyone? It might offend a few, but in the main most people will see through it.

Then there's the truly offensive. the world has just moved on. In the same way they don't show the Black and White Minstrel show on UK Gold. It's just shit and demeaning. climbing is about being a broad church, that doesn't need to work to racial barriers, prejudice and hate.

FFS -it's just idiots pratting about on bits of rock, mostly at weekends. it's not defending the role of Shylock. If a route is called "Wogs" or "Blind Nigger" then change it. It's a shit name, was then, is now. Have some balls.
Post edited at 10:32
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bpmclimb on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:

> Rude or risque names - probably fair to leave in.

> Then there's the truly offensive. the world has just moved on.


That sounds reasonable, but when we get down to specific examples it appears far less black-and-white. We'll never get 100% agreement about where the threshold of acceptability lies; all we can be fairly certain of is that the more risque the name, the more people it will offend. Moreover, people can be offended in many different ways: a person might be fairly tolerant of racially-connected names but outraged by an anatomical reference; the next person might be exactly the other way round. The matter is further complicated by attitudes towards censorship.

All in all, it's a tricky business (he says, helpfully).







bpmclimb on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:

> FFS -it's just idiots pratting about on bits of rock, mostly at weekends. it's not defending the role of Shylock. If a route is called "Wogs" or "Blind Nigger" then change it. It's a shit name, was then, is now. Have some balls.


Believe it or not, looking at your sentence above, I can think of a person (who strongly objects to swearing) who would be no less offended by your use of "shit" and "balls" (and possibly "FFS"and "pratting" too) than by "Wogs" and "Blind Nigger".

Don't shoot the messenger!
TonyB - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:

> We'll never get 100% agreement about where the threshold of acceptability lies; all we can be fairly certain of is that the more risque the name, the more people it will offend.

Do we need 100% agreement where the threshold of acceptability lies? I assume we're not going to have a vote on each name. Perhaps a good question would be, would we be happy for guidebook writers to rename routes that they deem offensive. I would be very happy for them to do so. I would trust guidebook authors to do this with restraint, and I'm pretty sure that anyone who takes the time to write a guidebook has respect of the sport and of the history as a pretty high priority. I would bet that we are talking about well less than 1% of climbs.

2
Nevis-the-cat - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:

Ha - best way to deal with swearing, is to pretend you're hearing in Alan Bennett's voice.

bpmclimb on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:

> Perhaps a good question would be, would we be happy for guidebook writers to rename routes that they deem offensive. I would be very happy for them to do so.

I don't know the answer, though, depends how prudish each writer is going to get.
stp - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Brown:

What I'm condoning is nothing to do with the subject matter. I'm condoning freedom of speech. If you believe in freedom of speech it means you also defend the right of people to say things with which you completely disagree.
1
stp - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:

> a good question would be, would we be happy for guidebook writers to rename routes that they deem offensive.

For me it's definitely no. It's bad enough the fact they mess about with the grades - which they can never get right.

And it raises the question what is the problem with offensive route names?
3
cb294 - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

Free speech has limits, though, and rightly so. I guess the limit of what you should be able to get away with in route names should be roughly around what would land you if court if you said it in public (racist or other hate speech, incitement to violence, etc. ).

These boundaries will drift over time, and once acceptable route names will become impossible. Simple bad taste may well have to be tolerated to protect free speech, but that is not to say that a route name referencing "wogs" or "Pakis" should stand.

As a parallel (not in terms of free speech, but to demonstrate that in other cases the climbing community embraces or at least accepts change): How many summits have been renamed because they were named after some colonial official who fell from grace after a region got its independence, or its original inhabitants were no longer actively separated from their cultural heritage (Denali, Uluru,...).


CB
2
Ramblin dave - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> What I'm condoning is nothing to do with the subject matter. I'm condoning freedom of speech. If you believe in freedom of speech it means you also defend the right of people to say things with which you completely disagree.

But the right to free speech doesn't extend to the right to force other people to reproduce your speech if they don't want to. I can call a route whatever I like and tell anyone I want to that that's what I've called it - and thanks to the magic of the internet it's easier than it's ever been for me to do so - but in an extreme case, if the guidebook publishers really want nothing to do with it then that's their right as well.
WVRox - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

You can completely disagree with people's views of course, but that's different to what we are discussing here. This is about publishing obsence and offensive language. cb294 puts his finger on it. Freedom of speech has its limits, defined by society and by the law. I'd have thought that if we accepted that editors and publishers adopted a kind of standard, those naming the routes would soon realise, and would give routes offensive names, knowing they might well get changed. Didn't the Snivelling Sh** on great slab at Millstone become just the Snivelling? Quite right!
6
TonyB - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> And it raises the question what is the problem with offensive route names?

I just can't understand this question as it seems so self explanatory to me. The problem with offensive route names are that they can offend people. It's not nice to offend people. In cases some cases the route names can be hateful, and the consequences are worse.

