Author Topic: Inspirational women cavers in Britian  (Read 4401 times)

Offline mch

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2021, 10:37:39 am »
I have caved with lots of ladies. Why even single them out ? Many are just as good as the blokes they cave with anyway. Certainly they make better cave models.

Some interesting terminology there, very revealing.

Offline mikem

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2021, 10:41:21 am »
Depends what you read into it - they certainly complain less!

Offline badger

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2021, 01:10:10 pm »
I agree with Pete I think TOR has missed the point, I merely listed women who to me have been inspirational with in caving, all the ones I named to me have done some extraordinary things. I could also list men who have equally been inspirational for lots of different reasons. But this was not asked for.

 
going onto to diversity in caving is a whole different subject altogether, and one I don't think has a simplistic answer, I dont think the majority of cavers give 2 hoots whether your male/woman/gay/lesbian/black/white/asian/french/indian etc etc. Maybe its a perceived image thing.    :shrug: or maybe we are alien   :alien:

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2021, 02:03:15 pm »
On of the cavers who cropped up regularly over the years is Julia James who, although now in Australia, started in the UK. Alison Moody certainly seems to inspire people to dig with here and is very respectful of the cave environment.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2021, 02:11:35 pm »
Well I guess it was the list that I found uncomfortable with not the actual concept. My generation rarely found inspiration in others. Its a fairly new thing no doubt enhanced by social media which many seem to find so profound nowadays. Inluencers and self promoting folk abound. No doubt that can lead to a depressive state in those who dont live up to their life model. Likewise I have never understood why somebody would want to wear a football shirt with somebody else's name on. The only other cavers I knew in my early days were the people I actually caved with.  A more acceptable question might be cavers who are inspirational . To be inspired by anyone you really need to know them personally rather from a persona that might have been created on social media. Perhaps as has been suggested we should just look at folks as cavers. I would rather think that some on the previous list might find the whole thing rather embarrassing. Should we offer a prize to the one most inspirational ?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2021, 02:29:04 pm »
My generation rarely found inspiration in others. Its a fairly new thing no doubt enhanced by social media which many seem to find so profound nowadays. Inluencers and self promoting folk abound.
How many of your generation were inspired by reading Casteret/ Chevaliet/ Gemmel & Myers etc?

Quote
To be inspired by anyone you really need to know them personally
Reading somebody's book is a pretty good way to feel like you know someone who you have never met isn't it? And surely a source of inspiration. Is hearing an interview really that different?

Personally, I don't "follow" anyone on social media, but I can well imagine that if you watch enough videos by someone, you may well feel like you know them, just like reading a book but in a more modern format, so I don't see how this precludes inspiration.

I've been inspired by people I don't even know. Crawling through some old cave dig, you can easily think to yourself "Bloody hell, whoever did this was keen, and look at the reward they must have had breaking through into this!". Right there is inspiration, and you don't even need to know who did it.

Quote
Should we offer a prize to the one most inspirational ?
I think you are just taking the piss now. If you go back tot he original question, this is about suggesting people who might be interviewed and hence might inspire others to give it a go. Is this really such a difficult concept?

"You mentioned there were some amazingly accomplished female cavers in the UK. Can you suggest a couple who might make good interviews for a possible story on female adventurers? "

Online cavemanmike

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2021, 05:01:31 pm »
After listening to Hazel Barton at hidden earth I would imagine she would give a great interview, after all not everyone can stand up and give a lecture or give an interview

Online lumenchild

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2021, 12:46:58 am »
going onto to diversity in caving is a whole different subject altogether, and one I don't think has a simplistic answer, I dont think the majority of cavers give 2 hoots whether your male/woman/gay/lesbian/black/white/asian/french/indian etc etc. Maybe its a perceived image thing.    :shrug: or maybe we are alien   :alien:

That's very true, people in the caving community don't care about what walk of life people are from, all we care about is if the person i front of us and the person behind us just as capable, just in case if things went wrong.
 
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2021, 09:43:54 am »
going onto to diversity in caving is a whole different subject altogether, and one I don't think has a simplistic answer, I dont think the majority of cavers give 2 hoots whether your male/woman/gay/lesbian/black/white/asian/french/indian etc etc. Maybe its a perceived image thing.    :shrug: or maybe we are alien   :alien:

That's very true, people in the caving community don't care about what walk of life people are from, all we care about is if the person i front of us and the person behind us just as capable, just in case if things went wrong.

