home

Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop…

Posted by on January 15th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

[Note from Publisher: Sorry this week's cartoon comes out a bit late. Enjoy the weekend! -- Jonathan]

Illustration by Mark Markovich/markoart.net
Concept and writing by Jonathan Maus

- Larger version here (250kb, JPG)
- Related story: Editorial: My year as a woman in a city of bikes
- Browse more cartoons here.

Email This Post Email This Post


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • Jonathan Maus January 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    New blog post: Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop… http://bikeportland.org/2010/01/15/friday-cartoon-a-woman-walks-into-a-shop/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus January 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    New blog post: Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop… http://bikeportland.org/2010/01/15/friday-cartoon-a-woman-walks-into-a-shop/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus January 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    New blog post: Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop… http://bikeportland.org/2010/01/15/friday-cartoon-a-woman-walks-into-a-shop/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • PDX Bike January 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    RT @BikePortland: New blog post: Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop… http://bikeportland.org/2010/01/15/friday-cartoon-a-woman-

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • PDX Bike January 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    RT @BikePortland: New blog post: Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop… http://bikeportland.org/2010/01/15/friday-cartoon-a-woman-

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • PDX Bike January 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    RT @BikePortland: New blog post: Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop… http://bikeportland.org/2010/01/15/friday-cartoon-a-woman-

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Cycle Blogs January 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Bike Portland: Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop…: [Note from Publisher: Sorry this week's cartoon comes o… http://bit.ly/5Jb6I8

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Cycle Blogs January 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Bike Portland: Friday Cartoon: A woman walks into a shop…: [Note from Publisher: Sorry this week's cartoon comes o… http://bit.ly/5Jb6I8

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • steve-o January 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I read Elly’s account of the patronizing attitude she encountered at bike shops or other cyclists on account of her sex with great disappointment. I thought the bikey-culture was supposed to be progressive. Sections at bike stores devoted to pink cruisers seem more “Mad Men” than Portland. Women cyclists should not lose hope at ingrained sexist attitudes. Already, women such as Mia Birk and Michelle Poyourow have played crucial roles with transforming Portland into a cycling Mecca. Bad habits die hard, and likewise, sexism can’t die soon enough. As a male newcomer to the Portland last year, I am highly indebted to a few women who introduced me to bike scene.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Peter Smith January 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    love the cartoon! this alone, put up in shop common areas, would be a great idea.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Brad January 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Sure, but why do commuter bikes all have to be set up the same way? Come to think of it, that is more or less the description of three of my bikes. I’m a rolling caricature! Argh. Perhaps I need the pink cruiser, just to get over myself.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • morgan scott January 15, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    LOL. really!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anne Hawley January 15, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    As the potential customer for a Pashley Princess–complete with basket–I’d just like to say: let’s not throw the girly bike out with the sexism.

    The Portland bike scene, in my opinion, needs more of the former at the same time as it works on getting less of the latter.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Lauren January 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Anne: A girl bike isn’t necessarily a cruiser! Your Pashley isn’t a cruiser, it’s an upright bike.

    No offense, it’s just a pet peeve of mine when people confuse any bike that makes you sit upright, with a cruiser.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • joey January 16, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Seriously, where is a good shop to get that stuff?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Oliver January 16, 2010 at 7:36 am

    And let’s not forget the 30 inch wide handlebars…and sure, flip-flops with flat pedals are just fine for commuting.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • ButThatHappened January 16, 2010 at 8:43 am

    And the sad thing is…that really happened to me including…”and it comes in pink.” (OK, I wasn’t asking for the same set of components, but….).

    Needless to say, that shop no longer gets my business (and, my wallet knows, I do spend a healthy amount each year on my habit.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Shetha January 16, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Reminds me of the time I asked if a bike shop carried child seats, and they responded “Oh, kid killers?, nah, they’ve been outlawed in 10 states!”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • 1mattcartoon January 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

    BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » Friday Cartoon: A woman walks … http://bit.ly/4JWuyf

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • 1mattcartoon January 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

    BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » Friday Cartoon: A woman walks … http://bit.ly/4JWuyf

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anne Hawley January 16, 2010 at 10:20 am

    @Lauren #6 I guess what I’m groping to communicate on this forum is that I ride a bike every single day in Portland, I’m part of the community, and I get the terminology wrong because I don’t care about it. And I don’t really care about it because it’s kind of irrelevant to me.

    BikePortland isn’t the only community I’ve found that seems to want to be inclusive, and says they’re advocating for more bike ridership in Portland, while unconsciously dismissing bike-riders like me.