Another problem with offensive route names occurs when families go out climbing. "What's this route we're doing called, Daddy?", "it's called Wogs", "What is a wog, Daddy?". It's a completely unnecessary conversation. I also feel that it shows a sport that is locked in the past and not keeping up with society as a whole. I would like to think that climbing is inclusive and encourages new participants. I imagine names like that could put people off, and could certainly hinder family involvement.

5
stp - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> But the right to free speech doesn't extend to the right to force other people to reproduce your speech if they don't want to.

Whilst that is true I think it's the responsibility of a guidebook author to accurately catalogue the historical information. Making a first ascent takes time, trouble and some talent to achieve and earns one the right to name the route. The guidebook writer has earned no such right. To change a route name simply on the basis of not liking it is massively disrespectful to the first ascentionists and it's abusing the position they're in.

A guidebook is not like a novel. With a novel one has unlimited freedom do exactly as you like with no responsibility to anyone. A guidebook is part of a process that involves many people including all those who create the routes in the first place. If no one did that there would be no guidebook to write. It's more akin to a newspaper or magazine where there is a responsibility to report things accurately - not just as one would like.


> but in an extreme case

Well what is the extreme case? I've yet to see an example of a name that requires censoring.

1
stp - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:

> The problem with offensive route names are that they can offend people. It's not nice to offend people.

Maybe but I don't see it as an issue. If they get offended they get offended. Hardly a major issue. People are rude to each other all the time. It's part of life. And people get offended over all sorts of things. Religion seems a subject where people get easily offended. Does that mean we shouldn't name any routes making critical comments about religion then?


> "What's this route we're doing called, Daddy?", "it's called Wogs", "What is a wog, Daddy?". It's a completely unnecessary conversation.

I don't see that as at all bad. My answer would be: It's an old pejorative term for a black person. Opening up a conversation about racism is not a bad thing. Probably far more valuable than most other topics one might discuss on day out at the crag.


> I also feel that it shows a sport that is locked in the past and not keeping up with society as a whole.

Not exactly sure what you mean here but freedom of expression is still very much a core current value. As for historical names I'm all for preserving them. They shine a light on the way things were.


> I imagine names like that could put people off, and could certainly hinder family involvement.

I seriously doubt that is true if only for the point that the route names we're talking about are a tiny minority.

Big Ger - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:
> Another problem with offensive route names occurs when families go out climbing. "What's this route we're doing called, Daddy?", "it's called Wogs", "What is a wog, Daddy?". It's a completely unnecessary conversation.


I'd have thought it was a VERY essential conversation; "It's a distasteful name for certain people son, one we don't use any more, but it was once a common term. It's an example of how language and people's thinking changes over time"


> I also feel that it shows a sport that is locked in the past and not keeping up with society as a whole. I would like to think that climbing is inclusive and encourages new participants. I imagine names like that could put people off, and could certainly hinder family involvement.


Really? The existence of one climb called "wogs" holds climbing "locked in the past", you really credit the sport and it's participants, very much in that case.

'Make jokes about Swedes and Germans and French and English and Canadians and Americans, why can't we make jokes about Mexicans? Is it because they are so feeble that they can't look after themselves? 'It's very very condescending there.'
J Cleese.
Post edited at 03:05
Nevis-the-cat - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Cleese's analogy only works so far though.

Anyone who uses the terms "wog" is not because they read too much Enid Blighton - it's an anachronism we can do without in climbing.

There are plenty of people out there, for whom racist, derogatory language is the default setting when describing anyone who might be a pantone or more darker than them. I suspect there are very few in the climbing community, but the buggers are out there.

Taking the piss out of a German is a long way from the vitriol I hear puked up by mouth breathers about black and Asian people. Sadly I know people who are quite happy to shout racist shite out of the passenger window (not of my car - I don't know, (or want to), them that well) at a random Asian.

As for other offensive route names - If I find myself putting up a new route in Yosemite, it's definitely getting called "Golden Showers".....
Big Ger - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Nevis-the-cat:


> Anyone who uses the terms "wog" is not because they read too much Enid Blighton - it's an anachronism we can do without in climbing.

"Wogs" has stood as the name of the climb being discussed, (nothing to do with Enid Blyton, or racists,) since 1923, and there are 820 logged ascents of it on UKC. So is it really necessary to change it now in case some people, unknown and unspecified, may get put off climbing by the sheer horror of reading the name?

Isn't this just yet another case of patronising?
1
Hugh J - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
> "Wogs" . . . . , unknown and unspecified, may get put off climbing by the sheer horror of reading the name?

I would think the mirror like finish of the holds would be enough to do that!

