Monday, April 28, 2014

You Ride Like A Girl

"You throw like a girl."  Have you ever had that directed at you?  I have.  Throughout my childhood and my amateur sporting carrier, I've had some semblance of that comment thrown my way.  It's been meant as everything from well-intended motivation to the most degrading of insults.

In our patriarchal Western culture, the "fairer sex" still struggles and strives for equal treatment with male counterparts in nearly every facet of life.  On the job, women are [sometimes] payed less for the same work that a man does.  In athletics, women often struggle for sponsorship dollars, media attention, and fair compensation for risking their bodies and their health.  Check out Half the Road, a documentary by Kathryn Bertine about the professional women's peloton and how it differs from the men's side.

Which brings me to an article in The Atlantic from a couple weeks ago: Is There Such a Thing as a 'Feminine' Way to Ride a Bike

I've never self-identified as a 'femme-cyclist' or 'biker-chic; just as a cyclist.  To tell you the truth, I hate such labels.  Femininity doesn't often enter my mind when I swing my leg over the bike.  I dress in cycling shorts and jersey because it's practical and comfortable, fashion holds little interest for me beyond the pattern on my jersey.  Meaning said pattern isn't going to get me whistled at by drivers or runners.

I'm an athlete and have proudly claimed and proclaimed that status since I played organized sport in high school.  To me, gender shouldn't enter into the equation.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.