You do me proud, people of social media. Your steadfast, no bullshit approach to the conservative funded PR blast was spectacular.
You give me hope for a better future.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard about Nick Sandmann smirking and menacing Native American Nathan Phillips.
You will also have witnessed the rapid ascent of a conservative PR firm “script flipping” the narrative, surrounding the events that occured.
You can read some really good accounts of it here and here.
A really good narrative can cast doubts in the minds of average people.
Average people don’t question the narrative, they don’t research, they don’t question their own internal biases, they don’t even examine if they do have internal biases.
How do you get around people like that?
In a world where average people hold sway over the lives of those in vulnerable positions. A world where those average people are told what to think, how to think, when to think. Like a mass army of minions, a sleeper cell of bots, ready to turn on marginalized people at any moment. Sometimes even against each other.
For me, I’ve found standing my ground, standing firm, has helped. But it has not been a perfect solution. Because they are always writing, scripting, a narrative that benefits them and causes you harm.
So again, how do we get around people like this. All those average people who think they’re so smart. Looking at the world through their own warped lense. Gleaning the information which only reconfirms their own internal dialogue.
Walls are more than a metaphor, a wall is a real blood brain barrier, a cognitive barrier that is viciously guarded. Like any wall, there are weak points and there are strong points. We can’t know what or where those weak points are and we can guess at the strong points. But we’d only be guessing.
The reality is that our messaging isn’t for the protagonist, it’s for their followers.
We aren’t tearing down walls. We are planting seeds. These seeds will take hold, their roots will run deep and search out those weak spots on their own. Our only job is to spread the message, work with legislators, and activist groups to get the message out.
We know this method works because it’s been used for decades. It was used to change public opinion surrounding women’s right to vote, the right of slaves to be free, and the right for people to marry whom they love. It’s a system of messaging that creates a shift in public consciousness.
I am looking for people to help me flip the script, tear down the patriarchal narrative which surrounds and intertwines itself throughout our everyday lives.
*Authors note: Through out this blog, there are blue hyper links. To get the most out of this article, you’ll need to click on and read them.
In the course of a week, I have seen a mediocre white man gain a popularity of re-tweets over a question.
Which was later changed to:
One of the first things that struck me about these tweets was the sexist nature of the question. I was also struck by the ignorance of the author. What would lead a man to believe that women were to blame for trump?
The majority of Republican voters is comprised of men. So why are we blaming women? As though all the woes of the world can be reduced to allowing women the vote. I may have just answered my own question. 🙂
But assuming that the author of the tweets isn’t subtly bemoaning the rights of women to vote, I want to share what I’ve learned about why women, even some black women, vote Republican.
It starts and ends with power, given to women, by men, under the construct of patriarchy.
The creation of Patriarchy.
Gerda Lerner wrote a book titled “The Creation of Patriarchy” and I came across this book via a YouTube channel titled “The Black Ponderer.” I had been researching the phenomenon which has become known as the “White Woman Vote,” and how it was being used to marginalize and downgrade women, as the source of our current woes.
Never mind the fact that the gender which overwhelmingly voted for trump was in fact the male.
So how are women being blamed for a majority of male votes?
How trump uses the KGB’s “Divide and Conquer” tactic’s on Americans.
Basically we got trump trolled.
“Women!” he yelled. “Women, we love you. We love you.
“Hey, didn’t we surprise them with women during the election? Remember? ‘Women won’t like Donald Trump,’ ” he said, mimicking cable news pundits. “I said, ‘Have I really had that kind of a problem? I don‘t think so.’ But: ‘Women won’t like Donald Trump. It will be a rough night for Donald Trump because the women won’t come out.’ We got 52 percent. Right? Fifty-two.
“And I’m running against a woman! You know it’s not that easy,” Trump said.
And it was so easy to believe. Thanks to decades of white women using patriarchy to manipulate black people in their community.
The KGB has used divide and conquer tactics since its inception. I am not an expert or even a novice in the methods of the KGB, so I can’t go into great detail here. But I can explain a few things I’ve learned on a surface level.
The first thing that the KGB has been very effective with is their use of information. Or rather their use of disinformation.
