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How do female MP users feel about these photos?


Original Post
Nate Ball · · Portland, OR · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 9,512

EDIT: This comes after two pages of comments... 11 out of 17 respondents are male. Please guys, your voices have been heard, and I am officially asking you to refrain from commenting at all.

Before we get into it, I am specifically asking for the feedback of FEMALE MOUNTAIN PROJECT USERS. If you are not a female, your thoughts are still appreciated, but [text deleted after two pages of comments] just read along. Your willingness to respect this space for discussion by a minority group on MP is telling...

To the point. There is an ongoing discussion within the admin forum about how to deal (or not) with highly-rated photos that are considered by some to be offensive, inappropriate, or otherwise irrelevant for a climbing website. Some think that all of these are, in fact, entirely appropriate and see no problem. Others think that there should be ways to bump these (and others like them) down from the lead position in their area, flag them from being shown on the front page, and possibly even moved into a personal file or deleted.

Obviously my opinion, while nuanced, falls on one side of this discussion. Without going into any further detail, I would just like participants in this thread to notice who is uploading these pictures, who is commenting on them, and what the content of those comments often are.

Without further ado...

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/3301168
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106370054
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106062148
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107048587
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107062357
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107094538
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106752980
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/108354348
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/105799614
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106705065
https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/105841754

Please feel free to post others that you notice and I will be happy to add them to this list.

[Edit from Nick Wilder] I allowed the photos and comments above to stand for 2 weeks so they could be referenced and discussed.  On 1/18/18, I deleted the first photo and many of the offensive comments.  I do not intend to delete any of the other photos. Please use the "Flag" function to alert me to other offensive comments you find.  Thanks.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Although I only looked at the first three photos, my thoughts are...so what? There will always be someone offended by something. The photos I viewed are not particularly graphic or obscene.  Why someone would be offended escapes me, but I'm sure someone is highly offended. I'm sure someone will use the silly "objectification" argument. 

Next opinion?

Nate Ball · · Portland, OR · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 9,512

Thanks dudes, but I specifically wasn't asking you.

anna.gutwin · · Burlington, VT · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 75

Nate, Thanks for asking! Too bad Frank and apoet can't read...

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/3301168 - This one is horrible. Makes me want to puke.

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106370054 - This is just creepy....really?!? I wouldn't choose to go to that location after seeing this. 

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106062148 - Whatever, if I were DWS I would probably wear a bikini too. Fine, but Travis's comment is not OK. 

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107048587 - Could have been posted with the right intentions, but the comments are out of line. 

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107062357 - Same.

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107094538 - This one is fine.

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106752980 - Photo seems fine (see DWS comment), but these sorts of comments are just bad.

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/108354348 - I'm not really sure what to say about this one....

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/105799614 - I would like to think that this was posted without the idea of objectifiying women, but it's questionable. "Sarcasm's" comments are not.

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106705065 - Why does a photo of a person need to be sexualized?!? Women often climb in sports bras, and that's OK. It's NOT OK to make "eye candy" comments. 

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/105841754 - Same as above.

It boils down to the sad fact of the internet, that people often feel it's OK to say whatever they'd like. I wish people would only write things they would feel comfortable saying to the person's face. 

This is not a boy's club, but the comments on the photos above (and some of the photos themselves) make it feel like it is. As a strong female climber if those comments were directed at me I would feel horrible. I put a hell of a lot of hours into training and projecting, how I look doing it is nobody else's business. 





SM Ryan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,090

I support the admins’ rights to downrate and/or delete photos and/or comments that are objectionable. Although I am too lazy to articulate my opinions on each of the above links, Anna has done a great review and i am in agreement some of these photos and the eye candy comments are inappropriate for the forum.  

I participate in other forums and the more mature ones have set policies in place and an active review of all content and remove all content not relevant or that break the forum policy.  

Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

I agree with pretty much everything Anna said. If women want to climb in bikinis and sports bras they have every right to, its the comments that sexualize those pictures not the act of climbing in those clothes. 

