Psicobloc Masters and Sexism

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maculated

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 12, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
Hey guys, long time no chat . . . just got back from a wonderful trip to Courtwright as part of my friend's bachelor party (yay being the only girl) . . . and a friend was mentioning that he'd seen the coverage of Psicobloc and it was beyond disgustingly unprofessional and more alarmingly sexist so I decided to see for myself. The result is this article:

http://www.all-outevents.com/?p=753

Here's the take home if sexist comps don't interest you (but they should):

"But, it’s very easy to lay all the blame on the emcees they hired, but there’s a bigger factor at play, as revealed by the female emcee, Colette, 20 minutes into the clip: “Originally, they were going to cut out some of the women climbers. There were too many women climbers and they sent some of the women home, but in the end, all the girls said, ‘You know what, we want to compete, we’re all here – we’re going to compete’ and they ended up bringing all of the women back.”

“They” decided there were too many women and they cut out the women? Thanks a lot, event producers. Climbing is very much a male-dominated sport, but the women climbing achieve at an equal level to men across most disciplines. Fans of climbing can likely name as many famous, accomplished women climbers as men. It’s not the WNBA here, and there’s no reason to foster that attitude in the nascent climbing events distributed to the greater public worldwide.

"Sponsors of this event, do you hear me? Prana, Walltopia, Adidas, Clif, and all others – do you support the sexism displayed in this event? Will you continue to send them money to reinforce this?

"This is not the 1950s and 1960s. Our mothers were on the walls and in Camp 4 alongside the men so that we could be in these competitions today with the men. And not a single one of them would have let the guys treat them as badly as this comp treated their granddaughters."

tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 12, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
LOL, are you surprised to learn that Prana supports sexism? Just take one look at their website...they've been supporting it all along
G_Gnome

Trad climber
who gave up and just goes sailing now!
Aug 12, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
I'm waiting for the comps to stop having mens and womens categories. It should just be age groups...
Baggins

Boulder climber
Aug 12, 2013 - 03:46pm PT
Originally, they were going to cut out some of the women climbers. There were too many women climbers and they sent some of the women home, but in the end, all the girls said, ‘You know what, we want to compete, we’re all here – we’re going to compete’ and they ended up bringing all of the women back.”

So maybe I got this wrong, but my interpretation of this was that there wasnt enough time for the qualification rounds with a larger pool (no pun intended) of women. They had their knockout system already set in stone, with 16 male competitors and 16 female competitors. As this was a knockout with eighth>quarter>semi>final 1 on 1 comps (http://i1.wp.com/climbingnarc.com/wp-content/images/psicobracket.jpg); they couldn't really change that at the last minute.

The MCs were terrible. JC was offensive, and idiotic.

EDIT: where was lynn hill BTW? She was slated to compete!
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 12, 2013 - 03:49pm PT
I was there, and I'd 100% agree that the announcers were not up to the level needed for an event like this turned out to be (and the PA system sucked as well).
But I wouldn't have said there was rampant sexism in the event itself. Men and women got pretty much equal time (16 women finalists and 16 men), and I believe equal prize purses. And there wasn't that much difference in the amount of skin on display.
maculated

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2013 - 03:50pm PT
Could you clarify that for me? If there are sixteen men, there should be sixteen women. Cutting women and not men isn't anything except sexist.

Plus, you might read the whole article before responding because I pretty clearly laid out sexism there.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 12, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
I agree that the announcers were sub-standard, and while I could only hear half of what they said, I'd probably agree also that some of it was kind of sexist as well. So we're on the same page there. But that's an issue with those announcers not necessarily with the event itself.

While I don't know exactly what went on with the decisions to cut or not cut folks during the qualifiers, the main event was equal. They didn't send half as many women through to the finals or some such BS. They did have women go first...I guess you could say that was unequal, but that's pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. I suppose you could have run them both together on the same climb, but while the differences are very small in climbing, in general the men are a little stronger. So I'd think that would have ended up poorly.
maculated

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2013 - 04:09pm PT
I have no qualms with how the event itself was run. But if the emcees were going off script, they could have easily been reined in. The point where Colette is talking about the women being cut and then she gasps for a second I had to listen to again because I thought maybe someone was telling her to abort, but she was just stoked for the girl finishing. As an event producer (including climbing events), if something like that was happening, I would have stopped it. I think the worldwide release and archival of it without comment sends a message more than if it was just at the comp itself in Park City.

