Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Poetry in motion

Our friends over at Copenhagen Girls on Bikes recently posted a piece in defense of what they are doing.

When I posted "Womankind you can Save Mankind" I got a fair amount of flack saying the site was sexist. Comments were posted here and on other forums.

Technically, you can say the site is sexist because it only shows photos of women. However, would anyone call it sexist if it showed only pictures of men on bikes? I doubt it.

Does the site show women in a bad or degrading way? Absolutely not; in fact it is doing the exact opposite. Showing women doing something good for themselves, the environment, and looking extremely good while doing it.

Many of the bikes on the Copenhagen site are the vintage ladies loop frame style of bikes. Others are replicas, styled after the older bicycles.

This is a tribute not only to the durability of the vintage machines but their beauty. With their upright position, and laid back angles, they have a style, and grace all their own, equal to any sleek racing model.

Place a woman on one of these with her clothing and hair flowing in the wind, and you have pure poetry in motion. Form and function; motion that can be captured perfectly in a still photo. Art, pure and simple, like the ballet.

Those who see something voyeuristic, dirty, or degrading in these images, maybe have a dirty mind.

If it offends you, the answer is simple. Don't go there.


Dano said...

I totally agree. I read the Copenhagen blog almost everyday (along with yours) and find it very interesting on the pics alone.

And if this makes sense, its not cuz their females, but cuz their girls on bikes. It more about the riding to me.

I dont see stuff like that here in Wisco. I wish I did tho..... Not a lot of commuting here.

And it seems the ratio on pics of guys on bikes to girls on bikes is like 100 to 1. They are just trying to even it out a bit....

Anonymous said...

Absolutely nothing wrong with viewing the female form on a gorgeous set of wheels. Isn't that why we view these pics, to get a good view of the bikes?

db said...

It's part of today's culture in the U.S., and part of our Puritan past: too many people are too eager to be offended. Don't worry about those folks.

Completely unrelated, but I need to mention this: since I'm new to this blog, I've been going back here and there to read the older posts. I highly recommend this to others who have just started reading here. Just read "US Team Aero-Bike Fiasco", and am just floored by it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


Nofun Notever said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nofun Notever said...

Well said once again Dave. Many of the world's greatest feminists have said that the bicycle is what liberated them (Simone de Beauvoir and Susan B. Anthony) "the bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world." -- Susan B. Anthony. IMO, C.S.C. is just paying homage to these wonderfully liberated women and their love for tes velos.

(I had deleted my comment to fix a grammar issue. Sorry).

Colville-Andersen said...

Well said, sir.

Jon said...

I just read it for the articles; particularly "a" and "the".

Anonymous said...

Dave, do the copenhagen people get the girls' consent to take the photos and publish them on the internet? If not, that's creepy and rude. If they do, then it's fine.

Anonymous said...

A quick visit to the blog (linked to in Dave's original post) reveals that they do not get consent. They defend this practice by pointing out that it is not illegal. Of course it is not usually illegal to be rude, but that doesn't make it acceptable. Sorry, I do not like the copenhagen blog.

Dave Moulton said...

In America this is considered creepy and rude, and if this were an American site public opinion and outcry would have shut it down by now. Maybe even a lawsuit.

Different cultures have different perspectives of what is acceptable or not. That is not to say the Danes have lower standards, just different standards.

Anonymous said...

It would be more credible if it didn't focus so much on shoes and boots. As it is, it does seem like it's designed to be a bit fetish-like, to appeal to the teenage boy that still lurks in every middle aged man. Given that however, it does seem to fulfill the goal very well.

gwadzilla said...

I like it...

it is B I K E P O R N

it is sexy
the hidden face often makes it mysterious

definitely voyeuristic

as long as the subject is not offended by having the photo of them taken then posted
then there is no issue

I deal with this stuff all the time as I take my photos in Washington dc

I hate asking if I can take the photo
because then it is too late
I have missed the moment
and well
it bums me out when the subject says NO

Erik Sandblom said...

If the pictures were taken in a private setting, such as someone's garden, it would be rude. But these are taken right on the street where lots of people see you anyway.