Empowering Women on Motorcycles?

Fuzzygalore wrote a post titled Fact or Fiction: Empowering Women Motorcyclists. Firstly, when I saw the headline and read Fuzz was tackling this issue I wanted to read it right away. Second, Fuzz makes a fraudulent claim on her blog post. She claims to be “a boring, average, middle-aged mom.” Dear Fuzz, there is nothing average about you. That’s why we love your blog.

Back on topic, the post shares a video about a bunch of people who happen to ride motorcycles… oh, and they’re all attractive women dressed for the summer rather than the ride.

Would I want my beautiful teenaged daughter to ride around undressed like that? No. Not unless she wanted me to kick her ass.
– Fuzzygalore

Next Fuzz shared a quote from the video’s source, The Women’s Motorcycle Exhibition:

“The Woman’s Motorcycle Exhibition: The Real Woman Who Ride.”
Spend a day with a few of these woman as they cruise the wooded backroads of Portland, Oregon. The Women’s Motorcycle Exhibition documents the new wave of modern female motorcyclists. The goal is to reveal the brave, courageous and beautiful women that live to ride.

Here’s a copy of the video, you’ll find it has the same grammatical error in there as well.

Finally, Fuzz signs off with a good question:

What’s Your Take?

Is there an empowered feminism in the portrayal of the riders in the video? Or do you think that they’re just hipsters who don’t get a pass from being mocked simply because they have vaginas?

I was going to leave a comment on Fuzzy’s page, but when I dialed in to my inner vagina to ask the feminist in me how he truly felt, he had a lot to say, so I decided to make this my own post. Here it goes!

Thought #1
About the video… OK… They’re women… Women riding motorcycles… That’s good. All the power to them! We need all the women (and men) on two wheels we can get.

Thought #2
When I say “we” I mean motorcycling as a culture. I really do think motorcyclists are a culture, and I choose to believe that we’re passed an era of thinking that someone’s gender is a barrier into motorcycling. I really do hope we’ve moved past it.

Thought #3
While we’re talking about hopes and dreams, I hope that there are women out there who want to be seen and judged as motorcyclists, not as women who ride motorcycles. We generally wouldn’t get impressed when meeting a man who rides a motorcycle. How could I treat my two-wheel sisters as my equals if I didn’t hold them to same standards that I hold my brothers?

Many women out there could wake up with a bad hangover and still out-ride me on my best day. I’m okay with that. The motorcyclist who can ride further, faster, or better than me gains my respect and my admiration, whatever his or her gender.

To Answer Fuzzy‘s Questions
When it comes to empowering women, I don’t feel like making a video about plain-Jane and attractive female motorcyclist is going to do that. I’m sure some will find empowering feminism and have their minds blown, though I wonder if it’ll be because they’re still stuck in the past and have no idea how much things in the motorcycle industry are changing.

How YouMotorcycle Tries to Empower Women
I actively look for women in the motorcycle community that I find are exceptional. A woman who happens to ride a motorcycle is just that, and I can’t see her empowering me or my man-gina‘s inner feminist. It would take a woman who outshines me and the status quo for me to be singing her praises

… And That’s Exactly What I Look For
What do I consider exceptional? A woman who’s rode across the continent, another who helped set a land speed record, a female motorcycle business owner, one of the very few women at an executive level among manufacturers in Canada, and a female author writing about motorcycling. These women are stars as far as I’m concerned because they don’t just ride motorcycles, they rock them!

To Beat A Dead Horse
It’s been 50 years since the iconic “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” advertisement campaign. I hope that both genders have progressed to the point where it takes more than just a video of pretty chicks on two wheels to make women feel empowered and to make men feel impressed.

And For The Record
It’s only a matter of time before I ask Fuzzygalore to be YouMotorcycle‘s Woman of the Month. Fuzzy is the uber cool motorcycle wifey/momma who’s girlie motorcycle blog is supremely entertaining. It comes with tremendous heart and humor, and a healthy dose of quirkiness. I can’t pass by a muffler man and not think of Fuzz.

What do you think?

Is this video of attractive women riding motorcycles empowering to women? Should motorcyclists as a whole be impressed with it? Is gender still a barrier to getting into motorcycling? Is it time we start holding our motorcycling sisters to the same standard as we hold our brothers?