Got to be at least F6a+
Post edited at 08:11
Big Ger - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Hugh J:

Not so bad if climbed in crampons.
ripper - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to jess13:

> In reply to ripp

> If the route had been called 'White Bastard' on a White wall would you have had a problem with that. Believe it or not there are some 'black bastards' in this world Robert Mugabe and Idi Amin come to mind. There are 'bastards' of all races and skin colour, but remember we're all the same- good and bad. If you start making exceptions because of skin colour you could be accused of patronising racism ( ' they are not really bad, they just didnt have our opportunities/education' ie they are different-not like us)

Obviously I'm well aware there are bastards in the world of every colour. My point was nothing to do with 'making exceptions', not suggesting that an evil person who happens to be black should be forgiven because they happen to be black - but Black Bastard was a specific, common term of abuse used against black people in general not that long ago (I remember hearing it a lot when I was young) - and commonly used not because the person being insulted was particularly evil, but just because they happened to be black. If a route was called White Bastard I'd have less of a problem, simply because (to my knowledge, at least) White Bastard was never a common, specific term of racial abuse in general use against white people. Although, to be fair, I'd probably still think it was slightly unfortunate.
Howard J - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

Words change their meaning. "Nigger" was once simply the ordinary word used by black and white alike to refer to black people and wasn't necessarily used pejoratively. But things change. When I was young it would have been considered insulting to refer to someone as "black", the polite term was "coloured" - now it is the reverse.

"Wogs" has also had various meanings, some offensive and some not. In nautical terms it meant a sailor who hadn't crossed the Equator. I'm curious to know why the famous route at Chudleigh was so named.
Ramblin dave - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> Whilst that is true I think it's the responsibility of a guidebook author to accurately catalogue the historical information. Making a first ascent takes time, trouble and some talent to achieve and earns one the right to name the route. The guidebook writer has earned no such right. To change a route name simply on the basis of not liking it is massively disrespectful to the first ascentionists and it's abusing the position they're in.

I'd agree that guidebook writers shouldn't mess around with names unnecessarily, but I don't think this is anywhere near as strong an argument as "freedom of speech" - respect for first ascensionists needs to be balanced with respect for everyone else. Not to mention that not all route names are the product of blood, tears and toil - I mean, Dirty Higgar is a Font 5 boulder problem, so was presumably climbed long before it was named. Fill-in-the-gaps sport routes often seem to have fairly dashed-off names as well.

Also, I think a few people would disagree with the implication that writing a guidebook doesn't take "time and trouble".

> Well what is the extreme case? I've yet to see an example of a name that requires censoring.

At the moment, I don't think it's a big enough issue to be worth bothering about - for every Wogs there's about a hundred Thin Cracks and Grey Slabs. I just don't think it's a totally uncompromisable principle, and I wouldn't rule it out if a) someone came up with a convincing case that it's a bigger problem than I think it is or b) someone gave a bunch of new routes wantonly unpleasant route names.
krikoman - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> Over the last few years The Dambusters has been broadcast on both ITV and Channel 4. One of them dropped the scenes where Gibson referred to his dog, Nigger. Which one kept them? I was actually somewhat annoyed by the cutting, as it's historical fact and about as far from offensive in context as you could get.

Real life's not as black and white as the film is, nowadays.
krikoman - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> I'd have thought it was a VERY essential conversation; "It's a distasteful name for certain people son, one we don't use any more, but it was once a common term. It's an example of how language and people's thinking changes over time"

Son!? that's a bit sexist
1
GrahamD - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to krikoman:

It was on TV recently with all references (and there are a lot of them) to Nigger in place. Its a bit of an integral part of the story IMO
GrahamD - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I think we can neatly split this issue into new routes and old routes. By all means apply modern editorial norms to new routes but for established routes, is there really a case that anything *needs* to be done ? I mean if "Wogs" got changed to "Limestone Crack" would that really improve the lot for anyone who might be offended by the term if called it to their face ?
Kafoozalem - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

As the unfortunate guidebook writer with the massive responsibility for the naming or Wogs at Chudleigh, my inclination has been to deal with it thus...

29 Wogs 40m S **
This shares the twin honours of being the both the earliest and the least 'pc' climb in the guide. An impressive line which rewards deliberate footwork on the well polished holds.
1 30m - Climb the wall via cracks to an overhung niche at 12m. A hard move gains big holds up left, then follow the long crack to a stance on top of the pillar.
2 10m - Climb up and left on the easiest line to a large tree belay. A short man made wall on the right leads to the top.
FA I Prowse 1923

It clearly shows the date of the naming and I think that puts it into context. We can't re-write history. I think it is good to be reminded of where we have come from or how far we have to go. The black/white themed names hereabouts make more historical sense if we understand where they originated from.

Perhaps more alarming to many is the upgrade to severe!

ALTERNATIVELY we could produce a completely pc guide. Suggestions for alternative names for the following please...
RACIST
Wogs
Ginger Pom
Inkerman - probably a battle but sounds dodgy.
Savage
Black Death
Tar Baby
White Dwarf
Harlem Rude Boy
Zipper
Freddie the Frog hits Torquay
SEXIST
Postman Pat
OFFENSIVE TO MINORITIES
White Dwarf
RUDE OR SUGGESTIVE
Hardcore
Porno for Pirates
Dog's Bolx
Chrome Bum
Up Yer Bum
Butt Munch
Captain Buttwash
Long Dong Village
Up the Back Passage
Five Knuckle Shuffle
RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE
Jehova Kill
ENCOURAGING DRUG TAKING
Sod the Cosmos, Sniff the Coke

The guide will be a dick/cock free zone - Dicks Thorns and Broomhead will be removed from the FA details as will Nick Hancock and Pete Badcock.
Mick Fowler might have to go too - for our Irish readers.

