Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Discussion on riding gear for women

Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby BlueHD4me » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:57 am

Gina this will crack you up ... or make your blood simmer, one of the two. A few weeks ago I went to the local HD Women's Only Garage Party. I figured maybe I'd meet some women will similar riding interests to my own. To say it was not advertised well would be a HUGE understatement. Only about 5 women showed up (including me!) and two of them brought their husband/boyfriend with them (WTH????). Anyway, there was a door prize ... wait for it ... wait for it ... HD Kitchen Towels and a HD Bowl set! :lol: Not a T-shirt, gloves, gift card ... nope, KITCHEN stuff!! BTW, I didn't win.
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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby Gimmick » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:27 am

:lol: Oh Harley. How perfect. Can you imagine them making those the door prizes at a non-women-specific event? So close and yet so very far, guys.
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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby Ametha Elf » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:18 pm

I guess at least they are trying! which is more than other makes offer for their women riders.
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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby deeg » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:01 pm

I get why they do this. Sex sells.

A couple years ago, I quit another women's motorcycle forum because I was so tired of posts like "motorcycle boots are so ugly, don't they sell any that have heels?" or "I don't like wearing a helmet because it makes my head look fat" or "Where can I buy one of those skin tight leather suits so I will look sexy while I ride?".

It wasn't two or three posts, it was the majority of the content.

And the hate showed towards me when I commented that motorcycling shouldn't be all about being a rolling fashion statement. That perhaps honing your riding skills and not being terrified of riding around the block without a man in tow might be a little sexier than looking like an Italian runway model in your gear, and dropping your bike because your boot heel got caught up on the foot peg.

I've been a pilot for almost 30 years. I've also worked in law enforcement for 20 years. Not exactly a women's world there. However, I don't see many aviation ads with bikini clad women languishing on the wing of the plane. (Yeah, you can find them, but not on any of the reputable publications) I've had to work harder to prove myself than any of the men. Minimum, if any, makeup. No heels, no long red nails. No skirts. Can't tell you how many times I was told by my male counterparts that I slept my way to the left seat of an airplane. :evil: It's gotten a lot better, though.

I asked Andy Goldfine, the owner of Aerostich, if I could get a pink Roadcrafter suit. He declined. hahaha Part of me wants one, but the other part of me says no, I don't want the 'Oh, look how cute!!" comments. There is no, "Oh look how cute" comment when a women is in the left seat of a 777 or when she shows up in full SWAT gear. And that frustrates me, because I really would love a pink 'stich!!

Beginning of the year, I spent 5 weeks in Thailand and Cambodia. Three of which were on bikes. There were no sexy adverts for bikes. Everyone rode. No big bikes, 95% were 125cc scooters. No one cared what you rode or how big, loud or fast your bike was. No one cared what you looked like while on the bike. For them, its a form of daily transportation, not a novelty. It was so refreshing.

You all are right, the adverts are geared towards men. But part of me wants to think that advertisers are merely using what some women want when they ride. They want to look cute and feel sexy. They want to look good to all the men out there. I get that. i will never look like Cat Woman when I'm on a bike. And I'm OK with that.
But this desire shown by the members of the board I quit; is it fuel for the fire? Are we feeding off each other?
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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby Ana_Bianca1200 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:46 pm

I've always had really mixed emotions on the whole thing. I get annoyed with the moto women on Instagram because they ride in cute little outfits with no gear and it makes me mad that this is the image they are putting out there. They are the faces of riding on social media and they don't enforce safety in any way. I'm sure I'm also partially jealous because I don't get to look that cute while riding since I will always put safety first.

I hang with the boys just fine, but I also have an extremely feminine side. I was makeup artist and esthetician and the feminine side of me loves having cute boots with the cute tank top, but obviously full gear is mandatory so that may not always be an option. I guess I would be more open to the "sexy" ads if they also made more of an effort to promote safety as well. When I went to Babes Ride Out, I felt sort of frumpy compared to all the hipster girls in their coordinated outfits. I had to remind myself that if we wrecked, I was in a better much position than they were. Hopefully now that more women ride, the ads will catch up and start appealing to the normal woman rider.

