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The bike world, like almost everything else, has a lot to do with gender -- men and women have different kinds of experience in it. Bike repair, in particular is extremely male dominated. A typical scenario in a shop is an all male team of mechanics who tend to treat women paternalistically, presuming what they need, and giving them much more help than they do men. Much of this reflects some inappropriate attitudes held by both men and women, as well as the structure of the cycling industry.
Bicycle Collectives should be breaking down class, race and gender barriers in bike repair, so it is important (especially since most of you are likely to be men) to be aware of these issues. Try to be aware of what type of help you are giving to whom (particularly when you do the work for them), and why.
A common response within the radical cyclist / mechanic community is Women-Only and WTF programs, which are usually intentional about creating Safer Space. While not a perfect solution, they have a strong history of helping with the common conundrum of the gender binary and how it affects the cycling world.
- To learn more about patriarchy and bike repair, check out Edmonton's Q&A.
- The invisible backpack (a helpful metaphor)
I found this quote on the internet and just had to share. It's patriarchy (but not bike repair): "my male colleagues will sputter with gall, appalled by the actions of bad apples so rare they have been encountered by every single woman I know." --Angel York (talk) 13:00, 7 March 2016 (PST)