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Controversial Monday: LadyVespas and Gear, or Lack Thereof) Part 1

Scooter Chic: Safety Decisions for the LadyVespa: 

Pretty sure those lovely blue heels don’t fit in the ATGATT system,

The photo above is one of many examples how objectifying women could result in causing them harm when reality finally sets in. 

 Everywhere in the scooter culture, and community, you easily find various representations of women on a vespa/scooter. As with the rest of the general culture, these representations are meant to satisfy the male gaze and not really give character or substance to the woman herself. She is reduced to a [sexy] object riding another object: her safety isn’t an issue as long as she is visually pleasing. When you don’t see women wearing safety gear in many of those images (beyond the helmet, which is sometimes present), how does that start to affect your perception [as a woman] of the risks and dangers inherent to riding on two wheels? What does it mean when this reality isn’t considered nor reflected for us as women scooterist?

As a woman scooterist, I find myself always on the lookout for articles/photo shoots online that bring a change of perspective into this little ‘ol vespa world of ours. This includes trying to find images of other woman who scoot, so that I can learn from them and gain a better understanding of what is going on out there in the wider scooter community. These scooter babes are everywhere across the internet within these communities, and, while I adore these photos myself,  I know there is a conflict between these images and reality. 

So what is a girl to do when almost every image of a woman on a scooter is one meant to ooze sex and lust for a particular set of eyes, yet always obscures the reality that all that skin isn’t practical (nor safe!) to expose when riding in real life? Doesn’t the safety of women on scooters matter more than how they dress, what they wear, and how they look?  Don’t get me wrong, I love (absolutely LOVE) to look at these beautiful images of ladies on scooters. After a while of viewing these images, there are moments when I begin to wonder if any of these woman ever actually drive these machines- dressed like they are- out on the roads. If I were to make an educated guess from the outfits throughout these photos, I would assume that women simply don’t get in scooter accidents: therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to wear clothes that cover as little skin as possible. (And don’t even get me started on the drawings of women on vespas, which have no other purpose than to convey SEX.)  Maybe that is the point of these images: women just don’t ride their scooters, at all, and only play dress up while having fabulous photo shoots.

Here is an interesting image I found from google: 

Clearly: misplaced focus and attention.

….so what about those of us ladies who do actually ride and don’t just pose? Le sigh.

Tomorrow I will post the second part of this post for you, since this is getting a bit long. Please return for part two then.  Cheers!

TO NOTE: This post is not beyond the subject of woman wearing sensible gear while out riding and considering that something bad could happen is a possibility. This isn’t about women’s choice of dress or showing skin beyond this topic. I just want to address the subject of objectifying women to a point where real harm can be caused to them, if an accident were to happen while out on a ride. Nothing in general addressing women’s dressing habits nor any judgments towards personal choice regarding their attire.

About kaie w. bird

A freelance photographer in Israel that likes to scoot about while documenting just about everything. P.S. I am a horrible editor. Forgive me.

9 responses to “Controversial Monday: LadyVespas and Gear, or Lack Thereof) Part 1

  1. ShimonZ

    you don’t want to confuse fantasy with reality

    • Exactly. I agree and have been searching the web for photos, relating to this topic for a while now. I thought it was important to address this as there isn’t really anything out there addressing it that I’ve seen or found within the scooter community (-that I found thus far). This area of focus is the main reason why I wanted to do this blog, to write from a women’s perspective and how that plays into this community, beyond us being “a sexual object for men”. A majority of the blog writers, in thees scooter communities, are men and there is a distinct narrative that comes from those blogs. (I enjoy reading them, of course! They are great blogs, to be sure.) I also subscribe to many of the vespa groups online(facebook) and always see these images passed throughout the pages, one by one. The comments kind of tend to be a certain type. I hope that this reaches an audience that was looking for something like this, but (as I had experienced) couldn’t find it elsewhere before.

  2. This is such an important topic; for ladies who bike, or scoot, or rollerblade or participate in any activity that carries risk, there is always that inner debate: do I keep myself safe and risk looking…like I care about being safe? or do I choose to renege responsibility over my well-being so that I can potentially “look good” to passing males? well written and relevant post.

    • Thank you very much indeed. Your comment was great and it really pointed at what I was trying to convey in my writing. I don’t think that males realize that this is something that happens for most women when they do just about anything. That constant chatter within where we “fight” with ourselves about expectations. Thanks so much for your comment. If you read party two, you’ll notice something or other. 😉

  3. What a smoking hot Vespa photo!

  4. Pingback: Controversial Tuesday: Ladyvespas and Gear or Lack Thereof) Part Two « roxyvespa

  5. There is this general phenomenon when it comes to marketing… as a pilot myself (of small airplanes only), I always laugh at “pilots” you find in advertisements…. but of course here the safety issue is not present, because no pilot would feel inclined to weare or behave like the guy in the advertisement… in the case of a woman riding a vespa, though, and advertisement picture could indeed work as a reference of what is aceptable or even desirable…

Love to hear some of your thoughts below!

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