UKC

Reclaim these Peaks - Women's Safety Outdoors is Everyone's Problem

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How secure do you feel out alone on the crags?

The murder of Sarah Everard has prompted many female runners, walkers and climbers to examine how safe they feel when out alone, and to discuss the measures they feel obliged to take in order to be less vulnerable. It is utterly wrong that women to have to curtail the activities they love due to the threat of male violence, says Ruth Keeley. This is not just an issue for society at large, but for the outdoor community too. 



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14
 Paddy_nolan 18 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

This was a really interesting and slightly scary read! 
 

A question that I feel has been left slightly unanswered is, how many women/young women within the outdoor industry have been subject to sexualised comments or sexual harassment, reported these events and then nothing has happened within the outdoor industry? 
 

Speaking from experience a few close female friends have been subject to this, reported the wrong doings to the governing body (rhymes with fountain training) and nothing happened. 
 

I think there needs to be a review? 

Post edited at 13:51
1
 climbingpixie 18 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I think the article is great and the suggestions at the end of simple things that men can do to help women feel more comfortable seem like sensible ideas.

One of the things that's really shocked me over the last week has been the number of women saying they don't feel safe to go out alone after dark. It's a tough one because women clearly do have genuine (and justified) concerns about their safety but effectively putting yourself under a curfew seems like an overreaction to the actual risk and I worry that the current conversation actually normalises that extreme fear. This isn't meant to trivialise the risks but the fact remains that it's more likely that a woman will be assaulted by someone she knows than snatched from Shipley Glen on a headtorch run. I don't know what the answer is but I find it really sad. I love running alone at night or being out on the hills independently and it's a crying shame that so many women feel excluded from something that can incredibly rewarding and empowering.

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Really good, if somewhat surprising, article. I have to say I'm upset at the level of anxiety in remote areas, where I'd (naively) though that the likelyhood of attack wouldn't be seen as something to factor in.

The suggestions for men are all really sensible things that I'd hope most of us do as a matter of course. However there was a UKC discussion on a similar subject a few years ago, although related to urban areas. I posted that if I found myself walking behind a lone woman at night I'd try to take an alternative route at the first opportunity or at least cross to the other side of the road so I didn't walk up behind her to pass and cause distress. I got a few comments of "That's a bit creepy". What's the female perspective on this?

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

It's difficult to know what we (men) can do to help so thank you for the list at the bottom of the article.

It saddens me that lone women have to consider this all the time, not a good reflection on our society.

In reply to climbingpixie:

> Effectively putting yourself under a curfew seems like an overreaction to the actual risk and I worry that the current conversation actually normalises that extreme fear. This isn't meant to trivialise the risks......

It is interesting that all but one of the quotes in the article refers to perceived risk/fear rather than to any actual incidents. Were women asked about actual incidents rather than their fear of one? Could it be that the perceived risk is out of proportion to the actual risk (as is well documented with other issues)? If so, the huge publicity currently around the issue is likely to widen the disparity. There was another thread in which a poster touched on this issue (perhaps rather clumsily and amongst other slightly crass stuff) and got shot down in flames and the thread pulled. Is there actual data from thorough surveys which would show the true level of risk? The article also says that there were fewer responses from women saying they felt safe, but it is probably likely that women who felt unsafe were more likely to respond.

I am not in any way trying to trivialise what is obviously a serious problem and recognise that fear itself, even if irrationaly exaggerated, is a problem, but a problem properly understood has got to be a good thing.

I would echo others in saying that the list at the end of the article is excellent - most men are not part of the problem but can still be part of the solution.

21
 marsbar 18 Mar 2021
In reply to Ridge:

That's considerate not creepy.  

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

BBC News - Sexual assault: 'One in 40' young women experience it each year
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56444275

Today's BBC. 

2
In reply to Robert Durran:

The fear lies precisely in the randomness and unpredictability of it happening, though. When half of the population has the potential to cause you significant harm, as demonstrated by statistics, specific stats relating to one area or another aren't going to do much to allay those fears. I know it seems counterintuitive, but fear isn't always rational and often it's about giving yourself a fighting chance (keys in fist, phone at the ready, just avoiding being alone at night, etc.). Women have to be constantly alert, because it's impossible to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys in a public space. We cross roads, change direction... just in case. We're not thinking of stats and odds.

Part of the reason why Sarah Everard's case has resonated with so many women and received a lot of media attention is because of the seemingly random nature of the murder (of course we don't have details yet, she may have known/been in contact with her murderer, but nothing has suggested this so far) plus the apparent abduction element.  

Women are most likely to be killed by their partner or an ex-partner (this applied to 61% of women killed by men in the UK in 2018), but when a woman happens to have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's easier for many of us to imagine: 'It could have been me.'

Media coverage of events like this certainly heightens awareness of your surroundings and puts you on edge, but if it also draws attention to the issues and opens this discussion of how men can help, then there should be something positive to come out of reporting on an awful situation. The truth is that if the media don't kick up a fuss, nothing will be done to resolve violence against women and girls. Look at how many murders go unreported, especially of women from BAME groups. 

Post edited at 17:58
15
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> BBC News - Sexual assault: 'One in 40' young women experience it each yearhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56444275

> Today's BBC. 

A shocking figure, but not really what the article is about. Aren't most sexual assaults on women by men known to the victim? The article is mostly about the fear of random men when out and about (though did touch on worrying about climbing partners). And I imagine the risk in the the great outdoors is relatively lower still. 

31
In reply to Robert Durran:

Many women have had a frightening experience at the hands of a man (known or unknown) be it “just” verbal or actually physical, in a home, on a street, in a park, city, town, public transport wherever. Unfortunately that influences future thoughts and behaviour and even if walking on a fell or mountain is in the lowest risk category, it’s hard to rationalise that in a traumatised brain so the hyper-awareness and, perhaps, overly cautious thinking still happens. 

In reply to wert:

> Many women have had a frightening experience at the hands of a man (known or unknown) be it “just” verbal or actually physical, in a home, on a street, in a park, city, town, public transport wherever. Unfortunately that influences future thoughts and behaviour and even if walking on a fell or mountain is in the lowest risk category, it’s hard to rationalise that in a traumatised brain so the hyper-awareness and, perhaps, overly cautious thinking still happens. 

Absolutely. That was part of what I was saying. Irrational fear is real fear. All the more reason to look at actual data for situations and try to be rational - and yes, I know that might not be at all easy. It is easy to come up with parallels in climbing.

26
In reply to Robert Durran:

Fear is fear. It's real, debilitating and can adversely impact on peoples lives.

It may be possible to do a bit of tapping on a calculator and declare it "irrational" on the balance of probability, but that doesn't really help the women whose lives are blighted by being unable to enjoy things most of us take for granted.

4
 afx22 18 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

At the weekend, while out mountain biking, a came to a group of about about 12 “youths’, hanging round under a bridge, in the middle of nowhere, in some woods.  I turned around and rode 2 miles out of my way to avoid any risk.  There may not have been an issue but I made a judgement call.  

In the past, I’ve been chased, shouted at, had people try to push me off my bike, throw things at me, chase me on mopeds, motorbikes and even a quad.  I’ve always got away but I’ve had friend who have not been so lucky.

While outdoors, I’ve also been attacked by dogs, many times, three of which meant a trip to hospital.  Each time the dogs were with their owners.

I’m appalled about men intimidating women (I have many female friends and colleagues who have suffered from this) - or worse - but I wanted to make a couple of points;

Feeling at risk from other humans (and sometimes their pets) is a huge issue.  I expect it is more common for men to pose a threat to women but I wanted to point out that women are not alone as victims, or potential victims.  

And while that threat is mainly from men, it’s not solely the case.  A small percentage of the time, the protagonists have been female, or a mixed bunch.

I’ve no idea how this problem is tackled but I think it’s an even bigger issue than some might think.

Post edited at 18:52
18
In reply to Ridge:

> Fear is fear. It's real, debilitating and can adversely impact on peoples lives.

Yes, nobody, least of all me, is disputing that.

> It may be possible to do a bit of tapping on a calculator and declare it "irrational" on the balance of probability, but that doesn't really help the women whose lives are blighted by being unable to enjoy things most of us take for granted.

I don't know. Why not, if the figures point that way (maybe they don't - one of my points was that we don't seem to know)? I am sure that irrational fears can be overcome in other circumstances.

14
In reply to Natalie Berry - UKC:

> We cross roads, change direction... just in case. We're not thinking of stats and odds.

It upsets me to think that somebody might have had to walk further than necessary simply because there was no way of telling whether I was a threat or not.

And the thing all these latest discussions is bringing home to me is that a vast number of women have to think like this every time they are out on their own.

Post edited at 19:03
 rockcat 18 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Men do have a role in assisting and the suggestions in the article are entirely sensible. Its not just women that have a problem though. Feeling and being unsafe isn't gender specific. As a man I take sensible precautions at night - staying in lit areas for example and avoiding alleyways. Its just as well as the annual statistics for men being killed are typically more than double those of women.  "In the past decade, there were 4,493 male victims of killings and 2,075 female victims (31%) in England and Wales."          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-56365412

21
 iccle_bully 18 Mar 2021
In reply to afx22:

> Feeling at risk from other humans (and sometimes their pets) is a huge issue.  I expect it is more common for men to pose a threat to women but I wanted to point out that women are not alone as victims, or potential victims.  

> And while that threat is mainly from men, it’s not solely the case.  A small percentage of the time, the protagonists have been female, or a mixed bunch.

> I’ve no idea how this problem is tackled but I think it’s an even bigger issue than some might think.

Just because awareness is being raised of breast cancer doesn't mean everyone has forgotten about or thinks that pancreatic cancer doesn't exist. 

I have experienced patronising comments, put downs, inappropriate stuff, pushy blokes who won't take no for an answer, wolf whistles, letching (men stood at the top of a crag to get a good look down my top) and I've had that in the countryside, in towns and in cities. Only once have I reported anything to police. All of these little digs leave a mark, and those marks lead me to modify my behaviour in part because none of those experiences were fun for me and also because it is well documented that criminal behaviours tend to escalate.

2
In reply to rockcat:

But I think the point is (generalising of course) that men think about these things only if they're alone in a dodgy area or if they see one or more people who they perceive as a possible threat (by looks or behaviour).

Whereas women think about it every time they go out alone.

Maybe I'm mostly in ok areas but most times I go out alone this kind of "threat" thought never even crosses my mind.

1
 Michael Gordon 18 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

To be honest, I'm still none the wiser about exactly what the problem is or what the solution may be. Crime and fear of crime really need to be separated out for clarity's sake. The data suggests that actual crime is low (more men are attacked outside than women) but that fear of crime is higher with women. Whether this is irrational or not is open to question, but ultimately rather academic. I suspect that men are more likely to feel as though they have a fighting chance against a potential attack and this may partly explain the differing levels of fear of crime. 

I'm not sure what the protests have been against. No point in protesting against violent criminals as they aren't going to listen. The suggestions for men at the end of the article are good, and I hope many men consider these anyway when out and about, but ultimately as long as violent crime continues to happen, fear of crime will continue to be an issue. 

Many have said that women shouldn't have to worry about threat of violent crime. No they shouldn't, but unfortunately there are some nasty people in the world. So lets be practical, not idealistic. Advice that women should avoid walking through parks after dark on their own in cities is good advice. I wouldn't do so either. I don't think it's right that a burglar should consider robbing my house, but locking the door is a practical way of making it less likely to happen. 

33
 Michael Gordon 18 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

On the question of rationality, it seems to me that one could equally make the point that men's relative lack of fear of crime compared to women is wide of the mark considering they are statistically more likely to be attacked outside. Alternatively, theoretically one could suggest that women's greater fear of crime prevents them from going into dangerous situations, and thus the actual crime statistics could be a partial result of this. Or there's the point I made above about men perhaps feeling as though they may have more of a fighting chance against a potential attacker.

But at the end of the day fear is a strong primitive feeling which is very difficult to reduce through ration or reason.  

3
 iccle_bully 18 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

You need to stop conflating crime and the every day experiences of sexism that women face. Having a bloke follow me down the street trying to chat me up and just not taking the hint is not a crime that is going to be reported to the police however it is something that I would wager most women have experienced at some point in their lives and it makes us feel unsafe. 

I appreciate men getting involved in this conversation but you are approaching it from the wrong perspective - this is not about finding a solution - this ain't cancer for which a cure can be found that will work for the majority - this is human behaviour and there is no one size fits all. Having the conversation is what is key here, raising awareness and developing a bit of understanding of the lived experiences of women across the country. 

10
In reply to iccle_bully:

> I appreciate men getting involved in this conversation but you are approaching it from the wrong perspective - this is not about finding a solution - this ain't cancer for which a cure can be found that will work for the majority - this is human behaviour and there is no one size fits all. Having the conversation is what is key here, raising awareness and developing a bit of understanding of the lived experiences of women across the country. 

So you are not expecting or even hoping the conversation (here or nationally) and raised awareness and understanding to lead to improved experiences for women?

20
 Michael Gordon 18 Mar 2021
In reply to iccle_bully:

> You need to stop conflating crime and the every day experiences of sexism that women face. Having a bloke follow me down the street trying to chat me up and just not taking the hint is not a crime that is going to be reported to the police however it is something that I would wager most women have experienced at some point in their lives and it makes us feel unsafe. > 

This is what I mean. I appreciate that this may be more about fear of crime than actual crime, but it doesn't help when the title of the article suggests the latter, but most of the piece is about the former.

19
In reply to iccle_bully:

Exactly - I've thankfully not experienced anything which would be a crime, but shouted comments from men driving past while I'm out on a run still puts me off doing it, and they're much more frequent at night. And obviously that kind of thing happens more often than serious incidents, but it reminds you that something worse could happen. 

The objective danger might be less in the countryside - but if there's no-one else around then the fear of how a situation could escalate is much worse.

