Author Topic: Women-only audaxes  (Read 12386 times)

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
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Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #50 on: 19 May, 2021, 09:56:04 am »
When they try to tell you how to fix a mechanical, even tho you are a perfectly competent mechanic who built the bike you're riding, as well as doing the occasional shift in a bike shop.

That's just plain bad manners.  (Offering advice un-asked for.)  The sexism is in your mind.

An all-female event (in a context such as this where segregation is not the norm) seems discriminatory to me, and, if it were an Audax UK event, would contravene the Regulations (8.2 "AUK events are open to all cyclists ...")
you only live but once, and when you're dead you're done, so let the good times roll

Ben T

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #51 on: 19 May, 2021, 09:59:47 am »


Any men, or just men guilty of sexism?
Do I get to escape your scorn by not doing sexist behaviour, or am I always going to be a problem simply by being male?
I read through your list of sexist behaviours thinking "well I don't do that", "nor that", "I don't do that either".
I get that the idea behind a women only audax might be simply that the only way to eliminate sexist men might be to eliminate all men, with the well-meaning intention of having a sexism-free event, but I think the point that guilt should stem from "doing" not from "being" needs to be made. My hope is that you accept that.

And we have our first #NotAllMen ...

J

So do you have a problem with that then? It is all men, then, as far as you're concerned? OK. As long as we know where we stand.  ::-)

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #52 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:03:03 am »
I am really sorry now that I started this thread. That is pretty rare.

Is it better to split the original announcement from the resulting discussion or lock it or delete it or what?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #53 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:05:15 am »
As a not-permanently-offended male, I understood QG's intention to be "for the benefit of any men reading who don't have firsthand experience the cycling world as a woman" which would, indeed, be all of them.

(or all cis ones, anyway)

Ben T

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #54 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:25:10 am »
I am really sorry now that I started this thread. That is pretty rare.

Is it better to split the original announcement from the resulting discussion or lock it or delete it or what?

nah, sorry, don't need to bother from my perspective, sorry to drag it off line. Just fell into the trap as I often do of thinking I could get somewhere or get something across .... if QG replies and I feel the need to come back on it I'll do it via PM, was actually in two minds whether to anyway.

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • Pudge controls the weather.
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Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #55 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:35:42 am »

Any men, or just men guilty of sexism?
Do I get to escape your scorn by not doing sexist behaviour, or am I always going to be a problem simply by being male?
I read through your list of sexist behaviours thinking "well I don't do that", "nor that", "I don't do that either".
I get that the idea behind a women only audax might be simply that the only way to eliminate sexist men might be to eliminate all men, with the well-meaning intention of having a sexism-free event, but I think the point that guilt should stem from "doing" not from "being" needs to be made. My hope is that you accept that.

Any man who doesn't understand the issues women face, and who might question why a women-only audax has appeal.

Thought that was pretty obvious.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #56 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:37:29 am »


Any men, or just men guilty of sexism?
Do I get to escape your scorn by not doing sexist behaviour, or am I always going to be a problem simply by being male?
I read through your list of sexist behaviours thinking "well I don't do that", "nor that", "I don't do that either".
I get that the idea behind a women only audax might be simply that the only way to eliminate sexist men might be to eliminate all men, with the well-meaning intention of having a sexism-free event, but I think the point that guilt should stem from "doing" not from "being" needs to be made. My hope is that you accept that.

And we have our first #NotAllMen ...

J
I think that sexism is like racism, and indeed any other ‘othering’ that exists. Emotionally we nearly all respond with a ‘it’s them’ thought largely because as animals we need to categorise the world into threat and none threat. Our intellect, based on our education, experience and life values allows us to override this initial response with a more measured and considerate behaviour. Of course, there are some very rare individuals who never ‘other’ people they meet, but they are a vanishingly rare group of individuals, and as long as the rest of us can recognise our prejudices and respond outwardly as inclusive the world will be a better place. </streamofconsciousness>
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Chris S

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #57 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:38:08 am »
I am really sorry now that I started this thread. That is pretty rare.

That's a shame. It's a discussion that's wandered somewhat - but that's the way of forums, even before you factor in the subject matter and the possibility of triggering people who are ready to be triggered.

Having witnessed blatant sexism against fboab when we've been audaxing, I can see there might be appeal in X-only rides (for various values of X) although as a white privileged male, I also appreciate I have no idea what it's really like to be on the receving end of an 'ism of any kind.

