Well, once again it seems that the reputation of the cycling world has taken another hit. On one hand, it seems like there's a concerted effort to get more women interested in riding - which, let's face it, would be a good thing for the industry (more people buying bikes) and the sport (more fans, more sponsors). But for every voice out there saying "let's get more women into cycling," there's some dumbass who makes some stupid move like this:
|Yep - Cycling Weekly magazine last week published an article about the Hinckley Cycle Racing Club in Leicestershire as part of their "We Ride With . . ." feature. And there among the photos from the ride, they included this picture with the caption "Token attractive woman."|
blamed the mistake on a "subeditor" who added the caption, which was not caught by other staffers before the magazine went to print. Was it "not caught," or was it simply overlooked by others who failed to recognize what lousy judgement it was?
Yes, the staff at Cycling Weekly
issued an apology . . .
|At least they called it "idiotic."|
. . . which may be heartfelt and sincere and all, but wouldn't it just be great
if the industry, and the sport, and the culture in general could get through a season without having to apologize to women everywhere because of this kind of idiocy?
About two years ago, it was this
stupid tweet from the folks at Colnago:
|"Ready for the weekend ride?" the tweet asks. |
Actually, no, she's not -- bike's too big, and she's not even wearing shoes.
And there is always the divisive issue with the "podium girls" (euphemistically called "hostesses") -- Like this
recent story about AG2R rider Jan Bakelants:
In a pre-Tour de France interview, Bakelants joked about the difficulty in going three weeks without sex during the Tour, and when asked what he would pack in his luggage, replied "Definitely a packet of condoms. You never know where those podium hostesses are hanging out." Jerk.
Of course, we can't forget this gem from 2015:
Which seemed to be right on the heels of this one:
Getting back to the latest gaffe, the cyclist in the CW
photo, a woman identified as Hannah Noel, posted on Facebook: "I made it into
Cycling Weekly, it seems not for my ability as a female cyclist but as a 'token attractive woman' -- I'm absolutely gutted and disappointed in the magazine."
I read in some other commentary on the incident (I don't recall where) that Noel is a very tough and dedicated cyclist. I'm sure that the stupid comment from CW
won't deter her, or at least I hope it doesn't - but sexist stupidity like that, and the other examples here, certainly don't encourage women to get involved with cycling - and probably does a lot to keep them away.
I have this feeling of "Cycling weekly" becoming a pasquinale for those english hooligans of cycling, so that doesn't surprises me at all from themReplyDelete
It's really rather shitty of the editor to throw their sub under the bus like that; at the end of the day the content is the editor's responsibility, and they should check it all before it goes to press - after all, that's why they get paid the medium-sized bucks. IME sarky and ironic placeholder captions are not uncommon at the layout stage - it's one way of dealing with the tedium of subbing - but the downside is that when something gets missed it can be rather more offensive than 'insert caption here'. From my experience of subs it's as likely to have been an ironic comment on gender bias and representation as a sexist dig; I appreciate that from Noel's point of view it doesn't make much difference, mind.ReplyDelete
I love cycling. I became a cycling enthusiast as a teenage boy. As a middle-aged woman, seeing the "Token Attractive Woman" thing makes me wonder whether I might've been turned on to cycling had I been a girl or young woman.ReplyDelete