“After Dark”

What? Whoa.

Friday Link Love

It’s Friday! So you know its time for some link love.

Amazon On A Bicycle posted an awesome article on media coverage of the now infamous Red Hook Crit. So many things I can relate to in this article about women and sports.

You don’t get to ignore us, or belittle us, or take away our agency. For centuries, they told us strong women were freaks, that they were undesirable, and they attempted to breed the fire out of us in favor of our softer qualities. Half a century ago, they thought we’d become infertile– and therefore, useless, in their eyes– if we ran, or pedaled, or swam too hard. For years, we endured the message: women can’t play sports.

On a similar note, A Quick Brown Fox posted ‘Yes I Can! Learning to Believe in Myself’. This falls in with a bunch of articles I’ve read recently about how women internalize society’s low expectations of women in sports, and therefore we’re not setting ourselves up for success. A lot of these articles have inspired me to try to step-up my expectations of myself, and to not give others a reason to not believe in me. For example, I went mountain biking with a friend and texted them ahead of time as we were making plans that it was my first ride of the season and that I’d be pretty rusty. Afterwards I thought to myself – that’s exactly what all these articles have been talking about! Stop it Charlotte!

Do you do that? What are you trying to do to change it?

Calling People In Within Your Small Bike Community

I’m going to be real right now – I’m a bike feminist who spends a lot of time riding bikes with dudes. I do a lot of organizing in the FTW (femme/trans*/women) bike community, and I’m constantly trying to find more non-cis male riding partners (and I’m having a lot of success recently!). But I spend a lot of time riding, wrenching and talking shop with bike bros in a variety of circumstances – at polo, on the mountain, on the streets, in the shop, etc. I love them, have learned a lot from them, and generally feel respected and supported in those spaces.

And sometimes I don’t. And when that happens it feels like shit.

It all starts with this image (I’m not going to post it because I don’t really want it on my blog).

First, let me say that female nudity is not inherently objectifying. In fact, this is my fav bike feminist image of all time:

My personal favorite.

She’s got lazerz shooting out of her boobs! She looks fierce! She’s standing over a crazy, rad bike! It literally has FEMINISM written across the bottom! It says so much about what I love about biking, and why I feel empowered by biking.

But the image in question, the one that makes me mad, shows a woman in just about the most ridiculous situation ever – she’s bent over a downhill bike in a thong. Who would ever ride a downhill bike with no pants on? Have you ever eaten shit riding down a mountain? I have. It hurts. And if I hadn’t been wearing pants, pads and other protections it would have hurt even more. As I said earlier, it’s not nudity that bothers me, it’s when the nudity feels like it’s for male sexual pleasure, and doesn’t empower the object of the photo that bothers me. In full disclosure, I don’t know the history of this photo – who knows, she might (and I hope she is!) a bombass downhill mountain bike racer, who directed that photo and wanted it to look like that. That is totally her call. Because this rant isn’t (really) about this photo, it’s about the context of the photo. Continue reading


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