I agree with Badger and Lumenchild. One other thing is pehaps worth adding to Badger's list; employment status. I've always believed that one of the great things about the caving community is that it's not snooty. You go underground with professionals / unemployed / manual workers / etc, etc. All have something to offer and what they do for a living is just irrelevant when you're together as a team on a good caving trip. Long may it remain so. (My background is working class, incidentally.)

There's an argument that singling out female cavers for special attention, because they are female, may be counterproductive. (I've had interesting discussions with the OP on this in the past and I accept that the situation is not simple.) But like many others, to me it really doesn't matter who is a male or female on a caving trip. As long as folk are good company and safe to cave with, that's all I ask.


Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2021, 10:28:44 am »
The point is that the activity is male-heavy and it is helpful to promote the achievements of women cavers in order to provide a welcoming environment for young women to join in.

Saying "as a caver I don't care if you're male or female", while well-intended, isn't welcoming enough to break that cycle of a male-dominated activity mainly attracting more men. This is where articles/interviews like this come in to help that, because what is needed is an actively welcoming environment.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2021, 10:41:22 am »
I follow your reasononing here A_Northerner (and agree with you to some extent).

It's just that the three main clubs I'm a member of (two in the Dales and one in the Peak District) each has a significant number of female members nowadays and no-one even thinks about this; it's just normal to us. To me, we've gone beyond the days when it was unusual [to some] to be on a caving trip with a female.

Rather than promoting female cavers because they are female, maybe it's better if we see articles written or films made by them, simply because they are good cavers. (Without wanting to embarrass the OP, I have to say she's been a great example of what I'm suggesting!)

As an aside, when I joined one of my Dales clubs - a big one - it was still all male membership. As a very young caver I was one of those who worked hard to get this changed. It now has loads of women members and no-one even thinks about it. Times have certainly changed for the better.


Offline mrodoc

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2021, 12:35:57 pm »
As a caver in an all femaile family i.e. wife and two daughters I can confirm they are just as good if not better than many males I have caved with. I have now taken one of my granddaughters underground and she looks to be pretty keen! That will be the fourth generation by the way.

Online thehungrytroglobite

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2021, 12:56:26 pm »
As a female caver myself, I think the original purpose of this thread is great and some people are perhaps missing the point that it is a female caver utilising media and creative resources to uplift other female cavers, which is a wonderful enterprise.

I don't think it's undermining at all, and certainly a 'daft and sexist question' as the Old Ruminator suggested... while I appreciate the benefits of a critical approach to discussions, and without wanting to sound overly harsh, I do wonder what makes a male caver more qualified to decide what is 'sexist' or not than a female caver.

I'm a young female caver, having started caving just over two years ago now and am now president of Newcastle University Caving Club, and I don't find the suggestions of inspirational female cavers ('lists' as it has been referred to) intimidating at all, rather it is really nice and indeed inspiring to hear about other women that have committed to and excelled in a sport that I love.

Although I know plenty of female cavers now, and am grateful that my male caving friends are very respectful, supportive and non-patronising, within the history of caving there is still a dominant male presence - not only because female cavers were accepted much more recently, but also because no comprehensive history of the growth in female cavers has been assembled or discussed at any length. Paying recognition to the achievements of present-day female cavers is subsequently a worthy effort to reconcile this.

While you might suggest that caving itself is a discrimination-haven whereby 'everyone is accepted' the truth is that wider socio-economic boundaries are still, to an extent, transferred to the caving world as with all other outdoor sports too. For example, caving gear is expensive; many people can't afford it. Lots of people get into caving at university, but access to higher education is extremely limited and as a result the discriminatory access to this also has implications in the wider context of UK caving.

As a new female caver I had to feel comfortable asking questions like - how do I cave on my period? what do I do if I start my period whilst caving? I had to learn a lot of this the hard way (don't wear a sanitary towel caving was something I learnt on my first ever trip ;D).

Extensive progress has been made within UK caving regarding gender equality and accessibility, especially thanks to things like the women's caving weekend; female caving facebook groups, and blog posts about caving on your period (thanks Elise! <3). However, as with everything there will always be *more* room for progress, and the nature of a society so deeply ingrained with internalised misogyny & internalised toxic masculinity means that we will always be constantly finding new areas for improvement... which can partially be achieved by self-reflection, taking accountability, and listening + supporting the voices and work of female, LGBTQ+, BAME, etc, cavers.

This project is an example of one of the many great ways of doing that.

