I wish I could take credit for that title, but alas, that goes to my boyfriend, Jacob. He stated this in response to my crying over something an internet troll jabbed at me on Instagram. Jacob is actually a focal point in this piece, and I owe him my gratitude.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have gotten quite a bit of sh*t. You probably know why, but if not - it is due to my most recent design.
Apparently, it's been widely misinterpreted by misogynists and ignorant men everywhere. So . . . what does it mean?
When I met Jacob, I worked as a salesperson at a Harley-Davidson dealership. While I met some of my favorite people of all time and would never take this time back - I was constantly sexualized, harassed, and both unfavored and favored unfairly. I am not at all slandering the dealership, but instead I direct this statement at the motorcycle community.
Jacob had never ridden a motorcycle in any capacity, and I opted to take him for a spin on my Dyna - he was my first passenger after riding for three years. I was shocked at his willingness to ride "bitch" . . . which could be seen as an offensive term, but I choose to pick my battles.
I was so shocked because, over the years that I have been riding, MANY men have asked ME to ride bitch. I've actually been told a number of times that I would "look better on the back of a bike." I generally respond by asking them why they don't ride on MY bike instead - to this they have a variety of responses; hysterical laughter, disgust, and being just plain OFFENDED that I would ask.
So, my question is this; why the double standard? Ever since this first ride, I have been dreaming of creating this illustration and making it into a shirt. I did not realize that a few months later I would have the opportunity to do so. AND I DID. I dreamed of a relic from the 70's. An answer to the past and current brands who are somehow making objectifying women "cool" or "edgy."
I am above and beyond sharing screenshots of the nasty things that men have said to me. I have to say, most of them have been along the lines of "LOL," "haha, I don't think so," and "f*ck no." Almost all include a "LOL," or a "haha!" No one has been able to answer the question - "why not?"
By making this piece, I am NOT saying that men shouldn't ride their own bikes. I have a feeling that is what some are interpreting, which I cannot control. I only mean to call to light a double standard in a community that is decades behind in the realm of women's rights. I do not choose to ignore it or join them. And you, you can either choose to ignore me or join me.
I believe that we are free to do whatever we choose, so long as it doesn't hurt another person or infringe on their freedoms. The psychological damage that countless women have (whether known to them or not) from being pushed down by men is to me, a gross infringement of those freedoms. We, as women, are so deep into a patriarchy that we turn against each other to stay in line and avoid conflict - but I ask that you step out of line. Being a biker isn't living outside of society, standing up for what's right when you are afraid to IS.
That being said, perhaps you are thinking, "so, what is a real man?" I don't know. But to me, a real man is beyond any notion of what roles men and women should play, a real man is not afraid of other men or women - and a real man does not put a woman or anyone else down in the face of fear.