    I’m just trying to make it conscious.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • suburban January 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Real men wear pink

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • True Blood Sucker January 16, 2010 at 11:09 am

    BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » Friday Cartoon: A woman walks …: steve-o. January 15th, 2010 22:11. 1. I read … http://bit.ly/5Jb6I8

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • True Blood Sucker January 16, 2010 at 11:09 am

    BikePortland.org » Blog Archive » Friday Cartoon: A woman walks …: steve-o. January 15th, 2010 22:11. 1. I read … http://bit.ly/5Jb6I8

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jj January 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Actually Anne, in your defense, I don’t see that you got the terminology wrong – you never actually called the Pashley a cruiser, just a girly bike, which it certainly is. And a lovely wonderful girly bike at that. :)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) January 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Anne Hawley in comment #11 wrote:

    “BikePortland isn’t the only community I’ve found that seems to want to be inclusive, and says they’re advocating for more bike ridership in Portland, while unconsciously dismissing bike-riders like me.”

    Anne,

    I would really like to know why it is that you feel Bikeportland is “unconsciously dismissing” folks like yourself?

    We try to present a diverse array of stories and perspectives here. Not everything appeals to everyone, but I think “dismissing” is a pretty strong word and I’d like to know more about why you feel that way (besides this one comic, which I agree is something that may not relate to people who don’t know what all those brand names and parts are).

    Thanks.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • are January 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    comment 10, if you are talking about those shells that sit on a rack behind the stoker, i will acknowledge that in a shop i used to work in we called those child killers, and while they may not have been outlawed in ten (or any) states, i would not and did not recommend them to customers. nothing to do with sexism, has to do with killing children.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • cold worker January 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Lisa: I propose to you that your heir not need be a boy. In this phallocentric society of ours–
    Mr. Burns: I don’t know what phallocentric means, but no girls!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • DREW January 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Go buddy,

    Throw that middle finger up to your sponsors.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Reinhold January 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    My wife bought her bike because it was a black cruiser with pink flames and pink tires and has tassels. I am not sure what this cartoon says about her…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • JH January 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Pretty typical of the PDX shop experience, some guy behind the counter who already knows everything and has all the answers, regardless of the needs and want’s of the customer! This cartoon hit the nail on the head!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • noah January 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    If this comic is trying to speak to a gender discrimination issue, I am not sure it really puts it on the page. I didn’t understand it on that level until I read Elly’s story, afterwards.

    It is entertaining, however; and for me it evokes pleasant Simpsons memories:

    Homer: Welcome to the Internet, my friend. How can I help you?
    Comic Book Guy: I’m interested in upgrading my 28.8 kilobaud Internet connection to a 1.5 megabit fiber optic T1 line. Will you be able to provide an IP router that’s compatible with my token ring Ethernet LAN configuration?
    Homer: Can I have some money now?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • tbird January 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    JM- at the risk of veering too far OT; I do somewhat agree with Anne, although I don’t think it is bikeportland.org proper as much as the COMMENTERS on BP. I won’t name names, because we are all guilty of it in one way or another.

    Good comment Anne.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • tbird January 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Oh, and heck yeah real men wear pink.
    ;)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Vance Longwell January 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Why is the worker here being depicted as a male and the customer a female? I see about 66/33 split IRL myself, and it inches closer to 50/50 everyday.

    This isn’t reality. It’s just a set-up, entrapment if you will. Do the women here only experience these things when they’re across the counter from a guy? And it’s discrimination, right, not one of about an infinite number of things, it’s discrimination definitely? You’re positive on this, I mean no proof, no nothing, just some circumstantial evidence, and a cherry-picked scenario?

    I am under the impression that the so-called ‘women’ sections of bicycle retailers are a market response, and not the other way around. Maybe this ‘toon dude has serviced thousands of female customers and they uniformly purchased the items he is recommending? If so, he made a mistake in judgment, which is hardly discrimination.

    I am routinely discriminated against as a man in bike-stores these days. If that’s what we’re calling rude, under-qualified help now. Just the other day I had a young girl get huffy with me over a wheel repair. I asked for a service that she did not know about, became insecure and defensive about it, and proceeded to be a jerk. Why make a gender issue out of crap like that? It could also be one giant-sized chip on your girl-shoulder, personal experience here, that elicits sexist behavior, you know?

    The assumption this ‘toon makes is that men only do this to women, isn’t that sexist? If you speak to, “pervasive”, I’m gonna require some citations, be for-warned. (Otherwise it’s just too pat.) This ‘toon demeans a certain riding style too, and implies that if you wish to be taken seriously that you have to ride a certain type of bicycle. Since men and women tend to ride different kinds of bicycles, isn’t this sexist?