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #58 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:41:45 am »

Any men, or just men guilty of sexism?
Do I get to escape your scorn by not doing sexist behaviour, or am I always going to be a problem simply by being male?
I read through your list of sexist behaviours thinking "well I don't do that", "nor that", "I don't do that either".
I get that the idea behind a women only audax might be simply that the only way to eliminate sexist men might be to eliminate all men, with the well-meaning intention of having a sexism-free event, but I think the point that guilt should stem from "doing" not from "being" needs to be made. My hope is that you accept that.

It's like with racism: it's not enough to not be overtly racist, you have to be actively anti-racist. Otherwise you're still supporting racism.

So in this case that means all men (everyone really, but especially men) checking their complicity in propping up systems of patriarchy and misogyny, and all men (everyone really, but especially men) stepping up to call things out.

Thanks to people sharing their experiences on this thread, everyone's got another handy list of recurring problematic behaviours that they can look out for and act on:thumbsup:




ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
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Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #59 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:49:02 am »
When they try to tell you how to fix a mechanical, even tho you are a perfectly competent mechanic who built the bike you're riding, as well as doing the occasional shift in a bike shop.

That's just plain bad manners.  (Offering advice un-asked for.)  The sexism is in your mind.

An all-female event (in a context such as this where segregation is not the norm) seems discriminatory to me, and, if it were an Audax UK event, would contravene the Regulations (8.2 "AUK events are open to all cyclists ...")

And this is (one of the reasons) why women might want a women-only event.

"It's all in your mind," is one step removed from, "Calm down dear." If you don't know why that's patronising, then you'll possibly never understand -- and probably don't care! -- why there aren't more women in cycling.

And pulling out the AUK rules as an argument why there shouldn't be an event to encourage women to participate? Really? Far far better to have a scant few women participating than do something to encourage more to give audax a try even if it means bending the rules for even one event a year? One event, out of all of them, where women might see themselves represented amongst the other riders and feel confident enough to take part even if they haven't done it before.

That's really quite sad.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #60 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:56:20 am »
I'd imagine some of the women most attracted to the idea of a women-only cycling event would be from conservative Muslim, Hindu or "similar" (this list is far from exhaustive) backgrounds, making it a good way to give a taste of long-distance cycling to people who feel excluded on a number of fronts.

I also tried to imagine what would happen if, say, French Tandem, BenT and I wanted to start playing netball or maybe get into flower arranging.
Quote
the men's game is not recognised by the International Netball Federation (INF), and there is no England national seven-a-side team.
Quote
In England, netball is offered as a mixed game up until the age of 11.

Declan Kohl has this year formed Northern Titans - a new men's team pooling players between Leeds and Manchester - and believes that needs to change.

"That's where you lose men's netball. At 11, boys are told it's a girls' sport.

"We've definitely had things on Instagram and Twitter where people say 'it's a girls' sport' - we're trying to change that bias.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/netball/49064414
I guess things have changed; when I was a kid it was definitely only for girls even up to 11. I'm pretty sure there must be a lot of basic knowledge from playing at school that's present in women's netball but has to be learned from scratch in the mixed teams. Anyway, if it can happen with netball, why not? Oh and I googled "flower arranging for men" didn't find any courses but did get lots of results along the lines of "interflora for men".

Anyway, audax, netball, triathlon and flowers are just hobbies, fundamentally inconsequential to all but their participants, so do them with who you want?

Ed: I forgot to mention (how I imagined) the possible effect on women already playing netball when men join their team or they play against male or mixed teams. I imagine it might inhibit some of their jokes and banter; just as the presence of women can in a traditionally male environment. In short, a small dose of the other (whether that's men in a female environment, women in a male one, young people in an old one, etc) might have a civilizing effect.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #61 on: 19 May, 2021, 10:58:22 am »
There is lived experience/ history behind most folk’s responses on this thread. For instance, FF’s partner Sheila is one of the unalloyed all-time greats of audaxing. She has accomplished more than almost anybody on this forum will ever do, regardless of gender. That sort of history will tend to affect how somebody views more tentative(?) people, ‘Why don’t they just ignore <this> and do it anyway?’
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Beardy

  • What’s this do?
  • I’ve always wondered where this was
Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #62 on: 19 May, 2021, 11:03:20 am »
This reminds me a little of the Gymphobics women only gyms that have popped up in a number of places around here. My initial response was ‘is that actually legal?’ and the associated male bollox baggage, through to an understanding of why they exist. As a middle aged white educated male I gave up worrying about what others thought about my body a long time ago, but I can understand why women would want to avoid the letching and judgement of a gym full of testosteroned up blokes. I don’t think we’re nearly as discreet as we think we are in either behaviour. And that’s just the passive behaviours, there are far too many men who think it ok to show a ‘little lady’ how she should do something ‘properly’.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Ben T

