a call to action to the members of the climbing community

“You’re never gonna make it in this industry,” he tells me. “Your standards are way too high.”

I roll my eyes and scan the brewery for anyone else I can go sit with.

“I mean, what do you expect…that you’re gonna open up Climbing magazine and read something that’s just so fucking good that it’ll change your life? Come on. This is rock climbing,” he says, laughing and shaking his head.

I look back at him. “See, that’s what I don’t get. On one hand, this community is obsessed with climbing. We think it’s the best thing in the world. Most of us claim we would die without it.”

“I sure would,” he says, raising his glass.

“And then on the other hand, everyone’s like, oh whatever, it’s just climbing, who cares? That’s the attitude that leads to all of this horrible shit getting published.”

He raises his eyebrows and leans in close to me. “Georgie. You’re in the wrong industry. You’re expecting way too much.”

“I don’t think I am.” I tilt the last of my beer back and set the empty bottle on the table. “I think I should be able to expect well written and interesting articles in every issue of every major magazine.”

He laughs once, letting out one single “ha”.

“And to expect the climbing industry to uphold the incredibly basic value of respect for the members of this community is not too much to ask for.”

That makes him laugh harder. “Respect? Come on. To them, that’s just some word that millenials came up with to use when they feel left out or bullied. Seriously Georgie, you’re not just going up against big companies and big people. You’re up against attitudes, egos, and history. And that shit runs deep.”

***

Almost two months ago, I wrote an open letter to Andrew Bisharat that created quite a stir in the climbing community. As I wrote and published the letter, I had no idea how big of a deal it was going to be. After a few weeks of not really wanting to think about the situation anymore, I now feel like I have enough energy and distance from it to reflect in a real way.

To make a very long story short, Andrew Bisharat is a prominent writer in the climbing world. He has  written a few things that have offended members of the climbing community, and when called on this, he degrades the people who confront him. My letter was an attempt to help the community realize that we don’t have to be quiet when we see something that offends us, and that we don’t deserve to be ridiculed if we choose to speak up.

The public response to my letter was overwhelmingly positive. I have received over 500 personal messages of appreciation and support and I’m still receiving messages today.

From the beginning of this whole process, I knew that this was much bigger than me and Andrew. That is why I made the letter public. But I had no idea how big this actually was.

Let me take you back to a few years ago.

When I was just getting into this freelance writing thing, I had no idea what I was doing (still don’t). I did, however, know that I needed two things: 1. a mentor—someone to look up to, learn from, and tell me that my work is shitty, and 2. a publishing goal—a magazine or blog that produced high-quality content that I would have to work my ass off to get published in. In search of these two things, I started reading. A lot. I read all of the major climbing magazines, and to my surprise, none of them were producing content on a regular basis that I was blown away by. And while I did find writers that I liked, most of them were not professional writers–they were random climbers with blogs, and none of them were publishing in the mainstream media outlets. I was confused and wondered if I was just being snobby or not looking in the right place. So I asked my climbing friends and a few people involved in the industry to give me a list of writers I should be reading. Graciously, they sent me their suggestions, and I noticed that there was one writer that every one of them had included on their list:

Andrew Bisharat.

Looking back on that now, it’s kind of funny, but this is also a serious problem. When one of the most widely read voices in the climbing industry writes things such as, “Women can be relied on to do at least three things well: make brownies, turn an older man’s love into dollar bills, and complain that their size makes climbing harder because everything is ‘reachier’, it’s not just the problem of some girl from California trying to find her way as a freelance writer. It is a problem of an entire industry.

That quote was published in Rock and Ice, one of the industry’s leading magazines. When they were called on this, they edited the sentence out of the original piece without an editor’s note. And when Rock and Ice’s Editor at Large, Andrew Bisharat, was involved in a major debate about sexism in climbing media, Rock and Ice distanced themselves as much as possible from him and told the climbing community that they are a publication that supports women because they have a “Chick’s Corner” section of their magazine.

This the magazine that many people have told me I ought to submit to.