Post edited at 20:03
1
 Michael Gordon 18 Mar 2021
In reply to iccle_bully:

> Having the conversation is what is key here, raising awareness and developing a bit of understanding of the lived experiences of women across the country. 

To what end? 

18
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Because this will result in the awareness of the next generation of men being higher, not just intellectually (as it is for you and I), but in the background conditioning of their growing up, so the proportion of "good" to "bad" men will (hopefully) change for the better.

It may take many generations for the situation to become much improved, it's taken generations to reduce racism and homophobia - they still exist, but they're not as bad as previously.

Post edited at 20:28
1
 gekitsu 18 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

another aspect to keep in mind beyond the statistics of how many women have been murdered, violated, or harassed, is the culture around these incidents – the way many of the (especially) less lethal cases are framed. ‘it’s a compliment, don’t get bent out of shape’ and similar notions express an environment in which things that make one feel unsafe (or contribute to it), are justified away. it’s not just how many times which things happen to whom, and whether a risk assessment is based on a large or small chance of happening, it’s also that many instances of bad things societally evaluate as events that legitimately happen, and we’re okay with it.

when we normalise, for example, that mens’ freedom to express any shade of boner at a complete stranger, in any circumstance, outweighs its effect on the women it’s directed at, we not only subject women to these effects, we also put them in a position where they are told that these effects are not important. that they are not going to be considered. that we (society) are going to ignore them. this is especially bad because it’s not something we can just solve, single-handedly, or remove ourselves from. it demands continued action to slowly change the course of the ship.

all in all, i’m with you, guys. i also was appaled when i first heard about how many things women are considering for every little everyday occurrence that i wouldn’t even think twice about, and how my best intentions can maybe do a small part in ameliorating it a bit, but not fully solve it. but let’s maybe consider listening to women more, and what they tell us how we can help, and not so much jumping at another variant of ‘but what was she wearing’ by trying to – again – blame women because their fears are not rational enough. even if it comes from the best intentions and honestly wanting to help.

 climbingpixie 18 Mar 2021
In reply to Indignancy:

> The objective danger might be less in the countryside - but if there's no-one else around then the fear of how a situation could escalate is much worse.

But it's vanishingly unlikely that something would happen. You're a climber so you must be used to assessing and managing risk - I'm not sure how you square that with the extreme risk aversion you express above.

12
In reply to Natalie Berry - UKC:

> Women are most likely to be killed by their partner or an ex-partner (this applied to 61% of women killed by men in the UK in 2018), but when a woman happens to have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's easier for many of us to imagine: 'It could have been me.'

Yes, I appreciate that even if the fear might be exaggerated. Climbing accidents can be similar.

> Media coverage of events like this certainly heightens awareness of your surroundings and puts you on edge, but if it also draws attention to the issues and opens this discussion of how men can help, then there should be something positive to come out of reporting on an awful situation. The truth is that if the media don't kick up a fuss, nothing will be done to resolve violence against women and girls.

I wasn't meaning to suggest that the media shouldn't kick up a fuss in order to, hopefully, bring about change. Just that it might be helpful to try to keep things in a rational perspective as well.

10
 climbingpixie 18 Mar 2021
In reply to Ridge:

> Fear is fear. It's real, debilitating and can adversely impact on peoples lives.

> It may be possible to do a bit of tapping on a calculator and declare it "irrational" on the balance of probability, but that doesn't really help the women whose lives are blighted by being unable to enjoy things most of us take for granted.

That's true but it's also not static. What would you say if someone told you they really wanted to learn to climb but were scared of heights? Would you write them off and say it's not worth trying to overcome the fear? Of course not, you'd tell them about how safe climbing is and how it's not as risky as people think. 

2
In reply to Robert Durran:

Stranger abduction & murder can be considered as one end of the spectrum of unwanted behaviour towards women. Thankfully, in the UK it is rare, but the fear of it is largely due to all the lesser events along the "unwanted behaviour towards women" spectrum, which many more women have direct experience of.

I suspect that if these lesser events did not occur, then the extreme events would be easier to properly risk assess without irrational (but understandable) fears overriding the risk assessment.

Also, what is considered "normal" along that spectrum by men, will to a large extent depend on what they have experienced. Remove (or at least cut down) the lesser events, and the "norm" will move further away from the extreme events making them (hopefully) even rarer.

2
 AukWalk 18 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

An interesting article, and it is sad to think that some women feel so uncomfortable outdoors on their own. I can sympathise with the fears I think - as a man I sometimes feel uncomfortable when out on my own in certain situations and imagine this being worse if I was conscious of being physically or sexually vulnerable.  Very occasionally I also get odd seemingly unprompted feelings of fear even when no one is around - a haunted rock somewhere nearby perhaps! 

That said it does highlight how useful it would be to actually have some statistics about crimes against women in the outdoors so people can properly judge whether their fears are founded or not based on reality rather than feelings based on how much attention something gets in the media.

Most of the recommendations seem like good things, although I'm not sure how the ones based around personal action rather than talking to kids or calling out friends will really deal with the actual problem of fear of being alone in the outdoors or the risk behind that fear. Regardless of actions we'll meaning individuals take to make women they pass more comfortable, the actual rate of crime against women in the outdoors will stay the same, so while a woman may feel happier passing a group that steps off the path to let her past, that won't change the actual risk of being assaulted out on the hills or her fear of being assaulted while out in the hills.

Personally I like to think I already do most of the recommended actions, both for men and women!  Things like stepping aside to let someone past should be something you do for everyone not just women in my books! The only one I don't do is "If you encounter a lone female give her a friendly hello or smile, take your hood down if you are wearing one, step aside [...] ". Personally that would just feel a bit of a creepy thing to do, and I know I'd be a bit unsettled if everyone I passed stepped aside and took their hood down to say hello. I like greeting others while out on the hills, but generally judge whether to greet them on a case by case basis. If someone looks my way and makes a bit of eye contact as we approach each other then I'll give them a cheery smile and greeting and maybe stop for a brief chat if they seem receptive, but if they're head down on a mission I won't bother other than maybe a brief 'hello' as we pass. To me this feels like normal behaviour, and I'd feel quite uncomfortable with the suggested behaviour both as the hypothetical man taking his hood down and smiling at every woman that walks past him, and the hypothetical woman being smiled at and greeted by men making a special effort to take their hoods down while standing to one side and smiling at her for some reason as she walks past. 

Post edited at 21:09
6
 jkarran 18 Mar 2021
In reply to iccle_bully:

> Just because awareness is being raised of breast cancer doesn't mean everyone has forgotten about or thinks that pancreatic cancer doesn't exist. 

They are two sides of the same problem though, the venn diagram of men who threaten men and men who threaten women (at least outside the home) seems pretty circular from what I see. It's not going to be popular to say but the stories women are telling of harassment in the street will be ringing bells with a lot of men who've experienced similar. The difference will be the increased potential sexual element but the menace is still real. We don't really get the frequent, smaller aggressions and intrusions though. 

All the talk this week of what men can do to help feels rather like preaching to the choir, there is a small subset of society beyond shame who this isn't reaching where the men it does reach have little influence. Maybe making people at the fringes think a bit helps. Maybe inspiring a more supportive interventionist approach from men who already aren't the active problem helps... Who knows. I hope something helps. 

Jk

7
 Michael Gordon 18 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Because this will result in the awareness of the next generation of men being higher, not just intellectually (as it is for you and I), but in the background conditioning of their growing up, so the proportion of "good" to "bad" men will (hopefully) change for the better.

> It may take many generations for the situation to become much improved, it's taken generations to reduce racism and homophobia - they still exist, but they're not as bad as previously.

OK, so possibly a long term goal of reducing actual crime. I can understand your reasoning and it's an interesting hypothesis and a worthy goal. Obviously any reduction in actual crime is good to strive for. But you will always get a few cases, and these perhaps even more noticeable as people are more shocked by an infrequent event, so unfortunately fear of crime is unlikely to go away.  

6
 Michael Gordon 18 Mar 2021
In reply to Natalie Berry - UKC:

> Media coverage of events like this certainly heightens awareness of your surroundings and puts you on edge, but if it also draws attention to the issues and opens this discussion of how men can help, then there should be something positive to come out of reporting on an awful situation. The truth is that if the media don't kick up a fuss, nothing will be done to resolve violence against women and girls. 

I still struggle to get my head round the above. It seems the best way men can help is to be at pains to not appear threatening. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it does nothing to reduce violent crime. Nor really does it reduce fear of crime which has been brought to the fore in the media not because of everyday issues of sexism but because of a single incident of violent crime. I would love for there to be no violent crime perpetuated against women or men in our country but unfortunately it's just not going to happen. 

12
In reply to climbingpixie:

> That's true but it's also not static. What would you say if someone told you they really wanted to learn to climb but were scared of heights? Would you write them off and say it's not worth trying to overcome the fear? Of course not, you'd tell them about how safe climbing is and how it's not as risky as people think. 

There's a subtle difference. It's not the inherent risk of the enjoyable activity (climbing, running, walking etc) that can be mitigated by elements in your control. It's a completely random external factor.

As for fear, you deal with that by controlled exposure to increasing stimulation, e.g. get comfortable on Diffs and V Diffs, then move on. You can't reasonably do that with fear of being harrased. 

It's (in my male opinion) akin to bullying. Increasing exposure doesn't desensitise you, it increases the fear. You don't move up the grades with practice.

I do agree getting out and doing the activity, (with nothing happening), will give a better perspective on the actual risk though.

1
 climbingpixie 18 Mar 2021
In reply to Ridge:

Yeah, it's not a perfect analogy, just seemed appropriate on a climbing forum. Perhaps a better analogy would be that of a car swerving across the road and hitting you when you're driving. It's not something you have any control over, it's entirely in the hands of someone else and you can't mitigate the risk or tell which driver it might be. It certainly happens and I'm sure is responsible for some portion of the c.1700 people who die each year on the road. But if someone told you they wouldn't drive or restricted which roads they drove on because they were scared of it happening you'd think it was irrational.

Post edited at 22:04
4
In reply to climbingpixie:

> But if someone told you they wouldn't drive or restricted which roads they drove on because they were scared of it happening you'd think it was irrational.

Not necessarily. When I cycle (vulnerable road user) I notice plenty of drivers looking at their phones. I haven't stopped riding on roads because of that but I've heard stories of other people who have. Isn't that analogous in some ways to, say, a violent sexual assault and, say, catcalling or just stupid men thinking it's OK to make sexualised comments to passing women? The former IS very unlikely, but because you experience the latter you are all too aware that the former is possible. The people looking at their phones while driving are exactly the type who are far more likely to plough into you in their car or van. Hence you are permanently nervous that any drivers might be looking at their phone.

In reply to TobyA:

That’s a good point and in addition to some points made by others something that is undeniable is, in a one on one scenario, most men are stronger than most women and if they decide they want to assault us, we’re likely to come off worse. Men can sexually assault a woman with relative ease if that’s their aim. 

The statistics do show men are attacked too, but I would dare to suggest that fewer of these assaults are sexually motivated (I’m only guessing here though). Certainly the difference in strength would probably be smaller - although I accept that men who want to attack other men might pick on those men they see as easy targets. I have no experience of that particular scenario, but the fear of the former happening anywhere is not irrational if you have life experience of it. 

Most men are capable of overpowering most women if they so choose - fortunately most men don’t, but there will always be those who do and the odd one of them might like walking in the mountains. 

In reply to climbingpixie:

That's a much better analogy. I wonder if people are more disturbed by the thought of malicious actions rather than random 'accidents'?

I manage to trip over my own feet running a few times a year and I've had a few injuries that way. Getting punched by someone is more upsetting than than much greater damage caused by tripping up, so maybe tgat factors in to it.

 climbingpixie 18 Mar 2021
In reply to TobyA:

You might be nervous but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll stop doing it. Especially if the statistics suggest that, though close passes might happen more frequently than you'd like, accidents themselves are actually rare. That doesn't mean the fear isn't real, it doesn't mean we don't put our efforts into improving road safety and educating drivers and it doesn't mean we shouldn't prosecute drivers for a range of offences, from the close pass to the catastrophic crash. It just means that stopping cycling because of the fear that someone will crash into you might be an overreaction. 

Honestly, I'm just surprised that a community of climbers doesn't take a more nuanced approach to risk assessment and the difference between real and perceived risk. And of the balance between risk and reward. I accept that running alone at night or going out into the mountains on my own might slightly increase my risk (from everything from stranger danger to hypothermia) but it's worth it for the freedom. I'm not going to allow the threat of male violence stop me from doing what makes me happy.

Post edited at 23:05
3
 scoth 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

To some of the men on here - How can men help?

Start with...

Put your rationality calculator in the drawer, stick your tool box in the cupboard and simply listen to what women are saying. Then imagine for moment what it’s like to walk in their shoes. 

If you must reply, then why not just simply show you’ve heard what’s been said, instead of interrogating, harassing the points and experiences that have been made and implying it’s all in the head.

If you cannot bring yourself to do any of the above, then you are the problem. So please go and seek some help.

28
In reply to scoth:

> If you cannot bring yourself to do any of the above, then you are the problem. 

The problem being discussed in the article is male harrassment and violence against women and, in particular, the effects of the fear that stems from it.

14
In reply to scoth:

I think it's understandable to feel that way about some of the responses here, but honestly - isn't being realistic about the actual risk part of the solution? 

I can totally see why women fear attack more than men; I don't know any of my female friends who haven't experienced harassment on the street at some point. It's easy to draw a straight line between those events and more serious attacks, and conclude that such attacks are a serious risk.

We should do absolutely everything imaginable so that women don't have to put up with that sort of behaviour.

It's also true that violent attacks on women are shockingly common - but they are overwhelmingly committed by people they know. It doesn't help when many articles on the subject fail to make this distinction (not this one, which I thought was very good). It's not surprising that the vast majority of women feel unsafe on the streets. 

