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« Perfectionism | Main | The makeup of an artist »

Women’s rights and an old picture from 1985

The above picture from the cover of an October 1985 “Cyclist” magazine, was brought to my attention recently. It is of interest to me because the bike in the picture is a FUSO that I built.

Apart from the bike and the cycling mitts the model is wearing, this picture from 33 years ago, has little to do with cycling. The “see through” skin suit is hardly practical cycling wear. The picture is nothing more than “Soft Porn” to draw attention to the magazine, and supposedly encourage men to buy it.

Today a similar picture on a cycling magazine cover would have the Twittersphere ablaze with outrageous indignation, and cries of “Sexism.” How times have changed, I thought. But have they?

I spent my childhood in the 1940s, my teen years in the 1950s. My father was physically abusive to my mother. People knew it went on, but did nothing, they “Minded their own business.” A women’s lot was pretty grim back then.

One thing that saved me from repeating this vicious cycle, was that my mother instilled in me, what a cowardly act is was for a man to hit a woman. As a result I have never abused a female, physically or otherwise. Hardly something to be proud of, this should be the norm. But some men are pigs, I am often ashamed of my own gender.

So what has really changed since 1985? We have the Internet and social media. Now far from everyone “Minding their own business,” everyone has a voice, and often anonymously. On the surface this would seem to be a good thing, but in many ways people are being driven further apart.

It seems everyone has an extreme POV. Extreme Left or Right politically. Fundamentally Religious or Complete Atheist on the other side, no middle ground. It has occurred to me that the moderate voices tend not to get involved in pointless online discussions. We only hear the extreme view point.

People always had differing opinions, but there used to be a respect for the other man’s point of view. Whatever happened to:

“I may not agree with your opinion, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It has been replaced with, “I disagree with you, therefore you are a terrible person, and you should die a horrible death.” I have been told in the past that, “I should die of the worst kind of cancer.” Simply because someone disagreed (Anonymously of course.) with my point of view.

I do not need that kind of negative energy coming my way, so what do I usually do? I shut up and do not express an opinion. In that regard Political Correctness becomes a form of censorship.

The important issue is not “Girlie” pictures in magazines, or Podium Girls at bike races. Men need to stop beating women, raping and killing them. They need to be brought to justice if they do. There are currently thousands of rape kits in police departments all over the US. They go untested because of lack of funding.

I realize this is only part of women’s rights, but it is the biggest one. If a girl or woman can’t walk alone along a darkened street, or some deserted place, without the fear of being attacked, that is a huge loss of freedom that we men take for granted.

It is a national disgrace, and needs to be addressed. It is something I have been aware of for some time. It took and old picture from 1985 to give me a way to write about it without stirring up a political shit storm. I hope so anyway.


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Reader Comments (6)

RESPECT, I think that is the word that we need here.
For men and women, young and old, those like you and those different.
We are all human and that should be 90% of the discussion, not the small differences.

October 29, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteredstainless

First thing I noticed about the photo (I must be getting old) is the Benotto bar tape and the Cinelli (26.4) bar and 1A stem....

October 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBill K

This reminded me that "the standard you walk past is the standard you accept" and prompted me to go back and delete a bunch of youtube comments because they'd triggered a series of awful responses talking about women's bodies.Requesting those comments be corrected ... didn't have a positive outcome. But if I delete the comment they're replying to the whole lot vanish :)

October 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMoz in Aus

great post! thank you!
best regards! (from Bucharest, Romania)

October 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMircea Andrei Ghinea

I'm pretty sure that is the fuso I owned, raced and loved. I know it was used in one of your magazine ads as well. It is still rolling. Well built to say the least.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterOA Performance Products

yes, but the irony now is the pc brigade and feminists rage about a picture such as this, and podium girls etc etc, but turn a blind eye and make excuses for Cologne- and many other "events"

November 9, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterglenn

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