We have a problem.

Even if I were to set the misogynistic writing aside, I still haven’t found a publication that, in my opinion, consistently puts out excellent content. And I still don’t feel like I have many writers to look up to.

Who am I supposed to be obsessed with? Who am I supposed to send fan mail to? Who am I supposed to want to plagiarize?

I’m not saying all of this because I think I’m a better writer than anyone else. In fact, I usually suck at writing. I need someone to tell me that I suck and how to suck less. I also need a publication to submit to that I believe in, that has incredibly high standards, and that will reject me over and over again until I write something worthy.

A fellow climbing writer recently wrote in his blog that when he pitched an article (to a magazine he left unnamed) about climbing in the Dominican Republic, they told him to be sure to get a lot of pictures of chicks in bikinis.

This is not the problem of one writer and one magazine. Again, this is a much bigger issue. We, as an industry, have a problem.

A few weeks back, La Sportiva, arguably the most popular climbing shoe company in the world, posted an Instagram photo of Paige Claassen that described her as “young” and a “pretty face”. This is a woman who is one of the strongest sport climbers in the entire world and someone who I look up to immensely. However, I don’t look up to her because she’s pretty or young. I look up to her because she is a really nice person and absolutely crushes on the rocks. A few people commented on the post, expressing that they were disappointed to see that Paige’s appearance was put before her accomplishments. It was then suggested by La Sportiva and by other commenters that the people who confronted them were being too sensitive.

We have a problem.

When women who write articles or make comments about their experiences with oppression in the climbing industry are called bitches, whiners, attention-seekers, wanna-be-feminists, and man-haters, we have a problem.

When a climber writes to a magazine to tell them that they wish to cancel their subscription because they found some of their content to be offensive, and gets told by the magazine to calm down because “it’s tongue and cheek writing”, we have a problem.

When Reel Rock features men almost exclusively, we have a problem.

When a person collects stories from women about their experiences in rock climbing and is then told that they must have been raped as a child to want to write an article of that nature, we have a problem.

When multiple women come to me and say, I want to say something about this too but I’m scared because of how poorly other people who speak about this have been treated, we have a problem.

When an article that pokes about fun the way a well known female climber dresses and acts on social media becomes widely popular, we have a problem.

When the writer I’m told to look up to writes articles that are degrading to women, and when called out on this, he attacks me publicly, lies to and manipulates the entire climbing community in an attempt to discredit me, and accuses me of getting sponsorship because of who I’ve dated, we have a problem.

When even one person comes to his defense, we have a problem.

When the magazine I’m widely told to submit to publishes sentences such as, “…I sat hypnotized by the sight of a tight little package, all hot with hair full of body and bounce, pumping an elliptical machine,” we have a problem.

When I could keep going on and on and on, we have a problem.

And when almost every person working in the climbing industry denies the seriousness, existence, and validity of all of these issues, we have a really big problem.

***

It has been made clear by multiple members of the climbing industry that my voice is not welcome here. The amount of shaming that I have received from the industry for simply speaking is shocking. And I’m not the only one–it seems that whenever someone speaks in a voice that sounds even slightly different from what we’re all used to, they are ripped apart. But it’s not the climbing community that has a problem with different voices–it’s the industry. Like I said, I got over 500 messages of support in response to my open letter. These messages were from climbers, not the people who work in the climbing industry. That’s important, and I listened.

I’m not going to write for this industry, I’m going to write for this community. Because when I write for the community, for climbers, the bro-club that is the climbing industry gets quieter, weaker, and less prominent.

It’s taken me a while, but I now understand what my job is here–to fuck with everything. Thankfully I have a lot of experience in that field. I have in fact found a few platforms that welcomes my writing, including Moja Gear and The Climbing Zine. But my purpose is not to write for the mainstream magazines, it never was, and I never even wanted to in the first place.

I also have faith that I will find a writer to emulate. I know that you’re out there somewhere, but perhaps your voice has been shamed or unpublished. I need you to write, and to write loudly. This community needs you. We also need more publications that welcomes media from all members of this community, not just the dudes who can hold on to small crimps.

