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Does the perceived lack of availability of women-specific cycling gear discourage us from having a go? Are we overawed, as a number of men on this forum have suggested, by faster male riders?Australian pro cyclist, Rachel Neylan, says she hasn’t suffered gender intimidation in cycling but believes it’s easier for men to get into cycling through work and social groups.
But on the other hands there are women and girls who like huge guys, those hard core juicers with abnormal body proportions.
Women make up slightly more than half of the general population yet appear to be significantly under-represented in social, recreational commuting and racing cycling circles. Or is there no simple, single answer to the question of why there are fewer female cyclists than men?
Men who “look after” women cyclists by telling them how to ride or by telling them that they are “quick for a woman” are asserting their male superiority.
Men who take over and fix punctures or put a chain back on the cogs are claiming greater mechanical ability by virtue of their gender.
They could easily be talking about cycling when they say “that there is a particular crisis for women—a vast confidence gap that separates the sexes.
Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities.” Clearly there are still barriers that prevent more women from taking up cycling and as a cycling community, it is up to all of us to identify and break down those barriers.
Anti-cyclist Facebook pages, internet forums and comments on online news sites are most definitely intentionally intimidating.
Bike shop staff who ignore or speak down to women are intimidating.
Although this forum member apologised and pointed that he really did support women’s cycling and had just expressed himself poorly, I still argue that these types of behaviours do overawe women and can make us feel inferior to those men and, by definition, intimidated.
On the other hand, motorists who shout abuse at cyclists or make deliberate close passes are intentionally intimidating cyclists.
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