    Much like hair-styles, face-make-up, plastic-surgery and the rest, this is all up to you women. Guys don’t have anything to do with it. You like to blame it on us, but it’s completely arbitrary, throw-back left-over culture kind of stuff from the caves. Not too sinister that. It’s not like we can physically force you to continue/stop behaving this way; ergo, you do it to yourselves. If you would like to see less pink bikes, by all means, feel free to stop buying them.

    Whatever. The bottom-line is this is yet another media piece inadvertently casting dispersions onto an entire sex. That’s not sexist, no. Only when it is a woman who is the victim is it sexist, what WAS I thinking?

    I get so tired of this. I notice the dude ‘toon is depicted as white too. Yup, no black or brown men in cycling. Only a white guy would be sexist. Plz, grow-up.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anne Hawley January 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for responding, Jonathan.

    Your blog is absolutely some of the best topic-specific journalism I see anywhere, and I should have been more careful in my earlier statement.

    Yes, you do cover all kinds of bike issues without prejudice. My impression of selectivity comes from the comments–from the community of cyclist-readers that seems to be proportionately like the community of cyclists in general (not surprisingly)–people who’ve been riding a long time and take justifiable pride in knowing bikes inside and out. The women in this group, equally justifiably, are annoyed to be treated in bike shops as if they couldn’t possibly have all that knowledge and ability.

    I see myself as being passionately interested in bike-riding and its implications for my health, the city, and the environment, without one iota of interest in competing, racing, joining group rides, fixing my own bike, or naming its parts. I’m convinced that that huge, elusive 40% of people who “might ride, if…” contains a bunch of people like me for whom not safety, but a sense of ineligibility to join the club, is the first big “if”.

    Certain comment conversations here–notably this one, the one following Elly Blue’s article the other day about being a woman cyclist in Portland, and that one last year featuring the pretty young woman in a dress–have actually helped me articulate my perspective.

    I may continue to express it (and make it clearer) in comments here, because I can’t imagine a better forum. Thanks for being open to it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jim Lee January 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Derailleur of any stripe is the absolutely worst thing anyone can put on a commuter bike. Cannot even shift when stopped!

    That woman needs serious advice–try the new Sturmey 3-speed fixed hub. Failing that, try the Shimano Alfine group set. Includes a nifty dyno hub.

    She will be much happier!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Mark Young January 17, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    @ Vance Longwell

    What makes you so sure that the guy in the cartoon is white? He appears white because the comic is in black and white. When I was drawing him I felt that he was Indian (and 1/4 Irish) with white hair. Perhaps I should have put a dot on his forehead to be more clear, but then you would probably call me a bigot.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • N.I.K. January 17, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    I see myself as being passionately interested in bike-riding and its implications for my health, the city, and the environment, without one iota of interest in competing, racing, joining group rides, fixing my own bike, or naming its parts. I’m convinced that that huge, elusive 40% of people who “might ride, if…” contains a bunch of people like me for whom not safety, but a sense of ineligibility to join the club, is the first big “if”.

    Anne, I think it’s a fine approach. As a shop employee, I draw a line between a) the person who just doesn’t want to know everything and b) the person who gets angry when they realize they’ve destroyed their bike through negligence. The latter camp’s obviously irrational and there’s nothing much I can do for them apart from give them a quote for service – it sucks, but it’s the best I can do to help them. I don’t take any pleasure in seeing someone discourage themselves from riding their bike. (The “surly mechanic” stereotype, which is sadly justified, baffles me.)

    The former camp, where it sounds as though you fit, is where it gets tricky, because there are some critical issues which aren’t always obvious, but the employee also needs to avoid being presumptuous about the customer’s existing knowledge and interests. There are a few things that might get viewed from the angle of “I don’t need your conventional cycling wisdom, it’s freakin’ subjective and a matter of opinion!” – stuff like saddle height, foot position on the pedals, gearing, and so on. In any case where I perceive that a person might be hurting their bike or (worse still) themselves, I have to speak up, because my function as a bike shop employee is to keep people riding and enjoying it. This comes down to the employee having to provide unsolicited advice without trying to sound pushy or dominant.

    I always try to first ask questions regarding a given subject so that I sound more conversational than accusative. If the response fits my observations, I continue with a few further questions, and try to suss out if making a recommendation is advised. Anything subsequently suggested is presented on the physical basis for the “right” way of doing something, rather than “so here’s what the pros do!”, and with the caveat that there are variable factors that might result in a different experience for the individual customer. Not everything is in fact that subjective (cross chaining *is* bad, wheel truing *is* important, and so on), but presenting it in this way tends to cut down on perceived hostility substantially. My goal is to promote a better cycling experience without providing the experience of being dominated.