I've been horrified over the last few weeks by stories of women who won't leave the house at all once the sun sets; by the women who keep keys in their hands; by the fact that almost every women has felt like this; that women I know won't boulder alone in certain spots. This is appalling, and no women should feel like they aren't safe to be outside.

But if the fear women feel is out of proportion to the actual risk they face, isn't it important to bring that up as part of the conversation? Isn't it important when providing stats about how many women are attacked each year, to point out that the majority are not committed by strangers. That 70% of attacks on women are actually in the home? That men are actually 3x more likely to be attacked by someone they don't know? 

None of this is mentioned in order to belittle the fear and violence and harassment women are subject to, but instead I hope it is mentioned to provide useful context, and to help women feel safe again. Surely that's not a bad thing to be doing in this conversation?

Post edited at 01:00
4
 Hati W 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I hope you don't mind me weighing in here, but I think a big take home from this article (and movement) is to recognise sexual harassment for what it is and call it out when you see it (AKA be an ally).

We're not talking about crime statistics here, but of the everyday unreported sexual harassment that women experience and which affects how they perceive the male view of them. 

I had experienced frequent and mortifyingly public sexual harassment and intimidation by the time I was 14. In fact I quit my first job because of the humiliation, no one else ever called it out so I assumed it was my fault and just the way things were.

What does that say to a 14 year old girl? From an early age experience teaches you that you are nothing more than a sexualised target. What's more it must just be normal because no one else seems to think anything of it.

I'm sure no one in this thread is going around sexually harassing teenagers, but I'm sure we're all guilty of not calling out a friend or stepping in when we perhaps should have. If we can begin to acknowledge, recognise and call out harassment and microaggressions, we can hopefully move in a direction where women don't grow up expecting to be harassed or attacked by strangers all the time. 

1
 Blanche DuBois 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> To be honest, I'm still none the wiser about exactly what the problem is or what the solution may be.

There's quite a few "tone deaf" comments on here, but this one really takes the biscuit. 

> more men are attacked outside than women

Sigh.  Ever thought that the nature and motivations behind these attacks are different?

> but that fear of crime is higher with women. Whether this is irrational or not is open to question,

Damn these hysterical women...

> I'm not sure what the protests have been against. No point in protesting against violent criminals as they aren't going to listen.

Perhaps the protests aim to raise awareness of the issue in the hope that some steps can be taken to persuade fathers and potential fathers to raise their sons to respect women.  And it's not just about violent criminals - there's a wider discussion to be had about general attitudes from a (significant) minority of men towards women that promotes fear whilst out alone - which isn't just about violent attacks; these might be rare, but other types of behavior aren't.

> Many have said that women shouldn't have to worry about threat of violent crime. No they shouldn't, but unfortunately there are some nasty people in the world. So lets be practical, not idealistic. Advice that women should avoid walking through parks after dark on their own in cities is good advice. I wouldn't do so either. I don't think it's right that a burglar should consider robbing my house, but locking the door is a practical way of making it less likely to happen. 

This all smacks horribly of victim blaming. The point is that women should not have to modify their behaviour to accommodate the obnoxious behaviour men. 

This isn't rocket science and it's depressing to have to have the same stupid discussion over and over again.

17
 Michael Gordon 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Hati W:

I read through your post and I agree that calling out sexual harassment when they see it is a very useful thing men can do. Thanks for sharing your experience, which can't have been easy. 

 Michael Gordon 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> There's quite a few "tone deaf" comments on here, but this one really takes the biscuit. 

And this one of yours. You seem to have read my whole post and misconstrued pretty much every point I made.

> Sigh.  Ever thought that the nature and motivations behind these attacks are different?

That may be true, but it doesn't make the prospect of getting violently attacked any more pleasant.

> Damn these hysterical women...

I was responding to the rationality question which had been brought up earlier. If you hadn't selectively quoted me you'd have taken note that my next words about the topic were "but ultimately rather academic".

> This all smacks horribly of victim blaming. The point is that women should not have to modify their behaviour to accommodate the obnoxious behaviour men. 

Sigh. No-one has said anything about blaming women. I was making the point that we can not expect violent criminals to change their behaviour, and if there are some simple steps we can take to keep ourselves safer then it makes sense to do so. But it isn't compulsory.

> This isn't rocket science and it's depressing to have to have the same stupid discussion over and over again.

If you're looking for a crime-free world then it's going to be somewhat more difficult than rocket science.

11
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> This all smacks horribly of victim blaming.

Why? Nobody is blaming anyone except the men who do the harassing.

> The point is that women should not have to modify their behaviour to accommodate the obnoxious behaviour of men. 

Of course. The ideal is obviously to arrive at a situation where women never feel the need to do so. Unfortunately, as has been made very clear to all of us recently, that is not the case at the moment.

8
 C Witter 19 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

The context of violence against women is the deep inequality of our society. Women have dramatically less wealth and less power. Women's labour is systematically exploited and this is the material basis of women being treated as second-class citizens. Economic expropriation is intrinsically linked to the ownership men feel over women's bodies.

So... I would say, men don't just need to cross the road or challenge harassment. They need to act in solidarity with women to determinedly tear down this system of inequality.

Just look at the covid-19 crisis: nurses, cleaners, carers, teachers, supermarket workers and parents - women have disproportionately been on the frontlines in tackling this virus. Not to mention doing more work at home, where they've been more at risk of domestic abuse. Throughout the last year, women have been more at risk, and they've done more of the heavy lifting.

So when the government instituted a public sector pay freeze, a mere 1% "increase" for nurses, and a cuts to housing benefit - it was spitting in the faces of women everywhere, and deepening the inequalities that produce gendered violence.

Post edited at 08:36
7
 Richard Horn 19 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

The issue is obviously perception of fear and so I think everyone has a responsibility to make others feel safe, and so I welcome the list of what men can do to help in this article. 

One thing that surprised me was that the author mentioned feeling intimidated by groups of mountain bikers, I would have thought the presence of a group (even if all male) would provide re-assurance, especially if they are obviously there to enjoy the outdoors.

One thing I have noticed recently out running - when running up behind people on remote paths I have always made my presence obvious from a distance (clearing of the throat at 20 yards...), I have been taking extra care with social distancing, but it seems a few people (both male and female) wear headphones when out walking, dont hear my throat clearing at 20 yards, or even the loud excuse me at 5 yards, then give me a massive startled look when I run past them....

Post edited at 08:37
6
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I find the question of why so many women feel so scared out in the mountains very interesting. My understanding is that on the list of risks, being attacked by a man is very low, as good as negligible.  The greatest risk out alone is being seriously injured or physically incapacitated in some way.  I also wonder why I don't feel threatened by men when it seems so many other women do.

To make any sense of it there needs to be evidence.  How many lone women have been attacked by men out on the hills?

I've lost count of the number of times I've been out alone and a man has asked me if anyone knows where I am or has "helpfully" directed me to the nearest footpath while I am doing a recce in a remote spot. Once while out camping alone with my young son on a remote mountainside one of the last walkers down desperately tried to persuade me to go home to "safety" and asked me what I would do if someone walked up and attacked me!  My reply was that if they had just walked up the route we'd come up, I could probably just push him over.

The list of advice to men is very helpful, but add to that, please be assured that women out alone are likely to be perfectly competent and safe.  Develop that as a starting point, not an assumption that they need helping, or rescuing or are frightened.  You can always change your mind if matters develop unexpectedly!

But behind this is something that could be a major factor in why so few women work in the outdoor industry, but perhaps not.  We need evidence to know.  In the meantime, if any women are feeling worried about being out on the mountains alone, first ask yourself where these feelings are from and then, like conquering any fear, get out and challenge it in steps that you can manage.  Before you know it, you too will be enjoying the rewards of solitude on the mountains.

1
 Elyse Farhi 19 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Really good article.  Someone asked a question on one of the forums about what women would change in the climbing world to make things better.  I couldn't really think of anything.

But this article touched on a subject that hit me quite hard.

I used to go hiking on my own all the time on quiet tracks when I was younger, and but after experiencing a couple non-violent but slightly sobering encounters with strangers I realized that I just couldn't feel safe doing this.  It was a shame because being in the wilderness on your own is amazing and I truly felt like I was missing out on a connection with the outdoors by "wussing out" of trips by myself.

Years later I've bailed from going bouldering in the woods alone when I had a few days off on my own because I didn't feel like I could properly relax. I felt pathetic and disappointed in myself.

It's pretty normal to be groped by strangers when you are out in a bar, cat-called in public and sexually harassed in urban spaces.  I've been followed by men walking through town and I will pretty much always take one ear plug out if I'm walking on my own through quieter areas.  So although the people you might bump into in the middle of the wild are more likely to be like-minded outdoorsy people, it's very difficult to separate yourself from the thoughts of what people do out in public spaces, and what they might do in the middle of nowhere. 

I'm sure there's loads of braver women out there, but maybe some of my experiences have left a scar.  It does feel like there's some hope that women will start to feel safer in all outdoor scenarios.

 MonkeyPuzzle 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Hati W:

Thanks Hati.

Yes, men. We can talk to our sons, our brothers, our friends, our dads even. We can not laugh at grim sexist jokes and instead call them out. We can tell that friend who says something demeaning about women that what they've said is unacceptable and why. Just like any incident triangle, for every murder of a woman by a random man there'll be hundreds and hundreds of low level incidents of cat calling, street harassment and other common or garden misogynistic behaviour. By calling out and reducing the low level stuff in any way we can have an effect on the big stuff that feels out of reach. Societal behavioural change.

Realistically there needs to be conversations happening led by schools and communities as well, as this stuff gets passed down in many families and insulated from us "virtual signalling do-gooders", but calling out what we hear or see when we can is a good start I'd say.

 Offwidth 19 Mar 2021
In reply to midgets of the world unite:

I'd be loathe to say overwhelmingly. For a start street harrassment is probably majority the opposite. Even with rape of women 13% of a very large number annually are commited by strangers (probably 10,000 of maybe approaching 200,000 from crime survey data).

I'd say that we have a scandalously major social problem in respect of harrassment and sexual crimes, and in how they are dealt with. Too many people don't report such crime and successful prosecutions are way too low according to the legal research (currently around 1500 convictions, so of the order of 1% of likely rapes); and of those the evidence indicates probation decisions probably need tightening to reduce public risk. At a time when education and support are as needed as much as ever, funding for those is under the most pressure in recent decades. The government in sentencing guidelines seem more worried  about minor damage to statues than major damage to citizens.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/sexualoffendingvictimisationandthepaththroughthecriminaljusticesystem/2018-12-13

Apologies for hijacking the thread somewhat but I think all aspects of the related subject are important from how people feel out running to successful prosecution of serious violent crime.

 climbingpixie 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Annabel Tall:

Good post. It reminded me of when two kindly German blokes tried to rescue me in France. I was walking down from Ceuse on a beautiful clear night. The moon was so full and bright it illuminated everything so I had no need of the headtorch in my rucksack. My boyfriend walks faster so he'd gone on ahead a way and I was just mooching along at my own speed. A couple of guys caught up with me and were very concerned about me being out alone and with no light, offering to walk me down between them. I explained the situation and assured them I was fine but even still, they slowed right down ahead of me to keep an eye on my wellbeing. In the end I had to ask them to go as their headtorches were ruining my night vision! It was very kind and considerate of them and I'm not criticising their actions or intentions but I do wonder whether they'd have been quite so persistent in their helpfulness if I was a man...

In reply to Elyse Farhi:

Don't ever let yourself be worn down by undesired familiarity with "normal" into thinking that it is in any way the same as acceptable.

Stay strong.

 Hutson 19 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Good article.

Sexual harassment started at a disturbingly young age (I remember my mum being disgusted by a man in a shop who couldn't stop leering at me when I was about 13). If I posted every incident I can remember I'd be here a long time. A few times it has gone beyond harassment and veered into worse. Granted, urban settings are definitely much worse for this.

However, because of this, statistics or not, it's a struggle to push away the fear when I'm out alone. And I do still go out alone, because I'm very stubborn, but it's always in the back of my mind, and that's wearing.

It was something I had to consider a couple of years ago when I met up with a kind person from this forum so that I could climb with him for a day while on holiday in Cyprus (my husband doesn't climb and preferred to spend the day elsewhere looking at ruins). Given said forummer has a wife (who came with us) and seemed fine from his other posts I decided on balance I was likely ok (not an exact science but I really, really wanted to climb). Luckily I was right and I had a great day with them (thanks again!) As it happened I still had to politely decline no less than three random men trying to insist I got in their cars or vans at the bus stop at the end of the day (two were very persistent and wouldn;t go away for ages, that was fun). Probably that was just a reflection of the fact that they knew the bus service was crap but I couldn't take the risk.

On the subject of saying hello, funnily enough while I like saying a cheery hello to other walkers when out walking in the country, I find men I don't know saying hello to me in the city quite creepy, because strangers in the city generally don't talk to each other. You could say they're only being friendly, but I doubt they're saying hello to other men. And these guys never say hello when I'm with my husband.

 GrahamD 19 Mar 2021
In reply to climbingpixie:

You highlight a real conundrum here.  When a genuine offer of help (possibly motivated by knowing the worries some/many women have travelling alone) is put into the same 'unwanted attention' bracket as a sexual harassment.  From the woman's perspective they are both 'unwanted attention ' and from the man's perspective the motivations are polar opposite.

2
 climbingpixie 19 Mar 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

Interesting point. I hadn't put them both in the same bracket in my head - yes, they're both unwanted attention but there's a huge difference between stuff that's coming from a place of good intentions vs sexual harassment. I had no problem with the guys above offering their help, my irritation came when they ignored my assurances that I was absolutely fine. Conversely, I was really grateful to the bloke who stopped to check I was alright when I was having a bit of a 'mare on an icy piste last winter and had got myself a bit stuck and scared at the side. He calmed me down, gave me some good advice and kept an eye on me until I reached the bottom. I'd hate it if people stopped doing things like that because they were scared of causing offence.