In today’s society, the average person believes that we live in an egalitarian society and that our laws, such as divorce laws, greatly favor women. Speaking to the average person in my small social circle. I find that the greater portion of men and women have a hard time understanding the pay gap. After all, they were hired in at the same pay rate as their fellow man. So to their mind, the pay gap is just one of those made up feminist issues that hysterical women like to complain about. After all, in their minds, feminist equals man hater.
Russian intelligence knows American culture and they understand the way the average American thinks.
We are raised on television and popular media. Most of which have overtones, if not out right, patriarchal themes. It is those man made boundaries that the trump administration seeks to exploit. With the help of divide and conquer disinformation campaigns.
First this phenomenon rolled out as black women against white women. Then it moved to all black people who are picked on by white women. (This is an actual phenomenon and it is not my intention to make light of it.) Then it was white men who supported black women but had no problem being misogynistic pricks to white women because these men will use black women to police the behavior of other women. It’s a dirty misogynistic trick and plays beautifully into the KGB’s divide and conquer subversion.
The roll that our media plays.
I never saw so many journalists dig into the women vote, which later became known as the white women vote, with such glee. Never mind the millions of men who voted for trump, they were excused from having to be held accountable for their actions. As is often the case with men, we are quick to forgive them there transgressions, after all “Boys will be boys.”
Where are all the mainstream media articles admonishing the white man and the 13% of black men, who voted for trump? Even when I do find articles about the non-white and non-hetero normative male vote for trump, I find these articles are often full of empathy, or rather #Himpathy, for these people.
There is an interesting phenomenon in the GOP. This was studied by the UCLA, which has an impeccable track record in studies. What they found is that the GOP was made up by normative women. Not just white women, but “Normative” women from all racial backgrounds.
Remember Gerda Lerner and “The Creation of Patriarchy?”
“Female politicians with stereotypically feminine facial features are more likely to be Republican than Democrat, and the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker’s voting record,” said lead author Colleen M. Carpinella, a UCLA graduate student in psychology.
Women who conform to patriarchal standards of attractiveness to men, make up the bulk of females in the GOP.
But it’s not just women in the GOP who can be described as having these attributes. The average female representative of the majority white evangelical movement, is made up of women that men find innately “doable.”
As is noted in the book “Splintered Sisterhood” by Susan Marshall
Anti-suffragists countered demands for women’s enfranchisement by contending that political participation would coarsen the gentle female character and endanger the family, the bulwark of society. They repeatedly disclaimed any interest in politics and often delegated to men the front-stage management of referendum campaigns while continuing their work behind the scenes. They differentiated themselves from suffragists through an exaggerated discourse of femininity, defending their “birthright of beauty, of serenity, of faith” and entreating male voters for protection from “the life of manifold activities our modern sister would have us assume.”
This doesn’t mean that every attractive woman, by male standards, is a member of Evangelical Christianity or that their preferred political party is the GOP. But rather, these are the women that they are actively trying to recruit into their fold.
Hot women attract more men.
In the construct of patriarchy, if you’re feminine enough, men will do whatever it takes to “protect” you from those man hating feminists.
The policing of women.
52% of of men voted for trump and we don’t hear the media talk about our male voter problem.
Women who voted for trump, apart from their male counterparts, are zeroed in on, with laser like focus. As though patriarchy was a thing which only exists in the imaginations of feminists.
This article is limited in scope and won’t delve into how women support patriarchy. Instead, I want to talk about why there are women who support the patriarchy.
It is a problem which begins and ends with men. Namely the power they still command in society.
There is an interesting aspect to all of this, which when siloed, makes very little sense. When we put those parts together, we see a bigger picture.
If you follow Chris Stroop or if you’ve read any of his published work on Evangelicals, you’ll know that the Republican party has been reduced to a cult. A party which once stood for independence, freedom, and economic success for small business’ has now become a party of misogynistic racists bent on destroying anyone who isn’t a normative cisheteropatriarchy person.
In short, this is a hetero normative male problem. But how do women participate in that hetero normativity? First we’ll have to go back in history a bit.
Once nomadic man began to settle down and cast aside their hunter gatherer ways, they found it beneficial to have a system which allowed them to amass their wealth. This system was beneficial for women too. The women enjoyed the privilege of living in a society as revered mother of… and the wife of… Both of which are societal distinctions.
Now I’m not suggesting that they had it easy or that they were treated with great care or respect. No. What I am saying is that a system of protections were put into place, which allowed women to thrive, albeit within a narrow margin of space. One which was and still is, set by men.
