Bike Lust: Harleys, Women, and American Society by Barbara Joans

By Barbara Joans

motorcycle Lust roars instantly into the realm of girls bikers and provides us a trip. during this experience tale that also is an insider's learn of an American tradition, Barbara Joans enters as a passenger at the again of a motorcycle, yet quickly learns to journey her personal. As an anthropologist she untangles the principles, rituals, and rites of passage of the biker tradition. As a brand new member of that tradition, she struggles to beat worry, actual weak spot, and an inclination to shoot her mouth off-a tendency that practically will get her killed.

motorcycle Lust travels a panorama of contradictions. Outlaws nonetheless chase freedom at the street, yet so do millions of riders of all sessions, races, and hues. Joans introduces us to the ladies who trip the rear-the biker chick, the calendar slut straddling the recent engine, the back-seat Betty on the newest rally, or the underage groupie on the neighborhood run. yet she additionally offers us the 1st shut examine ladies who trip of their personal correct, on their lonesome motorcycles, in addition to a brand new realizing of the altering global of male bikers. those are usual women's lives made striking, including a size of braveness to the game no longer skilled by way of men, risking lifestyles and limb for a glimpse of the very fringe of lifestyles. This group of riders exists as a primal tribute to humanity's lust for freedom.

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Additional info for Bike Lust: Harleys, Women, and American Society

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Harley riders like to ride together. ” “No, not really. It’s just a bunch of guys getting together and riding. It is for males only. I see nothing wrong with having separate leisuretime activities. Women usually stake out the house as their domain and men have the garage. “Up until very recent times, Harley riding was one of the last bastions of male-only activities. And yes, it was mainly white males. All through the fifties and sixties, it was a white male–dominated sport. ” “Well, you must remember, riding Harleys was seen as very masculine from the very beginning.

HOG’s ladies’ auxiliary program may yet turn out to be Milwaukee’s own affirmative action plan. Some women need a leg up. Some women don’t. Women who come in as riders may resent the double standard. They do not see themselves as ladies of anything. They see themselves as bikers. They neither need nor want the program. Nonriding women, however, often find this group the first place they feel at home, the first place they feel accepted. Often this is the only place passengering women get to meet with riding women.

What about the men who stayed with the Motor Company during all the lean years? What about the wives who put up with oil puddles in their garages, bike parts in their living rooms, endless waits by the sides of roads, and Harley paraphernalia strewn throughout the house? What about the blue-collar, hardworking men who supported it all? Will the company continue to sup32 The Early Years port them? What about the outlaws? Will they continue to ride Harleys now that so many professional, respectable folk choose them?

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