In reply to
> Looking forward to pithy responses about me being over-sensitive.
Not over-sensitive, but wrong in your understanding of the English language. This isn't to defend Tom's argument, which I think is idiotic, nor is it - before anyone tries to take the weaselly, not-reading-the-argument-and-implying-I'm-condoning-rape approach - in any way related to the vile crime being discussed. This is about language
"rape" was used for centuries to refer to the act of taking something by force, often in a destructive or violent manner. To quote from the Oxford English Dictionary's definitions of the verb "to rape":
1a. To take or seize (something) by force
1b. To pull or tear down
1c. To plunder, despoil (a place); to rob (a person).
2a. To carry off (a person) by force; esp. to abduct a woman, usually for the purpose of sexual violation.
2b. To transport with delight, to enrapture.
3. To violate (a person) sexually; to commit rape against (a person); esp. (of a man) to force (a woman) to have sexual intercourse against her will.
My point here being that the sexual-crime aspect is not the only
definition, and assuming as such in the context of discussing a bloke climbing a bit of rock is a little odd, and ignores the actual meaning of the word, not just what it's come to mean in recent decades (see also Alexander Pope's mock-epic poem The Rape of the Lock
(1717) which, while relating to a woman's chastity, centres on the violation of a woman's hair (an admirer taking
a lock of hair without asking) and the well-established phrase Graham mentions above, "rape of the land", to throw out a couple of things that immediately spring to mind).
So yes, "rape" is a strong wording, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with it; we can disagree with the point being made (that Honnold's ascent constitutes a violation of climbing ethics and shows a lack of respect), and the strength of feeling (as has been noted, what Honnold is doing is pretty harmless - neither violent nor destructive), but it is absolutely not a word that is inextricably tied to sexual violence, and anyone raising the issue is, quite simply, wrong.