Friday, July 20, 2007

Bicycling and Sexism

Three years ago this month, on a street near my house, I witnessed first hand two people peddling a two-person bicycle (a lot of numbers in that sentence). At the time, I remember thinking, "how lovely - a nice couple out enjoying some exercise together." Then they got a little closer and I thought, "Damn that woman really needs to peddle harder - look at that ass - her seat is screaming 'Oh Jesus, put me out of my misery'." My third thought as I passed them was, "I bet that guy doesn't want to enjoy nature with his wife, I bet he suggested this just so he could get his wife's ass out of the 'Look Out It's Gonna Blow!' category." Then I wondered how hard that guy was really peddling. Was he faking it just to give his wife extra exercise?

Over the next three years, I would see several more of these bicycles around town. I later learned they are called Tandem Bicycles. Every single time I saw one of these, it was always ridden by a man and a woman. I guess this is what counts as a fun afternoon for a middle aged couple in the suburbs. Since these sightings began, I have become obsessed with placement of the riders on the bike. Without exception, 100 percent of the time, the man is in the front and the woman in the rear. Let me tell you folks, I find this sexist as hell.

Examples from a basic Google Search:

Look how much fun these people are having. They are riding along, and the rear rider (ha!) is oblivious to the message being sent to the world by her partner. That message, "I'm a fucking Man. Shit, goddamn, I'm a Man. I make more money than my wife and I make her look me in the eyes when she gives me blowjobs."

The image “http://www.cogulus.com/blog/images/t/tandem_1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

What a lovely couple this is. She likes gigantic afro hair. He like tie dye t-shirts and black shoes. He might as well have "If you can read this, the bitch fell off!" printed on the back of that shirt.

http://www.gocapecod.org/images/STW05-tandem.JPG

This next couple looks like they are having a good time on vacation. They rented a nice tandem bike for a little tour of the city. When they get home, they'll pour a nice cup of coffee and reminisce about the vacation. His mug will have printed on the side: "Women are for making babies," and when they are done talking he'll say, "Bitch! Go make me a sandwich!"

The image “http://farm1.static.flickr.com/253/458677778_ef0ae63fed.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

What the holy shit is this:

The image “http://www.sheldonbrown.org/images/tandem-wedding.jpeg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The point to all of this is that I am declaring an end to sexist bicycling ways. No more should women have to stay in the subservient rear position. No longer should they be forced to endure the directional whims of their counterparts. No longer should they be forced to stare at their partners' ass crack for the entirety of a 5 mile ride. We can end this now. We have to band together and form a coalition. Just say no to sexism in cycling.

On a related note, how does a gay couple decide the positioning on a tandem bike? Is it a Top/Bottom thing? Do they flip a coin? I don't know. I don't have the answers to these questions.

9 comments:

Scottsdale Girl said...

If you ain't the lead dog the scenery never changes.


Or whatever.

dmbmeg said...

I think in terms of gay men, it's whomever catches goes in the back.

This is quite informative though. Thank you, Mr. Reid.

kelsi said...

perhaps you should make a trip to los angeles to study this phenomenon in detail. you could also take the tandem paddle boats into consideration.
i'm sure they'd award you one of them there genius grants to hang out on the beach in santa monica and watch the couples on the tandem bicycles.

Erica AP said...

I'm glad you are woman's right activist. We need more lads like you around.

mindy said...

Who knew Garrett was a feminist? I love it!

In addition, I'm still waiting for those nudie pics.

CJ said...

I a person that is strictly anti-tandem bicyle. I have to take a stand on this. I do, however, like the thought of a couple cycling together, because it's good to share interests and what not... but fucking a... get your own goddamned bike!
Down with tandem bikes...

But I can support this kind of bike... because that's just fun.

fear.of.landing said...

Talk all you want about ending sexism but the first time you see a woman on the front seat of a tandem bike you are going to find yourself looking for the bag that she carries his balls in.

Kristin said...

Ah Garrett back to talking about gay people.. seriously, admit it already will you? And for the love of god, get rid of the shoes!

sybil law said...

I used to see Bootsy Collins and his wife out on their tandem bike ALL the time. He wore his crazy outfits, too (which I guess for him is normal, everyday wear)...