While scrolling through Twitter, I saw this post from Hipster Bike Videos:
Photoset: This is what “empowering” female riders looks like apparently. http://t.co/Gmi5Rw8XkX
— Hipster Bike Videos (@HipsterBikeVids) October 11, 2013
Hmm. Okay, I’ll bite.
I followed the link and read more of the posts on their Tumblr. They’re funny and irreverent in their posts and pull no punches on the moto/cafe/hipster/fashion scene.
I’m a little too old, too shy, too not nearly attractive enough to really identify with what I *perceive* as that whole segment of the motorcycle world. It just isn’t me. Some of it comes across more about what it looks like than what it feels like to ride. But… that’s my personal biases talking. Whatever floats their boats. It’s all the same wind. ::shrug::
As I scrolled through the HBV account – I then saw a post about a behind the scenes video from photographer Lanakila Macnaughton’s traveling women’s motorcycling exhibit.
The guys at HBV said:
“Srs post this time. We here, as dudes, enjoy looking at a woman shaking her ass in short shorts as much as anyone. But have some dignity and respect [for your own gender in this case] and don’t try to pass it off as serious women riding seriously.”
Well, I didn’t expect to read that. More often than not when I see anything posted around social media with a hot chick who can ride her own bike more than 10 feet without killing herself – the wolf whistles and attagirls are usually flying.
While I don’t personally feel remotely empowered or even identify with the images being presented of girls in the video – I kind of chalk it up to what I was saying before. I’m a boring, average, middle-aged mom. Anything coming from me that poo-poos this type of aesthetic probably comes off as nothing more than sour grapes. You wish you were as hot as these girls. While that is true, even if I were that hot – would I be one of those girls? Probably not.
Then I think – would I want my beautiful teenaged daughter to ride around undressed like that? No. Not unless she wanted me to kick her ass.
I circle back around to – what do I care?
Empowerment. Do I need it to ride my motorcycle? I don’t feel like I do.
Real women. What the hell does that mean anyway?
Appropriating the word “real” for the video, well – I guess if I were knitpicking I would only say that they are some of the women who ride. Real or otherwise. But I would hope the video is just a small segment of the full exhibit (which I haven’t seen) anyway.
“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.
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?