If you all haven’t figured it out already: I’m a reverse-bro. I train hard to have an intimidating thunder from down under six-pack, I date-raped my boyfriend into loving me, and I expect men to be pretty and smile all the time. There are about one billion other examples that I will maybe allude to as we journey together through this slightly humiliating blog post.
“Why are you a reverse-bro? Isn’t that unfair? Did you really date-rape someone? I hate you??”
First of all, yes*, of course I date-raped him, you think I’m some kind of fag? Get out of my way before I shove this Beast Ice down your throat. Secondly, yeah, reverse-broism is totes unfair. Counterpoint: so is institutionalized sexism, so… *shrug*. Lastly, I am a reverse-bro as a result of plate tectonics. Wait, no, that’s continents. I don’t know, it just happened subconsciously while I was growing up I guess. When I was a kid I would do things like get the boy’s toy in my happy meal at McDonald’s because I didn’t want to fit into a lame stereotype (also the girl’s toy always sucked).
It seems fair to put it in terms of the life cycle of a fly. The slimy maggot of reverse-broism was feeding constantly on every shitty girl-stereotype I wished didn’t exist. It pupated while I became an adult and surrounded myself with awesome people who don’t attribute every quality a person has to their gender. It emerged as a giant black fly when I started climbing and now it just buzzes around barfing on things, externally digesting them, and sucking them back through its awful proboscis of ill-conceived justice.
Everyone likes being able to walk other peoples’ projects (amirite or amijustalonelydouche?), but I take the most pleasure in walking problems that large groups of bros are flailing and yelling and flexing at. Super aware that I sound like an arrogant dick (vagina? sorry?) right now. In Joe’s Valley, we parked right across from the problem Kill by Numbers (v5), which was my proudest send of the year before. This year it felt easy, and so one fateful evening we were drinking a beer in The Rampage when we noticed a coupla bros pull up to it and begin sessioning. Eli encouraged me to go show them how it’s done, because he also likes when I do this incredibly douchey thing, and we went. To make a short and embarrassing story shorter, I couldn’t climb it. I was tired from two straight days of climbing, and just kept ripping off of the foot-cut move. It sucks to fail at something you have already climbed; I’ve heard it called, “un-sending” which explains the feeling nicely. So, on top of feeling like I got karma’d, I also un-sent a problem that means a lot to me. Fitting punishment, and it forced a little self-reflection. Weird, I feel like I’ve used that sentence before…
Honestly, I am so grateful for all of the amazing dudes I have had the opportunity to climb with. A lovely article called What Girls Think (about climbing with dudes) reminded me of this a few months ago. Reading all of the negative experiences other women have had (and the positive ones at the end!), I realized how incredibly lucky I am to be surrounded by guys who are constantly inspirational, supportive, and empowering to me, and I hope they can say the same about me. Only one time that I can remember has a guy said anything sexist to me while climbing. He tried to warn me that a problem was powerful and campus-y without considering that that might be my favorite kind. He was young and I patiently told him, “I know, that’s why I want to try it!” I think we both learned something from that moment.
Being a reverse-bro can be very fun because you get to feel strong, confident, and unaffected by societal pressure to do boring things like “be skinny.” Actually, it is just totally awesome and the best way to be and I don’t know why this whole post foreshadows the idea that I am going to repent. I’m not. Reverse-bro 4lyfe!