I also know that I’m not the first woman to write about rock climbing. I know that many women have come before me, and that they have paved the way for me and made it possible for my voice to be heard.

I can feel the shifts happening in this industry, slowly, but we need everyone to get louder, to keep pushing, and to not stop anytime soon.

The good news? There’s no wrong way to go about this.

And yeah, there will be maybe like three dudes that will call you a bitch, and it will suck, but not as much as those dudes suck. This community needs your voice SO badly.

Get louder.

A few months ago I told one of my friends that I was done–done with this industry, done trying to write, done with the ridicule. But I said that out of frustration and exhaustion–I’m not going anywhere. I’m just going to get louder.

***

“Do you want my advice?” he asks.

I shrug my shoulders. “Sure.”

“You’re gonna get ripped apart trying to do what you’re doing. Believe me. Don’t write about all this political stuff. I know you care about it but just write that shit in your journal or something. You’re a smart girl and a good writer and people like you. Well, they like you right now at least. But this industry, I’m telling you, they will rip someone like you apart. They like to pretend they’re all progressive or whatever but you’re dealing with old school shit. So just let it go. You could write for anyone you want to if you just play by the rules.” He smiles and looks at me as if this is good news.

I get up from the table.

“Why are you leaving?” he asks.

“Because you don’t get it.” I zip my down jacket and turn towards the door.

“Oh and also,” I say, looking back at him. “Fuck you.”

 

 

 

To make a donation to Georgie’s writing, click here.

 

 

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31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brent
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 10:11:14

    Now we’re talking. You go George. Proud of you …

    Reply

  2. JP
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 12:04:21

    First off, I’m a dude, but I think that the best written and most interesting climbing articles that I’ve read over the last couple of years were from the female climbing blog Cruxcrush.com . They talk about things that I can relate to as a normal everyday climber and their perspective seems fresh especially in comparison to the rather trite and formulaic style of Climbing magazine. If your goal is to write awesome climbing articles, maybe cruxcrush is a place worth considering.

    Reply

    • Georgie Abel
      Mar 04, 2016 @ 12:17:16

      thank you JP! I really appreciate your comment and I’ll check out crux crush…I’ve read some of the stuff that they’ve come out with but I’ll give it another look!

      Reply

  3. Amy Forseth
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 13:20:44

    Dear Georgie,

    I’m not a climber but as a 55-year old active woman I can’t tell you how much this email saddens me. This is where we are in this day and age??

    On the other hand, I am thrilled with where you have landed. Get louder indeed.

    Reply

  4. Older not Mellower
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 13:29:23

    Great post! “The Personal Is Political” – true in 1969 and true in 2016. Glad to say I read this because my feminist climber son posted it.

    Reply

  5. David
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 13:31:24

    Thanks you for speaking out.

    If you haven’t already, find, beg, borrow, steal copies of Lizzy Scully’s She Sends magazine from the early/mid 00’s. Lots of solid and great writing by her and many others, including (then) rude boy, Matt Samet. His articles for She Sends revealed the depth of his humanity and talent at a time when his work for the major mags was all climber bro persona.

    Reply

  6. ghisino
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 13:32:21

    interesting piece, food for thought.

    as a euro male climber who occasionally indulges with his climbing partners in a kind of humour that could be peceived as sexist, homophobic, or broadly speaking politically incorrect, i am a bit skeptical about the bisharat thing.
    I think that passage would be totally legit as long as, in the context of the article, its tongue in cheek nature was clear.

    On the other hand, i totally get the paige claissen thing.