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #63 on: 19 May, 2021, 11:23:15 am »
This reminds me a little of the Gymphobics women only gyms that have popped up in a number of places around here. My initial response was ‘is that actually legal?’ and the associated male bollox baggage, through to an understanding of why they exist. As a middle aged white educated male I gave up worrying about what others thought about my body a long time ago, but I can understand why women would want to avoid the letching and judgement of a gym full of testosteroned up blokes. I don’t think we’re nearly as discreet as we think we are in either behaviour. And that’s just the passive behaviours, there are far too many men who think it ok to show a ‘little lady’ how she should do something ‘properly’.

think it's legal if it's a private members club, rather than a public service - cos iirc a taxi company said they were women only and they had to declare themselves a private members club to be compliant

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #64 on: 19 May, 2021, 11:28:04 am »
FWIW, triathlons don't need you to be a member of anything. Membership of Tri Scotland or British Triathlon gets you a cheaper entry fee, but you don't have to be a member. A good rule of thumb is not to put additional hurdles in the way if you are trying to attract new people.
FWI (also)W:
very very few cycling events require membership of anything (or you can buy day membership for a teeny fee). And Triathlons are almost universally more expensive than the humble 200km Audax :P

I think there are other reasons for Tri being very gender-balanced, just MHO.

I was responding to a specific post. T42 said:

Quote
Bof. FFCT membership at the lowest rate costs 36€50. First-rime membership price is lower by a good whack. And it means you can also do diagonales, BCMF, mer/montagne and a bunch of other fun stuff.

I at no point suggested you need to be a member of Audax UK to do an audax. Nor did I suggest that lack of a membership requirement is the only thing that means triathlons are more gender balanced than cycling events.

But thanks for explaining something to me that I knew already  ::-) .

Sam

To put this in context T42 was replying to a comment that I made about a certain type of FFCT organisation trying to inspire ladies to come club cycling while actually refusing to let them try the specific ladies event unless they were already in - which provoked the comment about the cost of FFCT membership (about which he is wrong! - unless the person, lady or other, is 2nd adult in a family membership, it costs more than that MI or Club - but that is not relevant here; PDFs available in support if required).

You don't need a licence for any federation to participate in most leisure cycling events in France either (including, I am sure, a large number of BRMs). Competition is different and slightly more complex (UFOLEP sportives for example) and the FFCT Sport licence muddies the pool even more. Medical certs may be required but that's not federation linked either. It would be normal to have up to half the participants in UFOLEP randonnées that don't belong to any federation (information from a friend who organises) and are there for the fun!

For information and to avoid confusion the shortest brevet BRM, that you people would think of as Audax, in France is a 200. Anything shorter than that is nothing to do with the ACP and is organised on a variety of categories by clubs in FFCT, Ufolep, BCF and other federations that I can't remember the names of

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #65 on: 19 May, 2021, 11:35:41 am »
And pulling out the AUK rules as an argument why there shouldn't be an event to encourage women to participate? Really? Far far better to have a scant few women participating than do something to encourage more to give audax a try even if it means bending the rules for even one event a year? One event, out of all of them, where women might see themselves represented amongst the other riders and feel confident enough to take part even if they haven't done it before.

That's really quite sad.

Sam

If AUK choose to hide behind their rules and refuse to sanction a women-only event, there's no reason why those who wish to promote it couldn't start a women-only long-distance cycling club under British Cycling, gaining the insurance benefits as well as some helpful organisational tools ... I think that would be rather excellent.

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #66 on: 19 May, 2021, 01:34:51 pm »
Then, as I said above, let's take strong measures against the offenders, rather than segregate the offended people.

Excellent, let's cure everyday sexism while we're at it.

A lot of the problems I have at mixed events aren't big evil horrible things that would make everyone agree that a person should be banished from riding ever again, so as to make things nicer for everyone. No, it's microagressions. An accumulative death by a thousand cuts.

When you're milling around at the start, and someone asks "Are you here with your boyfriend?"...

When you're about to finish your RRtY, and some bloke looks down to you and asks "Is this your first audax?"

When you walk into the loo, and find a man at the sink, apologise, walk out, go into the other door, find men peeing in urinals, and go back to the other loo and say "this is the ladies", and they then look at you and try to claim that there are 80 of them and 2 of us, so we have to share. "Yes, but I came in here to change my bra, so get out"

When other riders make patronising comments about your bike.

