Opinions – Sexism in Cycling

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  maxamber 2 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #185594

    Hello all!

    I’ve recently been exploring my own writing skills in the realm of cycling. Most of my work can be found here and I’d appreciate your feedback.

    More to the point, my most recent piece is something I’ve had on my mind for a long time and I’m interested to see how people respond and what everyone’s personal thoughts are on this.

    Thanks for your input!

  • #185598

    Interesting article.  One thing I think, even if the company has to apologize, they do wind up getting plenty of press from it, which equals free advertising.

  • #185602

    Sexist man chiming in 🙂

     

    I’d hate to see those ads go so why not add something for the ladies? I’m just thinking about the models careers you know 😉

     

    In all seriousness though, I think it’s awesome that women are recognized in this sport and rightly so because they are simply hauling ass.

    Rachel Atherton & Holly Feniak come to mind. I know there are many more but this is coming from a guy who met Matt Hunter and said “you look familiar”

     

     

  • #185733

    The world is too PC these days…who really cares.

    As long as we don’t discriminate, then everything is fair game….Half naked ladies in advertising always seems to increase sales (regardless of the product).   Advertisers know that men are “stupid” enough to let these “motivators” influence their purchases….Women on the other hand are much smarter & you will almost never see half naked men in ads.

     

  • #185876

    Men and women are not created equal, no matter what our overlords tell us on the tv daily. Women are the weaker sex, so why would it be surprising that they do not excel at physical sports the same as men. Womens basketball is a perfect example, they can’t dunk, can’t hit 3s, and can hardly perform a layup consistently. Oppression and patriarchy does not cause this, it’s purely genetic, and a matter of fact not interpretation. Women are also more beautiful than men, which results in attractive women being used in advertising at a much higher rate (and pay scale) than their men counterparts.

    For me this is a non issue and speaks to how good women really have it in our society. Men worry about predatory divorce settlements and losing access to his children, women worry about a picture in an advertisement. Men worry about being injured or killed on their dangerous and physically demanding jobs, women worry about being equally represented in positions of power and leadership, never having had the experience of doing the jobs their subordinates have. Men worry about disproportional sentencing in criminal courts, women worry about having a positive role model on their precious media screens.

    Yawn…

  • #185944

    Women are a very powerful group, but it’s a double edge sword. Show too much skin in an ad and you’re in trouble. At the same time, there has been encouragement from the bike retailer industry to do a better job incorporating women in advertisements and support them in their bike buying experience. Basically, the cycling industry is male-dominant and we have no idea what women want… I guess. Check out a 2-part series I wrote on the issue last year and go read some Amanda Batty stuff

    Will Women Save the Local Bike Shop? Part 1

  • #185951

    Perhaps I didn’t make this clear enough in the original article, but the point is not to dispute whether or not sexism exists. I think most reasonable individuals understand that sexism does exist in both directions depending upon the environment and situation. What I think is the bigger issue, regardless of whether or not women are more or less capable than men, is that no one should ever feel so intimidated by the sport that the fear overrides the enjoyment they derive from it. That’s a good way to kill a sport. For instance, just because you might not have the abilities of Jaroslav Kulhavy or Ned Overend doesn’t mean that you should feel so unwelcome that you aren’t comfortable going for a ride on the weekend. The point that I think is encouraging is that in general, the broader cycling community appears to be very supportive and welcoming of new cyclists, regardless of gender, which is why I myself have gotten tired of the constant claims that cycling is an inherently sexist sport. I have to admit though, some of these comments are forcing me to reconsider my opinions.

    All the same, thanks for the input. I think it is a complex issue that isn’t going to be solved overnight, but I’m optimistic.

