Motorcycle Manufacturers Reconsider Sexist AdvertisementsPrint
According to researchers from the Motorcycle Industry Council, more U.S. women are riding motorcycles than ever before. In 2009, women accounted for just 8% of all bikers; in 2012, it was up to 12%! That may not sound like a lot, but that's 6.7 million women. Moreover, for women riding motorcycles in the U.S. -- and around the world -- it is not just about feeling the wind blowing through their hair, it's also about confronting troubling stereotypes and challenging years' worth of social injustices.
Female Bikers Motivate New Advertisements
Thanks to the growing numbers of female riders, there has been a shift in the industry's advertising, "featuring more women in their ads -- riding the bikes, not decorating them," The Seattle Times reports. It is no longer out of the ordinary for women to ride motorcycles, and more dealerships are specifically catering to female customers. Even so, the idea of purchasing bikes made for women in and of itself is a bit problematic and reminiscent of other, gender-specific and nightmarish products, like Bic's "Pens For Her" (look it up!). Instead of sinking your money into a hot pink and glaringly offensive model, go ahead and buy whatever bike you like. If you need to, you can purchase custom handlebars for motorcycles and other custom motorcycles parts to make alterations or adjustments for your height and any other individual needs.
Egyptian Women Challenge A Popular Taboo
Women in Egypt are riding motorcycles and scooters in order to take a stand. (For years, it has been a taboo for women in Egypt to ride motorcycles.) In riding scooters or even models pieced together from aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories, women are doing more than just making a political statement, they are also looking out for themselves and each other. "Riding motorcycles can help girls avoid sexual harassment they suffer from in public transport buses," biker Basma El-Gabry tells Daily News Egypt.
Motorcycle sales are still rising after 10 straight years, and the growing number of female bikers is partially to credit. Whether women purchase bikes brand new or use custom motorcycles parts for a faster and more efficient ride, one thing is certain: by riding their motorcycles, they are making significant social and political strides.