    I know how my customers usually take this in person, but I’m curious to know your take on the process. Does it sound effective, reasonable, fair, unfair, domineering, or…? Thanks in advance for your input.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Elly Blue (Editor) January 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    I rallied for the guy to have “bike industry” written on his shirt, but such heavy-handedness was shot down. In my mind, this one’s a capitalist parable about the failure of the industry to understand one of its fastest-growing markets. It seems equally true from comments here that the industry also doesn’t get that guys like pink and any number of other data about people who bike for transportation. That’s free consulting, y’all.

    Anne Hawley, I hope you keep telling it like it is. Gets me thinking we should do a story about bicycling and size. Want to get in touch with me via email (elly at bikeportland dot org) and share your thoughts?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • middle of the road guy January 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks Vance. Once in a while a moment of sanity is needed in this knee-jerk forum, and you provided it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • mindmochi January 17, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Vance-look up MRA-there’s a picture of you there, talk about stereotypes. What about the menz?! Try unpacking the privilege for an easier ride

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dan January 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    What’s a “canti brake lever”?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • N.I.K. January 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Dan: they’re brake levers made to supply the right amount of mechanical advantage for traditional cantilever brakes, as opposed to direct-pull/linear-pull cantilever brakes. Note that “right” here isn’t meant in the marketing sense that, say, a certain manufacturer might use when they talk about using only their chains with their products – we’re talking a difference substantial enough to where things work somewhere between bad and dangerous-crappy if you use the wrong levers with the wrong brakes.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • N.I.K. January 17, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    mindmochi – Try addressing Vance’s statements with specific criticism in lieu of caricature for a more potentially productive dialog. Please?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rich Wilson January 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    @Vance:

    I was once in one of those shops with autographed jerseys all over the wall and $5K bikes on the floor. I wanted a part, and when my hairy legs asked for something a little better (and more expensive) than what was offered, the 20-something white guy said “It doesn’t matter, you won’t be winning the Tour de France”. No shit. And neither will any of your other customers.

    That doesn’t change the fact that sexism still exists.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • N.I.K. January 18, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Vance – Under-trained staff (PLEASE don’t call staff “help” – historical implications aside, we’re more than “help” -in bike shops, we make it all go!) is different from some old-timer who’s been behind the counter for years and years and has his preconceived notions about what what a particular customer is going to want. He might be under-trained too, but there’s a huge difference between “I don’t know” and “I know what you want”. A mistake in judgement would be more along the lines of “I’ve inferred the wrong conclusion from your statements”, whereas what’s being addressed in the cartoon is “I don’t need to listen to what you say you want because I already know”. It’s not just that it’s a woman coming into the shop that makes the “pink basket cruiser” leap ludicrous, it’s that she told dude what she wants outright and it couldn’t get much different from what he suggested.

    Thinking about that scenario makes me feel crappy because I’m a dude who works in a bike shop, but on the other hand, I’ve got too many female acquaintances who have experienced almost exactly the same type of crap – stuff like “I want this type of brake lever” getting met with three different (and incorrect) excuses at three different shops, to the point where the woman in question got so fed up she let the last place sell her the wrong thing amid her seething anger and frustration, and I’d *never* known her to get that confused and angry in the face of difficulty otherwise.

    The only sexism I’ve ever witnessed negatively affecting men in bike shops has been as follows:
    -Man gets ignored by staff fawning over attractive woman shopping/needing service.
    -Man gets ignored by staff fawning over his attractive wife/girlfriend/female acquaintance.
    -Woman customer who has been given the run-around one too many times by bike shop dude behaves aggressively/treats unsuspecting friendly male staff with heavy suspicion.

    The latter is the only case I’ve witnessed (read: experienced) where the woman is making an inappropriate assumption about a man. I try to put up with it because (I think) I understand where those notions are coming from – negative experiences. I don’t get it crazily-often, but when I do, it’s massively uncomfortable, and my only hope is that I do well enough to where I might present a better experience that I can only hope feels a bit less condescending and demeaningggg.

    All that aside, I do think there are indeed some valid things to say about negative stereotypes of men. But I don’t think they necessarily apply here. The cartoon might make me angry if I were an older, balding, beard-sporting bike shop guy, but then on the other hand, if that *were* me, I’d probably look at it like, “Man, I’ve seen this crap happen a ton over a couple decades” instead of my current “I’ve seen this crap happen so much over a few years”. Elly’s proposed “bike industry” labeling may actually have been a cleaner approach. Then again, suggesting the industry is a balding bespectacled beardo would no doubt be a disservice to good people in the industry and 3B-ers alike, so who knows. :)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • N.I.K. January 18, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Er, make that “good people not befitting that description”. Eggshells and mine fields here, folks… :(

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • N.I.K. January 18, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Rich – Saliently stated! Wish I could’ve been as concise.