All through the history of society, we see men dominating the fields of science, writing, and art. But! If we dig a little deeper, we see that there are women who have been granted higher status in society. Women who have made scientific breakthroughs, created masterpieces, and written powerful books. What is often looked over is that these women, these trail blazers, are predominately white married women, who enjoy luxuries afforded to them by the men in their lives. Whether it be a doting father or a benevolent husband. These women would not have created their works without the patriarchal assistance of men. And they needed this assistance because men put them in a position of needing it in the first place.
These women were the beginning of feminism, albeit a feminism that didn’t push too hard on the boundaries created by a patriarchal construct.
Fast forward to women’s suffrage and we find that the anti-suffrage movement was not a movement of men, but rather a movement of upper class white women, who enjoyed the privileges granted to them by a patriarchal system.
Beginning in the 1870s and continuing even after the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, antisuffrage served the “”gendered class interests”” of its members, notably the upper-class founders, who already possessed excellent, albeit informal, access to power via family connections. Not merely a front for men, it was a dynamic movement that changed its attitudes and tactics over time, and was effective enough that suffragists reformulated their own arguments to counter those of their opponents. Book Review
Galloping forward to the exoneration of men.
Women are not giving tree’s as noted by feminist philosopher and author Kate Manne.
“The Giving Tree gives everything she has to her beloved boy, and he never says thank you,” Manne said. “In the end she is an amputated stump, and people still think this is a beautiful story. If nothing else, maybe just switch the genders. If you must tell the story, just switch it up.”
Manne believes this story reveals a greater culture that takes advantage of women and absolves men. She sees the boy’s behavior as indicative of male entitlement, while the tree’s generosity symbolizes female obligation.
It is through the male construct, that we have women who are voting against their own best interests and the best interests of their daughters. Voting for a future which will oppress and possibly even kill their daughters.
But they’re doing it because voting GOP gives their sons the best possible future in a male dominate society. Sacrificing their women children for their male children. The proverbial giving tree.
The construct of marriage is the foundation.
Married women enjoy a higher social standing in society, as compared to their unmarried counterparts. This is but one example and it is not intended to be a whole summarization on the wrongs of patriarchy. Many a feminist man and woman enjoy a healthy relationship. The problem isn’t in the act of being married, but rather the unspoken and often tangible social benefits given to women who are married. A married woman has nearly the same societal benefits as an unmarried man.
The class system which she operates in, has benefits that her unmarried contemporaries do not enjoy.
I’m fully aware of the pitfalls of marriage, especially to an ill suited spouse. What I’m talking about are the subtle and not so subtle societal privileges granted to married women that unmarried women do not have the benefit of. Much like the societal benefits granted to individuals who claim Christianity as their religion. These people enjoy privileges which are not reflected in their counterparts, such as compared to someone who is an Atheist or of a different religion. Our society still presumes that a married woman is more trustworthy and dependable than an unmarried woman.
And I’m not even talking about marriage itself. Because these same privileges granted to a hetero normative couple are not enjoyed by an LGBTQ married couple.
I’m talking about the elevation of status that being associated with a hetero normative man brings. These men are still the dominant class in society and they are the ones that we worry and fawn over.
Women who are enjoined with a hetero normative man have higher class privileges than women who are not.
Power is a seductive drug. Men and women will do whatever it takes to keep that power.
Which is exactly what we saw in the 2016 election.
Men and their female counterparts were horrified at the idea of a strong woman in the highest office of the U.S. Government. And the jokes by men and women about what we would call Bill Clinton, were Hillary to win, were sexist and demeaning. Though I am certain that a lot of people were genuinely scratching their heads. (Google search on the subject.)
The societal norms that women, enjoined to a man, enjoy under a patriarchy, while not great, absolutely beat trying to make it on your own.
Life for single moms is rough. I mean down and dirty rough.
We still live in a society which greatly favors men. But not just any men. No. Those men most revered are the white hetero normative Christian. And those are the men who gave trump the vote. With full-throated support from their wives.
We are talking about women who buy into the construct of patriarchy, not because it suites them to punish feminists, but because they enjoy the privileges that patriarchy has given them through out the millennia.
This patriarchy has never been richer than in Westernized Judeo-Christianity and the Eastern Orthodox church. As well as the misogyny in eastern religions. Religion holds marriage as sanctimonious and elevates women in these societies.