I think where things get a bit sticky is when it's a cumulative issue. A single bloke asking a woman if she's OK while she's out on the mountain is fine but when it's a succession of men it can start to erode your confidence, especially when you realise it doesn't happen to the blokes you know. But how is an individual man going to know that? Perhaps the answer lies in examining your (not you specifically, the general you) own biases and whether there's something inside that makes you more likely to think a woman needs help when she's looking at a map than a man would do.

 afx22 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Hutson:

I grew up in the north and it was normal for people to say “hello” to strangers most of the time.  

I moved to the south and people seemed so unfriendly.  If I said “hello“ to them they’d look scared, surprised and so on.

Every time I’d travel back home, it would be really noticeable that strangers were much more friendly (in a genuine way).  Thankfully I live back in the north.

So strangers saying “hello” might not be so creepy, depending on where you live.

 S Ramsay 19 Mar 2021
In reply to afx22:

If a man greets a woman who they don't know on the street in the centre of Leeds or Manchester that is still creepy and likely threatening. Excusing it on the grounds that people in the North are just friendlier* doesn't cut it. In a small village where everyone genuinely greets everyone then it may be acceptable but from mid sized towns upwards this simply doesn't happen

*In my experience, this is entirely superficial anyway, having lived in both I have encountered far more hostility in the North due to minute differences to the locals than I have ever have in the South

4
 Hutson 19 Mar 2021
In reply to afx22:

Yes, I notice this when I visit my husband's family in their Preston village and people chat to me at the bus stop (again, while waiting for a bus so I could abandon him to go and climb at Westview...there's a theme here). It felt odd at first but I know it's normal now. (I like the way they thank bus drivers too and had started doing the same in London pre-covid even though it can get you some funny looks.)

It's practically against the law to speak to strangers in London though. The Daily Mash did a sketch on a northerner causing mass panic by smiling and saying hello to people in London which is pretty accurate. I don't think most of the men who've randomly said hello to me down here were confused northerners on their first trip to London.

 afx22 19 Mar 2021
In reply to S Ramsay:

Ok, your experience and perspective are different to mine.  It makes me happy when people are friendly to me (and each other).

 Hutson 19 Mar 2021
In reply to S Ramsay:

Agreed; I've wandered the streets of Manchester alone after a trip was rained off and no one spoke to me which was fine by me.

 iccle_bully 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Don't ever let yourself be worn down by undesired familiarity with "normal" into thinking that it is in any way the same as acceptable.

> Stay strong.

Being strong is exhausting, women are asking for men's help to fight the battle. As someone mentioned above, be an ally. But being an ally means being proactive, doing nothing reinforces the status quo. 

4
 spenser 19 Mar 2021
In reply to S Ramsay:

Why is acknowledging someone's existence threatening?

I'll frequently say good afternoon etc while out in the hills if it's relatively quiet (I wouldn't say it on a busy day on Mam Tor, I have equally stopped and had 10-15 minute conversations with people going the opposite way to me on a Munro before and wound up chatting to someone for an hour and a half on the way back down from Bynack More simply because we were going the same way at about the same pace and our paths had crossed. I will typically say it when I am around town at night as my perception is that a smiley face and a "Good Evening" is less threatening than no acknowledgement at all). That doesn't vary between sexes, although I wouldn't strike up a conversation with a stranger on a walk home at night.

Having grown up in the North East this is what I picked up when I went out on public transport with my grandma, there's nothing creepy or threatening intended at all, just politeness.

2
In reply to iccle_bully:

But at the moment all I (& other men) can do is keyboard support.

When I next go out I can try and keep those "rules" from the article in mind - I think I was generally ok on them anyway just as normal decent behaviour but it's good to have my vision widened by others' perspective.

I can only really be proactive if I ever come across a "situation" and hopefully all this keyboard stuff will help ensure I then react correctly.

1
In reply to spenser:

It's similar to not being able to (nowadays) say hello to a child without being suspected of being a paedophile - even typing that felt creepy, how things change.

Unfortunately, I think that's just a sacrifice we have to bear with today's society - less overt "stranger" friendliness to help protect from the small minority that will inflict much worse. I can't see any way to reconcile that whilst these problems still exist in any significant amount.

 ebygomm 19 Mar 2021
In reply to climbingpixie:

I've found it interesting and surprising to read some of the discussions around this. They're so far removed from my own reality. It does make me wonder how much of an outlier I am, or whether it's only those with fears, rational or otherwise, that are taking part in the discussion.

1
 S Ramsay 19 Mar 2021
In reply to spenser:

Way to misconstrue my post, I was clearly talking about urban settings. In the countryside I routinely greet people and I can detect no difference in etiquette between the North and the South in the regard.

In 18 years of living in Buxton, Sheffield and Barrow in Furness I cannot recall a single stranger greeting me on the street just to be friendly (I am a man). Therefore, if women are being greeted on the street it clearly isn't just down to friendliness because that is not the culture in any town or city that I have visited.

4
 S Ramsay 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

I think that it has always been this way. I have a female friend who some decades ago as a young woman decided to embody the Northern friendly spirit and give a hello and a smile to everyone she passed in her part of Manchester. On her first day of this, enough of the men who she did this to then latched onto her assuming that she wanted sex that she never repeated this.

It may be in the past people were more at ease with making conversation with others when it was clear that would be in proximity to them for some time, in a queue or on public transport for example, but I don't think that there was ever been a time when you could just talk to a stranger on a pavement and it be entirely acceptable

 chrishedgehog 19 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

My daughter is 14 and I WAS actively encouraging her to go biking / outdoors independently as much as possible. I am mindful of threat from men but I would always have balanced that with the need for her to live her life. Hopefully we have got that balance about right. Recently I had a very weird experience that informs how I now operate outdoors on my own. (I am an adult male by the way.) 

Last year I was bouldering alone at Swastika Stones on Ilkley Moor, up above the millionaires' mansions, a friendly and benign spot. As the sun set, I saw a man walking up the path a few hundred yards away. He was staring at me. I gave him a friendly wave and said hello. He said hello back so quickly that he interrupted me. He turned off the path, speeded up and headed straight across the bracken towards me. He was not wearing outdoorsy clothing. It was getting dark. I couldn't put my finger on it but all my internal warning bells went off. I dropped down off my boulder and decided to move along out of sight to give him some space. 

After a quick jog I was a couple of hundred yards away again. I changed out of my climbing shoes and stood up so that I could see across the bracken again. When he caught sight of me, he was close enough to say something, but he remained silent. He did change direction though. He headed straight towards me again, once more leaving the path he had joined to go straight into the bracken. I didn't like that. He was large and physically imposing so I decided to get out of his way again. 

I moved down below his line of sight and ran for a while until I found somewhere to sit where I could watch him but he couldn't see me. He found my stuff but completely ignored it. He then spent about a quarter of an hour looking for me. He never called out or made a noise. 

After he had gone, I waited until it was dark enough to cover me on the exposed moor and then walked back down by a different path to the one he came up on. He was waiting in the woods at the bottom. After a long time he went down to his car which was parked right next to mine. Finally he drove away. 

I have no idea if he meant to freak me out, or if he meant any harm, but I was extremely freaked out. I'm very glad I decided to react when I did. I imagine my daughter in that situation and reflect that whatever the guy was up to, it would have felt deeply threatening to her, or anyone else who was alone and exposed up there at night. 

It is so deeply regrettable that women have to live pretty much ALL THE TIME with vigilance and awareness of the threat of men but I don't see them having a choice. They have to live like that. We are having to bring our daughter up like that. It would be naive not too. 

 deepsoup 19 Mar 2021
In reply to afx22:

On the subject of greeting a stranger as we pass on the street or on a footpath half way up a mountain - I think there's a bit of nuance being left out here in that most of us can tell pretty accurately whether someone is receptive to that after observing their body language for a few seconds.

There are those with autism and such who find other people difficult to read, and those whose eyesight is impaired of course, but the rest of us can telegraph "I'm friendly and I'm going to say hello in a minute", or "I don't want to talk to you, leave me alone" quite clearly and receive the same message from them at a fair old distance through posture, facial expression, eye-contact etc.  Most humans are amazingly good at that, we usually do it without thinking about it or even realising that we are doing it.

What's creepy is when one person (male/female/whatever) is avoiding eye-contact for example and clearly doesn't want a conversation, but the other person (invariably but not quite always male) ignores that and tries to start one anyway.

S Ramsey says in a later post:
>  I cannot recall a single stranger greeting me on the street just to be friendly (I am a man).

I can.  It happens to me fairly often, but here's the thing - give or take the odd overenthusiastic chugger, it only happens to me when I'm in the mood to be receptive to it.

 Tia 19 Mar 2021
In reply to S Ramsay:

I think its more an issue of population density.  In the middle of a crowded city centre you can't possibly say hello to everyone you meet, but if you are walking in a quiet street and passing someone I find it really odd and rather uncomfortable when people don't make eye contact. For me it's the polite and friendly thing to do to smile at someone in passing - whether males or female - and makes me feel much more comfortable and at ease with the world. 

 deepsoup 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> It's similar to not being able to (nowadays) say hello to a child without being suspected of being a paedophile - even typing that felt creepy, how things change.

Not saying you should feel any different, but I don't experience that fear of being suspected of being a paedophile, really, at all.  I mean I understand what you're talking about obviously, but can't think of a time I've felt inhibited by it.  I don't go round randomly greeting children obviously, but I'll certainly reply if they say hello to me.

Following on from my post above, if it's a small child and they're accompanied by a parent I might not necessarily speak to the parent, but there's definitely at least some non-verbal communication there - eye contact, smile, nod etc.  It would probably be creepy af to interact with the child otherwise.

If it's a kid big enough to be out and about independently, they're big enough to interact with strangers on their own too so that's cool.  (In public, obviously.)

Post edited at 15:08
In reply to Annabel Tall:

> I find the question of why so many women feel so scared out in the mountains very interesting. My understanding is that on the list of risks, being attacked by a man is very low, as good as negligible.  The greatest risk out alone is being seriously injured or physically incapacitated in some way.  I also wonder why I don't feel threatened by men when it seems so many other women do.

I can mitigate the risks of being seriously injured or physically incapacitated while climbing or hiking because I am in control and know my limitations (hopefully). If something looks risky for me I avoid it, turn round, down climb etc.. Of course accidents can happen but since they are accidents those risks aren’t quite the same, they don’t involve another person with free will. The only influence I have to keep myself safe from unwanted attention is to be extra vigilant. This doesn’t mean I don’t do things on my own, it just means I factor it in. 

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

> I have always had to consider the risk from climbing partners, and it's become just another thing to plan into the day: will that slope avalanche as we try to cross it, and how likely is my partner to try to attack me?

I'm absolutely staggered by this quote. The bond of climbing, the trust you have to have in one another, putting your LIFE in someone elses hands...I'm shocked that anyone could or would betray that trust by attacking a fellow climber.

4
 iccle_bully 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Shani:

> I'm absolutely staggered by this quote. The bond of climbing, the trust you have to have in one another, putting your LIFE in someone elses hands...I'm shocked that anyone could or would betray that trust by attacking a fellow climber.

Domestic violence is perpetrated by the person you share your life with, the person you should trust the most and are the most intimate with, yet a climbing partner shocks you more...?

9
In reply to iccle_bully:

> Domestic violence is perpetrated by the person you share your life with, the person you should trust the most.

So more scope for abuse or controlling behaviour? I think I would probably be more shocked at a climbing partner.

1
 RBonney 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Hutson:

Could you start a thread where women post every time they experience unwanted attention or harassment? Unfortunately it sounds like it would take a lot of time but I could see it making people aware of just how frequently it happens. 

baron 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> So more scope for abuse or controlling behaviour? I think I would probably be more shocked at a climbing partner.

The quote was about climbing with strangers and getting into cars to go climbing  with people who are strangers.

I’d be cautious doing those things as a male never mind a female.

Given the possible risks involved it would be more prudent to climb with regular partners. Unless you’re a guide or instructor of some sort when this isn’t always/often possible.

1
In reply to baron:

> The quote was about climbing with strangers and getting into cars to go climbing  with people who are strangers.

Sorry, yes, I hadn't looked back at the quote in the context in the article; I was thinking of established partners rather than on spec strangers. 

baron 19 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Sorry, yes, I hadn't looked back at the quote in the context in the article; I was thinking of established partners rather than on spec strangers. 

That’s the way I interpreted it at first.

It wasn’t until I went back and reread the article that I saw the context.

In reply to iccle_bully:

> Domestic violence is perpetrated by the person you share your life with, the person you should trust the most and are the most intimate with, yet a climbing partner shocks you more...?

My wife doesn't climb and i can't think of a way I'd have to trust my life to her the way i do with a climbing partner. In a single evening at the wall you trust your climbing partner to lower you off routes, never mind holding falls. For me, climbing partnerships have always exemplified total trust in a fellow human.

I'd be mortified if the person who was literally holding my life in their hands was worried i was going to attack them. That fear & suspicion is good for neither of us.

Post edited at 22:38
3
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Great article.

As predicted, it’s depressing the amount of gaslighting here disguised (poorly) as debate and discussion by the many male users who feel the need to point out things like violence against men, irrational vs rational fear, and needing to ‘look at crime statistics’. You’re missing the point. 

1. Stop talking about violence against men and assuming comparison. This is a discussion about the pervasive unwanted behaviours and advances toward women, many of which are not physically violent. Male violence is a separate issue and rarely involves a sexual element.

2. When 96% of women suffer some kind of unwanted attention or abuse, the fear isn’t irrational, regardless of the setting you are in. 

3. You asking about statistics of actual crimes is not helpful. This is about all the daily advances and behaviours that are not taken seriously or even reported in the first place, not about crime statistics. Moreover, do you seriously think there are reliable enough long term data out there on these behaviours when women are living in a world dominated by men who don’t see them as a priority? Maybe we can all talk crime stats when political leaders and public health bodies treat these endemic behaviours properly, develop more robust reporting systems and foster a culture of standing up for women and encouraging them to report even the smallest unwanted behaviours.