    I was also quite shocked a few days ago hearing the following line at the crag.
    climber “man, this move is so hard and powerful!”
    belayer “are you sure there is no other beta? I mean, girls have climbed this route!”
    (a franch 8b+/c, make the grade maths)

    what shocked me is that you could tell the belayer was 100% serious and 0% tongue in cheek.

    but then again.
    I just got a qualification to set french lead and bouldering competitions.
    If asked to set for girls i instinctively look for stuff that would match my expectation of “feminine” climbing: relatively “unpowerful” hand moves, great flexibility, unreal holding ability on small stuff, precise footwork, and overall flowy graciousness.
    I would try to disadvantage a “powerful” style as much as possible, because it doesn’t meet my expectation of how a girl should climb.
    To make a clear example, if i was setting at international level lead, i’d try to set for Jain Kim and any girl having a similar climbing style.

    if i was setting for guys, i may sometimes go in a very different direction: power, agression, pace, risk-taking. To pick another example in lead climbing, think sean mc coll.

    so, here’s my question: am i a badly sexist route setter?

    Reply

  7. Jeff Jacklich
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 14:01:31

    Hey Georgie, my name is Jeff Jacklich and I’m a long time friend of your dads. All I want to say is ” You go girl ! ” . A prophet is always hated in their own community. Comfort leeds to complacency. And it sounds like your industry is comfortable. It’s the thinkers, the innovators, the challengers that upset the status quo and bring about advancement and change. If your not getting uncomfortable, your not improving. Keep writing, keep climbing, keep getting uncomfortable ! Reducing the light you shine helps no one !

    Reply

  8. Benjamin
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 14:02:11

    Georgia
    This is very well written and heard. Regarding looking for someone to look up to… Read Steph Davis’ blog, books, and articles. I think she’s a great writer. Period!

    Reply

  9. Vitaliy
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 15:37:24

    When you take on a controversial issue, there will be hundreds of people who agree and don’t agree. Sex dynamics in climbing and elsewhere, could be looked at in many ways and talked about for hundreds of years. If Andrew was a dick, it doesn’t mean majority of dudes out there support his views. I personally like to climb with females because they seem to worry less about failing on an objective. Not that ALL or most females are like that, but I personally had great luck and respect MY partners for that, not because they are badass climbers. I heard some of their horror stories about ‘the guy at a crag,’ pointing out the 5.7s to them before they warm up on his proj. People like those guys are a part of society which will die off like dinosaurs in the next 30 years so that seeing a strong gal sending the gnar won’t be such an anomaly. I don’t think those guys are mean by nature, though likely not used to being around strong female climbers. Maybe go overboard trying to be the nice guy preventing a beginner epic? Not sure, want to give people the benefit of the doubt!

    With all the negatives you have listed, please note there was the first all female climbing festival in Bishop recently. Chief editors of the Alpinist and the Climbing magazine are both females. There was a whole Alpinist issue celebrating female accomplishments a few month ago. The AAC gives out climbing grants which favor female applicants over men. In the last few years the climbing magazines been trying to include females into limelight, no matter if the climb itself would be considered worthy to publish if the team was made up of males. To me, it seems like there is all sort of sexism in the ‘industry’ coming from individual males and reverse sexism from people trying to compensate for it or to aid female teams to advance their skills. I think it is important for those who pay attention to respect individuals as individuals, not as representatives of an opposite sex/race or whatever.

    A lot of people bring up Andrew as a top notch climber-writer because he has been writing interesting articles consistently, for years. It is easy to discredit him for a sarcastic comment in a sarcastic article, but it would be difficult to match his contribution by putting out interesting articles that do not have to be controversial in order to be popular.

    Not sure if the discussion with a guy at the bar is worth taking to heart. There are plenty of people who will doubt you, but what is important is finding the balance which is acceptable to YOUR life. It is likely true that there isn’t much money involved in the US climbing publications in the first place, so trying to make it in this industry won’t lead to much more than a few cliff bars, a new camalot, some gas money and an annual international vacation. Which is actually fairly plush compared to the typical third world country, but that is a whole different issue…the point I am trying to make – you know much more about what will make you happy than some dude at the bar. We as individuals get to pick our battles, climbs we are excited about, friends to hang out with, dates, books we read, music we listen to, our favorite GEAR! All these things make us individuals. So do what is right for you. If writing is a big part of your life, do it, no matter if the industry will publish. Do it for yourself, do it for people like I, who will read. Good luck! 🙂

    Reply

  10. Jason
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 15:48:56

    Keep writing, and I, at least, will keep reading. Things usually change by a series of small actions. I wish they would change faster, but someday is better than never. As far as a recommendation, I too have found quality few and far between (I stopped reading Andrew Bisharat ages ago for the reasons you state and others), but I have found Peter Beal (mountainsandwater.com) to be a breath of fresh air. He doesn’t write often, but I think you may enjoy it when he does.