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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2021, 01:14:16 pm »
My starting point in all of these discussions is to swap the gender in the original request:
Quote
"Just researching for a different story. You mentioned there were some amazingly accomplished male cavers in the UK. Can you suggest a couple who might make good interviews for a possible story on male adventurers? Thanks so much"

What do ye think? What men/male cavers inspire you and why?

Then I consider what might be the reaction if that were the genuine request.

If I consider that it would be a neutral response, then it would seem fair and reasonable. If I consider that it would create howls of protest, then I have to think long and hard about whether the outcome justifies the bias.

In this case, I decided to ignore it, as any publicity for caving is good, irrespective of what equipment the individuals in question keep in their underwear, and irrespective of who they get between the sheets with.

As for toxic masculinity and the patriarchy, please, what? If a caving club has barriers to entry for any group, then they need to be highlighted and dismantled. They are illegal anyway. Invoking all of this SJW mumbo jumbo divides us, it does not unite us.

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Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2021, 04:08:01 pm »
My starting point in all of these discussions is to swap the gender in the original request:
Quote
"Just researching for a different story. You mentioned there were some amazingly accomplished male cavers in the UK. Can you suggest a couple who might make good interviews for a possible story on male adventurers? Thanks so much"

What do ye think? What men/male cavers inspire you and why?

Then I consider what might be the reaction if that were the genuine request.


Men don't need a platform in order to promote their views. As shown by this thread they're more than comfortable with making their uninformed opinions known without needing assistance.
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Online Ian Ball

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2021, 04:12:42 pm »
My starting point in all of these discussions is to swap the gender in the original request:
Quote
"Just researching for a different story. You mentioned there were some amazingly accomplished male cavers in the UK. Can you suggest a couple who might make good interviews for a possible story on male adventurers? Thanks so much"

What do ye think? What men/male cavers inspire you and why?

Then I consider what might be the reaction if that were the genuine request.


Men don't need a platform in order to promote their views. As shown by this thread they're more than comfortable with making their uninformed opinions known without needing assistance.


 ;D     :thumbsup:

Offline BradW

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2021, 04:41:47 pm »
Devil's Advocate:

Women are quite capable and free to express their opinions, informed and uninformed, here, on an equal footing like everyone else. And do so on a regular basis.

Offline adventurebarbie

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2021, 05:39:21 pm »
As a female caver myself, I think the original purpose of this thread is great and some people are perhaps missing the point that it is a female caver utilising media and creative resources to uplift other female cavers, which is a wonderful enterprise.

I don't think it's undermining at all, and certainly a 'daft and sexist question' as the Old Ruminator suggested... while I appreciate the benefits of a critical approach to discussions, and without wanting to sound overly harsh, I do wonder what makes a male caver more qualified to decide what is 'sexist' or not than a female caver.

I'm a young female caver, having started caving just over two years ago now and am now president of Newcastle University Caving Club, and I don't find the suggestions of inspirational female cavers ('lists' as it has been referred to) intimidating at all, rather it is really nice and indeed inspiring to hear about other women that have committed to and excelled in a sport that I love.

This is a masterpiece and so eloquently communicated.




« Last Edit: November 04, 2021, 06:22:53 pm by MarkS, Reason: fixed quote »
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Offline adventurebarbie

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2021, 05:40:32 pm »
I will share my own reasons, as a woman, why representation and participation of women, is so important and not just for women for everyone.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a gobby, fiesty, little Irish lass who has never asked for permission for what she wants in life and incidently has also been empowered by lots of the amazing men I've caved with. Caked head to toe in mud noone would know what flippin gender I am and no one has ever handed me a lighter bag on expedition cause I had big tits. However, despite this sexism and lack of representation is very real and affects us all, even if were not aware of it. Here's my personal story of it.

When I was 19, living at home in Ireland, I had the opportunity to do the Berger. The idea of a 1,000m deep cave and going through the night doing constant exercise was beyond my comprehension. Like the UK I lived in a patriacrial society that expects less of me, not least of all in physical capability, because I am a woman. I wasn't aware of this at the time but my default feeling was to think I couldn't do the Berger. At the time in Ireland no one knew of another woman who had ever done it or anything like it. Everywhere I looked there was no evidence or even a suggestion that a woman could do it, no one I could get advice from. Logic would suggest if I tried I would fail, clearly women aren't cut out for this. Thankfully I didnt care about failing and not wanting to miss out on the craic I went anyways.