This is a time to stand by our female family members, friends, colleagues and partners, not try and gaslight and split hairs and fall back on the oh-so-tiring ‘I agree with this ... BUT’ trope. It’s tiring. It’s unhelpful to everyone. For once, please, just stop ‘playing Devil’s advocate’ and listen to the women in your life. They need our help and involvement. We can empathise, but we cannot begin to fully understand the learned behaviours and avoidances that govern and limit their daily lives, careers and hobbies. Give them the respect they deserve and endeavour to foster and empower this in your sons and daughters, in the outdoors, indoors, on the moon, wherever. 

Post edited at 00:07
13
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Oh and the number of men trying to come up with metaphors is laughable.

To the guy who compared women not going out at night to you locking your front door, congratulations, you just likened the safety of a human being to getting your iPad nabbed.

To the folks comparing risk to women with risk-assessing climbing, congratulations, you just likened their experience to some choss.

I’m sure the list will go on...!

16
In reply to diggory26:

> As predicted, it’s depressing the amount of gaslighting here disguised (poorly) as debate and discussion......

That is a cheap misrepresentation of what has been an interesting discussion with many thoughtful contributions and perspectives from both women and men. 

15
In reply to diggory26:

> To the guy who compared women not going out at night to you locking your front door, congratulations, you just likened the safety of a human being to getting your iPad nabbed.

> To the folks comparing risk to women with risk-assessing climbing, congratulations, you just likened their experience to some choss.

They are doing nothing of the sort.

You seem to completely misunderstand how analogies work.

13
 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> They are doing nothing of the sort.

> You seem to completely misunderstand how analogies work.

Well I'm a women who has been sexually harassed and physically assaulted by men on a number of occasions (including whilst rock climbing) and diggory summed up brilliantly  how I felt on reading some of those analogies upthread.

1
 GrahamD 20 Mar 2021
In reply to diggory26:

It isn't easy to "stand side by side" with someone over an issue if you can't be allowed to discuss what the actual issue is and therefore what the nature of the solution might be.

Your stance really isn't helping those that want to help.

17
 Hati W 20 Mar 2021
In reply to RBonney:

Given that there is currently a huge movement on the internet of women sharing their stories, it would probably be more illuminating to branch out rather than creating a thread on UKC. 

A previous UKC post asking for women's experiences as climbers (for a university assignment) quickly became dominated by men telling women that they were wrong about their own experiences. 

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/experiences_of_being_a_female_climber-540360

I'm all for sharing experiences to educate others, but the UKC forum wouldn't be my platform of choice for such a thread and I don't see the value in mimicking here what already exists on a huge scale on the wider internet.

Although I'm sure this wasn't intended, by asking UKC's women to share EVERY incidence of harassment there's an implication that the burden is on women to 'prove it' by sharing every single uncomfortable and distressing experience before men can be asked to acknowledge that there is a problem. If what's already out there on the internet isn't doing it for people, I don't see how a UKC thread would help.

Maybe this article would be a good starting point to understanding everyday harassment:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/12/what-happened-women-uk-harassed-street?

Post edited at 08:04
 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> It isn't easy to "stand side by side" with someone over an issue if you can't be allowed to discuss what the actual issue is and therefore what the nature of the solution might be.

> Your stance really isn't helping those that want to help.

Men need to listen more and discuss less with regards to this issue as they have no actual personal experience of the issue to add to the discussion.

4
 iccle_bully 20 Mar 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> It isn't easy to "stand side by side" with someone over an issue if you can't be allowed to discuss what the actual issue is and therefore what the nature of the solution might be.

You don't need to discuss, you need to listen.

8
 climbingpixie 20 Mar 2021
In reply to diggory26:

> To the folks comparing risk to women with risk-assessing climbing, congratulations, you just likened their experience to some choss.

Their experience = my experience. I'm a woman and I'm interested in the discussion. But good to have a man charge in here to tell me I'm not allowed to discuss my feelings on the risks of sexual violence and harassment.

2
 Tom V 20 Mar 2021
In reply to iccle_bully:

So much for your

"Having the conversation is what is key here."

6
In reply to diggory26:

> Great article.

> As predicted, it’s depressing the amount of gaslighting here disguised (poorly) as debate and discussion by the many male users who feel the need to point out things like violence against men, irrational vs rational fear, and needing to ‘look at crime statistics’. You’re missing the point. 

> 1. Stop talking about violence against men and assuming comparison. This is a discussion about the pervasive unwanted behaviours and advances toward women, many of which are not physically violent. Male violence is a separate issue and rarely involves a sexual element.

> 2. When 96% of women suffer some kind of unwanted attention or abuse, the fear isn’t irrational, regardless of the setting you are in. 

> 3. You asking about statistics of actual crimes is not helpful. This is about all the daily advances and behaviours that are not taken seriously or even reported in the first place, not about crime statistics. Moreover, do you seriously think there are reliable enough long term data out there on these behaviours when women are living in a world dominated by men who don’t see them as a priority? Maybe we can all talk crime stats when political leaders and public health bodies treat these endemic behaviours properly, develop more robust reporting systems and foster a culture of standing up for women and encouraging them to report even the smallest unwanted behaviours.

> This is a time to stand by our female family members, friends, colleagues and partners, not try and gaslight and split hairs and fall back on the oh-so-tiring ‘I agree with this ... BUT’ trope. It’s tiring. It’s unhelpful to everyone. For once, please, just stop ‘playing Devil’s advocate’ and listen to the women in your life. They need our help and involvement. We can empathise, but we cannot begin to fully understand the learned behaviours and avoidances that govern and limit their daily lives, careers and hobbies. Give them the respect they deserve and endeavour to foster and empower this in your sons and daughters, in the outdoors, indoors, on the moon, wherever. 

Good post. Not forgetting the 'real' - 'perceived' (ie not real) distinction... as well as all the lame analogies that get thrown in. Similar thing happened on recent threads on this topic, just one tone deaf post after the other. Men definitely need to listen first and maybe then there comments wont come across as various types of 'mansplaining'. 

2
 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to baron:

> The quote was about climbing with strangers and getting into cars to go climbing  with people who are strangers.

> I’d be cautious doing those things as a male never mind a female.

I've never worried about it. I guess that shows the difference.

> Given the possible risks involved it would be more prudent to climb with regular partners. 

Bit of a catch 22 if you're looking to climb with more people.

 climbingpixie 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Mac fae Stirling:

> Good post. Not forgetting the 'real' - 'perceived' (ie not real) distinction... as well as all the lame analogies that get thrown in. Similar thing happened on recent threads on this topic, just one tone deaf post after the other. Men definitely need to listen first and maybe then there comments wont come across as various types of 'mansplaining'. 

I have to say, this is definitely the first time I've been accused of 'mansplaining'.

3
In reply to climbingpixie:

> I have to say, this is definitely the first time I've been accused of 'mansplaining'.

Well, I did write 'men' in that sentence. 

 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to diggory26:

I can see that this seems to be more about fear of crime than actual crime. It would be nice if people were a bit less defensive when others are trying to ask about the issues involved. It's confusing when the whole debate has been brought about by an incidence of actual crime but appears to be not about this but about not being misogynistic and calling out sexual harassment.

> This is a time to stand by our female family members, friends, colleagues and partners, 

Men like to look for solutions to problems. It's in our nature. No point identifying problems for the sake of it. So yes, lets be supportive but forgive us for asking 'then what?'

18
In reply to SAF:

> Well I'm a women who has been sexually harassed and physically assaulted by men on a number of occasions (including whilst rock climbing) and diggory summed up brilliantly  how I felt on reading some of those analogies upthread.

I am sorry to hear that, but, with all due respect, the point of the analogies is simply not to draw those equivalences.

18
baron 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I've never worried about it. I guess that shows the difference.

> Bit of a catch 22 if you're looking to climb with more people.

I understand the need and/or desire to climb with more people.

But if I was afraid that some of those people were going to assault me then that fear would, in my case, outweigh the joy of climbing with strangers and I wouldn’t do it. If it was part of my job I would seriously consider a different line of employment.

It most definitely shouldn’t have to be that way but that’s the reality of the world that we live in and I haven’t heard any viable solutions which will solve the problem of men assaulting women any time soon.

12
In reply to iccle_bully:

> You don't need to discuss, you need to listen.

We can do both. We have listened, we are listening and we are interested and concerned enough to want to discuss the issues. I have had real life discussions with female friends as well. 

This demand, I hope from a minority of women and, strangely to me, from a couple of men on here, to shut down discussion can, I think, only be counterproductive to making men part of the solution. I find it somewhat baffling.

And this is, after all, a discussion forum.

8
 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to baron:

> But if I was afraid that some of those people were going to assault me then that fear would, in my case, outweigh the joy of climbing with strangers and I wouldn’t do it. If it was part of my job I would seriously consider a different line of employment.

I've been sexually harassed (told by a man that he wanted to rape me) and physically assaulted by men, because I am women, at work. This influences my future risk assessments and leaves me with lasting fear and anger. If I considered a different line of employment, in the area I live, that would likely meaning dropping from £40k per annum to minimum wage. Why the hell should I have to do that? And why the hell should I alternatively just accept the "reality of the world that we live in"? That is some of the more misogynistic stuff posted on this forum over the last 2 weeks, and the bar was set pretty low with "the joke" on the original Sarah Everard thread.

> It most definitely shouldn’t have to be that way but that’s the reality of the world that we live in and I haven’t heard any viable solutions which will solve the problem of men assaulting women any time soon.

Post edited at 09:38
1
baron 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> I've been sexually harassed (told by a man that he wanted to rape me) and physically assaulted by men, because I am women, at work. This influences my future risk assessments and leaves me with lasting fear and anger. If I considered a different line of employment, in the area I live, that would likely meaning dropping from £40k per annum to minimum wage. Why the hell should I have to do that? And why the hell should I alternatively just accept the "reality of the world that we live in"? That is some of the more misogynistic stuff posted on this forum over the last 2 weeks, and the bar was set pretty low with "the joke" on the original Sarah Everard thread.

You could read what I actually wrote.

I was discussing climbing.

Which most people do for fun.

Why would I go climbing with anyone who was not only going to spoil that fun but was actually going to assault me?

And then there was my point about climbing as work.

I will presume that you don’t earn £40,00 as a climbing guide, instructor, etc.

I wasn’t in anyway suggesting that all women should have to give up all forms of employment to avoid harassment.

You also missed the bit where I said that it most definitely shouldn’t have to be that way.

But you carry on with your accusations of misogyny if it makes you feel better.

26
 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to baron:

So now you are saying if women in climbing don't like being sexually harassed then they are no longer welcome in the climbing community, unless they just accept "the reality of the world we live in"!

2
 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to baron:

You are definitely in the category of men who need to do less talking and more listening.

Post edited at 09:59
7
 MeMeMe 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Men like to look for solutions to problems. It's in our nature. No point identifying problems for the sake of it. So yes, lets be supportive but forgive us for asking 'then what?'

What _all_ men? (and by implication it's not in women's nature and they don't want to look for solutions?)

I'm sure it's not deliberate but this type of generalisation based on sex is really unhelpful both to women and men.

1
 B-team 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

Hear, hear.

Yet another thread full of men getting bent out of shape when their ill informed take on things is contested.

Many seem to take "being allowed to discuss" to mean "my voice should be loudest."

10
 climbingpixie 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Mac fae Stirling:

> Well, I did write 'men' in that sentence. 

Whilst criticising as mansplaining some of the same comments I'd made.

2
 climbingpixie 20 Mar 2021
In reply to B-team:

I'm sorry but that is absolute nonsense. It's been an interesting conversation and the only people who are trying to have the loudest voices are those seeking to shut down the discussion.

4
baron 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> So now you are saying if women in climbing don't like being sexually harassed then they are no longer welcome in the climbing community, unless they just accept "the reality of the world we live in"!

That’s not what I said at all.

It is totally unacceptable that women have to go about their lives with the fear of being harassed and assaulted. We, as a society and men in particular need to do all we can to prevent the harassment and assaults that women face on a daily basis.

However, until that happens, women will continue to be harassed and assaulted and murdered.

Why then would anyone choose to go climbing with someone they don’t know and who they fear will assault them? Not just think might possibly assault them, which would be bad enough, but actually think that it is probable. Notice that I said choose, as in not being forced to go climbing with someone.

You’ll notice that this is specifically a climbing point and not about any other part of women’s lives. 

How you can construe this as me saying that women aren’t welcome in the climbing community I don’t understand.

And, unfortunately, while aspiring for a better future, people do have to live in the real world and take the appropriate precautions. They don’t have to and shouldn’t just accept this reality but should seek to change it but you ignore said reality at your peril, as you well know.

19
baron 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> You are definitely in the category of men who need to do less talking and more listening.

You need to get off your high horse and actually read what people write.

See my other reply.

20
 jonnie3430 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Have you read Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus? In it there is a section that says Venusians de-stress by talking about a problem to someone who listens, and you need to show you're listening by making the right noises and remembering what is being said. You are not to try to fix the problem, just listen to it and it de-stresses the Venusian, who then gets on with their life.

Martians on the other hand take pride in their ability to solve problems on their own without help if possible, they retreat to a cave where they analyse the problem and then applying their vast life experiences in coming up with the correct solution to it. They then like praise for having solved the problem. Beware of the cave though, there's a dragon in it and if you go in to try to help the Martian with their problem your going to meet it, so leave them alone when in cave.

From the looks of the article and posts above, it seems like Venusian de-stressing and you're trying to problem solve instead of listen and show you're listening. The Venusians won't de-stress and will get angrier.

I'm going to try to teach my young daughter to stand up against naughty people, but hopefully also give her confidence to do what she wants without undue fear.