    What I can’t believe with anecdotes like yours (and I mean “I totally believe it”) is that someone at a bike shop skimps out on offering the customer the proper selection of in-stock parts, the customer says “I’m willing to spend more on it than that”, and the employee doesn’t go for it…just completely slam-my-head-on-the-desk there. Presenting an opinion like “I don’t personally think it’s worth it” is cool, a churlish remark and refusal to at least show the available item is not. I hope you didn’t go back there.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • matthew v January 18, 2010 at 7:25 am

    real men ride pink bikes. and we try not to take life too seriously….

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • David Feldman January 18, 2010 at 7:56 am

    That (the cartoon) can happen when local bike stores let their national suppliers dictate too much about models, colors, and inventory levels to them. Stone-age gender consciousness aside, being required to fill a store with California-spec merchandise can prevent a shop from stocking what locals want and need.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Vance Longwell January 18, 2010 at 8:21 am

    M. Young #26- Hey, whatever gets you to sleep at night my man. You know I don’t believe you for one second though, right? My guess is that what I observed was absolutely not, arbitrary. You white? Yeah, if you would have had that ‘toon depicting a black-man you’d never doodle another pic in this town, and you damn well know it. So you drew him white. Which is S.O.P. when constructing any modern villain.

    Besides, this whole thing is a game of subjective abstractions, conjecture, speculation, guessing. The program is to jump on any one whom isn’t spewing the part-line, discharge both barrels; and then sit back and collect the phone-numbers of would-be sex-partners, and bask in the warm-glow of social-acceptance.

    So I took you to task. Isn’t that what we’re doing here? Scrutinizing every poor of every layer of nuance in search of that all-damning evidence of non-conformity? I mean, are we having a proper witch-hunt, or not, here homey? Look, it’s not just me either, or you. I got N.I.K. at 35 there telling me how to talk. How to f**king talk, man. At the very least, your depiction of this man as Caucasian (If you want to split-hairs) is insensitive to the modern issue. Which of course is that you may not criticize anybody for anything unless you’re a registered democrat with a public-college degree, and progressive leanings. And even at that you had better constrain your insults to white, heterosexual, males with no dependents; or else.

    I still fail to see how receiving unsatisfactory service from a bicycle-retailer in Portland Oregon is evidence that pervasive sexism is a problem endemic within this industry. We could maybe lay that at the feet of individual perpetrators contemporaneous with the event, but that takes work, and it doesn’t impress the ladies with how enlightened you are, either. Plus, I still fail to see how a bunch of chicks buying pink bikes is somehow my fault. By, “my fault” I mean that sentiments of this type can only lead one place. Actionable policy change. I’ve already been denied my entitlement because of the color of my skin and my sex, now you’re threatening my position within a community which I’ve been a part of since my late teens.

    Somebody up there said, “privilege”. The joke’s on you fool. I was born into abject poverty. I was ran out of school at 15 because of my gender, and my economic status. I turned 18 in county-jail for no other reason than to persecute my gender. I have been denied at every turn, my entitlement. I have never had anything, nothing. Every single possession I own will fit into a medium size shoulder bag.

    I can count the years I’ve made more than couple of thousand dollars on half of one hand. If I have some privilege now would be a good time to prove it. You know, before desperation is added to my outrage.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Vance Longwell January 18, 2010 at 8:29 am

    mindmochi #30 – Uh, I did and all a popular search engine tells me is: Magnetic Resonance Angio-somethiing-or-other. Other than for that it’s organizations that have ‘motorcycle’ ‘race’ and America, or association, in their title. Can you provide a link please? If this is some pop-culture reference, please remember I’m old.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Val January 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

    For myself, as the components she wanbted were listed, I just kept thinking: “Yep, got those, got that, that should be in stock, no problem…” I think I may work for a decent shop.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • noah January 18, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Vance Longwell #23, putting aside whether I agree with your opinions on feminism, I think they aren’t relevant here because you are reading your own notions into the piece. I see almost nothing in the graphics that lends itself to such a narrow reading, or to much interpretation at all. They just establish the setting and propel the plot.

    If every affectation illustrated were open to interpretation, we could consider the comic a commentary on breast size, baldness, fashion, cash registers, and nose size (perhaps there’s an anti-Semitic message?). But that is obviously going to extremes. I’d ask you what is there, on the page, that makes you think it contains such a broad social message, and that unfairly prejudiced message in particular?