  • #186037

    I have been riding bikes for nearly 30 years, and not once ever have I witnessed negative sexism against women in cycling, and I ride with women a lot so it’s not like I have not been exposed to the situations where it could present itself. If anything my experience is that women are welcomed much more enthusiastically to the sport than new men have been. If a woman gets a flat trail side, I see 5 strangers (men) performing like her personal pit crew, where one of the guys might get a multi tool or tube thrown their way. I personally have not witnessed sexism against a woman anywhere in cycling now that I think about it. Certain communities yes, but not ours.

  • #186044

    I think you bring up a good point musikron. There’s definitely a dichotomy at work here in that the issue may not present itself in certain communities. I know that my community seems pretty friendly to female cyclists as well; they actually make up a huge part of the active cycling population. But there’s a difference between local and industry-inherent sexism, and the industry itself has definitely suffered with sexism in the past if not also the present. Your local community may be very welcoming to women, but others may not be, and therein lies the problem. The struggle is not to help just your community, but to make cycling an inherently welcoming sport rather than the inherently sexist sport that some people see it as. The first step to being welcoming in this case would be in communities like Singletracks and broader, more globally accessible media than simply meeting people on the trail, and your comments seeming to imply that the reason some women aren’t or shouldn’t cycle is “purely genetic” doesn’t make a good first impression. That may not have been your intention, but it does happen, and nowadays online resources are often the first line of contact for potential new riders.

  • #186060

    Women on the other hand are much smarter & you will almost never see half naked men in ads.

    It’s completely true. It’s also why Magic Mike and 50 shades of grey have done so poorly in regards to revenue.

    On topic, I could care less. I let the easily offended deal with these types of injustices and just enjoy my life in the woods.

  • #186148

    I never said women shouldn’t cycle for any reason. My wife rides, my daughter will ride, and I ride with women all the time because I’m slow and they go more my pace, the guys around here are just rockets racing through the trees, I like rambling a bit more, but I digress. Only that the reason women do not excel at physical sports is due to genetics, not social pressure. Since cycling is aided by machinery, it is one of the few sports where women actually have a chance of competing with the men in come cases. Women will never beat men in power lifting, sprinting, combat sports, or commercial sports. But some cycling, gymnastics, diving, and others where sheer brute strength and fast twitch reaction speed are not so crucial, the playing field is more level.

  • #186174

    I understand you aren’t trying to discriminate in any way, but in your own argument you also aren’t making the sport any more of a welcoming place for women by saying things like “the reason women do not excel at physical sports is due to genetics,” implying that women are bound to be genetically inferior when it comes to cycling. Again, I don’t think you mean to be making this implication, but for new female cyclists the implication is there, and rhetoric in this vein amounts to a huge amount of social pressure just from this discussion, let alone the constant advertising campaigns amounting to the same thing.

    I’d be interested to hear what the women you cycle with have to say on the matter, but for some reason there don’t seem to be many here chiming in…

     

  • #186175

    I think the crux of the issue is this – if you don’t enjoy or care about cycling as a sport and an industry enough to want other people to experience it, then by all means, be as sexist as you want, that’s your prerogative; and while you’re at it, perhaps you may as well just quit. But if you want to get the best and the most out of cycling as a whole, and you want the sport to grow and flourish, then you need to start thinking more about how you yourself are representing it, both out on the trails and in places like this.

  • #253890

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Sexism this sexism that blah blah blah. If Feminism and PC culture is allowed to take over the mountain bike world its pretty much ruined like it ruins everything else. Just look at the Boy Scouts.</p>

  • #253990

    I’ll give my feedback on the article as requested; it starts off strong then ends too abruptly. Just when you start exploring other thoughts on the matter you post up a quick summation. Kinda reminds me of high school English where I would actually get into the assignment and then realize I had reached the length criteria.

  • #253994

    I feel like this forum post was a fishing expedition for clicks on a blog post.  I wish I could get my click back.

  • #253996

    I hope the world appreciates the beauty and power of women in cycling. We are not just women who ride bicycles, we are professionals and role models. I am also riding in my amateur now, which makes me more convinced that women can do a good job in cycling too.

  • #253997

     

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