You can’t take this away from us.

“theory without practice is just as incomplete as practice without theory.”-assata shakur

I want to say thank you to my friends in Fender Bender for their support, passion and hard work. For making positive things happen. For riding your bike with me. For sharing your knowledge, thoughts, troubles, experiences, not just with bikes, but with life and the problems in which we face everyday. And also much appreciation for those who support and understand what we are doing.

My trail of thoughts on why I am a part of Fender Bender….

It feels incredible to be around others who want to make things happen. Too often there is talk of doing something one day, but all too often that is all it is, talk. and no action. Many people go about their day, brainwashed into thinking that they can’t change a thing or that things are ok. Living in a world where we let things slide off as “jokes” …and maybe you aren’t even aware of how it’s more than that. The things you do and the things you say are all a part of who you are. You are setting this standard of what’s ok. What’s acceptable. I’m tired of living in a world where oppression, sexism, racism, harassment (I could go on forever) are often just shrugged away as a “joke” or “no big deal.” We keep letting these things slide, and it only gets worse.

I want to be in a world where the word “pussy” isn’t used to refer to someone as being weak. Too often I’ve been standing with a group of people and some guy calls the other guy a “pussy” for not doing something that everyone else wants to do. I was shocked last week, reading only a few pages into a book- the author talks of fighting for a clean earth, reducing negative human impact- my jaw literally dropped when he used that very statement that makes me full of rage. A published book, how many people read the drafts and everyone thought this was ok? Four pages in and he says, “On the other hand, call me a pussy, but I felt bad every time I saw one of those raccoons or possums with their guts spilled out…” Well, Mr. Colin “No Impact Man” Beavan, you made an impact.

Spring is just around the corner, I can ride my bike without wearing a face mask and warm layers. While the sun shines down on me and I enjoy my bike ride, I am rudely interrupted from my enjoyment as I ride by and I hear “Hey baby”… and and other obnoxious comments. In Detroit, I get yelled at enough for biking on roads, why does it have to be topped off with sexual comments. I’m sure we all face harassment and I know many males who are called “fags” for wearing tight pants or for riding a bike. None of it should happen. Sadly, it is very, very rare that I can bike somewhere without having to deal with sexist comments. How do we fight back?

—-
I refuse to let these things keep me from riding. You will not take this from me.
—-

Fender Bender allows me to live surrounding myself with others who share similar frustrations. We have all encountered different situations, but we have all felt something similar. We want to provide & share a place, a network, a feeling of comfort, a safe space.

Much love,
Vanessa

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2 thoughts on “You can’t take this away from us.

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