As a historically men's sport, only relatively recently have manufacturers begun producing women's specific climbing equipment. For example, ergonomic leash-less ice tools have allowed for a revolution in ice climbing, but ergonomics are about body shape and for whose bodies are ice tools ergonomic?
Manufacturers are beginning to produce not only women's versions of men's equipment, but also items that men do not use like sports bras and tank tops specifically designed for the dynamic movements of climbing.
In their choices of colors for women's equipment, manufacturers take part in a discourse around women's climbing. Some companies choose to use gendered colors such as pink, purple, or light blue in their shirts, shells, and pants. Other company's women's lines are more gender neutral, preferring royal blues, greens, and reds. By wearing effeminate colors can women carve a feminine space in an extremely masculine world? Or should women try to seamlessly blend into the climbing scene by wearing a traditional color pallet?
To see examples of organizations working to facilitate women's climbing click here:
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