1
In reply to climbingpixie:

> I'm sorry but that is absolute nonsense. It's been an interesting conversation and the only people who are trying to have the loudest voices are those seeking to shut down the discussion.

Absolutely. It is sad that this thread has descended into seeing men who are interested enough to read the article, listen to women and discuss the issues just being told to shut up. If this is reflective of the wider debate around the issues then I suspect the outlook for progress is bleak. A sorry state of affairs. 

Post edited at 10:20
10
 C Witter 20 Mar 2021
In reply to jonnie3430:

That book was an outdated pile of moronic pseudopsych sh!t when it was published and it's well past its use-by date now... Please only use it if you should happen to run out of toilet paper...

4
 climbingpixie 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

The sad thing is that I thought this thread had been much better than some of the others that have been pulled. I was as annoyed as anyone with the blokes wading into threads last week to talk about whether men were more at risk etc. But I can't see what the problem is talking about the difference between the perception of risk vs the actual risks that women face. The article itself poses the question "So what can we do to not only build confidence in females outdoors but also to make sure that it is actually safer for them out there?". To me, a fundamental part of building confidence in being in the outdoors is a sensible risk assessment of the likelihood and severity of the threat. I'm saddened that so many people seem to think that the right course of action is for women to shut themselves away and limit their lives until some indeterminate time in the future when the streets/hills are 'safe enough'.

4
 GrahamD 20 Mar 2021
In reply to iccle_bully:

I'm listening.  Is that it ?

3
 Tom V 20 Mar 2021
In reply to B-team:

> Many seem to take "being allowed to discuss" to mean "my voice should be loudest."

While others think "discuss" means "shut up and listen"

4
 jonnie3430 20 Mar 2021
In reply to C Witter:

Have you read it? It explained practical male and female relationships better than anything I've seen and think the ideas should be taught in schools instead of RE. I admit I only read it as I was stuck in a base camp in Bolivia due to weather and has read all the other books, but, once you get past the whole Mars/Venus thing to allow stereotypes its gold.

 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to climbingpixie:

> The sad thing is that I thought this thread had been much better than some of the others that have been pulled. I was as annoyed as anyone with the blokes wading into threads last week to talk about whether men were more at risk etc. But I can't see what the problem is talking about the difference between the perception of risk vs the actual risks that women face. The article itself poses the question "So what can we do to not only build confidence in females outdoors but also to make sure that it is actually safer for them out there?". To me, a fundamental part of building confidence in being in the outdoors is a sensible risk assessment of the likelihood and severity of the threat. I'm saddened that so many people seem to think that the right course of action is for women to shut themselves away and limit their lives until some indeterminate time in the future when the streets/hills are 'safe enough'.

I truly think it is wonderful that you have had a positive life and climbing experience free of sexual harassment, assault and misogyny, and I hope that by the time my daughter is old enough for these things to be an issue that society will have miraculously changed for the better and she can have a similar experience to you.

However, your experience is not the same as all other women and my perception of risk Vs actual risk is as factually based as yours is, based on my own personal experiences. I have been, as a novice climber struggling to get off the ground on a top rope, groped by a more experience male climber. As far as I am aware he still climbs, therefore any women in my area could feasibly come across him in the outdoors, that possibly includes you. 

There seems to be a theme running through this thread from you and from a lot of the male posters, which I'm not sure if it is naivety or denial but, that  men who climb aren't like that!! Some of them are. It is as simple as that. There is a risk in being outdoors, and that risk comes from a minority (or at least I hope it's a minority) of men in all aspects of life feeling that they have a right over a women's body and autonomy, there is also a risk from  the isolation that is present in many outdoor activities. These are real, not imagined risks.

I hope you continue to stay safe and not experience any of the horrors that so many other women have.

Post edited at 11:06
5
 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to MeMeMe:

> What _all_ men? (and by implication it's not in women's nature and they don't want to look for solutions?)

> I'm sure it's not deliberate but this type of generalisation based on sex is really unhelpful both to women and men.

It's a generalisation but a well-founded one. Women tend to be more empathetic; men when comfronted with tales of woe tend to automatically look for solutions. The implication you bring up is yours alone. 

7
 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to baron:

> Why then would anyone choose to go climbing with someone they don’t know and who they fear will assault them? Not just think might possibly assault them, which would be bad enough, but actually think that it is probable. Notice that I said choose, as in not being forced to go climbing with someone.

> And, unfortunately, while aspiring for a better future, people do have to live in the real world and take the appropriate precautions. They don’t have to and shouldn’t just accept this reality but should seek to change it but you ignore said reality at your peril, as you well know.

It's possible to look for practical solutions rather than just shutting down all contact. For example, seeking out recommendations from mutual friends about climbing partners. It isn't as great a solution as just being able to do anything without a care in the world, but it could be one way. 

1
 climbingpixie 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> I truly think it is wonderful that you have had a positive life and climbing experience free of sexual harassment, assault and misogyny

I haven't. I've been groped, catcalled and threatened and I've woken up to find a man having sex with me without a condom. FFS I even talked about my experiences on a different thread that you were posting on. I haven't lived some charmed life, I just have a different opinion to you. And yet because you disagree with me you dismiss my experiences and assume that I'm somehow ignorant of the risks that women face.

> There is a risk in being outdoors, and that risk comes from a minority (or at least I hope it's a minority) of men in all aspects of life feeling that they have a right over a women's body and autonomy, there is also a risk from  the isolation that is present in many outdoor activities. These are real, not imagined risks.

There are risks in everything. In all other walks of life we're able to talk about them. Why is this any different? 

 MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> It's a generalisation but a well-founded one. Women tend to be more empathetic; men when comfronted with tales of woe tend to automatically look for solutions. The implication you bring up is yours alone. 

But these are in large part self-perpetuating stereotypes which generation after generation projects onto their children. Lego for boys and dollies for girls.

1
 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to climbingpixie:

> > I truly think it is wonderful that you have had a positive life and climbing experience free of sexual harassment, assault and misogyny

> I haven't. I've been groped, catcalled and threatened and I've woken up to find a man having sex with me without a condom. FFS I even talked about my experiences on a different thread that you were posting on. I haven't lived some charmed life, I just have a different opinion to you. And yet because you disagree with me you dismiss my experiences and assume that I'm somehow ignorant of the risks that women face.

Sorry, there have been a lot of threads to keep up with. But can I ask why you feel safer from these things in a climbing setting than in other settings. Have you chosen and stuck to a limited selection of climbing partners who you perceive to be safe thus mitigating the risk (a precaution that men most likely do not take on this context), or do you just ignore the possibility of something bad happening because  your love of climbing outweighs the potential risk?

> > There is a risk in being outdoors, and that risk comes from a minority (or at least I hope it's a minority) of men in all aspects of life feeling that they have a right over a women's body and autonomy, there is also a risk from  the isolation that is present in many outdoor activities. These are real, not imagined risks.

> There are risks in everything. In all other walks of life we're able to talk about them. Why is this any different? 

There are, but invalidating other womens assessment of real risk, and it is a real risk if it is something they have already experienced and talking about perception of risk as if it is some imagined thing is not helpful. 

Post edited at 11:18
4
 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> But these are in large part self-perpetuating stereotypes which generation after generation projects onto their children. Lego for boys and dollies for girls.

There are undeniably biological differences too. 

6
baron 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> It's possible to look for practical solutions rather than just shutting down all contact. For example, seeking out recommendations from mutual friends about climbing partners. It isn't as great a solution as just being able to do anything without a care in the world, but it could be one way. 

Totally agree with this idea.

I don’t know if anyone is suggesting that women shut down all contact with other people.

 MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> There are undeniably biological differences too. 

That's why I qualified it. But we distill and amplify those differences through conditioning.

 climbingpixie 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> Sorry, there have been a lot of threads to keep up with. But can I ask why you feel safer from these things in a climbing setting than in other settings. Have you chosen and stuck to a limited selection of climbing partners who you perceive to be safe thus mitigating the risk (a precaution that men most likely do not take on this context), or do you just ignore the possibility of something bad happening because  your love of climbing outweighs the potential risk?

No, I've climbed with random men off the internet, I've stayed in bunkhouses alone, I've spent a lot of time in the mountains solo. I just figure that the small risk of being harassed or attacked is outweighed by the enjoyment and empowerment I get from doing certain activities and from living my life not full of fear.

> There are, but invalidating other womens assessment of real risk, and it is a real risk if it is something they have already experienced and talking about perception of risk as if it is some imagined thing is not helpful. 

I haven't said there aren't real risks or that I don't believe people's experiences. I just think there are two things in the discussion - being safe and feeling safe. We're working towards the first, it might not feel like it at times but I think the amount of engagement threads like these get is indicative of a world that's becoming less accepting of sexual harassment and violence. I personally think we can improve on the latter by taking a more holistic approach to risk assessment and risk/reward trade offs. Clearly you disagree so apologies for thinking that my differing opinion had any validity in the discussion. 

4
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Absolutely. It is sad that this thread has descended into seeing men who are interested enough to read the article, listen to women and discuss the issues just being told to shut up. If this is reflective of the wider debate around the issues then I suspect the outlook for progress is bleak. A sorry state of affairs. 

I'm inclined to agree with you and ClimbingPixie. I read the article with an intention to learn from it. I expressed an opinion that articulated my own ignorance of how bad things are, only to receive downvotes. I'm trying to learn, to understand, to show solidarity with women, to be part of change.

We seem to be in a Kafkaesque nightmare where ALL men have been found 'guilty' of a crime without any hope of finding out what that crime is; the avenues of enquiry necessary to help understanding are being closed down.

4
 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> It's possible to look for practical solutions rather than just shutting down all contact. For example, seeking out recommendations from mutual friends about climbing partners. It isn't as great a solution as just being able to do anything without a care in the world, but it could be one way. 

Wow, thanks for mansplaining that suggestion, I can't believe i hadn't ever thought of that in my 40 years of life as a women.

15
 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to climbingpixie:

> I just think there are two things in the discussion - being safe and feeling safe. We're working towards the first, it might not feel like it at times but I think the amount of engagement threads like these get is indicative of a world that's becoming less accepting of sexual harassment and violence. 

Agreed. You've only got to consider how attitudes and gendered statements from the 70s are viewed with uneasiness nowadays and called out when made in the public sphere. Obviously there is still some way to go, but there has been a lot of change for the better.

1
In reply to Shani:

Reads the article.

Wants to change.

Articulates support for 'being allowed to ask questions TO HELP WITH UNDERSTANDING'. 

Earns a downvote.

Post edited at 12:17
4
 MeMeMe 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> The implication you bring up is yours alone. 

The implication comes from your statement, no doubt as a man you'll naturally understand the logic of this.

(Not to mention you go on to say "Women tend to be more empathetic; men when comfronted with tales of woe tend to automatically look for solutions.", if you're not saying that generally men are more solution orientated than women, and so women are _less_ solution oriented, then what are you saying?)

 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> Wow, thanks for mansplaining that suggestion, I can't believe i hadn't ever thought of that in my 40 years of life as a women.

No need to be sarcastic. It seemed to me like a sensible middle ground between taking no precautions at all and not meeting anyone you don't know. But what do I know. Forget I said anything.  

11
 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to MeMeMe:

> > (Not to mention you go on to say "Women tend to be more empathetic; men when comfronted with tales of woe tend to automatically look for solutions.", if you're not saying that generally men are more solution orientated than women, and so women are _less_ solution oriented, then what are you saying?)

I said what I meant. I was stressing positives not negatives. If you want to draw out negatives, that's up to you.

6
 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> No need to be sarcastic. It seemed to me like a sensible middle ground between taking no precautions at all and not meeting anyone you don't know. But what do I know. Forget I said anything.  

Women don't need suggestions as to what we can do to make ourselves safer, if you had followed the mainstream and social media over the last 2 weeks your will have seen the many many measures women are already taking, and we came up with so those ideas without the assistance of men.

What women want to see is suggestions on what decent men can do to reduce the risk of dangerous men to women.

Here's my suggestion. If you see a fellow climber grope a women climber, YOU never climb with him again, regardless of if women are present or not, this will not only show solidarity to the  sexually assaulted women but will reduce the climbing opportunities and therefore enjoyment of the sexually predatory male, and if enough people stop climbing with them it will freeze them out of our climbing community. It will also mean that the women doesn't miss out on group climbing opportunities in order to avoid the man who assaulted her.

Post edited at 12:14
10
 MeMeMe 20 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I said what I meant. I was stressing positives not negatives. If you want to draw out negatives, that's up to you.

Being fairly solution oriented myself, I find that that the direct solution oriented approach isn't always a positive, particularly with complex social and cultural issues!

I don't want to pick on you, it's just I see how damaging the generalisation of individuals' abilities and traits based on their sex is to the people in my life and it really frustrates me.

 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to MeMeMe:

That's a fair point.

 r0x0r.wolfo 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> invalidating other womens assessment of real risk, and it is a real risk if it is something they have already experienced and talking about perception of risk as if it is some imagined thing is not helpful. 

> I truly think it is wonderful that you have had a positive life and climbing experience free of sexual harassment, assault and misogyny, and I hope that by the time my daughter is old enough for these things to be an issue that society will have miraculously changed for the better and she can have a similar experience to you.

 Erm... 

2
 Michael Gordon 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> Here's my suggestion. If you see a fellow climber grope a women climber, YOU never climb with him again, regardless of if women are present or not, this will not only show solidarity to the  sexually assaulted women but will reduce the climbing opportunities and therefore enjoyment of the sexually predatory male, and if enough people stop climbing with them it will freeze them out of our climbing community. It will also mean that the women doesn't miss out on group climbing opportunities in order to avoid the man who assaulted her.

I have to confess that I've never seen that happen. I expect I would be quite shocked and would do exactly what you suggest out of disgust (and would probably tell mutual climbing partners). 

I really don't want to be defeatist but the point was made by someone else earlier that this does seem to be preaching to the choir. Reasonable men will be receptive to considering their behaviour but unreasonable ones won't. But I agree that calling out behaviour is one useful action to take.

