Sunday, June 3, 2012

little red riding rules

there is an extremely popular organized ride in our part of the state that happens the first weekend in june (for the past 25 years) called the Little Red Riding Hood.  the event is a fundraiser targeting cancer that impacts women.
the event is also limited to riders of the female kind.
thousands of women participate in this ride, and registration for this year's event was full within 2 hours.
I've never ridden this ride, and I never will.

one of the bands on my Current Favorites list is the script.  they sing songs that females love, all about relationships and undying love and, well, men who screw up and regret it.  of course we females love their music.  they have a song out now called fall for anything  (tried to find the official video but couldn't; this is the best I could find) in which they use the line
you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
they are not the first to use this phrase---and if you can find the origin of it you're more tenacious than I---and it's one I find myself liking.
I often say that I believe in the possibility of most everything until it's proven to be impossible . . . but there are a few things I am willing to take a position on, and little red is one of them.

we women have fought for at least a century, here in america, to be given the same rights that men were given.  many "suffragettes" went through pure hell in the process of demanding the right to vote:  ridicule, divorce, imprisonment, physical abuse, verbal abuse . . . it was a battle that took years and years to win.
as a group we women have argued, pursued legal battles, and rebelled in efforts to be given the opportunities and rewards that our male counterparts have.  we have fought against unequal pay scales and the imbalance of power.  we have made significant inroads into boardrooms, senate floors, and universities.  we have argued until we were blue about the unfairness and inequity of being excluded from anything because of our sex, whether it's positions as CEO's, ministers, or members of private clubs.
we have fought to end the belief that one sex deserves something different from the other.

and then there's little red.
an organized ride in which men may volunteer to help, but not participate.
now here's the thing---I do understand this---most men have no interest in riding this ride.
they'd just as soon be doing their own thing, especially the serious cyclists who consider themselves on an entirely different level than female riders anyway.  so it's quite likely that no one---other than me---is bothered by this event.

but I am.
I think it's wrong.
I think that we, as women, have a responsibility to behave in the way we're asking men to behave.
we would throw a fit---and probably find a way to close it down---if there were an organized ride for men only that we were excluded from participating in.
so why do we think it's okay to do what we've demanded they not do?

I take a stand here.  I am disappointed that we, as females, think it's okay to support this kind of event, as it is in conflict with the belief system that underpins the struggle we've had to be accepted as equal to men.
no fence for me:  I stand for philosophical consistency.

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