Forget diamonds — a “hog” is a girl’s best friend
By Karla Jane Limion
I love being a woman. I love riding my motorcycle. But I can’t imagine anything more frustrating than being a woman motorcyclist. Since I started riding I’ve been called a “biker chick” or “biker babe” about a thousand times, but I have never been referred to as a “motorcycle rider”. Maybe that’s too much to ask.
My first ride on a motorcycle was last August and I adored it. The freedom of the open air, the thrill of the speed, and the heightened sense of my mortality excited me. Nothing could compare to the rush of my boyfriend’s bike weaving through freeway traffic or winding tight corners at reckless speeds. But soon the boyfriend and the rides on his bike were history, so I took matters into my own hands. I signed up for a motorcycle course, got my bike license, and bought my Suzuki GS400S within weeks.
For a while I thought I would finally get some respect from men since, after all, I was now “one of the gang”. Boy, was I ever wrong!
Take the times I went riding with my male motorcycle buddies: Jay screamed at me for not travelling at the speed of light, Tom thought I should disobey all traffic signals, and Herb was angry at me for “holding him back.” (I didn’t dare tell him I was simply following his wimpy-assed lead.) Sorry to disappoint you, boys, but I think I’ll just keep on riding the way I want to.
It took me a while to realize I have nothing to prove to others simply because I’m a female entering a predominantly male domain. Yes, I am an aggressive rider when I smoke the car beside me at a stop light or blast around the corners on the Don Valley Parkway, but I ride that way because I feel like it. It’s certainly not to hear the squeals of delight coming from a car full of teenage brats beside me.
I suppose I can’t blame men for having such a brainless attitude towards female riders. Take a look at how motorcycle magazines portray women. Am I to believe the bleached-blonde bikini-clad babes are all oiled-up because they just lubed their motorcycle chains? I don’t think so.
I want to be treated like any other person on a motorcycle. Do men motorcyclists get whistled at? Do others ogle them as they dismount from their bikes? Are they told to “straddle that baby?” I guess I’ll never know. But until I open a copy of Homemaker’s Magazine and see a sexy man in a Speedo and oven mitts, his muscles gleaming from a fresh dip in Crisco as he sniffs a fresh batch of hot cross buns, I’m going to stay pissed off.
Karla Jane Limino is a journalism student. She can drink you under the table, too, so don’t give her any lip.