The women who voted for trump, the evangelicals who voted for trump, and the conservatives from all backgrounds who voted for trump, all have one unifying commonality. That is their belief in patriarchy as the normal order of society.
Patriarchy ushered trump into office and it is normative men who are to blame.
Just because an article is written by a woman, doesn’t mean that the author is a feminist, familiar with feminist theory, or is aware of her own misogynistic slant.
Yes, women are misogynists too. It is these women who voted trump.
If you found the above thought provoking. I have listed below, some articles that you will find enlightening.
As I was making my way home, I passed through White-Marts overly expansive auto squatting lot.
I scanned my way through welfare for auto’s and yielded to foot traffic as appropriate. Upon completing my turn into the home stretch lane, I scanned for male centrist autos driven by any person behind the wheel.
As I approached the stop sign, I witnessed a white pick up truck careening off the main road, his white truck bouncing over the curb, the rear end fishtailing as he hit the gas.
Visually calculating the distance, I knew there wouldn’t be time to make it through the squatting lot intersection and avoid the large white man who occupied the large white truck.
None of the rules applied to him.
He was normal.
I was not.
He gave me a white, shit eating grin, from behind the white whiskers framing his white face, as he sat behind the wheel of his white truck. His large white thumb sticking up in the oppressive air which surrounded him.
“Thank you for following the rules of the road,” his actions screamed, as he himself broke several.
Pedaling off from my power position, pedal up, as my weight propelled me forward.
I looked over my shoulder and signaled to him that he was indeed number one.
Normative male centrist society, from which sprung forth the auto, has classified rules which dominate all others. By default, you and I are ‘other’.
The culture around “Those rule breaking bicyclists,” perfectly sums up a micro view of normative white culture.
My two disadvantages are being a woman on a bicycle. It irks me to no end when white men co-opt rape culture to ‘prove’ their victimization. Which isn’t to say that they can’t be victims of a crime. But they will never be a black man, woman, LGBTQ, and a victim of a crime
For that white man, he momentarily becomes other(ized) as he climbs on his bicycle. This other(ing) is brief and surface deep. Like dipping a toe in to test the temperature of the otherness water.
These men, who also invented the bicycle, before rapidly tossing it for the much more exclusionary auto, can not be the voice of bicycle advocacy.
They are, as a whole, crushing any forward momentum we have obtained.
Only recently have I found a few men, who have grasped the concept that you can not rationalize with the irrational and male culture is irrational, full stop.
People who drive, break as many “rules of the road” as anyone else who doesn’t drive. But Pedestrians and Bicyclists bear the brunt of being labeled a wanton rule breaker.
Any motorist, no matter their race or gender identity, is participating in, propping up, and re-establishing white normative culture as the default culture when they ‘other’ anyone traveling on foot or using alternative transportation, such as a bicycle.
the belief, theory, or doctrine that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial groups, especially black people, and are therefore rightfully the dominant group in any society. Dictionary.com
the elimination of an unwanted ethnic group or groups from a society, as by genocide or forced emigration. Dictionary.com
To swiftly shove your thumb up someone’s ass while said person is still clothed. a variation of a wedgie. Urban Dictionary.com
Butt Dart — A Step Backward for Cyclist Safety in the OC
A “game” has started in Orange County where people pretend to shoot cyclists with their hand positioned like a gun while yelling “Butt Dart.” It was introduced on the latest video published by Chad Stewart Towersey (aka ocinstanews) to his 7,000+ Instagram followers. While making a joke and an underlying point about his frustration with cyclists, it poses serious consequences. Read more here.
Otherness is a diseased state of mind.
And it is the justification for Chad and his campaign against bicyclists in his local area. A campaign which he is hoping will spread across the nation.
There will always be people in our society who find Chad’s antics amusing. This isn’t written for them.
This is written for the people who must shoulder the responsibility of standing up to extremist bullies. This is for the people in the middle who have been inundated with stereotypes about bicyclists and subconsciously empathize with some of the tenets of Chad and his butt dart movement.
A bicycle is inherently different from a motorized vehicle. The people who operate bicycles come in all gender’s, ethnic backgrounds, and social classes. But they all have one thing in common. When they swing their leg over a bicycle, they become an ‘other’.
