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Why do they like it?

Posted by Ward on July 09, 2004

In Reply to: Warning: biker talk posted by ESC (USA) on July 09, 2004

: In my biking days, we called a king and queen seater. The "queen" rode on back. Now it's "riding b*tch" and the "b*tch seat."

: Posted on Thu, Jul. 08, 2004
: Women bikers group defends sign at parade
: By Michelle Ku
: (Lexington, Ky.)

: During the Fourth of July parade, B*tches on Bikes, a women's motorcycle group, roared down Main Street to the cheers of the crowd.

: But before the start of Saturday's parade, the bikers drew the attention of Vice Mayor Mike Scanlon, who wanted them to take down a sign because he considered the word "b*tch" offensive.

: "My concern was that the b-word was going down Main Street on a family holiday when we all know there are women in abuse shelters working their hardest to get that stereotype eliminated," Scanlon said.

: The sign came down, but it didn't stay down. It reappeared on the front of a car as B*tches on Bikes turned onto Main from the Midland Avenue staging area.

: The banner was taken down while the female bikers decided what to do and the group of about eight voted unanimously to put it back up, said Shannon Salisbury, founder of the biking group. "The theme of the parade was 'Let Freedom Ring,' and we were censored."

: For B*tches on Bikes, the word "b*tch" isn't hateful or offensive, it's an empowering term, Salisbury said.

: "B*tch" is used to play off of a well-known term in the biking community, said Chester Salisbury, Shannon's husband. "A guy or girl riding behind is called 'riding b*tch.' We're taking someone from the back and bringing them to the front."

: Until Salisbury formed B*tches on Bikes, female motorcyclists in Lexington often rode alone because the local men's groups would only allow a woman to participate if she "rides b*tch," Shannon Salisbury said.

: Although the women of the group have claimed and embraced "b*tch" for their own, that doesn't mean it's OK, Scanlon said. "It just doesn't feel good to see a hate word going down the middle of Main Street on the Fourth of July."

: (The rest of the story at )

The biker culture seems to delight in exhibiting behavior that is three standard deviations away from the norm and watching the rest of us squirm in discomfort. What mystifies me, however, is how women could revel in the treatment and the dreadful status they are accorded in this sub-culture. I believe that one of the real strengths of our western civilization is the fact that we recognize that women have equality of opportunity and contribution in the society. It is no wonder that cultures which essentially throw away half of their brainpower and potential don't do particularly well in a number of areas of science and commerce, and living. Thats why this sort of story speaks about a world I can't understand.