/ COMPETITION: Win two tickets to the 2018 Women's Climbing Symposium
Can men enter this comp?
Definitely! We would love to hear about everyone’s climbing journey. If a man wins he will just need to give his tickets to a female friend ;)
So I can enter but not attend? I was hoping to go with my wife if by some chance I did win. She's my best partner on the rock.
How would all we women climbers feel if there was a men's climbing symposium that we were not allowed to attend? Do women really need these events nowadays? We have a whole range of role models, women who have smashed through the barriers.
> How would all we women climbers feel if there was a men's climbing symposium that we were not allowed to attend?
Are you claiming to represent all women climbers? Speaking as one male climber, I have absolutely no issue with this event. If I felt that strongly about there being no "Men's Climbing Symposium", I'd start one instead of whining about it.
> Can men enter this comp?
I suspect that as there's nothing to stop women from entering any number of UKC competitions to win male specific gear with no female equivalent, that the answer is of course, yes.
Funnily enough, you never seem to get female UKC users complaining about those competitions.
> Do women really need these events nowadays? We have a whole range of role models, women who have smashed through the barriers.
I do think that's a fair question, but by way of example, the Women's Trad Festival held in the Peak the weekend just gone attracted 200 climbers and the tickets sold out within 5 minutes of being available.
So whether or not there's any need for such events, there's clearly an appetite for them and the women who go are clearly keen to come back for more. Isn't that justification enough? Do you think they shouldn't be enjoying themselves? It's not like there's a shortage of unisex events.
To add to the debate, you cannot base job promotion on the sex of a person or refuse certain things. If I turned up at the door to buy a ticket to this symposium, would and should they be able to turn me away as a man? In an age of equality, male privilage is really starting to hold me back. There is much we can learn from female climbers, just the other week a girl talked me up my first 5b.
The first post I put up about joining my wife was genuine, we met as climbing friends and continue married as climbing partners.
> To add to the debate, you cannot base job promotion on the sex of a person or refuse certain things. If I turned up at the door to buy a ticket to this symposium, would and should they be able to turn me away as a man?
Can they? Certainly. Try joining a women's football (or other sports) club. It's not a job offer, or a B&B.
Would they? I don''t know.
Should they? I think so, yes. It depends on whether you value your entitlement to go to the event over and above those who are attending the event in the expectation of it being a Women's Symposium. You might argue that it's just you, but then what's to stop further men attending, and pretty soon it's not a Women's Symposium any more. Alternatively, maybe it will be self regulating and few men will go, because they see no particular issue with women wanting to go to events in the company of other women, and do not feel threatened by such things.
I'd find attending an event based around womens climbing facinating. Why shouldn't I go and see if I can learn something? It's no different to a Muslim attending a church to learn something or understand a belief system that has differences or the other way round. The presence of men wouldn't degrade a womens climbing symposium. I don't see why we have to segregate climbers when the sport is something that breaks down barriers. Lately it feels like barriers are being rebuilt as a statement of empowerment.
Your point is well made though and respectful.
> Your point is well made though and respectful.
Thanks, that's appreciated. I could say more but I think at this point it'd probably be more informative to hear from women who have attended the WCS to see what they think.
For what it's worth, the WCS put a lot of good sessions on, some I'd be really interested in seeing. I do think though that if they had a headline speaker of the calibre of Lynn Hill, as last year, they might well find they had more male attendees than female, purely due to demographics.
It's not like there are no women climbers anywhere else for you to learn from, like they only come out of their secluded caves to attend the wcs once a year. What a load of bollocks.
Surprise headline, man wants to benefit from the one occasion a year when women climbers are focusing on themselves. Strange as it may seem to you, no it's not set up to benefit you!
> I'd find attending an event based around womens climbing facinating. Why shouldn't I go and see if I can learn something?
As a practical point, though, there are a finite number of people who can attend (and the WCS is generally sold out and packed to the gills). So if you (or any other man) attends, that's one woman who *can't*.
If you're sincere in your desire to learn from women's climbing and learn about women's experiences, then I absolutely respect that and think it's great.
But part of that might mean trying to understand why many women value events like the WCS and the Women's Trad Festival, and why they can actually help build women's climbing confidence and skills in general.