The automobile has become the dominant form of transportation. Not by natural selection in an evolutionary process. But rather through forced manipulation of the natural environment. Auto culture is a construct with parallels in white supremacy and ethnic cleansing. This was recognized by the Germans, and Hitler had great admiration for Henry Ford. And Henry Ford had great admiration for Hitler.
This doesn’t make all auto drivers Nazi sympathizers anymore than being black makes you a drug dealer. Those are stereotypes and what we are combating here is a deeply ingrained stereotype against bicyclists. More importantly we are discussing how that deeply ingrained stereotype is being used to abuse people who bicycle and where the root of this behavior stems from.
Bicyclists don’t belong on roads.
a. There are many paths of specious logic in this one stereotype. Most of them have to do with the inherent disadvantage bicyclists have when faced with their larger and stronger counterpart. It plays into the might makes right fallacy. Just because you’re operating a vehicle with the ability to cause more damage to those around you, doesn’t make you superior to them. And it doesn’t lessen their right to operate in a public space.
b. Roads were designed for cars. While this may be true in some distinct locations, such as freeways. Roads themselves were not designed for any one road user and all vehicle types have equal right to use the roads. But for some vehicle types it has been determined that certain vehicles exercise the privilege of using the roads whereas other vehicle types are exercising their constitutional right to the roads.
For further understanding see: Roads weren’t build for cars. By Carlton Reid
Bicyclists don’t follow the rules.
Bwahahahaha! When was the last time you saw a driver follow the rules of the road to a ‘T’. Literally no one follows every road rule every time. We are human and we make mistakes. Bicycles do have physical advantages that motorized vehicles don’t have. We take up less space (thought that doesn’t mean we need less space). We are lighter and can easily maneuver through area’s motorized vehicles can not. Even our state statutes recognize and have done so for decades, that not all vehicles are equal in how they operate. That is why it is legal for the driver of a tractor trailer to make a right while swinging their vehicle out into the left lane and then over to the right. They need the extra room to make that right turn. Sometimes there rear axle ends up on the sidewalk. It happens.
This prejudicial thinking is the exact same type of thinking which lead educated men to view Jews as morally and physically inferior to themselves. This is white supremacy. This is the channel which Chad and his butt dart crew are flowing down. They see themselves as keepers of the light and bicyclists as those darkies who need to be kept in their place.
The biggest concern I’ve seen from male dominated white channels in the media are that someone will get killed. I believe that this is the natural and intentional consequence of Chad’s butt dart campaign. He has exhibited every other text book example of white supremacy and his final solution will be to get people killed.
I have heard his lame ass excuse about wanting to keep people safe. But to understand what he means by ‘keeping people safe’, we have to understand the coded language of white supremacy.
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” Southern Strategy
When Chad says he want’s to keep people ‘safe’, to whom is he referring? It is my opinion that Chad views bicyclists as threat to the safety of auto culture and when he speaks of keeping people safe, he is using the coded language of the ‘Southern Strategy’.
If you watch any of his video’s which he proudly posts to Instagram. You’ll see that his behavior is not safe, doesn’t follow state statutes on road rules, and creates an environment of fear for bicyclists. So again, who is Chad trying to keep safe?
Silence is compliance and finding humor in Chad’s actions is being complicit in Chad’s actions. And yes, that means you’re a white supremacist too.
So I hope you didn’t laugh when you first saw his butt dart campaign. If you did, then you need to re-evaluate your own internal bias’.
Someday bicyclists will be designated as a protected class. But until that day, anyone who say’s that what Chad is doing isn’t illegal, is plain wrong. Because we already have laws on the books about assault. If you’re not familiar with it, here it is:
The definition of assault varies by jurisdiction, but generally falls into one of these categories:
1. Intentionally putting another person in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. Intent to cause physical injury is not required, and physical injury does not need to result. So defined in tort law and the criminal statutes of some states.
2. With the intent to cause physical injury, making another person reasonably apprehend an imminent harmful or offensive contact. Essentially, an attempted battery. So defined in the criminal statutes of some states.
3. With the intent to cause physical injury, actually causing such injury to another person. Essentially, the same as a battery. So defined in the criminal statutes of some states, and so understood in popular usage.
Apprehension v. Fear
In this context, “apprehension” does not mean “fear.” Rather, to experience apprehension, the victim must believe that the tortfeasor’s conduct will result in imminent harmful or offensive contact unless it is somehow otherwise prevented. It isn’t necessary that the victim believes the conduct will be effective in making such contact, only that he believes the conduct is capable of making such contact.