    Reply

  11. Ryan Johnson
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 17:08:12

    On the one hand i support your new voice, your drive and your desire to see quality media in the climbing world.
    On the other hand i like dry sarcastic writing that tugs against the wall that is Political Correctness.

    I look forward to a time when both needs can be met in climbing journalism with quality story telling.

    Reply

  12. Erik nachtrieb
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 17:11:59

    Georgia,
    We aren’t part of the climbing industry,nor community, however your message resonates with us as part of the greater outdoor community. My business partner and good friend Viv Smith confronts a male dominate club every day in film and expedition. As a father of two daughters, husband and Viv’s partner, I champion the positive image of strong women in our footage, articles and images. It’s great to hear your voice. I will pass it along to Viv.
    Cheers!

    Reply

  13. Zachariah Wahrer
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 18:12:30

    Thanks for sharing such a great read. You have the right attitude. There are more of us than there are of them, and as you said, our side needs to get louder!

    Reply

  14. Tim Sipe
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 20:30:27

    Loved this.

    Reply

  15. Tim Terry II
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 22:38:32

    Im on your team!!! Keep it up.

    Reply

  16. Alvyn Bysouth
    Mar 05, 2016 @ 03:16:12

    I was taught to climb by two inspirational women. I was assesed by a top woman climber/alpinist. Who was it who freed the Nose on El Cap? another inspirational woman climber. When I did my Personal Training qualifications it was an inspirational woman who mentored me. I can go on and on about the inspirational sports women who have helped me when male egos have not.
    We must support and have respect for women in all sports, I know I do.

    Reply

  17. Louis Arevalo
    Mar 05, 2016 @ 05:59:38

    Hey Georgie,
    I believe there are climbers who are great writers only their work usually doesn’t appear in the climbing magazines. Maintain your standards high. I see no reason to stoop. And keep looking for mentors. In my experience they are out there and more than willing to share.

    Reply

  18. David Thoenen
    Mar 05, 2016 @ 06:47:42

    I categorize Andrew Bisharart as the Donald Trump of climbing world. Apparently has a very high regard for himself. Lives to shock. Rude and crude but that’s OK in his world view. Gets him the attention he apparently needs. Yup. Donald Trump.

    I’m an old guy. I had a problem with a put down of older climbers that he came up with a few years ago. Wrote the editor. Was told Bisharat was a talented young climber that appealed to younger climbers. Not losing sleep over it. But if I were a women dealing with the larger issues you address, I probably would.

    Reply

  19. bethtrem
    Mar 05, 2016 @ 11:11:01

    Loved the article. Well written and very true. From personal experience, i have come to see, a rock, sports bra, some jeans and chalk bag will bring more likes on fb and ig. If I blog and share the writing there’s not much of a response unless I attach a picture to it. To most I’m a picture(given it’s the right one), what I have to say is overlooked.

    Reply

  20. lilykeal
    Mar 05, 2016 @ 12:10:19

    What an inspiration. You got bigger balls and a better sense of voice than most writers in the climbing mags I have read.

    Reply

  21. rockdisc10@hotmail.com
    Mar 06, 2016 @ 06:53:07

    As a male who is about to have a daughter, please get louder so that the climbing world is better when she starts climbing and so that she has a role model when she starts reading about climbing.

    Reply

  22. acurrano
    Mar 06, 2016 @ 09:19:07

    “And then on the other hand, everyone’s like, oh whatever, it’s just climbing, who cares? That’s the attitude that leads to all of this horrible shit getting published.”