The saddest bit was that it's obviously not intentional sexism, the poor gal initiated most of the comments! But we do it to ourselves, too.
Baggins

Boulder climber
Aug 12, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Could you clarify that for me? If there are sixteen men, there should be sixteen women. Cutting women and not men isn't anything except sexist.

Plus, you might read the whole article before responding because I pretty clearly laid out sexism there.

Um, didnt we both just say there were 16 men and 16 women in the final? Isnt that pretty clear? Plus, the link I put up (http://i1.wp.com/climbingnarc.com/wp-content/images/psicobracket.jpg); shows that in visual form.

I suppose you could have run them both together on the same climb, but while the differences are very small in climbing, in general the men are a little stronger.

Yeah they would have had to run the same routes. So the womens was ~13c, the mens ~14b, and considerably more dynamic.
Baggins

Boulder climber
Aug 12, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
if the emcees were going off script

I think they were making it up as they went along...
maculated

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
Baggins, no, it's not clear because of the comments explaining why they said they were going to cut the women. Did they start with a bigger pool of women than men or something? Or, were they GOING to cut down the 16 women?
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Aug 12, 2013 - 04:38pm PT
As I said, I'm not sure what went on with the qualifiers. I know they had originally planned to have two rounds of qualifiers. Maybe there were more women than men, and for $ reasons they decided to do only one? Not ideal, but perhaps understandable given the typical $ constraints. But it did end up being equal numbers in the finals.
I also agree with you that someone probably should have stepped in to say something to the announcers to point out that they were being a bit too frat boyish. But it was pretty crazy that night.

Disclaimer: I'm friends with many of the people who organized this, so I'm probably a bit biased.
maculated

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 12, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
Bias is fair. I'm an event organizer and I appreciate people supporting them, and they obviously did a ton of amazing things right - I wish I had the means to pull something like that off. Like I said, just that it stands as it is horrifies me.
John M

climber
Aug 12, 2013 - 04:54pm PT
I thought the women's competition was more interesting because the routes required more finesse. Much more interesting to watch as they worked out the moves. I didn't care for the format which meant in the final the competitors were burnt. They needed two walls or a wall big enough for a mens route and a women's route so that they could alternate. That would have kept it going and given more recovery time.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Aug 12, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
maculated thinks
"...women climbing achieve at an equal level to men across most disciplines."


G Gnome has a good way to prove or disprove that -

I'm waiting for the comps to stop having mens and womens categories. It should just be age groups...



I've never seen a "sport" with such a pervasive amount of complaints of sexism as climbing, nearly always from women who climb. These same women typically trumpet the accomplishments of their fellow women the loudest, and often in the context of "the best, first, hardest, fastest female ascent".

What's up with that? Isn't that being sexist too?



tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 12, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
I guess it's like black people are the ones who mostly complain about racism ...go figure...

I never seen a sport filled with such amounts of white male privilege.
Oh wait...polo??

Morgan

Trad climber
East Coast
Aug 12, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
Wasn't there a world cup event when, Lynn Hill was competing where, the women wanted to compete on the men's route, but the organizers weren't keen. But then the crowd spoke up and wanted to see the women climb on the men's route. I think Lynn won and her climb would have been good for 2nd or 3rd in the men's standings?
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 12, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
It's a tricky question about women competing with men in one unisex competition event...I guess would be good to have separate men's and women's events, and add one mixed, for those who're willing.
Srbphoto

climber
Kennewick wa
Aug 12, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
So the womens was ~13c, the mens ~14b, and considerably more dynamic.

yup, blatant sexism...making the men climb harder routes.



sexism at climbing comps, now where is that 1st world problem thread?
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 12, 2013 - 08:08pm PT

Give 'em hell, Mac!!!!
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