    Now if this comic were one in a series that demonstrates the woman character’s bad treatment at the hands of men, then, yeah, maybe your interpretation would be relevant. Or if there were an epilogue that put the first four frames into relief — say, showing how different the interaction is when the customer is a man or is black or is a woman with large breasts, or when the worker has hair or a smaller nose or a button-down shirt, or when the cash register is a modern point-of-sale terminal — then, again, there is something to interpret. Or if it had captions like TYPICAL CHAUVINIST MALE or SOPHISTICATED WOMAN CUSTOMER, as some political cartoons do… .

    Again, I don’t mean to criticize the beliefs you’ve expressed. But I don’t think they truly apply to our discussion.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus January 18, 2010 at 10:47 am

    In case you missed it (posted late Friday).. Our weekly cartoon: "A woman walks into a bike shop…" http://bit.ly/8VhUmp

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus January 18, 2010 at 10:47 am

    In case you missed it (posted late Friday).. Our weekly cartoon: "A woman walks into a bike shop…" http://bit.ly/8VhUmp

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joseph Rose January 18, 2010 at 10:52 am

    RT @BikePortland: In case you missed it (posted late Friday).. Our weekly cartoon: "A woman walks into a bike shop…" http://bit.ly/8VhUmp

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joseph Rose January 18, 2010 at 10:52 am

    RT @BikePortland: In case you missed it (posted late Friday).. Our weekly cartoon: "A woman walks into a bike shop…" http://bit.ly/8VhUmp

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Vance Longwell January 18, 2010 at 10:55 am

    noah #43 – If I’m reading my own notions into the piece, then what can be said about our fictitious female character here reading into dude’s comments? You are criticizing me for making conclusion based upon personal experience while defending this artist for doing the EXACT SAME THING!

    Sexism? SEXISM? So. What. We all deal with it in relatively equal amounts. What sucks about the attitudes here is that certain groups are singled out to take ALL of the responsibility for it. This from the very sentiment being supported here: Which is that it’s bad to practice sexism against somebody based upon factors beyond their control.

    That’s a kool idea linking my comment like that, BTW, don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that. That’s an ‘out’ for those wishing to avoid the Twitter convention at all costs. Hehe.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe Fortino January 18, 2010 at 10:55 am

    RT @BikePortland: In case you missed it (posted late Friday).. Our weekly cartoon: "A woman walks into a bike shop…" http://bit.ly/8VhUmp

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • TonyT January 18, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Let’s see, how can I portray the unfortunate stereotyping of a particular type of customer at a bike shop?

    Oh I know! I’ll stereotype people who work at bike shops! It’s brilliant!

    Jim Lee #25

    Seriously? In the context of an article about sexism you essentially argue that derailleurs are too darn complicated. Certainly NO way that they’re competent enough to figure out how to shift before coming to a stop. Or, god forbid, they simply know what they want and your experience/prejudice isn’t the be all and end all.

    Claiming derailleurs are “the absolutely worst thing anyone can put on a commuter bike” is just silly. It speaks more to the narrowness of your mind than it does to the breadth of your experience.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • noah January 18, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Vance,

    What I’m trying to say is I don’t see anything to defend. What evidence is there, on the page, that the woman character thinks she is being treated badly because she’s a woman. Or even if we believe that the woman is reading into the man’s comments, as you put it, then there’s what evidence is there that the artist is trying to justify her reading into them? (Unless you think just because the artist depicts it, that means he approves of it. If that’s true, then socially-conscious black authors like Toni Morrison and Ralph Ellison must be huge racists.)

    The comic reminded you of a certain feminist perspective that’s very familiar to you. But it doesn’t follow that the comic contains that perspective. An analogous example: The bike shop worker’s nose honestly reminds me of Bruce Tinsley’s racist depiction of Jews. If, in response, I were to reply here with an essay skewering subtle racist messages in comics, my words would be completely right. But they would also be almost completely irrelevant, because there is no anti-Semitic message in this comic.

    Likewise, I’m willing to consider that you’re 100% correct about feminism. But that doesn’t mean your opinion is relevant in this case.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Andrews January 18, 2010 at 11:51 am

    RT @BikePortland: In case you missed it (posted late Friday).. Our weekly cartoon: "A woman walks into a bike shop…" http://bit.ly/8VhUmp

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • eric January 18, 2010 at 11:51 am

    man, it’s like someone went to velo-orange and wrote up my shopping list.

    Also, for that much money, you could probably keep your cross bike as a cross bike and get a city bike to abuse too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Souders January 18, 2010 at 11:59 am

    So I had the same experience, but reverse the genders.

    Me: “I’d like to convert my cross bike to a commuter. Maybe add an xtracycle freeradical, third chainring, big plates on the rear w/XT derailer, and swap in some direct-pull brakes. p.s. I cross the west hills every day so I want lots of gears.”