    I would suggest that what leads to horrible crap being published has more to do with how little it pays to write for the climbing mags. Just a thought…

    Reply

  23. Sarah Nguyen Kim
    Mar 06, 2016 @ 10:48:02

    I’m going to suggest that perhaps your writing isn’t being purchased by magazines because instead of (or in addition to) the reasons you mentioned, you also aren’t taking the time and effort (or simply can’t) produce high-quality content or thoroughly examine and edit your own assumptions before they go into print. And even if this suggested reason isn’t true as a reason for not being published in print, your writing and thinking will improve if you take the suggestion seriously. Here’s one fast example of poor thinking and sloppy writing:

    You wrote:

    ” A few weeks back, La Sportiva, arguably the most popular climbing shoe company in the world, posted an Instagram photo of Paige Classen that described her as “young” and a “pretty face”. ”

    1. Ranking a company’s popularity is an objective measure based on numbers and market share. It’s not an “arguable” distinction. Chocolate IS arguably more delicious than vanilla. But Subaru (or Sportiva) is NOT arguably more popular than Toyota (insert brand X). Maybe you don’t have these numbers after a 10-second google search, but the that doesn’t make it an “arguable” point.

    2. You spelled Paige Claassen’s name wrong.

    I’m intentionally not addressing the sexism topics of your article, in order to suggest other potential reasons as to why you aren’t or weren’t finding buyers for your writing. Your quality of content, spelling, punctuation, etc DO MATTER even on a personal blog for someone claiming to want to sell their writing to companies and more so within a piece expressing frustration with the lack of high-quality content in print.

    Reply

    • Georgie Abel
      Mar 06, 2016 @ 10:53:06

      Wonderful critique and comment, and I agree with you to some extent. However, I am wondering why you think that this is a post about my writing not being bought. I have not submitted my writing to most of the major magazines because I don’t want to be associated with many of them. I never, ever claimed that I want to sell my writing to these companies. In fact, the one time I did submit to one of the major magazines, they published my article quickly and with ZERO edits. This is a problem, because as you said and as I said over and over in my article, my writing NEEDS editing.

      Reply

  24. RHams
    Mar 06, 2016 @ 13:15:01

    G,

    I would like to start of by saying I admire your headstrong attitude and eagerness for equality and change. This is not an easy topic since it’s a multiple direction street with so many levels. To state simpler: it’s not just the climbing community but a society as a whole. Is there a problem? I’m not sure, I don’t really read articles, they write what they want you to hear. If I’m reading a climbing mag, I’m not interested in something about her tits, his dick, I want a story. I want to hear what this one cataclysmic event in a climbers life made them stronger and happier. I immediately ignore the “let’s change the world” articles. I hear it enough about everything everyday.

    I’m not sure of a problem. Maybe because I ignore it, or just avoid. But I’ve climbed with many females, amazing ones, and it was never a topic of discussion with us ever. It was enjoying the moment of doing what we all wanted to do.

    I don’t disagree with change, but it’s not easy. When something isn’t easy, we often take a different approach to succeed. Complaining is cute- but only once. Actually doing something with groups of people with a common goal is undeniable aspect of accepting change. We can influence people by writing things, but who says they read it, or even respond well? Invite them to an event with something free, and you get an enormous outcry.

    While we all work towards a goal of change, we also want to smile while doing it. What’s the point in climbing if it doesn’t make us smile. I’ve only been climbing 14 years, I’ve judged ABS, done some route setting, couple of big walls, ISA tree climber 8 years, bouldered with the best, and ignored the BS people say so that I can enjoy my day. Many of my climbing friends are on a solid path to being pro, and some already are. But they didn’t get there bitching and moaning. They got there smiling through the pain.

    I know you’re not looking for advice, and of all people, I’d likely be the last. I’d be eager to help you out, but don’t be a writer full of complaints. Write a moving article, and people will follow. Out of my female climbing friends, many whoop my ass at it. But I climb with them because they ignore the drama and realize its better to focus on the next step than what the asshole next to you wrote.

