Sexism on MTB Forums – A Discussion About Mountain Biking Social Network Groups

this one is going to be controversial
I’m Justin of Casuall MTB come join the ride with me if you’re a
member of a mountain biking Facebook group your group probably falls into one
of two categories number one a small supportive group usually zero to two or
three thousand members full of people who are either new to mountain biking or
who recognize that they used to be beginners too number two – the popular “lad”
type usually ten thousand members or more, full of vague attempts at humor
showered with casual sexism sometimes racism even and unhelpful comments with
people harking back to the days of old groups now long since gone because
they got too racist or sexist and it ended up being shut down for obvious
reasons I’ve been on and posted on both But it’s becoming clear now that the
larger groups are in some cases turning both new mountain bikers and women away
from the sport Waheeeyy – good job guys! these large groups are the ones that are coming up first in the
search results when someone who may be new to the sport
is wanting to connect with like-minded people, search for mountain biking. I
think it’s kind of right to say that but if
what new members find our posts like this this or this then they’re just
going to think that mountain bike as an entire group are a bunch of pricks now
I’m not saying that we can’t have a joke about this and we can’t have a laugh – we
all know that “new bike” is the most hilarious comment and answer to any
question about a mountain bike problem in the world and I’m definitely
not saying that this is the only thing you find on these groups
no not at all with 10,000 members there are an incredibly high number of people
who are massively helpful – there are kids and stuff as well and parents –
people from all walks of life – but the bigger you get the more likely you are
to encounter a bunch of dicks joining your group as well so in an era where
mountain biking as a sport is on I can absolutely meteoric rise in popularity
and when sexism is absolutely not tolerable in any of its forms You’re gonna fall faul of one of these at some
point if you keep on like this the mods of these groups need to make a decision
as to whether these kinds of posts are really appropriate anymore and whether
they can allow them on their groups anymore
unfortunately whether these posts are meant jokingly
or not, just having them on the board will be seen as promoting sexism or
bullying or whatever it is that the social justice warriors are out to get
at that time so this is more of a warning than anything, and it’s not just
the mods – users need to realise these fast as well – don’t put anything on
Facebook or social media or whatever that you wouldn’t want an employer
seeing – or your other half or your children in ten years time it’s why I
for example went back and deleted all of my tweets that were more than a year old –
all of them – that was 3,200 tweets and God knows what I said in them I didn’t
look I just deleted them all because I know that back then I probably was an
irritating dick and I probably said a lot of things that I would regret now
I’ve also done things like to make my Facebook page my personal one completely
private so you can’t look unless you are one of my friends already but when you
post on a group is public it’s there it’s there for anyone to see so if
you’re there posting these kinds of posts showing a woman scratching their
arses saying oh I’d like to park my bike in there then somebody’s going to be
able to see that – and you’ve got to realise that but back to the main topic
of the rant that probably more than 60% of you who clicked off of by now – maybe
even 90% you never know we need to support new riders coming in especially
so women because the sports as a whole is still incredibly masculine – most bikes
are aimed at men, most clothing certainly is aimed at men as well and this was
raised by a girl on reddit actually as well who owns her own clothing brand
because she decided to start it because there just wasn’t anything out there for
her and good on her for doing so I think and because of the things like that we
have a pretty long way to go as a group of mounted bikers before this sport can
be considered anywhere near of being down the road to equality now don’t get
me wrong there are female riders out there doing awesome things I mean for
example who you look on Instagram there’s Alyssa Podesta there’s Chloe
Cains there’s Liv cycling as a brand from
Giant – all that sort of stuff brilliant and to be fair you know
– Compared to football (soccer) we look pretty damn favorable to women – Look at women’s soccer as a sport yeah it exists but does anyone massively
watch it? No? then you look at women’s mountain biking
you look at certainly the downhill races and the cross-country races and they
receive almost, not quite, but almost equal coverage as men’s which i think is great –
but mountain bike is becoming mainstream whether you like it or not – it’s an
awesome sport and so in many ways it deserves to be mainstream I mean can you
imagine mountain biking being on national TV? wouldn’t that be fantastic?
things like the Red Bull Rampage or the World Cup – BUT – this all comes with us all
having to have a long hard think about how we present ourselves to newcomers to
the sport – because if they look at it now they probably think that it’s
mostly elitist/sexist – now that’s just a view like I said looking at it on social
media – if you actually go out mountain biking and you meet mountain bikers [they are the]
friendliest bunch of people in the world it’s probably the most welcoming sport
I’ve ever been a part of in terms of when you actually participate – everyone’s
out to help you no matter your sex, race, age, whatever it is – everyone’s equal but
when it comes to social media everyone just acts like bloody monkeys – and this
is where Facebook groups and other social network forums and things like
that have the most responsibility towards helping newcomers come in
because this is where now in this day and age they’re going to discover the
sport not through when they go out mountain biking with their mates really,
they’re gonna see a video on Facebook and think “Ooo that looks cool” and
then go search for it and think “well actually they’re not very nice – I’m not
gonna go do that” – so just please stop making us all like elitist bastards – we
don’t fear our wives and girlfriends they don’t stop us from going out –
we don’t need posts like that We encourage newcomers proudly and love
watching them progress and we want the sport to succeed and be taken seriously
that’s the main point of this so let’s get to work and make it that way you