Everybody happy now?
Ramblin dave - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Kafoozalem:

> SEXIST

> Postman Pat

He's probably one of the more right-wing posters on here, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that he's a sexist!
1
Brown - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> I'm condoning freedom of speech.

I fully agree with you and also believe that freedom of speech is vital and that this must also include unpalatable things.

It was the idea that racism is only significant when directed at minorities by the powerful.

> Racism is significant when it's used a tool of oppression by a dominant group over a minority group

I think ideas such as this have led to myopia where people are unable to see racism directed at groups they consider to be powerful. The idea that discrimination is ok when "punching up" against whites, men and jews whilst bad when "punching down" against minorities, women and LGBTQ+ is quite dangerous.

I would consider all racism to be significant and the failure to accept this is leading to a casual acceptance of antisemitism.


TonyB - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Kafoozalem:

I don't know the history of the route "Wogs", but if it were me I would probably change the name. I understand that others wouldn't and I respect that. There are obviously several factors at play and it depends how we balance them as individuals. Ultimately I think it's the guidebook writers that should make the decision. It's really great that you said how you plan to deal with route.

Can I suggest this slight edit.

29 Wogs 40m S **
This shares the twin honours of being the both the earliest and the least 'pc' climb in the guide. There has been some debate whether to change the name of this route, but in the interests of history the original name has remained. An impressive line which rewards deliberate footwork on the well polished holds.

Ultimately my opinion doesn't really matter, but I think the extra sentence gives an extra degree of sensitivity that is reflected in this thread.

PS. I don't think anyone is seriously arguing for changing names like Postman Pat and White Dwarf. In my opinion there are 2-3 route names in this thread that I would see as candidates for a renaming.

Martin Hore - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:

> Can I suggest this slight edit.

> 29 Wogs 40m S **

> This shares the twin honours of being the both the earliest and the least 'pc' climb in the guide. There has been some debate whether to change the name of this route, but in the interests of history the original name has remained. An impressive line which rewards deliberate footwork on the well polished holds.

A long way back up this thread I was the first to mention Wogs and suggest it should be renamed. I got 18 Likes but 23 Dislikes plus strong objections from all 5 people who responded to my post directly.

I would be just about OK with TonyB's suggestion, though still embarrassed that it suggests my fellow climbers, on average, are happy to keep a racist name.

Would we be making the same argument that historical names should stand if the first ascensionists of the 1938 Eiger N Face route had called it "Yids"?

Martin

ads.ukclimbing.com
andrewmc - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Kafoozalem:

There is a difference between hate speech and being offensive - I am all in favour of one and against the other.

Wogs, Tar Baby (but it's incredibly obscure so probably OK) and possibly Jehovah Kill (don't know the origin) are hate speech. Ginger Pom is a bit dubious as well; everyone likes to take the piss out of ginger people but a lot of ginger kids actually have a pretty rough time of it.

I can't see a problem with any other the others (which doesn't mean there isn't some hate speech meaning I don't know).

For me Wogs sticks out like a sore thumb.
baron - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:
Seems like some topics never fade away

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=25023&v=1
stp - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to WVRox:

> Didn't the Snivelling Sh** on great slab at Millstone become just the Snivelling? Quite right!

That's interesting and it makes me think there must be some big cultural or perhaps class divide on this kind of stuff then. Personally I can't think of any climbers I know or have ever met that would have found the original name as offensive or problematic.
Big Ger - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Kafoozalem:
> It clearly shows the date of the naming and I think that puts it into context. We can't re-write history. I think it is good to be reminded of where we have come from or how far we have to go. The black/white themed names hereabouts make more historical sense if we understand where they originated from.

> Perhaps more alarming to many is the upgrade to severe!

Well said sir!!

(On both points.)
Post edited at 22:06
TonyB - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> That's interesting and it makes me think there must be some big cultural or perhaps class divide on this kind of stuff then. Personally I can't think of any climbers I know or have ever met that would have found the original name as offensive or problematic.

I also might be being missing something, but I can't see what could be wrong with Snivelling Shit. The Snivelling Shits were a punk band in the 70s, as the route was put up then I assume that it's named after the band.

Big Ger - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

> I would be just about OK with TonyB's suggestion, though still embarrassed that it suggests my fellow climbers, on average, are happy to keep a racist name.

The name itself is not racist, the context in which it is used may be racist. When was it decided that your delicate sensibilities, and ability to take offence on behalf of other, over-rode historical accuracy?

> Would we be making the same argument that historical names should stand if the first ascensionists of the 1938 Eiger N Face route had called it "Yids"?