2
 r0x0r.wolfo 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> Here's my suggestion. If you see a fellow climber grope a women climber, YOU never climb with him again, regardless of if women are present or not, this will not only show solidarity to the  sexually assaulted women but will reduce the climbing opportunities and therefore enjoyment of the sexually predatory male, and if enough people stop climbing with them it will freeze them out of our climbing community. It will also mean that the women doesn't miss out on group climbing opportunities in order to avoid the man who assaulted her.

F*ck that. It's sexual assault. We need to be going to the police with this stuff not allowing them to move on to the next unsuspecting group.

It's not a social faux pas, men need to be willing witnesses to inform the police so we limit the chances of escalation. 

 spenser 20 Mar 2021
In reply to S Ramsay:

I did not misconstrue your post, I acknowledged there were two different contexts relevant to the community. Having lived in Chester-Le-Street, Sevenoaks, Orpington, Loughborough and Derby while being an active participant in outdoor activities and walking through town etc I have noticed a significant difference between the North and the South.

It's not my fault that some southerners are culturally frightened of talking to each other, women and men are both greeted on the street in Newcastle (with words like hello, evening, a brief quip about the weather on arrival at a bus stop, that kinda thing!).

 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> F*ck that. It's sexual assault. We need to be going to the police with this stuff not allowing them to move on to the next unsuspecting group.

> It's not a social faux pas, men need to be willing witnesses to inform the police so we limit the chances of escalation. 

But regardless of whether or not it was reported to the police (and then whether or not the police and CPS took it seriously) they wouldn't get a custodial sentence so the issue with them still be within the climbing community still stands.

3
 seankenny 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> But regardless of whether or not it was reported to the police (and then whether or not the police and CPS took it seriously) they wouldn't get a custodial sentence so the issue with them still be within the climbing community still stands.

I’m still shocked at this story, about a man putting a woman in a headlock: 

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/drunken-duty-police-officer-25-23759044
 

I checked and magistrates can give up to six months for this offence. I suspect the idea that there’s readily available justice for women suffering at the hands of men is another male fantasy we cling to, to avoid less pleasant truths.

 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to seankenny:

> I’m still shocked at this story, about a man putting a woman in a headlock: 

> I checked and magistrates can give up to six months for this offence. I suspect the idea that there’s readily available justice for women suffering at the hands of men is another male fantasy we cling to, to avoid less pleasant truths.

I did see it and then chose to ignore it rather than get into another argument with offduty!!

2
 seankenny 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> I did see it and then chose to ignore it rather than get into another argument with offduty!!

Indeed. Tho my ire here is not only at the police, but also at the magistrates which were the ones responsible for the sentence. If some drunk bloke thumps me on the way home then it’s horrible but a non-custodial sentence may well be for the best, but this is a different order of crime. 
 

 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to seankenny:

The problem with the police in this case is that that the attacker has still been allowed to remain in post as a police officer, surely no police officer who attacks women should have a job and certainly not a probationer who I would have expected to have needed to be sqeaky clean to pass the probationary period.

1
 seankenny 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> The problem with the police in this case is that that the attacker has still been allowed to remain in post as a police officer, surely no police officer who attacks women should have a job and certainly not a probationer who I would have expected to have needed to be sqeaky clean to pass the probationary period.

Oh I totally agree! My point was not about the failings of the police but rather that we men can be deeply complacent in assuming that setting the justice machine rolling is any kind of answer. It’s almost like we are being emotional, irrational creatures clinging to a comforting story, rather than the solution oriented practically minded chaps of our patriarchally marinaded imaginations.

1
 robhorton 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

I believe he has a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct coming up - I'd be surprised if he isn't dismissed. 

 climbingpixie 20 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

From what I've read, the police were not able to proceed with this as a disciplinary matter until the court case had concluded. One would hope that appropriate action will take place now! My bigger concern is the suggestion made that the police were slow in investigating the case. And that Judge Nick Watson appears to have form for giving non-custodial sentences to men who carry out violent attacks on women.

 artif 20 Mar 2021
In reply to seankenny:

> Indeed. Tho my ire here is not only at the police, but also at the magistrates which were the ones responsible for the sentence. If some drunk bloke thumps me on the way home then it’s horrible but a non-custodial sentence may well be for the best, but this is a different order of crime. 

Unfortunately, their seems to an allowance made for drunken behaviour, across the board. Rarely reported and very rarely prosecuted, which has a direct affect on the OP issues. Any city/town centre on the weekend nights is evidence of this.

Anyone who thinks the police/courts have the time or resources to deal with groping or disrespectful behaviour will be deeply disappointed, as evidenced by disgusting acts in this case. This Violent attack by a police officer being classed as acceptable by the courts and his employers. 

 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to robhorton:

> I believe he has a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct coming up - I'd be surprised if he isn't dismissed. 

That's good to hear. Lets hope common sense prevails where justice failed!!

 SAF 20 Mar 2021
In reply to seankenny:

> Oh I totally agree! My point was not about the failings of the police but rather that we men can be deeply complacent in assuming that setting the justice machine rolling is any kind of answer. It’s almost like we are being emotional, irrational creatures clinging to a comforting story, rather than the solution oriented practically minded chaps of our patriarchally marinaded imaginations.

https://wecantconsenttothis.uk/

This makes sobering reading for anyone under any illusion that the justice system cares about women. Some of the sentences are as low as 3 years for the death of a women.

Post edited at 17:59
1
 C Witter 20 Mar 2021
In reply to jonnie3430:

If you need a book to tell you that listening to your partner might help your relationship, then I'm sure it has some useful insights... Otherwise... bin!

3
 RBonney 21 Mar 2021
In reply to Hati W: 

> Although I'm sure this wasn't intended, by asking UKC's women to share EVERY incidence of harassment there's an implication that the burden is on women to 'prove it' by sharing every single uncomfortable and distressing experience before men can be asked to acknowledge that there is a problem. If what's already out there on the internet isn't doing it for people, I don't see how a UKC thread would help.

No that wasn't intended. I was more thinking that the people who seek it out on other parts of the Web are not the people who need to read it. The results of the previous thread are a depressing result though. I didn't know it had been tried before. It was just an idea.

The guardian article was an interesting (I'm not sure that's the right word) read. As a male it's who doesn't experience harassment at all, never mind regularly, it's almost unbelievable that some people behave like that. I really can't get my head around why someone would. He also seems like the type who would dismiss anything that a woman had to say about her experiences of harassment. I bet he felt like he did nothing wrong. I don't suppose it's very easy to get through to such a person. By that I don't mean there's no point trying to change anything. I just don't know how best to make a difference. 

 Henry Iddon 22 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

"Measures I've taken to protect my own safety include photographing number plates before getting into a new climbing partner's car. "

I find this quote from the random social media survey mentioned in the article very odd comment.

If I knew so little about someone who I expected to protect my well being during a potentially dangerous activity like - climbing ( making judgement calls on the day, belaying skills etc etc) then why would I climb with them yet feel the need to record the car reg. plate incase they attacked me?

Personally I think the streets should be safe for everyone, focusing on one group only isn't productive. Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend were attacked for being 'Goths' - sadly Sophie died in that attack - but it she could have survived and her boyfriend could have died. It was a hate crime against Goths. Everyone should be safe.

Post edited at 10:06
11
 Sealwife 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

> "Measures I've taken to protect my own safety include photographing number plates before getting into a new climbing partner's car. "

> I find this quote from the random social media survey mentioned in the article very odd comment.

> If I knew so little about someone who I expected to protect my well being during a potentially dangerous activity like - climbing ( making judgement calls on the day, belaying skills etc etc) then why would I climb with them yet feel the need to record the car reg. plate incase they attacked me?

>

Its not that odd.  As has been discussed to the point of practically beating it to death - women and girls operate with a level of alert to possible harassment and danger which largely men do not have to bother about.  It can range from the mundane and boring (cat-calling, pervy comments over the phone at work) right up to the extreme, rape and murder.  Whilst obviously most of us aren’t murdered, the vast majority of us do experience some level of harassment on a fairly regular basis.  

To mitigate this, we take whatever precautions we see fit.  Most of us were warned by our mums, when we were wee lassies, never to get into cars with strange men.  As teenage and adult women, we make sure our friends get home safe from nights out etc.  My own teenagers have it drummed into them that if a friend has had too much to drink, they do not leave them, certainly not let them go off in a car with a guy on their own. 

Taking a pic of a car number plate and sending it to a trusted friend is, in my view, not unreasonable.  

With regard to trusting your life in a climbing situation to someone - being a safe, reliable climber and being a perv are not mutually exclusive.  I’m sure we would all (men and women) be alert to signs that a new climbing partner might have been bullshitting about their level of experience (they are claiming to have climbed high grades when they are struggling to scramble to the crag, they’ve put their harness on backwards and had to ask how to tie-in for example).  

Judging who might grope you or not take kindly to being told no, that’s often more difficult.  Blokes like that don’t turn up in a dirty mac and by the time you are miles away from home in their car, you are already in a position of disadvantage.  I personally haven’t had it happen to me but two friends have (not climbing but another outdoor sport - was the same predatory guy, total creep)

1
 Henry Iddon 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Sealwife:

> As has been discussed to the point of practically beating it to death - women and girls operate with a level of alert to possible harassment and danger which largely men do not have to bother about.  

Tell that to a young black man or a member of the LGBTQ+ community for example. Or man who is plus sized, or has a visual disability or who grew up in an area with high crime statistics. Women don't 'own' fear of being assaulted physically or mentally abused.

I also said that the streets should be safe for everyone - that is my central point. Making streets safer benefits everyone.

I sense this is a thread that men can't comment on without being criticised. I'll get my coat.

24
In reply to Henry Iddon:

If the idea of people meeting strangers to climb seems too far fetched for you, can I remind you there is an entire sub forum on UKC dedicated to “partners and lifts”.

2
 MeMeMe 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

> Tell that to a young black man or a member of the LGBTQ+ community for example. Or man who is plus sized, or has a visual disability or who grew up in an area with high crime statistics. Women don't 'own' fear of being assaulted physically or mentally abused.

> I also said that the streets should be safe for everyone - that is my central point. Making streets safer benefits everyone.

I'm not sure anyone would disagree with the point 'Making streets safer benefits everyone', but this particular thread is about _Women's_ outdoor safety so you risk looking like the kind of person who bothers turns up at an 'Black Lives Matter' protest with an 'All Lives Matter' banner despite never bothering to publicly advocate for 'All Lives" before.

If you're an advocate for the safety for some of these other groups you mention perhaps you could start a thread about it? The solutions to their problems with violence and abuse might well be very different the solutions to women's.

 Jim Lancs 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

> I also said that the streets should be safe for everyone - that is my central point. Making streets safer benefits everyone.

Whilst your comment is in and of itself valid, it brings nothing to this discussion which is about the singular issue of real and apparent risk perception based entirely on gender. It's the same as all those wishing to divert the focus of the 'Black lives Matter' sentiment by claiming 'All lives Matter'.

I personally have found this thread simply shocking. I've shown it to my partner and now know to my shame, that for all these years, going for a walk/run alone round here (a small rural village) or up the local hill has been (and is still)  such a radically different experience for her as opposed to me. 

1
 Henry Iddon 22 Mar 2021
In reply to MeMeMe:

Nothing happens in a vacuum so it strikes me that debates / conversations naturally widen out and evolve especially around similar issues.

Society is interconnected - discussing and wanting to solve problem A, can also help solve problems B and C especially when there are similarities. 

I fully appreciate, support and understand why this topic has come to the fore.  

And for the record I have always advocated that 'All Lives' matter. 

My initial post on this thread was re a specific comment about recording the number plates of climbing partners in case they carried out an attack. I now appear to be public enemy number 1 !!!!

Post edited at 17:04
8
 MeMeMe 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

> My initial post on this thread was re a specific comment about recording the number plates of climbing partners in case they carried out an attack. I now appear to be public enemy number 1 !!!!

I don't think you're public enemy number 1, that's perhaps a little hysterical.

These debates can understandably be heated and you've got to expect your views to be challenged if others disagree, that's the nature of debate.

I can see your point as to widening the debate, but personally at this point I'm still struggling to grasp the full extent of these issues between men and women don't need anything extra complications to think about right now.

1
 Henry Iddon 22 Mar 2021
In reply to MeMeMe:

Indeed - I was being tongue in cheek re being public enemy number 1.

 As you say it's a highly charged debate which is presently 'at the top of the agenda' at a time when lots of people are feeling vulnerable and emotionally wrung out after the last year of lockdowns etc.

I have no doubt we're basically singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak.

Peace and Love all round I say !

3
 Iamgregp 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

I've not contributed to this thread as I think, in the current climate, now is the time for men to listen and to learn to become better allies of women, not to give our opinions on something we've no chance of being able to fully understand.

Same as during the black lives matter protests, this was the time for white people to listen and learn, not to go around with a counter protest about all lives, distracting attention from the learning process that should have been happening.  

I doubt you're a racist, nor a misogynist nor anything like that, in fact you seem like a nice enough bloke whose heart is in the right place.  But, when a particular group, or section of society has been under attack and they raise their concerns and want to tell the rest of us how they feel, what life is like for them and what change they would like to see just listen!

Nobody said that men don't ever feel scared or threatened, nobody ever said that your life didn't matter but now is not the time to raise these issues.  

Let's all just stop talking and listen a bit more.  I think we've all heard enough men's opinions for now, we do like to give them don't we?

5
 Tom V 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

Perhaps it's time UKC started a Women  forum. 

Men could read all the women's issues raised but there would be a tacit understanding that they wouldn't reply or raise points related to any of the issues.

That way the topics would get an airing  with both sexes but women would have the discussion and men could just listen  and take all the points on board.

That seems to be what is wanted on this issue and there are probably a few others where men's contributions are not welcomed so - why not try it.?