Illustrative Case Law
The classic 1349 English case I de S et ux v. W de S exemplifies the necessity of apprehension in an assault claim. When the tortfeasor banged on the door the first time, it was not assault because he did not cause apprehension. When, however, he struck at the plaintiff with a hatchet when she looked out the window, it was assault, because his conduct caused apprehension of harmful contact.
For a modern analysis of assault in action, see Raess v. Doescher.
Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy characterized by the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions in order to win an argument, especially in the absence of factual evidence.
Indeed Moose, there are certain roads your 7 yr old can’t bicycle on. Why would you want them to?
Even if all roads were designed with the intention that a 7 yr old could bicycle on it, would it still be ‘safe’? Your premise is that they would certainly be safe.
I disagree. Here’s why.
A 7 yr old is somewhere between a kindergartner and a 1st grader. (depending on your local school requirements for age placement in their respective grade).
Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in space. It is an organised knowledge of objects in relation to oneself in that given space. Spatial awareness also involves understanding the relationship of these objects when there is a change of position. Occupational Therapy for Children
For the sake of argument, we’ll assume that your child is developing appropriately for their age group.
Question: How spatially aware are 7 yr olds?
Pre-operational Stage 2-7 years
Children begin to represent spatial features through drawing and modelling. Their topological thinking is evident in their drawings. For example, in the drawing of a duck below, done by a five-year-old, the sky and the ground are represented as separate objects – there is no comprehension of the horizon. Both eyes are drawn on one side of the head because, to the child, the important feature is that they are inside (enclosed within) the head shape (McNally, p.29). As is typical around this age, the child does not yet possess the type of thinking that can be described by Projective Geometry, and which would allow him/her to imagine the other side of the duck.
Concrete Operational Stage 7-12 years
Gradually, between the ages of about 4 and 9 years, the child begins to perceive and represent objects from different points of view and incorporates ideas of perspective. The placement of features or objects in relation to each other and taking account of vertical and horizontal relationships becomes part of the child’s way of viewing the world. These sorts of ideas can be classified as belonging to the type of geometry called Projective Geometry. In the drawing of ‘Dogs playing soccer’, done by a 7 year old, evidence of this type of thinking can be found. When asked why the dogs had only one eye she replied, “The other one’s on the other side but we can’t see it”. When questioned about the numbers of legs drawn for each dog, she explained that the dogs on the left were running so we could see all their legs, but the dog on the right was standing still so two legs were hidden from view (the third appendage is a tail!).
The child also begins to use the ideas associated with Euclidean Geometry such as distinguishing between straight and curved lines, specific shapes (like squares and circles), the length and number of sides and angles. These ‘measurement’ concepts allow children to bring objects and parts of object into relative proportion in their drawings.
The development of the co-ordination of horizontal and vertical planes is illustrated in the sequence of drawings below (McNally pp.45-46). Children ranging from 4 years to 10 years were asked to draw liquid in a tilted jar on a table, and to draw people or trees on a hillside. The youngest drawer clearly demonstrated Topological thinking, with the liquid simply shown inside the jar, and the people enclosed by the hill. Gradually, as spatial thinking matures, the co-ordination of vertical and horizontal can be seen.
Answer: Not very.Why is spatial awareness important to this topic?
Spatial awareness, for those who don’t already know, is the difference between a child recognizing another bicyclist on the road as a potential hazard or not.
It’s certainly possible for a child to be taught how to recognize hazards and how to avoid them. But that does require education. And Moose and her merry band of infra only advocacy trolls don’t like education.
To them, education is that thing ‘vehicular’ cyclists do because they don’t have infrastructure and thus need to know how to operate around cars. While bicyclists on separated bicycle specific infrastructure don’t have to worry about anything. Because they’re totally safe and will never experience an injury because ‘No Cars’!
Again, for arguments sake, we’ll presume that all roads are designed with 7 yr olds in mind and that no motorized vehicles will ever travel on these specially designed roads.
Does Moose Jr/Miss present a hazard to other bicyclists and do those bicyclists present a hazard to Moose Jr/Miss?
Here are a few examples of bicyclists being injured or killed on bicycle specific infra i.e. no cars allowed.
