I am a female in my 20's and a bike commuter. Last Saturday around 10:30pm I was riding my bike in North Portland to meet a friend after work. I passed a group of men who started whooping and clapping. While ridiculous and offensive, it's not worth much more than an eye-roll. The experience became quite disturbing, however, when one of them yelled, “Why are you wearing clothes?” This comment was beyond inappropriate and if I had not know he was referring to the naked bike ride happening elsewhere in Portland, I would have been not only angry but frightened as well.
The naked bike ride is NOT an open invitation for lewd and sexist comments. Keeping silent when situations like the one I experienced arise is essentially saying that a fundamentally sexist mindset is still okay in today's society.
To make matters worse, when I told the men who yelled at me to mind their own business (in perhaps not so many words) I got booed.
Men and other people still think that a woman sticking up for her personal integrity in the face of sexism is something negative. It would have been more interesting for me to negate my values of feminism and give those guys the sexually exploitive display they wanted.
This is sexism. It's offensive and should not be tolerated in Portland or anywhere. I hope everyone who reads this is inspired to take a stand when you or anyone near you is the victim of sexism.
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