And what if my aunty grew testicles, would I have to call her uncle?

2
Big Ger - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:
> I also might be being missing something, but I can't see what could be wrong with Snivelling Shit. The Snivelling Shits were a punk band in the 70s, as the route was put up then I assume that it's named after the band.

[sarcasm] Oh, but I take offence!! Somewhere, someone, may have been dreadfully affected by being called a Snivelling Shit, and it may have done terrible damage to their psyche, and led to depression and drug issues!! It may put them off trying rock climbing!!! Have you no heart, have you no soul?!?!?! Won't you think of these imaginary people I use to signal my virtue, and to raise my SJW status!!!! [/sarcasm]
Post edited at 22:13
3
Lusk - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Black Rocks, that's a whole box of frogs there.
1
TonyB - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

After thinking about this some more, if it is important to preserve the history an alternative move (and in my opinion better) would be

1923 route 40m S **
An impressive line which rewards deliberate footwork on the well polished holds. This route was originally climbed in 1923 and called "Wogs". The reasoning behind the original name is unclear, but the name has been changed in this guide.

There are a few routes subsequently named after the year of the FA. It would certainly get round the idea of having to "invent" a name, and preserves the history.

Ultimately, my opinion isn't important. But I think it's an important discussion to have.



3
stp - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:

That's interesting. I didn't know of the band. I think the route is from 80s but would still make sense.
john arran - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Lusk:

> Black Rocks, that's a whole box of frogs there.

Frogs, that's a whole paddy field of rice there.
Fatclimber - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

My name is Stephen John Williams. I take offence at your representation of SJW's.
Big Ger - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Fatclimber:

I profoundly apologise! ;-)
Lusk - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to john arran:

> Frogs, that's a whole paddy field of rice there.

Rice, that's a whole warehouse full of edible paper there.
stp - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Brown:

> It was the idea that racism is only significant when directed at minorities by the powerful.

> I think ideas such as this have led to myopia where people are unable to see racism directed at groups they consider to be powerful. The idea that discrimination is ok when "punching up" against whites, men and jews whilst bad when "punching down" against minorities, women and LGBTQ+ is quite dangerous.

This is the way the term is used in popular usage according to Wikipedia:

Racism can be said to describe a condition in society in which a dominant racial group benefits from the oppression of others, whether they want such benefits or not.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism#Popular_usage

Of course any individual or group can form prejudices against any other group or individuals and I agree that this is always undesirable and worth fighting against. However as problem it's no way comparable to when such prejudices are wedded to state and other institutional powers against a minority.

Again from Wikipedia:
Further, the meaning of the term racism is often conflated with the terms prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination. Racism is a complex concept that can involve each of those, but cannot be equated to nor is it synonymous with these other terms.

Interestingly Wikiepedia uses the term Reverse Racism to describe the kind of prejudice to which you're referring.



> I would consider all racism to be significant and the failure to accept this is leading to a casual acceptance of antisemitism.

This is a good example of what I mean. I'm sure antisemitism still exists in some places in Germany. However as problem now it's minor indeed when compared to the antisemitism of Nazi Germany. I don't mean this justifies ignoring it. I dislike all forms of prejudice. It's just not the same and shouldn't be viewed as comparable.

Proper racism as defined above is much more serious than mere prejudices. Having the ideas of simple black racism and white racism could lead one to think that there is some parity between the two issues. That would be misleading and diminishes the seriousness of true racism.

paul mitchell - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

Cheedale,my route,Zebedee's Got Syphilis (Magic Roundabout character,always said ''time for bed'')
bpmclimb on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to all:

Interesting topic, really shows the different way in which people think, and the different places they draw various lines.

However, there's a rather tedious number of posts claiming (or implying) that it's obvious what is and isn't acceptable. Offensiveness isn't an absolute, measurable attribute of something, it rather describes a highly subjective human reaction, so repeatedly pointing out that in general terms there's a difference between merely risque and downright offensive doesn't really advance our understanding at all. Offensive to whom?
Offwidth - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:
Interesting but ill informed on the actual climbing, which is sadly typical these days for UKC hot air threads. As two examples, Snivelling Shit was restored in Burb infinity a good few years back now. I'm not sure about Dirty Higgar but as it was next to Shit, Piss and Sick (puns that may have started being next to Pooh) the implied racism pun is very suspect. It was just as likely renamed as the grade was so different for that claimed for Dirty Higgar; so a different problem or easier variation.

Read these threads and glimpse the past of UKC and see how far we have come (grimer's view is in there too the alledged censor of Dirty Higgar?)

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=25023&v=1
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=22625&v=1#301746

Post edited at 12:17
2
Timmd on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Isn't this just yet another case of patronising?

Who is being patronised?
1
Big Ger - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> Who is being patronised?

The person about who Martin thinks
> We have few enough climbers from ethnic minorities as it is - no need to further discourage them by keeping a route name which is clearly offensive.

