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Old 04-08-2015, 11:31 AM   #1
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Why Don't More Women Ride?

Serious question, not intended to be derogatory or pejorative. For sake of simplicity, I'm going to leave the whole sex/gender debate out and just speak abstractly and from a heteronormative perspective. Also, if you can't refrain from throwing out vitriolic verbal diarrhea, just sit this one out.

I'm friends with a lot of riders, and like a lot of you all on BARF, they make up a significant portion of my social circle. They come in a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, and races and represent a colorful variety of different genders, sexual preferences and attitudes.


We even have a dude in a wheelchair, which qualifies us for being in stock photos of "diversity."


That said, most of them are men. Not to mention if I see a rider on the street, chances are that rider is a man as well.

One thing of note is that I quite often see female riders of all ages up at Hollister. From what I have seen during my trips there, I have concluded that dirt riding is much more a "family affair" than street riding. Not only is it cheaper, safer, suitable for all ages and creates valuable family bonding time but it also teaches kids personal growth, respect and responsibility and builds their self-esteem and resilience. Who wouldn't want that for their kid? Naturally I see a lot more females engaged in dirt riding as they are encouraged by the men in their life to take it up.


You don't need a penis to ride a streetbike in the dirt... just really big balls.


But that's just my experience, what do the statistics have to say? From what research I can gather, most estimates place women riders within a significant minority at ~18% of the motorcycling public. Considering an egalitarian portion would be 50%, the current crop of women riders represent less than half of that.

I'm not completely clueless. I'm sure there's solid logic behind why women don't make up as much of the riding population as men. There may be reasons as complex and pervasive as increased pressure on women to conform to heteronormative gender roles as compared to males (riding is too "manly" for girls, play with barbies instead), a strong stigma attached to being a woman rider (you don't know what you're doing, get back to the kitchen where you belong), the false assumption that it requires a large frame, solid stature or physical fortitude (you're too short/weak), or perhaps the sport itself simply attracts people who are naturally risk-takers and a lot of that comes from being pumped full of testosterone.


Pictured: tragic case of testosterone poisoning.


I can't really make any strong assertions about the reasons why women aren't a bigger piece of the motorcycling pie (or perhaps, a bigger slice of the motorcycling sausage) as I'm not one and never will have to experience any sort of discrimination or pressure to be feminine. Yet I find a strong sadness within myself to consider that there may be more women out there who would love riding but are driven away from it.

The real question I have for BARF is whether this low percentage can be attributed to something more than just prejudice, tradition and image perception. What do you think the reason is that more women don't participate? I would definitely like to hear from the ladies of BARF about their opinions as well as their experiences as riders.


Look, it's the elusive female squid, HAHAHAHAHA... holy fuck you're hot, please love me.


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Old 04-08-2015, 11:42 AM   #2
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it's the same reason more men aren't involved in Quilting.

you can try and leave all those fancy words and stuff out of the equation all you want, but if you do all you'll get is no answer at all.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:49 AM   #3
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Your math is a bit off. If 18% of riders are female, 82% of riders are male. You'd need to increase female ridership by (82/18 - 1)*100 = 356% in order to have equal ridership (if men don't stop riding).
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:50 AM   #4
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Your math is a bit off. If 18% of riders are female, 82% of riders are male. You'd need to increase female ridership by (82/18 - 1)*100 = 356% in order to have equal ridership (if men don't stop riding).
I spent the last few years of my life studying film, not math
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:54 AM   #5
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The fun part is that we'll never know how much is biological vs societal when gender distinctions are so firmly entrenched in society. Hardly worth the debate until we fix that a bit.

For myself, I wanted to ride ever since I was a little girl. I got motorcycle toys and watched relatives who rode with envy. I got to be 30 and thought - uh, I can just go out and buy a motorcycle if I want, why don't I? So I did.

I never realized that flat-footing was such a 'thing' before BARF. I've been riding bicycles since as soon as I could balance one, and never thought of getting both feet down at a stop, so why would I when I started with motos?
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:35 PM   #6
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Why aren't there more female:

- Professional athletes
- CEOs of American Corporations
- Soldiers
- Race car drivers
- Motorcycle racers
- Heads of state
- Serial killers
- Cult leaders
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:42 PM   #7
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Why don't more men ride?

Seriously. If we are talking about genders just about every little boy (and to your point even girls) are FASCINATED with motorcycles. I live on a busy street and everytime I have my garage open slack jawed little kids stare as they walk by. Parents say things like "it is a motorcycle" and they just stare in awe.

The truth of it is more acceptable for guys to risky activities and so you get more of them riding. However the numbers for ladies are increasing every year. It is changing.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:44 PM   #8
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:44 PM   #9
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:45 PM   #10
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I encourage all my female friends to ride. Some of them have gotten their licenses and one lady even did a dual sport trip through Nicaragua with her fiance after.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:48 PM   #11
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Why don't more men ride?

Seriously. If we are talking about genders just about every little boy (and to your point even girls) are FASCINATED with motorcycles. I live on a busy street and everytime I have my garage open slack jawed little kids stare as they walk by. Parents say things like "it is a motorcycle" and they just stare in awe.

The truth of it is more acceptable for guys to risky activities and so you get more of them riding. However the numbers for ladies are increasing every year. It is changing.
Because they allow girls who dont want to ride to tell them they can't as well
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:55 PM   #12
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:21 PM   #13
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I know plenty of women who ride, most of them don't talk about it because doing so is a invitation for all sorts of weird, creeper behavior.

You can look at any BARF thread that is posted by a woman for plenty of examples of this.

Also, did you ever think to ask women about the reasons they don't ride?

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This is exactly why more women don't ride (or at least don't talk about it in public). Because a lot of women want to ride for the joy of riding a motorcycle, and the best they can expect from the male populace is shitty jokes that have to do with the fact that they've got a vagina and they can ride a motorcycle. The community will go out of it's way to make it very clear that you're going to be treated differently because you're a woman. If you post about being a woman rider on a public forum, 95% of the people there are going to assume you're doing it for the attention, and if you were just posting because you thought you could be a part of the community without everyone making it about your gender, you're wrong.

Again, see every BARF thread where a woman has posted about looking for riding partners, tips, or anything else.

More women don't ride (and participate in online forums) because most riders are absolute shitheads about making women feel welcome or like a part of the community.

That 18% number is all of those that loved riding enough to tolerate (or ignored/don't care about) the heaping pile of bullshit that goes along with being a woman rider. You want more women participating, you gotta fix that shit first.

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Old 04-08-2015, 01:21 PM   #14
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I don't have many friends that are male that ride, let alone women I know. I have 3 male friends that ride, 1 female that used to ride an SV650 but now rides 2-up on her BFs. The BF is one of the 3 males I know that ride.

Nearly every non-rider goes "omg so dangerous! How u no die when ride? how balance? wuts life?"
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:25 PM   #15
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Nearly every non-rider goes "omg so dangerous! How u no die when ride? how balance? wuts life?"
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