With all that being said though, I'm so glad this forum is more about encouragement, learning and connecting rather than being about boots not being cute enough.
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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby Ana_Bianca1200 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:49 pm

BlueHD4me wrote: Anyway, there was a door prize ... wait for it ... wait for it ... HD Kitchen Towels and a HD Bowl set! :lol: Not a T-shirt, gloves, gift card ... nope, KITCHEN stuff!!


That is hilarious!! Obviously all women want kitchen stuff, duh. Too funny :lol:
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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby DianneB » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:38 pm

BlueHD4me wrote:.... there was a door prize ... HD Kitchen Towels and a HD Bowl set!


Good thing I wasn't there! I would have given the owner a few choice words!!! I looked into HD "garage parties" and decided there was too much "fluff" to be worth my time so I have never been to one. They ought to teach women how to check their oil, tire inflation, how to adjust their clutch to suit them, or any one of a hundred other useful things a motorcyclist should know.

I started riding at 15 (1964) 'cause I couldn't afford a car and my father was a mechanic so by the time I was 18, I could overhaul a motorcycle. I also worked in a predominantly male field and was VERY intolerant of "girls should..." or "girls shouldn't..." attitudes. I can be very feminine but I chose not to be because I don't like being "dismissed". I guess I am just a tough old b!tch! :shock:
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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby BoggyGirl » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:10 pm

Man, kitchen towels and bowls for door prizes? There's a ladies garage party going on at my dealership Thursday night that I'm thinking about going to. I hope I win some towels! :lol: seriously though, the advertisements don't really bother me much. I'm a woman in construction so glamour isn't my thing. I never wear makeup, never have my nails done, just hair pulled back in a quick ponytail and I'm good...its construction boots and jeans everyday for this girl. I know what everyone is talking about though. It is sad that women can't be portrayed to wear safe clothing while riding. I guess it depends on the ad. If they're advertising safety gear for women, they usually don't have sexism present. But when they're advertising bikes for men or women, it seems to be everywhere. What I don't get is why they'd advertise a tiny starter bike, geared towards women, with a skimpy model? Unless your tastes run that way, a sexy female model isn't likely to sell the bike to another woman :lol:.
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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby dbsteffy » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:40 pm

I wear protective boots and jackets and a helmet, always, just a half helmet, I have tried the full face, not for me. I'm not the norm in the group of people I know or see on the road, almost no one wears a helmet, jackets usually depend on the weather.The women, front seat or back, wear fashionable "cute" tanks and T's, hair is dressed with buffs or bandanas, most have sensible riding boots.
I do want to look nice, after I take off the jacket, I have a bunch of Harley clothes and I want to be seen wearing it, I've invested a lot in them. I wear mascara and lipstick, earrings and bracelets (I like bracelets), I don't even pretend to do my hair, a ponytail or braid and a 'kerchief under the helmet is all I can manage. A few times, when the temp hit the 90's, I didn't wear my jacket, I couldn't enjoy the ride, felt very exposed and vulnerable. I've decided that if it's too hot to wear the gear, it's too hot to ride, I stay home in the A/C.
I'm not out to make a statement about women riders or to convert nonbelievers, I'm no one's role model and I'm not that cool. Maybe I just want to be perceived as a competent rider.
Unfortunately, my dear Hubby is a no helmet, T-shirt wearing rider, that's not gonna change.

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Re: Gaaahhh! Blatant sexism in bike adverts will not end!

Postby BlueHD4me » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:16 am

Boggy Girl - let me know how the Garage Party is at your dealership, I'm curious to see how they compare as far as attendance, information/educational stuff, etc. Maybe you'll get lucky and win some kitchen towels! :lol:

Brenda - You never said which boots you got, I'd love to see a photo. And I'm with you, I wear kevlar jeans, jacket, helmet, gloves, riding boots ALL THE TIME ... no matter how hot it is. I figure a little sweat is easier to take care of than skin grafts. I made myself go full face helmet and it actually made me a more confident (at this stage of my VERY limited riding experience I'm not sure I can even say that! lol!) rider. When the helmet and gear comes off I've got makeup, cute clothes, jewelry etc on too! :D

Bianca - I've seen your photo on Facebook and you couldn't look frumpy if you tried! :o
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