This is not a tongue in cheek suggestion by the way - I'd be interested to hear objections to it. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea.

Post edited at 20:26
5
In reply to MeMeMe:

> ...you risk looking like the kind of person who bothers turns up at an 'Black Lives Matter' protest with an 'All Lives Matter' banner despite never bothering to publicly advocate for 'All Lives" before.

^^This.

1
 Iamgregp 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I think something along those lines would be a really good shout.

You might have seen I’m in the market for a pregnancy harness at the minute, unsurprisingly it’s not for me, but my partner looked on here found a thread about pregnancy harnesses and was put off by a long thread of (mainly) men giving their 10 cents about whether pregnant women should be climbing. Not wanting to subject herself to the tirade of opinion she asked me to instead...

Now if there was a safe, non judgemental women’s forum where she could get into contact with other female climbers she might have been more tempted to ask herself.

Maybe men don’t need to see the women’s forum at all? Or there could be some kind of private/public ones?

Or maybe this is something we need to ask the female users of UKC what they would like?

 Michael Gordon 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Tom V:

I'm not too bothered as long as these things are made clear. I stayed clear of posting on Shani's thread as that was specifically asking women for their opinions, while this article seemed like a piece designed to promote discussion and sharing of ideas and it also had aspects to it related to men, so I took part. 

1
 Tom V 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

Not being allowed to see the women's forums would mean that men weren't being made aware of some of the important issues that women want to air on UKC. But that should be their choice.

So , like any other forum, men should have the option of reading about women's issues if they want ( but not commenting) or simply not ticking the Women forum box and carrying on regardless.

Obviously threads about womens issues should be confined to the women's forum and if a particular one was misplaced then moderators would move it to the correct forum, as is the practice already.

4
 Michael Gordon 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Tom V:

You've raised the idea; let's let them consider it. 

1
 GrahamD 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> I've not contributed to this thread as I think, in the current climate, now is the time for men to listen and to learn to become better allies of women, not to give our opinions on something we've no chance of being able to fully understand.

So please tell us how to be better allies.

In reply to Tom V:

If we really can't keep quiet then we (men) should start a parallel thread which of course anyone can look at to see what we (men) think but at least it won't be butting into the flow and information of the primary thread.

1
In reply to Michael Hood:

> If we really can't keep quiet then we (men) should start a parallel thread which of course anyone can look at to see what we (men) think but at least it won't be butting into the flow and information of the primary thread.

Would women be allowed to butt in on this thread and tell us to shut up and just listen?

11
In reply to Tom V:

> Obviously threads about womens issues should be confined to the women's forum and if a particular one was misplaced then moderators would move it to the correct forum, as is the practice already.

 I'd have no objection to a women's only forum in principle (though policing it would probably be impossible) where women could start women only threads, but it would be ridiculous not to allow women and men to start threads in the main forum on which both men and women could comment.

2
 DalesClimber 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Tom V:

> Obviously threads about womens issues should be confined to the women's forum and if a particular one was misplaced then moderators would move it to the correct forum, as is the practice already.

In this brave new world of UKC, would all the threads about men's issues get confined to a special forum that women can ignore if they choose, whether the male OP wishes it to be or not?

Or is it only men that get to opt out of listening to the views of 50% of the population? (Because women certainly don't get that option!)

A women's forum may well be a positive thing in some form, but confining all women's threads to that forum, whether we choose it or not, would only serve to other us even more. It would enforce the narrative that men are the default, and women are a less important 'other' that men can opt out of thinking about if they like.

Oh no, a rogue female thread has made it into the main forum! Quick, let's move it so the men won't have to see it. Women: get back in your box! 

As has been the case on most of these threads, the women have largely stopped commenting on this one. I wonder why.

 DalesClimber 22 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Would women be allowed to butt in on this thread and tell us to shut up and just listen?

Excellent question.

2
In reply to GrahamD:

> So please tell us how to be better allies.

Next time you’re in a pub after a day’s climbing, or in the cafe at a climbing wall, and when the situation feels appropriate, ask the women how they feel about being out alone. Ask them what it’s like. Ask how they feel when they’re out in the mountains alone or climbing with men they don’t know. 

Don’t try to solve what you perceive to be problems, or steer the conversation, or disagree. Just listen and pay genuine attention to what they’re saying  

I have no idea what they’ll say. It may challenge your views, if may reinforce them, it may be very dull, it may be enlightening. But you’ll be being an ally. 

A much better experience in the fully immersive real world than the 2 dimensional, nuance barren world of internet forums. 

 climbingpixie 22 Mar 2021
In reply to DalesClimber:

It saddens me that I can only click like once on your post.

I'm not a fan of a women's forum. It reminds me of the point I made on Shani's thread the other day - you end up in a situation of people talking about climbing and women's climbing. Like men climbing is the norm and women are some odd minority to be kept out of the way.

Post edited at 22:52
 DalesClimber 22 Mar 2021
In reply to climbingpixie:

Yes, precisely. 

Also, what Annabel says above is the crux of this issue:

Just listen and pay genuine attention to what they’re saying  

This will never happen if women's issues are forced into a women's forum whether or not the poster wishes it to be. I don't object to the principle of a women's topic, but making it mandatory.

I also bet a lot of male posters are thinking that there are never/rarely any posts about men's issues on here. But the only reason they think that is because they are the default to such an extent that they don't even notice it.

In the last day or so there's been a thread about being approached by prostitutes looking for business - that is pretty much an exclusively male experience. (And you know what? Not a single woman posted on that thread to express their disbelief that this would happen because they've never experienced it.)

Post edited at 23:04
 climbingpixie 22 Mar 2021
In reply to DalesClimber:

Exactly. Because men's experiences are just experiences, women's are some sort of minority pursuit. Anyway, thank you for your reasoned and polite reply. I was too busy spluttering with rage about the idea that women who accidentally post their feminine witterings on the main board would be shunted off into their own lovely pink forum to be able to formulate a coherent argument...

1
 Blanche DuBois 23 Mar 2021
In reply to baron:

> I understand the need and/or desire to climb with more people.

> But if I was afraid that some of those people were going to assault me then that fear would, in my case, outweigh the joy of climbing with strangers and I wouldn’t do it. If it was part of my job I would seriously consider a different line of employment.

> It most definitely shouldn’t have to be that way but that’s the reality of the world that we live in and I haven’t heard any viable solutions which will solve the problem of men assaulting women any time soon.

Again this smacks to me of victim blaming. Apart from everything else, the assaulters aren't necessarily strangers.  And to simply throw your hands up and say "well men will be men, what you gonna do" is rather poor.

Still, hardly a surprising attitude when you were the person defending the incarceration of a pregnant woman for being shot in the stomach.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/woman_charged_with_manslaughter_for_being_shot-706636?v=1#x9013108

Post edited at 05:23
 Fior eun 23 Mar 2021

Women: here's a problem. We'd really appreciate it if you would listen to the problem seek to understand, listen to our solutions and be part of it as allies.

Men: you're wrong, it's not a problem, you can't assess risk properly, actually men are the real victims blah blah blah, oh and women can't do solutions*

Women: give up trying. They aren't willing to even listen, let alone understand, let alone support.*

Men: I know! You can have a segregated area on the message board. Job done. No listening required.*

*Some men have tried to be allies. Thank you. But these are the overwhelming messages from all the recent postings on women's safety from men.

It would be great if this thread could refocus on listening to the problem, seek to supportively understand it, and listen to women's suggested solutions.

 SAF 23 Mar 2021
In reply to Fior eun:

Try changing women for black person, it makes for an interesting comparison

Black person: here's a problem. We'd really appreciate it if you would listen to the problem seek to understand, listen to our solutions and be part of it as allies. 

White person: you're wrong, it's not a problem, you can't assess risk properly, actually white people are the real victims blah blah blah, oh and black people can't do solutions* 

Black people: give up trying. They aren't willing to even listen, let alone understand, let alone support.*

White people: I know! You can have a segregated area on the message board. Job done. No listening required.*

> *Some men have tried to be allies. Thank you. But these are the overwhelming messages from all the recent postings on women's safety from men.

> It would be great if this thread could refocus on listening to the problem, seek to supportively understand it, and listen to women's suggested solutions.

In reply to Blanche DuBois:

> Again this smacks to me of victim blaming. 

Please could somebody explain under what circumstances advising women to modify their behaviour to make it less likely that they are harassed or assaulted by men can be described as victim blaming.

8
 SAF 23 Mar 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Please could somebody explain under what circumstances advising women to modify their behaviour to make it less likely that they are harassed or assaulted by men can be described as victim blaming.

It's been covered already up thread.

A women shouldn't have to either leave her career/hobby or alternatively just "accept the world we live in".

Post edited at 07:57
 Fior eun 23 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

Agreed. It's pretty depressing in 2021. 

 Michael Gordon 23 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> A women shouldn't have to either leave her career/hobby or just "accept the world we live in" in order to remain safe.

I quite agree and would never suggest the former, but saying that there are actions one can take to make themselves safer is not saying that a victim who hadn't done do so is themselves to blame. I don't know why one would think that it did mean that.

4
 Michael Gordon 23 Mar 2021
In reply to Fior eun:

It's depressing irrespective of year.

In reply to Fior eun:

I think the original idea was for a forum space with a convention for men not to butt in with solutions etc, so that what women were saying about a relevant issue wasn't swamped by us lot.

This seems to have been distorted or interpreted as "put women's stuff in a separate box" which has then led some women to righteously say "how dare you sideline us like that".

That is how Chinese whispers work.

Everyone, whatever you are, try reading posts more than once, carefully, aiming to understand what the poster's meaning is, before you go off on one.

5
 SAF 23 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> > A women shouldn't have to either leave her career/hobby or just "accept the world we live in" in order to remain safe.

> I quite agree and would never suggest the former, but saying that there are actions one can take to make themselves safer is not saying that a victim who hadn't done do so is themselves to blame. I don't know why one would think that it did mean that.

And we are telling you over and over and over that we are already taking these reasonable actions and still getting sexually harassed, assaulted and worse.

 Michael Gordon 23 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

One could make the point that an attempt to raise awareness of a gender based issue is unlikely to be helped by being confined to a women only forum. But as I say, I have no objection either way.

1
 Fior eun 23 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Men: you are wrong, you need to read the thread properly, it's for the women to change their behaviour

I repeat my polite request to go back to thread topic.

 Michael Gordon 23 Mar 2021
In reply to SAF:

> And we are telling you over and over and over that we are already taking these reasonable actions and still getting sexually harassed, assaulted and worse.

Crimes will continue to be committed but are generally opportunistic and therefore there will be fewer of them than there would have been otherwise.   

9
In reply to Fior eun:

Also, I don't think men have actually suggested that women can't assess risk properly.

My understanding was that it was men solution finding, and the first thing done was to split the issue into two; inappropriate actions against women and the fear of those actions. Because each of those is a smaller problem (so should be "easier") to fix than the whole issue. And they both need sorting to ensure that women's lives are free of this issue.

 I do agree that saying "this happens to men too" etc... is not at all helpful.

4
 SAF 23 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/metro.co.uk/2021/03/22/man-puts-pillowcase-on-pregnant-womans-head-in-alley-and-attacks-her-14282823/amp/

This pregnanct women was walking in daylight down a wide alley in a residential area where there is active CCTV. She was still brutally attacked. What further action would you recommend? Chaperone from a male family member? There are religious/cultural minorities within the UK who already think chaperoning women is necessary and okay and these cultures don't have a good track record in womens rights.

 SAF 23 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Also, I don't think men have actually suggested that women can't assess risk properly.

Read the thread and stop gaslighting women either intentionally or through laziness.

> My understanding was that it was men solution finding, and the first thing done was to split the issue into two; inappropriate actions against women and the fear of those actions. Because each of those is a smaller problem (so should be "easier") to fix than the whole issue. And they both need sorting to ensure that women's lives are free of this issue.

>  I do agree that saying "this happens to men too" etc... is not at all helpful.

In reply to SAF:

Try reading the thread yourself.

9
 DalesClimber 23 Mar 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

I said that I didn't object to the idea of a women's topic, and that it could well be a positive thing in some form.

What I objected to was this proposal: 

men should have the option of reading about women's issues if they want ( but not commenting) or simply not ticking the Women forum box and carrying on regardless.

Obviously threads about womens issues should be confined to the women's forum and if a particular one was misplaced then moderators would move it to the correct forum, as is the practice already.

It's not Chinese whispers, I was responding to an explicit suggestion that "obviously" all threads about women's issues should be shunted to a side topic regardless of whether the OP had chosen to start them there or not.

I can see the value in a women's topic for issues which are genuinely only relevant to women (e.g. asking about how other people deal with periods on expeditions), but for issues like this (i.e. political ones), I don't think it's appropriate for the discussion to be somewhere that all the men can choose to ignore.

> Everyone, whatever you are, try reading posts more than once, carefully, aiming to understand what the poster's meaning is, before you go off on one.

You too - go and re-read the post I responded to and then tell me my response wasn't based on what they actually said.

Post edited at 08:38
 Fior eun 23 Mar 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Men: you are wrong.

That really sums up the thread.

Please - us women aren't doing this for fun. Please listen to what we are saying.

We cannot change men affecting women's safety without the help of all men. To change the imbedded sexism in our culture, which is often sub conscious. I appreciate this is challenging stuff and it's no wonder that the response is defensiveness, deflection and denial. But please help. 

In reply to Fior eun:

> Please - us women aren't doing this for fun. Please listen to what we are saying.

> We cannot change men affecting women's safety without the help of all men. To change the imbedded sexism in our culture, which is often sub conscious. I appreciate this is challenging stuff and it's no wonder that the response is defensiveness, deflection and denial. But please help. 

I think this is a good point to close this thread, as this is - in my eyes - the take home message from the discussion that's taken place, which is to listen, empathise and be aware of the issues.

Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Post edited at 09:04

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