Bike Repair and Woman-Identified Only Spaces

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by Johanna Bleecker

As an avid rock climber, I always felt comfortable enough in climbing gyms. I would go with both guy and girl friends and on my own, was happy to make friends with other climbers, and never felt overtly discriminated against. Occasionally I would have to put up with others, usually male, giving patronizing tips I hadn’t asked for and didn’t want or trying to engage me in conversations that made me feel uncomfortable.

Then my bouldering gym started a women’s only time, adding a couple extra reserved hours onto their schedule.

Intrigued, my female friend and I went and found something in that space that we hadn’t realized we were missing. Women at all levels of climbing were cheering each other on, there were baked treats, and even the music was female-fronted. The biggest wall, usually overrun by the stronger male climbers, was being climbed by women who said they’d never felt comfortable trying it when the largely male clientele were showing off their skills one after another. Continue reading

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What Does Woman-Identified Mean?

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We invite all woman-identified folks to come to Take Back the Night, but what does that mean?

Woman-identified refers to someone who identifies as a woman.  It recognizes that gender is a self-identification that does not necessarily match the sex of an individual; our physical appearance and our genitalia are not the only determinants of gender.  It also recognizes that there are many ways to experience and express the identity of ‘woman’.  It is intended to include trans women, cisgender women and others who identify themselves within the spectrum of the gender identity of woman.

It is a self-ascribed identity that may be fixed or it may be fluid.  This language is used to intentionally expand the traditional definition of woman to include many who have historically been excluded from women’s space and feminist struggles.

It is used by SACHA to acknowledge the diversity of the women’s community.

SACHA embraces all women’s participation at our events and as recipients of our services.