City Desk

Charles Hurt’s Bikeshare Rant is Sexist, Too

Everyone's read Charles Hurt's totally batshit column about Capital Bikeshare for the Washington Times, right?

If you haven't, Martin Austermuhle at DCist very capably broke down just how batshit it is. But while Hurt's argument that Bikeshare is a Communist plot is exceptionally virulent, the public-transit-is-for-pinkos point isn't an entirely new one.

What is particularly chafing to me, as a woman who rides a bike, is Hurt's derision of anyone who's not a heterosexual, cisgendered dude and his subsequent assumption that those people are the sole demographic of Bikeshare riders:

For a small membership fee, users can pick up a bike at any of 165 such docking stations and proudly pedal themselves to work, school or to pick up Chinese food. The little black wire basket on the front is sturdy enough to carry a briefcase or a carry-out order of tofu. The bikes are shaped like the old-timey “girl bikes” without the crossbar, making them suitable for un-liberated women in skirts as well as these so-called “metrosexual” males everybody keeps talking about in these parts.

Those "girl bikes" are step-through frames that encourage riders to sit up straight so that they can see traffic. The step-through style also makes it easier to hop on and off a bike—convenient while you're wearing a skirt, but also convenient while you're wearing dress pants. And putting metrosexual in quotes, let alone even using the word? It only makes it seem as if Hurt just really wanted to write "homosexual."

Hurt's presumption that Bikeshare riders are a bunch of anti-American pansies isn't just stupid, it's sexist. Of course, he also thinks tofu is effete. I trust him less than I trust the Russians.

Photo by Flickr user DDOTDC under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/ Mr T in DC

    Well said, agree 100%, thank you for calling him out for this as well.

  • DC Guy

    But how many page hits did it generate for the Washington Times website?

  • ian

    "And putting metrosexual in quotes, let alone even using the word? It only makes it seem as if Hurt just really wanted to write 'homosexual.'"

    A less journalistically sound, but probably more accurate description would read:

    "And putting metrosexual in quotes, let alone even using the word? Hurt just really wanted to write 'homosexual.'"

  • http://the42bus.blogspot.com Tim

    great points alex. and good god, that times piece was trash. i would say they aren't trying over there, but they are trying.... for what, i don't know.

    touché, times, touché; your shack has reached a level of decadence i once thought unobtainable.

  • J

    If metrosexulas are the only males riding bikeshare - than that would pretty much mean 99.9% of the men in the city are metrosexuals aka they dont dress for work like a slob

  • oboe

    I'm so cheesed off I'm never going to buy a copy of the Washington Times again...oh, wait a minute. Never mind.

    But how many page hits did it generate for the Washington Times website?

    Ding!

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