It goes without saying that American Pop Culture of the early to mid-sixties infused (some would say irrevocably established), the sexually charged, female-objectification that flourishes to this day. The seemingly unpretentious and fun-filled rallying anthem of that time was the iconic, Beach Boys hit title, California Girls. In defence of those who grew up in that transformative era, how current 21st century men view and treat the opposite sex has not improved. The argument can be made that there has actually been an exponential regression in respectful attitudes toward women.
A stereotype in its most basic form is made up of two entities; the initiator and the initiate. Derived from the Greek words στερεός (stereos), “firm, solid” and τύπος (typos), “impression; thereby creating a “firm impression”. To create an impression, something of substance, an initiating object or force, has to be applied to a receiving surface or receptor. The surface tension, molecular structure, maturity level or mental capacity of the receiver of said impression, will dictate the acceptance or longevity of the force applied. So how or why did this stereotypical assault on women begin?
This particular Eve archetype, is a woman who happens to ride motorcycles. But let me first step back in time and set the stage. Eve first came on the scene in the Garden of Eden. Now ongoing debate and postulation continues as to where the exact location of Eden is purported to have been. General consensus places it somewhere near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Regardless of where the exact location was, it is fair to say it was someplace in the Middle East.
When Eve first enters earth’s physical plane, she is naked. Not ‘nekkid’, which is how the North American urban culture has redacted a woman’s true physical attributes of beauty. The familiar narrative relates that Eve was tempted with an apple. Without going into any ecumenical or doctrinal posturing, one critical and defining issue about this event not only relates to what Eve did, but more importantly, what Adam failed to do. He too was naked, when he willingly partook of the fruit offered to him by Eve. Later when questioned about it by his Creator, Adam passed the buck. He lied in an effort to save his own literal and figurative skin. By not manning up, his failure had a greater impact than anything Eve did.
Eve’s motorcycle is loud. The rumbling exhaust note at idle hints of unbridled power waiting to be unleashed. I am in awe and fascination as I watch Eve control a machine with a questionably legal power-to-weight ratio at her disposal. When she revs her bike into higher RPM ranges, those in possession of Y chromosomes who happen to be in her vicinity, quickly determine how secure they feel; or not. Some men find women who ride motorcycles unattractive, butch-like, or too manly. That may have more to do with the natural levels of confidence these women wield, as compared to the layers of insecurity some men harbour. There are non-riding women who think that way as well. But this again reveals an innate misconception that I believe is a result of our cultural indoctrination as to how women are generally perceived. Some outside of the riding culture, tend to have a subconscious belief that a leather-bound female rider has more testosterone than the average man; or less oestrogen than the average woman. The Photoshopped portrayal of a pouty-lipped bikini-clad model on the cover of Maxim magazine degenerates and objectifies with no less offensiveness than some motorcycle magazines do. Just initiate a Google search with two simple words; “Motorcycle Magazines”, and you will get the essence of which I speak.
Regardless of whether she rides a motorcycle or not, I do not want to take away Eve’s right to be feminine or proud of her sexuality. While it is impractical to be on a motorcycle as a rider (or passenger) dressed as if you just came from a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot (Daytona Bike Rallies notwithstanding), a woman is no less feminine or appealing for not dressing in ridiculously expensive lingerie. While this may sound contradictory to some women, I as a man, am no fool. The female body is a beautiful work of Divine Art; and being like most men, I tend to be visually cued. But if the full extent of a woman’s qualification for being appreciated is limited to her having an ample bust or hypnotic derriere, then like Adam, we have missed the mark and abdicated our responsibility as men.
It is high time men change not only the tone, but the context of conversation Eve has been longing to have with us.
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