Did the bicyclist encounter a 7 yr old and swerved to avoid them? It’s what people do when a small child is weaving all over the road. They try to avoid them.
Most likely not. I suspect the bicyclist hit debris on the trail and lost control. Or even more likely, was going too fast and lost control.
Which then flips the script. Do other bicyclists present a hazard to a 7 yr old?
The following article is descriptive of an electric bicycle. But anyone who rides road bikes knows that you can achieve impressive speeds even without an assist. Those speeds prevent you from safely navigating a path where children are tooling around unsupervised. It could be argued that adults on bikes should behave sensibly around children on bike paths. But it could also be argued that adults in cars should behave sensibly around bicyclists.
Ultimately what we end up with is a the same situation that we say we want to avoid on public roads. It all boils down to education.
A 10-year-old child was seriously injured in a crash involving an adult on an electric bicycle in Fadden on Thursday morning.
Police are investigating the collision on a shared pathway near a primary school in the area about 8.45am. Read more here.
Unsupervised and uneducated children present a hazard to themselves and other road users. Period.
Which is why you don’t see Dutch children bicycling unsupervised.
And when the children are bicycling, they are under direct supervision of an adult.
I’m a certified bicycle instructor. But I didn’t always used to be. When I first started bicycling for transportation, like the Dutch do, I didn’t (and still don’t) have first class bicycle infrastructure. My child was significantly older than a 7 yr old. She was 15 yrs old. And very nervous about bicycling on a heavily trafficked public road. Having bicycled with her on low speed residential roads, I learned two things.
If she was ahead of me she was totally exposed to anyone else around her. There is a YouTube video where we are being harassed. And in the video she is angry about the harassment and cycles fast and ahead of me. The driver then corals her against the curb with his car. When she was directly by my side she was protected from this maniac. After that incident we had a long conversation about staying by my side.
When people are bicycling two abreast they can have an easy and relaxed conversation. As we navigated hostile roads, we discussed the way we would manage portions of the road before we arrived at them. This helped ease both our fears and provided safe and predictable passage. Not only for ourselves but also for those around us.
Predictability, even on a bike path, is crucial to road safety. And yes, bike paths are roads.
What makes these social media advocates trolls?
I’m so glad you asked.
No one is advocating for children to bicycle independently on roads with trucks or lorries. Literally NO ONE!
Trolls love memes. Especially false one’s that lead to wrong thinking.
The first tweet in this blog is the beginning of the thread. Moose was trolling someone who was arguing for or against something. We’ll never know because they deleted their tweet. Which I don’t blame them. Dealing with troll’s is exhausting.
I saw through her crap and called her out on it. Which then prompted the trolls to come crawling and scurrying out from under their rocks. They resorted to name calling, logical fallacies, specious logic, and everything else trolls do. Except actually have a conversation about why we don’t actually design roads for the exclusive use of 7 yr olds.
Jesus FUCKING Christ! Use some common fucking sense.
What makes someone a troll?
A troll is defined as someone who is trying to give you an emotional jerk. They often use logical fallacies and/or use specious ‘logic’ (such as the ‘logic’ used in the Google memo.) Specious logic has the appearance of logic, but isn’t logic. In the same way that ‘Creation Science’ isn’t actually Science. They make it sound good and give you interesting pictures to look at, but when you break down their argument, you see that it doesn’t hold water.
The presumption with the UK trolls is that everyone who advocates for education in bicycling is anti-infra. Or as they term them, a ‘Vehicular cyclist’.
Education is the foundation of all community action. People don’t know what they don’t know. And giving everyone a free for all on public roads doesn’t increase safety. Why do you think the Dutch have mandatory bicycling education? Do you think it’s because their infrastructure is so terrible?
But more importantly, the people we need to persuade, the movers and shakers in the public realm of transportation planning, aren’t going to be swayed by specious logic and logical fallacies.
UK social media cycling advocates are not doing bicycle advocacy any favors by behaving like trolls. You aren’t winning friends or persuading anyone, who isn’t already there, to your side.
Your pugnacious and repugnant behavior is giving the media fodder to make bicycling and bicyclists look bad.
The idea behind advocacy is to win friends and influence people. Not call them names or try to make yourselves appear superior to others.
Moose, Evo Lucas, Sw19cam, you’re common garden variety trolls and you’re ruining cycling.