Long story short, I bottomed it, it took 31 hours (aka forever!) and it blew my flippin mind. Being Irish, anything remotely interpreted as self-promotion, or biggin yourself up, is a knee cappable offense but it felt really important to me to talk about it, and out load, so other women cavers could have what I didnt, inspiration and representation. Evidence that of course they can do it too and it must be worth something because immedately after that load's more Irish women started getting involved in Berger trips and plenty bottomed the Berger and in a much faster time than mine.

So inspiration matters, you could of maybe said I was inspirational in that moment. But being inspirational doesn't make someone better than another, it doesn't make them the best or better than another, and speaking about your experiences for the bettering of others doesn't make you vain or a self-promoter. Not everyone who tells their story is motivated by their ego.

When i moved to the Dales Fleur Loveridge was a huge inspiration to me and showed me that women can lead, be badasses and humble all at the same time. Seeing her and other great women in action has made me a better person and inspired me to push myself and that has goten me into alot of trouble over the years LOL ;-)
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Online Brains

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2021, 06:27:59 pm »
Took me 36 hours entrance to entrance and was an awesome experience.
On this forum nom de plume may hide gender.
I have been lucky enough to cave with many capable people who have lead, rigged and supported on trips. I have enjoyed the trips where these have been female or male. Sadly too many people are happy to merely follow the suggestions of others rather than lead trips they have the ambition to do. Is this a lack of confidence?

Offline mikem

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2021, 06:52:02 pm »
Women have been caving since the very earliest days of the sport (I don't mean when it was a necessity), but it just wasn't reported - the first UK underground casualty was female (that did make the news).

Offline David Rose

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2021, 08:39:30 pm »
The most inspirational woman caver I have known was HRH Princess Diana. In 1989, when her life was already quite difficult, she led me and a few friends down Quaking Pot. She rigged all the pitches, and guided us through the Crux, talking us through the constrictions with compassion and calm. On the way out, when we were struggling, she carried two tackle bags.

I have never revealed this before because she swore all of us to secrecy. For her, it was an easy trip. But I think the time has now come to share it with a wider audience. She rocked. 

Offline Tim Pickering

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2021, 11:51:05 pm »
I'm going to add my twopenniworth.

Whenever there is mention of inspirational women there is always a chorus from the majority of blokes deeming it unnecessary, using the argument that women are on an equal footing to men in this day and age, and that singling out women for recognition of their achievements is counterproductive. If you're one of these blokes, I urge you to step back and think about what you are putting forward. You, as a bloke, are telling women that what they are asking for is unnecessary. Can you now see how that is problematic?

As for female cavers that I find inspirational:

Mossy Powell (not really available for interview but certainly worthy of a mention).
Hilda Lawrence (nee Guthrie). Still caving. Totally hardcore. Wasn't afraid of getting stuck in tight squeezes! Pushed a fair few digs back in the seventies.

There are a lot of people (both male and female) that inspire me, and I consider it an honour to cave/dig with them. Some of which I class as friends but historically, the above-mentioned are worthy of a shout.

Women's stories deserve a platform all of their own. They have often been written them out of the history books (don't get me started on female scientists!), and resurrecting these stories does serve to inspire young girls. My friend's five year old is a big fan of Mary Anning. It's easy to dismiss inequality when you occupy a place of privilege because you don't get to experience it first hand. If a person of colour tells you racism is a thing, don't tell them it isn't. If a woman tells you it's necessary to have female role models, don't tell them it's not.

Offline Samouse1

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #48 on: November 05, 2021, 01:50:17 am »
In terms of younger/student women, there are several women who are leading the student caving world in the uk. To name a few there are Jennifer Ryder (CHECC chair), Laura Harrison (CHECC treasurer), Anna Taylor (CHECC S&C), Lisa Crow (CHECC welfare). I’ve caved with most of these, and they are formidable cavers and absolutely wonderful characters. Others I find inspiring and have caved with are Lydia Leather, and Nadia Raeburn-Cherradi, who (to the best of my knowledge) were instrumental to organising Women’s Weekends in recent years

Offline Keris82

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Re: Inspirational women cavers in Britian
« Reply #49 on: November 05, 2021, 06:28:35 am »
I was recently the first female to go down an undisclosed dig site in South Wales. I was quite surprised to hear this but honoured at the same time to be given the opportunity. It really was an incredible day helping pass scaffold poles through the cave to the end!  :dig:

 

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