    If you’re cute people are going to stare and make comments all the time, no matter where you are or what you do. Take it as a compliment. Eventually you’ll find your group -or you may already have, then collaborate, not complain.

    I hope you find your center, much love and support! Fuck the haters, things get better with time.

    Reply

  25. acurrano
    Mar 06, 2016 @ 13:51:25

    I’m sure much of what you say about sexism in the industry is true. I also think that the way this post is written shows a certain lack of maturity and self-awareness. This is likely causing some of the negative reactions to your post, and may also be reinforcing some unfortunate stereotypes. For example:

    “I think I should be able to expect well written and interesting articles in every issue of every major magazine.”
    You can expect whatever you want, but if you are not leading by example it won’t change anything, it just sounds like whining and entitlement syndrome. Also when you write off the entire industry, you risk making enemies of the women and men who run, edit, and write for some of these magazines, who could very well end up being your mentors if you showed them a little respect.

    “I also need a publication to submit to that I believe in, that has incredibly high standards, and that will reject me over and over again until I write something worthy.”
    That’s nice. What else do you need from all these sub-par publications that you aren’t reading or paying for or submitting things to? Perhaps they should all get together to hire a writing coach and mentor for you so you can then produce the content that you need to believe in? Or perhaps the climbing community should all just create this magical dream publication for you so you can finally realize your full potential as a writer? Or you could do the work to become what you need to be and create that which you need to have. You may have noticed that publishing has hit a bit of a rough patch recently – it seems these days click-bait rules, and sex and controversy pay the bills, even more than they used to. Incredibly high standards don’t always pay the bills.

    “Even if I were to set the misogynistic writing aside, I still haven’t found a publication that, in my opinion, consistently puts out excellent content.”
    Have you tried Alpinist? Do you realize by publishing this statement, you probably just pissed off and alienated every single publisher, editor, out there who is working their ass off to consistently put out excellent content? Nice job.

    Have you tried creating your own publication that is up to your high standards? Might be a 90 hour a week job, from the sound of it. Is it worth it to you? Or do you just want to complain about it?

    “And I still don’t feel like I have many writers to look up to.”
    Who am I supposed to be obsessed with? Who am I supposed to send fan mail to? Who am I supposed to want to plagiarize?”
    Umm…No one. If you want to be a writer, worry about your own writing. If you think there are no good writers out there, become one and fill the hole.

    Do you think the best climbers ever sat around complaining about how they didn’t have any good mentors to learn from and look up to and be obsessed with? Or how they really want to climb something but they can’t find a ropegun to lead all the hard pitches for them? Or do they just go out there and climb a ton, work their asses off, invent new techniques, take risks, and then proceed to climb the hardest, most demanding routes in the world in record time or in better style or whatever? And then they write amazing articles and make amazing films about it, since they somehow manage to become amazing writers and filmmakers even while doing all the work it takes to climb at the cutting edge.

    Also, it’s “Tongue in cheek”. You’re welcome.

    Reply

  26. Dru
    Mar 07, 2016 @ 10:41:26

    Georgie, I stopped reading Climbing and Rock and Ice about 10 years ago because of the decline in the quality of articles, including the rise of Bisharat’s bro-culture sport climbing and bouldering stuff, and another problem which I might summarize by calling “too much Duane Raleigh”. Alpinist is the only magazine left that has halfway decent writing.

    Reply

  27. alexgauthier
    Mar 13, 2016 @ 19:02:07

    Although I support and agree with you completely, I think there is a problem beyond just the gender one you describe not just in climbing media but in ALL enthusiast media of all kinds. The truth is that it isn’t journalism and isn’t treated as such. Should it be? I dunno. Can it be? Certainly. It sounds like that’s what you are pursuing at some level. If so, perhaps your mentors, examples and worthy critics lie outside enthusiast media. By searching for climbing writers, maybe you’re setting your sights too low.

    Reply

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