Women and Rock Climbing

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Women and Rockclimbing By April Scott islamabad.metblogs.com/.../

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Chinese watercolors have depicted men climbing rocks as early as 400 BC (History of rock climbing2) Rock climbing was earlier seen as a part of mountaineering; mountaineers indulged in rock climbing in preparation for a climbing expeditions. (History of rock climbing1) Rock climbing was thought to be predominately a male sport. Too dangerous to women's health. Women were suppose to be lady like, only to participate in house duty activities. (Both Gains and Gaps Chapter Two Many Voices: Historical Perspectives on Women's Leisure) Leisure time for women had been mainly connected with the home duties. (Both Gaps and Gains Chapter Seven "Just Do It" Is Not So Easy: Participation, Constraints and Possibilities) Historical Perspective

The first climbers recorded were men who rarely told of their female counterparts who accompanied them on their climbs. To the men it seemed that it was not masculine to write of the women climbers, but valiant to write of their own endeavors. (Petticoats and Harnesses) : 

The first climbers recorded were men who rarely told of their female counterparts who accompanied them on their climbs. To the men it seemed that it was not masculine to write of the women climbers, but valiant to write of their own endeavors. (Petticoats and Harnesses) The first record of a woman climber: Miss Pinter. Miss Pinter climbed in the Alps around 1799. (Petticoats and Harnesses)

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By the 20's, climbing had started to become a "social event...Women were drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and rock climbing... Many marriages were created from the social events. (Petticoats and Harnesses) Women’s rock climbing get togethers. * 6/5/2009 - Rock Camp for Women 3 Days Event  Location: Vedauwoo, Wyoming * 6/26/2009 - Women's only climb of Mount Shasta 3 Days Event  Location: Mt Shasta, CAMore dates and adventures http://www.womenclimbing.com/climb/events.asp http://www.imeusa.com/womensrockday/index.html Today’s Perspective

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Late 20th Century brought about Liberated times for women to step up and participate in activities they want to participate in. howfastandfar.com/?p=57 Rocks make no compromise for sex... rock climbing is not like some sports, where it is made easier for women; or sports like, say, softball, which is only baseball for soft people. On a rock, everything is equal. Beverly Johnson (Women Climbing/Quotes) Positive Historical Changes

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Climbmax Climbing Center in downtown Asheville hosts women-only sessions at least once a month. (Outdoors: Women on the wall) (Outdoors: Women on the wall) "This is a really positive environment for women to climb, [as] opposed to walking into a roomful of burly dudes,” “Climbing is intimidating, It’s a lot less intimidating when it’s a roomful of women.” Sarah Smith (Outdoors: Women on the wall) As societal perspectives changed, so did leisure experiences. (Both Gains and Gaps Chapter Two Many Voices: Historical Perspectives on Women's Leisure ) Women have come a long way, now being able to do things they want, things that interest them, things no one can say, “you can’t do this because this is a man’s activity.” Women Climbers Today

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The history of leisure has been a history of men's leisure. The Victorian Ideal Throughout many historical periods, women have been perceived as the weaker sex. Often this perception was based on biological structural observations which showed that women in general had narrower and smaller shoulders and broader pelvic girdles than men. Believed to make "running, throwing, striking, and climbing activities more difficult for her than the typical man" Rock climbing is supposed to be for men only. Not ladylike. (Both Gains and Gaps Chapter Two Many Voices: Historical Perspectives on Women's Leisure ) Traditional Ideals

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The range of socially appropriate activities has expanded and competitive and physically active recreation is encouraged for girls, some activities such as football, hockey, baseball, and wrestling are still primarily male activities; an active debate continues about whether girls and women should be allowed or encouraged to participate in such events. (Both Gaps and Gains Chapter Seven "Just Do It" Is Not So Easy: Participation, Constraints, and Possibilities) *I witnessed both young girls and many women participating in this activity. Conquered Parents particularly from middle- class families, tend to find activities that are defined as suitable for the child or children, such as going to the park or to the zoo. * Trying to find a rock climbing facility was the easy part of the activity, finding a sitter for my two younger children was a difficult task. We went on a Sunday afternoon and everyone seemed to have something else to do. Now I know this could be a family activity, the younger children can participate also. Constraints Six year old girl climbing

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I am a dare devil and I love trying new things. I might only try them once, but I can at least say I tried it. Rock Climbing is an activity you have to have someone participate with you. Finding someone who would do so was hard. For the past couple of years I have asked a couple of friends, had gotten turned down each time. Having to do this activity for my class, forced me to find someone to do it with. I chose my daughter now that she is older and she is a dare devil just like me. Why Me?

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Rock climbing was not an activity that my peers male or female participated in. Even with having to do this project I had a hard time finding someone to participate with me. My daughter wanted to go and this was a great time for us to spend some quality time together. My friends are either: * Scared of heights. * Didn’t think they could pull themselves up the wall. * Thought it was a male sport (my female friends) * Thought it cost too much, dealing with tight budgets. * Don’t know enough about the activity and not interested in finding out more. Fears

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Getting started was a challenge. * Finding someone to participate with me. * Finding someone to watch my younger children. * Finding somewhere to participate. * Finding the money to participate in my tight budget. Rock climbing was a true adventure for me. My two sons.

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This is a great activity for both Men and Women. I witnessed a lot of couples and families participating together. It is a great stress reliever. You have to have a lot of trust in the person who is holding the rope for you. If you fall you have to trust the person below is going to pull the rope to catch you. The outfit (harness) was not the most attractive thing to have on it felt like a big diaper on but it was something everyone participating had to wear, so you weren’t alone. My Insights

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I enjoyed this activity so much, Yes I would rock climb again. My daughter also enjoyed it. We talked about trying to go and climb at least once a month. I will be taking the little ones next time to try it out. I think this would be a wonderful activity for the whole family. Rock Climb Again? My daughter scaling the wall. Me showing off my hidden skills.

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If the primary interaction for most women is through the family, the next most important social setting is with friends including women-only and mixed friendship groups. (Both Gaps and Gains Chapter Seven "Just Do It" Is Not So Easy: Participation, Constraints, and Possibilities) At first I did find it a little intimidating to have to climb in front of a room full of men I didn’t know, who were scaling the wall like it was nothing, but once I got on the wall my worries were focused on finding the next rock to place my hands and feet on, nothing else mattered. OVERCOME

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History of Rock Climbing1By Thomas Morva  http://ezinearticles.com/?History-of-Rock-Climbing&id=411231 History of rock climbing2 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Last modified on 19 April 2009 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_rock_climbing Petticoats and Harnesses Women in the history of Climbing. © 2000 WomenClimbing designed by Heidi Haas http://www.womenclimbing.com/climb/essay.html Bibliography

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Women Climbing © 2009 WomenClimbing designed by Heidi Haas http://www.womenclimbing.com/climb/default.asp Outdoors: Women on the wall Hanging on at ClimbMax's women-only night by Bettina Freese in Vol. 15 / Iss. 41 on 05/06/2009 http://www.mountainx.com/outdoors/2009/050609outdoors Both Gaps and Gains Chapter Two Many Voices: Historical Perspectives on Women's Leisure pages 27-69 Both Gaps and Gains Chapter Three Feminisms: Fact and Fiction pages 71-98 Both Gaps and Gains Chapter Seven "Just Do It" Is Not So Easy: Participation, Constraints, and Possibilities pages 179-211 Bibliography Cont.

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