Nobody's being "segregated"; this is one single day, and then all of those women climbers will be back climbing in mixed-gender environments again -- taking their enhanced confidence and skills and knowledge with them. The Women's Trad Festival is a place where a lot of women start doing trad or start leading for the first time -- and then they're hopefully going to go out and keep doing trad with all sorts of partners.
I'm a member of the Pinnacle Club, so I spend more than one day a year climbing in all-women situations, and I *still* spend most of my climbing time with male climbing partners or in mixed-gender groups. And I respect and enjoy climbing with my male climbing partners, and have learned a lot from them (and hopefully have been able to teach the odd thing in return).
It's not an either/or, you know?
> How would all we women climbers feel if there was a men's climbing symposium that we were not allowed to attend?
Fine, actually, if there was demand for it.
Speaking as an angry feminist -- there are absolutely specific issues where male-only groups can be valuable and important to people. For example, eating disorders in men can often present quite differently and be underdiagnosed, and standard eating disorder services tend to be geared towards the needs of women.
So you could very legitimately have a workshop on eating disorders in male climbers.
I don't know if there are enough topics like that to make up a whole symposium -- training advice and setting and so forth and even group dynamics in climbing environments tend to be built around a male-centred default anyway. But I could be wrong.
If guys want to start a Male Climbing Symposium, they can, and I'll happily accept not being allowed to attend it!
Thank you for your feedback. It’s certainly not about building barriers, it’s about positively connecting, developing and inspiring women.
Some of our attendees love the safety and freedom of expression that they find in a women’s-only environment. Some want to sit down and talk frankly about piecing their climbing body back together after giving birth with a group of people who have shared that experience. Some climb with male partners most of the time and love it, but also like the chance to share beta, stories and a brew with a huge group of psyched women a few times a year. Some women don’t care whether an event is female or co-ed but just come because it is fun. We love all of these people and the dynamic they bring.
The market is full of fantastic co-ed events, and there is certainly a lot of choice out there - hopefully something for everyone.
The WCS team have wider events planned for trial in 2019 to see whether what we offer is of interest to all climbers. We are also working hard with HarroWall to ensure WCS18 leaves a legacy. We hope this will include filming/streaming speakers to share talks beyond the event. Shauna and Leah will also be setting a comp circuit that will stay up after the event for anyone to try. After the formal event finishes the wall will open up to all for the evening with further social and climbing activities and fun for anyone who enters the wall. It's about being as inclusive as possible, yet keeping our community at the heart of what we do.
Thanks to all for the high standard of thought and respect on show here.
I find it interesting that some men can often be excluding of their girlfriends/wives to the point of seemingly resenting their presence when around their male friends, but when the opposite happens and women want to spend time with female friends or attend an event such as this, they suddenly feel left out!
That's a real shame if that's the case for some blokes. I can only speak personally but my plans are always open to my better half.
In general I think we need to be careful about gender specific events in creating barriers. They can risk doing exactly the opposite to what they intend. However, I see climbing as already being very open - there are not many sports where people of so many abilities, backgrounds and gender "play" together with so few barriers (it does seem to be predominantly white though). This is one of the things I enjoy so much about climbing, in particular indoors.
So I do not think the WCS does create barriers. I think it embraces a particular section of the climbing community, bringing them together for a fun day. I think the WCS have taken the initiative to develop and run what appears to be a great event and they should be congratulated for this. I think the real issue is why no other organisations are stepping forward to run similar events for the wider climbing community.
I say the above as a male and based on seeing the great video of WCS2017
We should be highlighting the WCS as an example to other organisations (BMC?) for how to bring together the climbing community.
I don't recall seeing this much furore around the Youth Climbing Symposium...
For a change I think we've raised the bar to 'polite discussion' this time.
Yea but who wants to hang around kids?
Tongue very much in cheek, for the offended!
The BMC will look to support any worthy climbing or hillwalking events, however, given its small size, it inevitably needs to rely on volunteers to do most of the work. There are already several volunteer led weekend festivals every year (mainly linked to BMC owned crags). WCS and WTF are such successful events because there was a clear need and some generous people spotted this, made the decision to set them up, and run them well.
I understand there were some male volunteers helping out with domestic duties at the WTF camp.
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