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Posts Tagged ‘Motorcycle Industry Council’

Maya Hansen at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week — Madrid

Valentine’s Day…

Have you noticed that Barbie beauty standards have wormed their thick smoky eye shadow and shimmering red lip gloss way into the world of motorcycling?

It’s true, companies use scantily clad women in sexy poses, draped over the fuel tank to sell motorcycles.

Clearly, the advertisers think if you’re a male in the market for a motorcycle, then a woman fixing her hair and makeup in the chrome reflection, while wearing lingerie, a bikini or underwear is as important as the size of — the engine combustion chamber.  It’s the kind of situation in the dealer showroom one could only hope to find oneself in when purchasing a motorcycle.

Right?

We’ve all seen these so-called “perfect biker babes.”  They strap themselves into black leather bras, lean forward and pout with cherry red lipstick.  When they disembark the motorcycle they shake out bouncy platinum hair, adjust their cleavage and scan the area for a Glamour photographer in hopes of a modeling contract without even smudging their red lipstick.

Maya Hansen Clothing Line and NZI Helmets

Let’s transport back to the real world.

Photographers from Glamour are nowhere to be seen.  Because in reality, most women don’t spend much time draped across a fuel tank semi-clothed on a random motorcycle. Especially if there’s a camera around.  In all my years of riding, I’ve never seen a woman get off a motorcycle, shake out her hair, and be offered a modeling contract!

Breaking the stereotype — nobody looks twice when they see a woman riding a motorcycle these days.  Women don’t want to be objectified for any purpose and especially not for hawking a motorcycle.  The public’s perception that motorcycle riders are predominately male is ‘long gone.’

In fact, according to a 2018 national survey by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), they found that among all age groups, women make up 19 percent of motorcycle owners, compared with less than 10 percent less than a decade ago. The survey found even greater ownership among younger generations.  With Millennials, 26 percent of motorcycle owners were women. Among Gen X, 22 percent were women.

Advertising sells products, but the ridiculousness of women draped over, like melted candle wax, awkwardly positioned a-top a motorcycle – is perhaps an easy way to grab attention to try and sell something – it’s not necessarily the best approach.

For equality, here is a similar motorcycle photoshoot, but with “perfect” men.

Photos courtesy YouMotorcycle, Maya Hansen and NZI Helmets.  Photos taken at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week — Madrid, Spain.

Disclaimer: As I’m sure you can imagine, the internet knows no mercy when you misstep to be a perfect model of a human.  I mean no disrespect if you are, or are not perfect and certainly not looking for a stampede of angry followers accusing me of being tone deaf for the sake of generating clicks.  If you ask, I’ll candidly admit that I don’t have a clue about “What Women Want” when it comes to fashion.

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just_rideI made a commitment earlier in the year to blog more about and highlight Northwest legislative activity.  My intent is to provide illumination on issues and help give motorcyclists a “voice.”   It’s turning out that it could be a full-time job as America seems to be moving farther away from its Founders’ vision and government, but I digress.

I was checking my BlackBerry and read a story by Charles Pope in The Oregonian.  I’m positively stunned the writer and article took a conservation-group bias about public land protection.  NOT!

So, what actually transpired.  The bill — Senate Bill 22: The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 — a bill that would have banned motorized vehicles from more than 2 Million acres of public land — failed to get the required two-thirds vote of the House members for approval. The vote was 282 yes to 144 no, with six lawmakers abstaining.  Mr. Pope reported it failed because it was “short two votes” in the house.  True enough.  But, he didn’t illuminate the fact that the bill had raised the ire of sport enthusiasts and recreational motorcyclist (AMA members and many other groups) not only because it was a package of more than 160 bills loosely coupled together to form a single bill more than 1,300 pages long, but also because it was fast-tracked through the Senate earlier this year and then positioned for a final House vote without the consideration of House members on more than 70 bills in the package.

The bill is yet another example of the recent trend in our government.   Fast-tracking bills through the legislative process without appropriate review is truly a violation of the spirit of open and democratic government.  This bill was a poor product of a poor process, and it would have cut off reasonable access for a whole host of activities on our public lands.  Much of that land is currently used for enjoyment and recreational vehicle use – responsibly!

While the debate is certainly not over, the grassroots lobbying so far has definitely helped the recreational motorcycle cause.

UPDATE: March 16, 2009 — Although the original bill, S. 22, was defeated on March 11 in the U.S. House of Representatives following Senate approval, it has been revived as part of H.R. 146, the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Acquisition Grant Program.

Even with the defeat of S. 22 in the House, the Senate is employing rare tactics to shove this ban through Congress.  The Senate has employed a little used parliamentary procedure to reintroduced the bill as a 1,300-page amendment to an unrelated piece of legislation for a vote as early as today.

Clearly this shows how serious Senate leaders are about removing the public debate and getting unreasonable restrictions put in place to public land access approved into law.  We must be just as vigilant in our response. Time is short.

All motorcyclists and ATV riders need to call their senators now and insist they vote no on H.R. 146.

Photo courtesy AMA.

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