    Woman in shop: “Here, look at this Radish, and you’ll probably want a 6spd internal hub so you don’t have to worry about shifting gears. How about a stokemonkey, that will help on the Hawthorne bridge.”

    Me: “Did you not hear a single thing I said?”

    (FWIW I still love the shop where this happened & they still get my bizness but I avoid that person now.)

    Many many times I have gone into a shop with a list of stuff and the salesperson second-guesses my needs. Good salespeople try to extract the problem sure but don’t just dismiss the stuff I’m asking for.

    I don’t doubt that this happens more often to women than to men. I don’t want to get into this weird argument about sexism, I’m just telling a funny story here. The plural of “anecdote” isn’t “data.”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • d? January 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I’m a guy, and I’ve definitely walked out of bike shops because I’ve been talked down to, assumed I’m inexperienced, or been given the run-around on a part I want.

    Einstein said: “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

    If the variable of gender is changed, but the behavior that you attribute to that variable remains the same, then your theory has been called into doubt (if not proven wrong.)

    Your hypothesis of “Every time I’m talked down to in a bike shop is a result of sexism” needs to be rethought. Perhaps change the “every time” to “sometimes when.” Quantitative or qualitative claims, of course, would be inappropriate without proof, so avoid words like “most” and “a minority of.” Those words are only appropriate when backed up by numerical unbiased research, not anecdotal evidence.

    Sometimes I feel that it would be convenient to be a minority and be able to blame all my negative personal interactions on “isms.” Please don’t fall into that trap. Think with your brain, not your heart and emotions. Please analyze your (reverse?) prejudices.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Brad January 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    It’s still O.K. to ride bikes for enjoyment, right? I know we live in Portland but I can still do that without it turning into a socio-political statement or being offensive to someone? I bought some tires at a bike store last week – Continentals. They’re German. Does that make me an anti-Semite? There was a woman and a man working the registers. I got in the guy’s line because it was shorter. Does that make me a sexist?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Vance Longwell January 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    noah #46 – This is a cartoon, yes? Cartoons are a visual corollary to the exchange of a joke, yes? Conventional wisdom dictates that: The most relevant component of a joke is it’s punchline, yes? Noah, bwoobie, the punch-line of this joke is, and I quote, “…she is being treated badly because she’s a woman.”, end quote.

    “What evidence is there, on the page, that the woman character thinks she is being treated badly because she’s a woman.”

    The answer to your question then, is an almost perfect tautology and hopefully it gets left at that.

    I disagree with the artist that this situation could ever exist in reality. I agree that situations very similar to this, but incrementally less sensational, exist, and then attribute this to his position. When I do so, I can logically conclude that because similar situations are so pervasive the artist has established their position based upon the fallacy of, “Where there is smoke there is fire.”.

    As evidence of my own position’s legitimacy I take melodramatic license with this logical-fallacy and apply it to other social issues similar in scope and imperative as that of sexism; and in doing so I utilize what I thought to be common stereotypes. I have to speculate that perhaps the nuance of this particular style of humor, tragic in almost the purest sense, escapes you; as evidenced by your confusion at my raising the issue of race. In reality, what the artist inadvertently demonstrates with this cartoon is that it is all a matter of perspective, and not sexism. I used a little latitude in order to write-for-effect, I’m sorry that lost you. But you’ve got to admit by now, the scale of irony is remarkable, and incredible.

    For the record, this character is being depicted as ordering hundreds of dollars worth of parts. As the reader, I’m to believe that a paid retail employee would then encourage the person to buy a $350.00 Cruiser?! I simply don’t believe that would happen.

    What I do find believable is that if this same woman simply walked in off the street, honestly – even dressed the way she is, and just asked to be, ‘sold’, pardon the parlance, she’d most likely get some spiel like that. Which is a bit sexist. But all sales require a salesperson to make certain judgments, if for no other reason than small-talk. When people judge other people, sometimes they make innocent mistakes. Okay, but that’s not sensational. That’s a thing every human on this planet goes through in about equal amounts. So it gets taken to its extremes essentially for effect; and presented to us as reality.

    My so-called ‘attack’ then was merely an attempt to turn this crazy logic on it’s ear for effect, just like the artist is doing. At this point I can fairly conclude that the artist does have to defend this position, because I just decimated it in argument. Through debate I’m trying to convince him/other-readers that my conclusions are sound.

    If I can answer any questions, or be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • d? January 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I wonder if some of these people attribute all their positive interactions to sexism as well.

    “That shop guy was only super nice and helpful to me today because I’m a girl and he’s sexist!”