Isn't it EXTREMELY patronising, racist even, to make judgement on behalf of " climbers from ethnic minorities" and how the fact that in 1923 a certain climb was named "wogs", and how the horror of reading this may "discourage" them from climbing?

(Ignoring the fact that "wogs" does not automatically equal a racist slur, but can also mean "in nautical terms it meant a sailor who hadn't crossed the Equator", or "an old term for dirty, muddy cracks.".)
2
stp - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

I think the thing with Wogs is that the name has survived all these years. I don't think the term is even used any more and suspect that many younger climbers won't even know what it means. If it was going to be changed then surely the time would have been at the height of post war racism when the term was more widely used and understood by all.

I don't think it's EXTREMELY patronizing but it could possibly be seen as somewhat patronizing by some people. Others might think changing the name the right thing to do.

It would interesting to hear from some black climbers but there are so few it seems, and of those few I wonder how many have ever been to Chudleigh.
Big Ger - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

Agreed mate, it seems to me to be a classic case of patronising by people in order to "virtue signal".
1
Timmd on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
> The person about who Martin thinks

> Isn't it EXTREMELY patronising, racist even, to make judgement on behalf of " climbers from ethnic minorities" and how the fact that in 1923 a certain climb was named "wogs", and how the horror of reading this may "discourage" them from climbing?

> (Ignoring the fact that "wogs" does not automatically equal a racist slur, but can also mean "in nautical terms it meant a sailor who hadn't crossed the Equator", or "an old term for dirty, muddy cracks.".)

One could see it as patronising, or see it as considerate instead. If a route was called 'faggots', I don't think my gay friend wouldn't climb it, but if he knew the name had been changed out of consideration for gay people, he'd not suddenly feel patronised, but pleased instead that somebody had thought about it. In whatever instance, I can't see why anybody would feel patronised instead of pleased to live in a (more) considerate society?

If you don't think the names should be changed, that's a particular point of view, but I think it's possibly stretching things a bit to see it as patronising. Imho.

Post edited at 02:08
Big Ger - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:

Tim, just because your friend wouldn't be patronized by your imaginary route name being changed to another imaginary name, doesn't make the reality of attempting to make a change to a route name, a name which has been in existence for damn near a century, in case some imaginary climbers from ethnic minorities get offended any the less of a patronising, or racist, idea.

3
bpmclimb on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Tim, just because your friend wouldn't be patronized by your imaginary route name being changed to another imaginary name, doesn't make the reality of attempting to make a change to a route name, a name which has been in existence for damn near a century, in case some imaginary climbers from ethnic minorities get offended any the less of a patronising, or racist, idea.


This line of thought seems a bit twisted to me, if I read it correctly. Are you seriously suggesting that retaining names such as Wogs is actually MORE considerate to people from ethnic minorities? Did you really mean to imply that those who wish to retain those names could actually be motivated by genuine concern for the feelings of those people? If that's not the case, then your statement is mere semantic technicality, a device designed to help win an argument, and nothing to do with genuine empathy.
Timmd on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
> Tim, just because your friend wouldn't be patronized by your imaginary route name being changed to another imaginary name, doesn't make the reality of attempting to make a change to a route name, a name which has been in existence for damn near a century, in case some imaginary climbers from ethnic minorities get offended any the less of a patronising, or racist, idea.

With you mentioning how long the name has existed it strikes me you don't want climbing heritage to change....
Post edited at 13:50
1
Timmd on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:
It's quite barmy, I know for a fact that my back friend who climbs a little bit wouldn't find it either patronising or racist if the route name Wogs was changed to something else out of consideration for black people. She'd see it as a good thing.

I'll not be able to prove that she wouldn't mind, in getting her to post up a profile and pictures and things, she has better things to do with her limited time alive, but there you go, people can take or leave that she wouldn't.
Post edited at 16:09
Valkyrie1968 - on 15 Jan 2017
Leaving aside the question of hypothetical members of ethnic groups who may/may not be offended, or may/may not be patronised: Is there anything wrong with simply saying that I don't want racist/sexist/otherwise offensive route names in climbing, not on behalf of anyone else but simply because, while they don't directly offend me, I think that they're disgusting - because I disagree with racism/homophobia/anything that involves discriminating against others?
Leaving aside the question of what the FA was trying to do in naming the route 'Wogs', the simple fact is that the word was used as a racial slur - it was a way of Person A being shit to Person B for no other reason than the colour of Person B's skin - and pointing out that it used to be perfectly acceptable now means absolutely nothing; it has become a hateful word. It's an awful term that brings to mind the very worst of humanity, and I don't want it to have anything to do with climbing.
Martin Hore - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:

> After thinking about this some more, if it is important to preserve the history an alternative move (and in my opinion better) would be

> 1923 route 40m S **

> An impressive line which rewards deliberate footwork on the well polished holds. This route was originally climbed in 1923 and called "Wogs". The reasoning behind the original name is unclear, but the name has been changed in this guide.