Nate Ball · · Portland, OR · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 9,512
Adrienne DiRosario wrote:

I agree with pretty much everything Anna said. If women want to climb in bikinis and sports bras they have every right to, its the comments that sexualize those pictures not the act of climbing in those clothes. 

Totally. What do you think about the fact that the pictures of the bikini-clad women were taken and posted by men?

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 788
anna.gutwin wrote:

Nate, Thanks for asking! Too bad Frank and apoet can't read...

https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/3301168 - This one is horrible. Makes me want to puke.

From 2003. I've seen improvement in recent years, don't think these older ones need to be pulled up.


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106370054 - This is just creepy....really?!? I wouldn't choose to go to that location after seeing this. 

Lol! There's a whole story to go with this one, in the comments, and this nude is one of my all time favorite photos. Most of the comments in the thread this was in were a rollicking debate over nude versus erotica.


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106062148 - Whatever, if I were DWS I would probably wear a bikini too. Fine, but Travis's comment is not OK. 

She's climbing. Good enough for me. More of us need to comment right back when the children start tittering in the back of the bus, though.


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107048587 - Could have been posted with the right intentions, but the comments are out of line. 

No. "Happy boulders" are not content.


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107062357 - Same.

Yes. She's climbing.


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/107094538 - This one is fine.

No problem with it, but boring.


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106752980 - Photo seems fine (see DWS comment), but these sorts of comments are just bad.

Nice photo. Boys in the back of the bus, giggling again. 


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/108354348 - I'm not really sure what to say about this one....

Photo is fine, comments....sigh.


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/105799614 - I would like to think that this was posted without the idea of objectifiying women, but it's questionable. "Sarcasm's" comments are not.

Good photo. 


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106705065 - Why does a photo of a person need to be sexualized?!? Women often climb in sports bras, and that's OK. It's NOT OK to make "eye candy" comments. 

Not offensive, but just a portrait. How is it pertinent? Comments....well.


https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/105841754 - Same as above.

Looks too posed. 


It boils down to the sad fact of the internet, that people often feel it's OK to say whatever they'd like. I wish people would only write things they would feel comfortable saying to the person's face. 

This is not a boy's club, but the comments on the photos above (and some of the photos themselves) make it feel like it is. As a strong female climber if those comments were directed at me I would feel horrible. I put a hell of a lot of hours into training and projecting, how I look doing it is nobody else's business. 






So, to the last comment above, more of us, all of us, need to keep after those who post stupid stuff. Jokes between the boys when no girls were in the locker room may have been okay once upon a time, but we are your colleagues now. 

That said, although the admins have every right to do what they wish, I would much rather the community "police" itself. The discussions that follow are often thoughtful, and part of how we make awkward progress forward.

I've got the long view on this, after all. Climbing has been the most egalitarian group I've been associated with. Honestly, the condescension and patronization I've received from a very few on here, as a beginner, has been worse than anything that had to do with being a woman. That, weirdly, is heartening in the grand scheme of things, if hurtful to me personally.

Best, OLH

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 788
Nate Ball wrote:

Totally. What do you think about the fact that the pictures of the bikini-clad women were taken and posted by men?

So what? I don't have any female climbing partners. If the guys didn't take the photos, all I'd ever have are selfies of my feet....

OLH

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Nate Ball wrote:

Thanks dudes, but I specifically wasn't asking you.

Nate, if you absolutely didn't want guys to comment, then don't post conflicting comments. Are my thoughts "appreciated" or not? (rhetorical question) I chose the "keep it brief" option over the "better yet" option. 

Before we get into it, I am specifically asking for the feedback of FEMALE MOUNTAIN PROJECT USERS. If you are not a female, your thoughts are still appreciated, but please keep it brief, or better yet, don't post in this thread at all, just read along. Your willingness to respect this space for discussion by a minority group on MP is telling...

Nate Ball · · Portland, OR · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 9,512
Old lady H wrote:

So what? I don't have any female climbing partners. If the guys didn't take the photos, all I'd ever have are selfies of my feet....

OLH

Interesting. I wonder if male photographers really outnumber female photographers to the extent that 95% of the pictures I posted were taken/posted by men, or if there was someone awareness that the picture of their female partner would garner the attention we see in the comments section. Do you think it's simply a matter of who is holding the camera or could there be some aspect of intent on the male photographer's part?

