July 05, 2020 2 min read
I come from a long line of head strong women. My mom is a leader in a male dominated industry. She has shared the dreadful experiences she endured as a woman breaking the glass ceiling in a man's world. I can safely say that things have gotten better in our society, but the problem still persists in motorcycle culture.
This exact problem is the reason I started Bent Out Of Shape. I have worked in the motorcycle industry for a little over three years now, and the misogyny has bred rage in me. If I had a dollar for the amount of times I have had a man old enough to be my grandfather make sexual advances towards me, I would be a very rich lady. I have witnessed men disregard and undermine insightful mechanical knowledge delivered by a woman. I have been told that I'm too small and fragile to ride a motorcycle. I have been told "that's too much bike for a woman!" I am tired of hearing "aww, good for you" when I tell a man I ride. I ride a motorcycle for the same reason men do. One of the only times my head is actually clear is when I'm on my bike. Not to mention riding a motorcycle is so fucking fun. I don't ride to make myself a sex object or to get attention or admiration. This rage led to an intense passion to make a drastic change.
Most of the women I have met who ride are not the ones you see in a biker magazine. They are highly educated, quick witted, take no shit kind of gals. I was baffled by the lack of representation for these women in the motorcycle industry. The REAL biker chicks. Like myself, these women hate apparel made for women who ride. It is difficult to find garments that aren't bedazzled, low cut, or nauseatingly girly. Little to nothing exists for us. I have spent SO much money on men's t-shirts, flannels, jackets, hats, etc., that do not fit me correctly. I am sick of it.
I have always been very artistic. I wish I inherited my mom's mathematical skills, but I got the creativity gene instead. I decided I was going to make my own graphic t-shirts that are up to par with men's tees. I am a big fan of provocative t-shirts that convey individualism, edge, and humor. I got tired of waiting for someone else to start making those shirts. Thus began Bent Out Of Shape.
The sexism in the motorcycle industry hasn't changed since starting Bent Out Of Shape, but I have. I have become empowered by women I have met who have experienced the same things I have. I still have men put their hands on me, make crude comments, and be downright condescending. But I know that the age of a male dominated motorcycle industry will come to an end in my life time. I would like to plow down the sexist assholes and create an equal plane for ALL people who enjoy the thrill of riding.
September 22, 2020 1 min read
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