Excellent suggestion Tony. The original name is not forgotten, the history is preserved, and people can still refer to it as Wogs if they wish. But it's clear to anyone who might be offended that today's climbers have given it some thought and decided that they don't wish to be associated with racist attitudes that may have been considered acceptable in 1923.

I look forward to seeing something like this in the next guidebook to Chudleigh.

Martin

Big Ger - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:

> This line of thought seems a bit twisted to me, if I read it correctly. Are you seriously suggesting that retaining names such as Wogs is actually MORE considerate to people from ethnic minorities?

I am suggesting that it grants them the courtesy of not making decisions, patronising them, of taking a preemptive paternalistic approach yes.



> Did you really mean to imply that those who wish to retain those names could actually be motivated by genuine concern for the feelings of those people?

No, I implied that those who wish to retain the names do not have an ulterior motive, such as racism.
2
Big Ger - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> With you mentioning how long the name has existed it strikes me you don't want climbing heritage to change....

I don't think the name needs to change. If some wish to virtue signal by getting all huffy that such a thing exists, that's their prerogative.
1
Big Ger - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

> 1923 route 40m S **

> An impressive line which rewards deliberate footwork on the well polished holds. This route was originally climbed in 1923 and called "Wogs". The reasoning behind the original name is unclear, but the name has been changed in this guide.

I could be happy with that. It recognises the historical name, and doesn't pretend it never existed.

I would have added "to salve the delicate sensibilities of middle class white climbers" at the end though ;-)
3
Jon Stewart - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> If a route was called 'faggots'...

The name Turd Burglar (E6 6b) never seemed to cause a fuss, always included in guidebooks without censorship nor comment. Make of that what you will.
Big Ger - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I've got a Muslim mate who wouldn't be mate who wouldn't be offended by a route called "bacon", so that makes it ok.

;-)
1
The Ivanator - on 15 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

I don't suppose there is actually anyone from an ethnic minority taking part in this conversation, so there is a lot of presupposition going on here. I am white and male, but adoptive father to a black Ethiopian boy, perhaps this makes me over sensitive, or perhaps it gives me some insight ...which one I don't know.
Anyway I do find route names like Wogs and Black Bastard distasteful, I could have the conversation with my son, but I think we as climbers can do better and not be dragged down by attitudes that are better consigned to history.
1
jess13 - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to TonyB:

> I don't know the history of the route "Wogs", but if it were me I would probably change the name. I understand that others wouldn't and I respect that. There are obviously several factors at play and it depends how we balance them as individuals. Ultimately I think it's the guidebook writers that should make the decision. It's really great that you said how you plan to deal with route.

> Can I suggest this slight edit.

> 29 Wogs 40m S **

> This shares the twin honours of being the both the earliest and the least 'pc' climb in the guide. There has been some debate whether to change the name of this route, but in the interests of history the original name has remained. An impressive line which rewards deliberate footwork on the well polished holds.

> Ultimately my opinion doesn't really matter, but I think the extra sentence gives an extra degree of sensitivity that is reflected in this thread.

> PS. I don't think anyone is seriously arguing for changing names like Postman Pat and White Dwarf. In my opinion there are 2-3 route names in this thread that I would see as candidates for a renaming.

After all the indignation and hot air, how about some suggestions for a new name for WOGs. I've thought of a fairly innocent one to get the ball rolling 'Reflection'.
1
Big Ger - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to jess13:
How about, "the route formerly known as Wogs". Or "TRFKAWBNCTAMCWSJW"


(The Route Formerly Known As Wogs, But NOw Censored To Appease Middle Class White Social Justice Warriors.)
Post edited at 00:50
9
Timmd on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> The name Turd Burglar (E6 6b) never seemed to cause a fuss, always included in guidebooks without censorship nor comment. Make of that what you will.

Hmmn, I see what you mean.

( It was the argument that it might be seen as patronising or something to change the name (any name), it just seems rather abstract. )
Post edited at 01:02
Howard J - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to freelunchprovider:

There have been periods where it has been fashionable (amongst some climbers in particular) to give climbs deliberately offensive names, with the intention to shock and perhaps attract attention. I don't think this was probably the case in 1923, and I suspect that when Wogs was named the first ascensionist had a completely different meaning in mind to the one that first comes to our minds today.

The problem with editing "distasteful" or even offensive route names is that what is distasteful or offensive is often largely subjective, and furthermore can change over time. In my view it should be done only in exceptional cases and only after careful consideration and preferably wide consultation.
Timmd on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Valkyrie1968:
> Leaving aside the question of hypothetical members of ethnic groups who may/may not be offended, or may/may not be patronised: Is there anything wrong with simply saying that I don't want racist/sexist/otherwise offensive route names in climbing, not on behalf of anyone else but simply because, while they don't directly offend me, I think that they're disgusting - because I disagree with racism/homophobia/anything that involves discriminating against others?

Very good points.

> Leaving aside the question of what the FA was trying to do in naming the route 'Wogs', the simple fact is that the word was used as a racial slur - it was a way of Person A being shit to Person B for no other reason than the colour of Person B's skin - and pointing out that it used to be perfectly acceptable now means absolutely nothing; it has become a hateful word. It's an awful term that brings to mind the very worst of humanity, and I don't want it to have anything to do with climbing.