When a rider is riding along with you and starts hitting on you, and you have to explain that you don't do men, to get them to go away.

When they try to tell you how to fix a mechanical, even tho you are a perfectly competent mechanic who built the bike you're riding, as well as doing the occasional shift in a bike shop.

Each one of these is minor. Each one isn't much. But they build up. Accumulating. One on top of the other, until you're suffocating in it all, and just say "Fuck it, I'll go ride on my own".

I've been told time and again by people of various genders that they couldn't do what I did. I did my first Audax in January 2018. In a land where I don't speak the language, when I'd been riding for just 6 weeks. It was windy, it was snowy, it rained, temps were around 0°C, it was hard, and I got round with just 20 minutes in hand. Yet on that one single event I got every question above apart from the toilet one. I've worked in a very male dominated industry for over 20 years. I know that my hobbies are also male dominated. But I continue because I'm seriously fucking stubborn. Many people aren't.

The idea of an all women ride. Sounds awesome. Not having to worry about microaggressions. Everyone being there with the same aim. Damn I wish I could get to this ride.

Quote
Short answer: Yes. But let me tell you one thing. By asking this question, you are being very divisive. Have I ever made any comment on this forum regarding your possible belonging to one group or another? Certainly not. Let's face it, you and me are just people, basic plain people who have the same hopes for a happy and peaceful life. You will not make the world a better place by building divisions between people.

I am not trying to build divisions. I am trying to point out that you have privilege that I do not. No one questions your right to be at the start of an event. I've been told I'm too fat to race (by people on this very forum!!!), I've been told that I am taking a space that could have been given to a man who would do better than me in said race. I got called a beginner by the manager of the local Rapha store, a month after I had come 2nd in an ultra race. As a Straight, White, Able-bodied, Man you do not experience the world the way those in minorities do. And quite frankly, it's offensive the attitude many take of "Well I don't have any issues, so I don't know why the women don't want to ride with the men".

I would love to live in a world where people are welcoming and friendly when I turn up to a ride. Where people don't feel the need to question the validity of my presence. I'd love to turn up for rides and not be the only woman.

But despite it being 2021. I do not live in that world. We do not live in that world.

I am not sewing the seeds of division. I do hope however that by explaining how I experience the world, people will come to understand that maybe, just maybe, they have privilege others do not, and maybe, learn to check their privilege from time to time.

J

My bold. What's stopping you? Amsterdam is not that far from Paris! If we are still restricted it will be postponed, not cancelled. You don't even have to be up to speed, the details (at least in french) say that the BRM delay is purely notional, if you take longer no-one will care provided you have a nice day out!

For the rest of this post as a straight, white (relatively) able-bodied man (for which I have my parents to thank, not even my choice) and a father (of girls) so at the top of the sexist familial hierarchy I am left wondering what I am meant to do. Do I give up riding with women as "compagnons of fortune" on brevets montagnards (the men generally climb much too quick for me, most women ditto!)? Am I no longer permitted to stop and offer assistance to a cyclist if it's the wrong sex? Am I even banned from going into a cycle shop with one of my daughters in case she asks me for advice (or just an opinion)? Where does it all stop? I can't even ask my wife for advice, she thinks that the sofa and the internal combustion engine are God's gifts and the bicycle is the work of Stan and I know where to put it! Only thing left to do - go for a ride, alone!

ravenbait

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Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #67 on: 19 May, 2021, 01:46:36 pm »
For the rest of this post as a straight, white (relatively) able-bodied man (for which I have my parents to thank, not even my choice) and a father (of girls) so at the top of the sexist familial hierarchy I am left wondering what I am meant to do. Do I give up riding with women as "compagnons of fortune" on brevets montagnards (the men generally climb much too quick for me, most women ditto!)? Am I no longer permitted to stop and offer assistance to a cyclist if it's the wrong sex? Am I even banned from going into a cycle shop with one of my daughters in case she asks me for advice (or just an opinion)? Where does it all stop? I can't even ask my wife for advice, she thinks that the sofa and the internal combustion engine are God's gifts and the bicycle is the work of Stan and I know where to put it! Only thing left to do - go for a ride, alone!

To be blunt, it's not about you. None of this is about you. I know it's hard -- and you are by no means alone in thinking this is, indeed, about you -- but it's not. There is no need to be dramatic.