Nate Ball · · Portland, OR · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 9,512

Frank, it seems odd to have to explain this, but when I specifically asked for responses from female MP users and the first two are males - that is, both of you decided to add your brief comments before even allowing a single female to respond - it felt like a response was needed. Now, before we get too derailed, let's just leave this thread open for others, shall we?

anna.gutwin · · Burlington, VT · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 75

I have to respectfully disagree with OLH - I think especially now that MP is being heavily funded by REI there is an obligation to "police" the content/comments. Not everybody wants or needs to get into internet arguments. Think of the newbie cruising the site and seeing the first photo for example. If it were me I would think twice about joining this sport/community. And if there is no platform to post "locker room talk" then perhaps people will get the gist that those sorts of comments are not welcome in our community. 

Deirdre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 10

Hey - 

I've been lurking for a while and I like the site. Thanks for taking the time to ask. :-) 

Photo 3301168 WTF does this have to do with climbing? I guess there's a rock in it. I don't see what this adds to the site.

Photo 106370054 This is just random and doesn't really have anything to do with climbing. Was it part of a TR about nudist climbing? I don't see what it adds. Unless she consented to the photo and to it being posted, the photo may also be legally problematic. 

My take - if it is random nudity and not related to climbing - toss it.

The other photos seem to be okay. They are climbing related and generally seem to be of women leading or bouldering (with the exception of the 2 posed cleavage shots). It is the comments that are an issue and it looks like the problem is confined to a relatively small number of users (members of the He-Man Woman-Haters Club) who are pissed off that women are allowed on their playground. Is it possible to have a way of downgrading comments? This would give community members a way to express informal disapproval and it probably is better than me replying "Stop being an asshat" to their posts.



Nate Ball · · Portland, OR · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 9,512
Deirdre wrote:

Is it possible to have a way of downgrading comments? This would give community members a way to express informal disapproval and it probably is better than me replying "Stop being an asshat" to their posts.

Yes, flag it.

Deirdre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 10

Are there consequences for being flagged? Does it move the comments further down or does it alert a moderator? 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 788
Ryan Bowen wrote:
Nate Ball · · Portland, OR · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 9,512
Deirdre wrote:

Are there consequences for being flagged? Does it move the comments further down or does it alert a moderator? 

Alerts a moderator who then decides to keep/delete it. There is no down-voting feature... yet.

reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
Nate Ball wrote:

You do see the irony in posting this in a thread specifically asking for women's opinions, don't you?

Except you didn't (at least not completely).

I'll add a few observations:

1. Most (all?) of the photos are SFW.

2. Some of the "offending" photos are taken by esteemed members of this site (including a long time TOP contributor) with no track record of inappropriateness. The top 10 current contributors are male, why is it surprising that these were photographed by male?

3. You are obviously conflating reaction (comments) to the photos w/ the photos themselves and attempting to regulate comments via the photos. Looking at your post history, this isn't the first time (i.e. asking users to down vote photos to get the one you want for the area).

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 788

Nate, yes, I'm sure the guys taking the photos are sometimes posting with full knowledge of prurient interests, but if the women allowed it, they are party to that also. And, men are the primary climbing partners of a great many women, still. 

To the bigger issue, the recent trend of simply "disappearing" what an admin decides is bad behavior, seriously bothers me. When posts are flagged, but that user has been marked as flagged, it sends the message that the community wants better behavior. 

If the flag was part of an overheated spat, then the person flagged sometimes comes back on, speaks their piece more reasonably, and perhaps even apologizes. People need the opportunity to make it right, if its mild jerk behavior. Really bad stuff needs to be removed, asap. I've no problem with that. I've also sent a pm to people now and then. Being treated like a human goes a long ways.

Comments on photos are problematic, as they may not be seen by many, and comments are years later sometimes. They may well need thoughtful policing by the admins. If users stumble across dipshit stuff, speak to it or flag it. If you are unwilling to do either, than don't complain about it.

Best, Helen

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 305
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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