Indeed. For the people being called wogs at the time, I dare say it always was a hateful word.
Post edited at 15:42
2
bpmclimb on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> I am suggesting that it grants them the courtesy of not making decisions, patronising them, of taking a preemptive paternalistic approach yes.

Well, I know sometimes the truth of a matter can be counter-intuitive. But (after further consideration), I don't think this qualifies. In fact I'm sure it doesn't. One could similarly argue for retaining the route name "Great! More Young Children to Fiddle With" by trying to claim that all the ensuing howls of protest came from closet paedophiles.

> No, I implied that those who wish to retain the names do not have an ulterior motive, such as racism.

Well, you're wrong about that, because some of them at least undoubtedly do. Racism exists in our society, and the climbing world is not somehow miraculously free from it. If I were looking for signs of racist tendencies, being comfortable with and wanting to retain racist names would be on the radar. You imply exactly the reverse, that being offended by and wanting to change those names is the more sinister indicator. That's simply ludicrous!
blackratdog - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

"Bollocks, utter steaming bollocks" would make a great route name. Future namers, please consider.
Big Ger - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Well, I know sometimes the truth of a matter can be counter-intuitive. But (after further consideration), I don't think this qualifies. In fact I'm sure it doesn't. One could similarly argue for retaining the route name "Great! More Young Children to Fiddle With" by trying to claim that all the ensuing howls of protest came from closet paedophiles.

If, during the 2010's your ludicrous and quite idiotic example of "Great! More Young Children to Fiddle With" was a common term, acceptable in society, you may have a point. A more pertinent example would be if someone were to name a climb "The Savile Feeling" these days, then you may have a point.

Except there is that climb at Hound Tor. So you'd best campaign to have it changed, and then w e can out the closet pedophiles who want it kept.

> Well, you're wrong about that, because some of them at least undoubtedly do.

Who wishes to retain the name due to "racism"? Come on, out them, let's see how many you can name.

You cannot name any can you, they are just a figment of your SJW fantasies.


> Racism exists in our society, and the climbing world is not somehow miraculously free from it.

Gasp, what blinding insight!

> If I were looking for signs of racist tendencies, being comfortable with and wanting to retain racist names would be on the radar.

You extrapolate to far, but don't let me interfere with your fantasies.

> You imply exactly the reverse, that being offended by and wanting to change those names is the more sinister indicator. That's simply ludicrous!

Again, you extrapolate to far. I hope your virtue is well and truly signaled now, and you can clean up your mess.

3
bpmclimb on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

It doesn't matter whether I can come up with a list of names; I'm saying that that being comfortable with and wanting to retain racist route names are attributes one might expect to find in a climber with racist tendencies. That seems entirely plausible to me. Apparently you think the exact opposite, which I find bizarre and disturbing. We might as well leave it at that.
1
Big Ger - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to bpmclimb:
> It doesn't matter whether I can come up with a list of names; I'm saying that that being comfortable with and wanting to retain racist route names are attributes one might expect to find in a climber with racist tendencies.

Ok, so you have ABSOLUTELY NO evidence of anyone who wants to retain the name "wogs" due to racism? They are all just figments of your fevered imagination. Imaginary people you have spun from whole cloth just to substantiate your point. Do you not see how that make you fall flat on your face?

So can you stretch your imagination any further than "being comfortable with and wanting to retain racist route names are attributes one might expect to find in a climber with racist tendencies," or are you happy just to dwell entirely within your prejudices?


> That seems entirely plausible to me. Apparently you think the exact opposite, which I find bizarre and disturbing. We might as well leave it at that.

Ah, anyone thinking differently to you is "bizarre" and you find them "disturbing", you really are very narrow in your thinking, and prejudiced, are you not?

That's the difference between us I suppose though, where as I can agree with your positions, as PART of the reason why a very, very, infinitesimally small minority of climbers may want to keep "wogs" as a route name, I can think and see beyond that.

Your welcome to your limitations, they grant you no privilege though.
Post edited at 22:39
3
bpmclimb on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

I find your shouting, bullying manner very unpleasant, and I find your ideas deeply suspect. I'm done with this thread now, so I'll just wish you good night.
1
ben b - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to stp:

> Well what is the extreme case? I've yet to see an example of a name that requires censoring.

Possibly because they have already been gently let slip. See some of John Redhead's gynaecological obsessions for instance - unnecessarily unpleasant and best left in his imagination rather than on the page.

Does it need to be censored? Technically probably not. Are most people happy that some of his route names don't receive wide coverage? Yes, probably.

I'm happy that the 'climbing community' has, over time, made that call - and reached consensus that the FA doesn't give the right cause offence (a rather different thing to offence being taken). Brilliant climber, talented man - with a need to display a misogynistic streak which is generally, and rightly I think, seen as unacceptable.

b



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