I wrote this a while ago and got too shy to post it. In light of the latest blog, regarding women in climbing, that is floating around the community, I thought I’d giver a go anyway…
Here’s the thing: I believe that guys are better at some things than girls, and vice versa. I believe that if you want equal rights then you need to prove why it is that you deserve those rights.
Of course I understand that there are quite unfortunate issues in the world where women are suppressed to great lengths. And no, I don’t agree with it. But I don’t believe that you can change society or political structure unless you are willing to change yourself first.
This is where I want to encourage all the ladies to work towards becoming strong individuals without sacrificing who you are as a woman either. You shouldn’t need to act tough around the clock to prove you are a good police officer (for example). You just need to have the heart to prove that you CAN be that person, when you need to be. And you need to be willing to have patience through the bullcrap until you’ve proved what you are capable of.
My issue with the feminist movement is that people seem to expect things to change over night. They expect to state their opinion, for people to listen, and suddenly the world will become a better place. No. If you want to change things then you need to BE that change. You need to show it and represent it with your entirety. It’s not going to be easy, and you are going to have to stay strong through some tough moments. Sorry to break it to you, making a difference just isn’t a walk in the park.
When it comes to climbing, yah, we do get degraded often. As the latest blog post at Touch Stone Climbing mentions, guys do make assumptions of our climbing abilities, they do discourage us from certain routes and problems based on stereotype, and their ego often supercedes our desire to try certain things. But putting all the negative set aside, when we ladies take the initiative to step out of our shell and show them boys what we can do, suddenly both parties gain a very valuable relationship.
I know the climbing stereotypes will be killed, and men and women will play on equal terms, eventually. I know this because it happens every time I shake one of the boys awake to the fact that I am a girl who can handle my own grounds. However, I also happen to know that there are still many circumstances where it takes me being adamant about taking the first lead, to prove what I am capable of.
The whole equality thing is still new and under transformation. Until men and women find the balance, we ladies will have to step out of our shells without the support of our burly man friends. We’ll have to continue to fight to be the girls that we want to be until the change in perspective has been finalized.