    Why is it that all negative interactions are a result sexism, but all positive interactions are a result of them just being good people – or you being likable?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dan January 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I know the difference between levers for “V-brakes” (direct pull *cantilever* brakes) and essentially any other conventional rim brakes. I just thought the specification of “Dia Compe Canti Brake Levers” sounded like a pretentious stretch to use lingo trying to sound like you know what you’re talking about (which was of course exactly the point of the cartoon).

    (If you’re already specifying Dia Compe, you probably would have a specific model in mind, anyway.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Brad January 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    d? @ #52

    “That shop guy was only super nice and helpful to me today because I’m a girl and he’s sexist!”

    That jerk! He was only being nice and helpful in hopes of getting laid. That makes him the worst kind of sexist – deceitful, predatory and bent on sexual conquest. Did you learn nothing in Women’s Studies?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • slort January 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    You folks ever see that South Park episode where the boys encounter those sanctimonious twats enjoying the smell of their own farts?

    I kinda feel like the cast is the same, reading some of these comments.

    It’s a comic.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • D? January 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Dan,

    They were referring to the Dia Comp drop levers that are the only existing drop levers that work for V-brakes. You must specify them or you will get parts that don’t work together.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dan January 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    See what I mean? :-)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • N.I.K. January 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I wonder if some of these people attribute all their positive interactions to sexism as well.

    Some might. I doubt most would, or would prefer not to think of it that way. But you’d have to ditch the Portland-style Fingerless Insinuation (patent-pending) to know for sure.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • are January 18, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    i wonder if we can agree that women are sometimes condescended to, sometimes in bike shops, and that the cartoon depicts such a scenario, with approximately the amount of exaggeration that you normally see in a humor piece.

    also, i usually downshift when approaching a stop.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • [...] a woman walks into a bike shop… Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Evil on Trial: So why do we [...]

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Brad January 19, 2010 at 8:46 am

    In some shops, not being a recognized CAT 1 or CX stud automatically brings condescension or apathy regardless of gender.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bob_M January 19, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Slort #79

    Ding Ding Ding We have a winner!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ryan G. January 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    The guy in that cartoon actually looks a little like my least favorite bike shop employee in Portland. I’m sure he’s great once you get to know him, but in the meantime… Well, here’s an example, a conversation I had with him a few months ago:

    Him: Hey, need something?
    Me: Yeah, I need a tube.
    Him: What size?
    Me: 700×23 with an extra long stem.
    Him (incredulously): Extra long, you sure?
    Me: Yes.
    Him: Why?
    Me: Uh, because I have deep v rims.
    Him (pointing to a rim): Deeper than that?
    Me: Yes, they’re pretty deep and they use the extra long stem.
    Him (over his shoulder as he walks into the back): If you say so…
    (He brings a tube, but with an unthreaded stem.)
    Me: Oh, sorry, I need it threaded too.
    Him: There’s no such thing, nobody makes extra long threaded.
    Me: What are you talking about? That’s what I’ve got so I know they’re available.
    Him: You’ve got one? Made by who?
    Me: Specialized- 700×23, extra long stem, threaded.
    Him: Oh, well, Specialized won’t let me carry their stock. I’m not one of the superstore bike shops, so…

    The guy was rude, condescending, and acted like I was wasting his time, bothering him. I’m not sure why, but he was. And there are plenty of bike shops in Portland, I can go find one that will be nice to me, be honest with me, and sell me what I want/need. I hope as more and more women ride, retailers will realize that the same is true- there are plenty of shops that will treat them right, so they don’t have to take that crap!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jacque January 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    “When men say I’m sweet as candy
    As around in a dance we whirl,
    It goes to my head like brandy!
    I enjoy being a girl.”

    Vance, in your first comment here you took the words right outta my mouth.

    Anne, I was hoping someone would bring that stuff up too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • naess January 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

    noah #63 “What evidence is there, on the page, that the woman character thinks she is being treated badly because she’s a woman. ”

    ummm… perhaps the reference to the fact that the cruisers “… come in pink!”, a stereotypical colour associated with the female gender.

    add to that the direct link to the “Related story: Editorial: My year as a woman in a city of bikes”, which can be found directly beneath the cartoon, and it kind of all fits together.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • KWW January 24, 2010 at 3:07 am

    When I read the cartoon, I had a quite different take, which was how foolish it is to walk into a LBS and expect for them to order parts.

    I once walked into a very reputable shop in town and inquired about a new bike computer that was not yet out. Did they pick up the phone and find out the ETA from their distributor, or ask to call me back when they got that info? No, I got some sales drivel, but no action.

    That’s what the internet is for, ordering parts. And thank heavens Universal Bicycles is in town to get most of what I need without the condescension.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.