This is not women saying they don't want to ride with any men, nor about women wanting to take over AUK and kick out all the men. This thread, believe it or not, is not anti-men. It is pro-women, but this is  not a zero sum game. We're not trying to take anything away from any of you.

Ride with women, just don't say something to them you wouldn't say to a man. Treat them as people, not exotic creatures whose main attributes are what is contained within their shorts.

Offer assistance to any cyclist. If she's a woman, and she says she's fine, believe her. Don't try to tell her she's doing it wrong, or grab the wheel off her because her delicate wee thumbs can't possibly put that tyre back on. If she accepts help, do as she asks, not what you think she needs.

Go into a cycle shop with your daughter. If the assistant addresses you, explain clearly that he should be talking to your daughter. If he fails to do so, take your daughter to another bike shop where they will treat her like the human being with agency she is.

It's not rocket science.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #68 on: 19 May, 2021, 01:52:51 pm »
I am left wondering what I am meant to do.

Don't be a dick.

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • Pudge controls the weather.
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Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #69 on: 19 May, 2021, 02:09:02 pm »
I am left wondering what I am meant to do.

Don't be a dick.

This is the succinct version.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Chris S

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #70 on: 19 May, 2021, 02:09:28 pm »
I am left wondering what I am meant to do.

Don't be a dick.

Always sound advice.

Ben T

Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #71 on: 19 May, 2021, 02:25:56 pm »
To be blunt, it's not about you. None of this is about you.

You personally might not be (I can't find a quote) but by telling people that if they "are not part of the solution they are part of the problem" or something along those lines, that accusation makes it at least partly about them.
If you are going to accuse people of being sexist when they haven't actually done anything sexist then it is about them because they are naturally going to take exception to that accusation.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #72 on: 19 May, 2021, 02:29:32 pm »
Oh and I googled "flower arranging for men" didn't find any courses but did get lots of results along the lines of "interflora for men".

I generally avoid flowers, arranged or otherwise.  But once as a PSO I was paid to spend a couple of hours sitting in front of a lighting desk doing exam revision while a male flower-arrangist gave an exquisitely well-lit but extremely boring lecture/demonstration to a predominately, but certainly not exclusively, female audience.

I suspect it's more like nursing or primary teaching (with men a minority who are both regarded with suspicion and disproportionately rise to positions of authority) than sport.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ravenbait

  • Someone's imaginary friend
  • Pudge controls the weather.
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Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #73 on: 19 May, 2021, 02:33:55 pm »

You personally might not be (I can't find a quote) but by telling people that if they "are not part of the solution they are part of the problem" or something along those lines, that accusation makes it at least partly about them.
If you are going to accuse people of being sexist when they haven't actually done anything sexist then it is about them because they are naturally going to take exception to that accusation.

You are taking a thread about one event, in the whole damn world, which is an audax for women only, and turning it into a personal accusation of sexist behaviour.

If you consider yourself to stand up for women's rights and equity, and even think you'd be up for saying, "Not cool," to a fellow man exhibiting sexist behaviour, then this is NOT about you.

If you look at generalised statements about sexism and self-identify as a target, then maybe you should ask yourself why that is.

Sam
https://ravenbait.com
"Created something? Hah! But that would be irresponsible! And unethical! I would never, ever make... more than one."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Women-only audaxes
« Reply #74 on: 19 May, 2021, 02:37:46 pm »
Oh and I googled "flower arranging for men" didn't find any courses but did get lots of results along the lines of "interflora for men".

I generally avoid flowers, arranged or otherwise.  But once as a PSO I was paid to spend a very dull couple of hours sitting in front of a lighting desk while a male flower-arrangist gave an exquisitely well-lit but extremely boring lecture/demonstration to a predominately, but certainly not exclusively, female audience.

I suspect it's more like nursing or primary teaching (with men a minority who are both regarded with suspicion and disproportionately rise to positions of authority) than sport.
That does not surprise me at all. Flower arranging, like make up and clothes design, is precisely the kind of thing which is mostly done by women at an amateur level but where the professionals would be men. Cooking is no longer quite the cannonical example of this, as it seems less and less uncommon for men to cook at home.

Personally, I like flowers, but I prefer them growing in the ground. This is why my garden is full of weeds. (And I don't think I'd like to play netball, though I'd give it a go; actually, I've enjoyed playing volleyball at an extremely basic, don't actually know the rules, level, so I'd probably like it. But not triathlon, cos I don't like swimming. I'd give a run-bike-athlon a go, as long as I could do it at TimC having a laugh attitude.)
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.