Yesterday on our Facebook page I shared an image with text that on reflection I shouldn’t have. The image was a woman on a bike looking back at her male cycling companion. She was ahead of him on the hill.
(I deleted it after lots of upset comments on the post and now I can’t find it.)
There are so very few images and jokes in cycling that feature women as fast, competent riders that I had to share it.
But not so fast. The text read, “I’m not like the rest of the girls, that’s where you made your first mistake.” It’s a meme of course, though I didn’t know that.
I just liked the idea that a male cyclist had underestimated his female cycling companion. I was reading it in that context. But of course the “not like the other girls” isn’t complimentary to other women. It suggests that not being like other women is a good thing. It holds up the idea that only special women pass men on hills. Really it’s not funny.
Had I thought about that I wouldn’t have shared it. But do you know what? The content on our Facebook page is pretty much generated by one person and that person has a full time job, a family, and some athletic commitments too. Tracy, Cate, Martha, Nat and Catherine step in from time to time but almost all of the posts are mine. I’m also fallible. I make mistakes. I’m sorry.
I was shocked at how angry our readers were. They were so fast to assume bad motives. Just let me know nicely I’ve made a mistake, please. I made a mistake and I’m sorry. It’s that simple really.
9 thoughts on “Sam makes a mistake but geesh can people show a little patience…”
Funny, because I thought it was an odd post for this page, because I did read it the not good for women way. But, I actually shrugged it off assuming you read it as a positive that the woman was fast. People are so quick to get angry and feel they need to express their anger. Sometimes I miss pre internet days when people actually had to write and mail a letter to express their anger. The trouble of that kept people from doing it so quickly, lol.
Thanks. If ever you’re curious about why I posted something, just ask. But shrugging it off is okay too
I haven’t seen your facebook page, but I would have read it the same way as you.
But I do understand where others are coming from. I have to say, everyone is so quick to jump to conclusions, makes it hard to post sometimes.
I love this… we all need to help each other learn and grow through our mistakes…
Thanks for posting this, Sam. As others have said, slowing down is sometimes a key virtue! And it’s amazing to me, always, how thoughtful humans (including me) can become very different, far more acrimonious, far less thoughtful people on social media. This is, of course, a reason we are politically where we are right now. So reminders about a) our human fallibility, b) the complexity of ideas we share in the public sphere (there is no “right” way to read your posted meme! There is just a bandwagon, and some folks jumping on it), and c) the labour it takes to maintain the easy-breezy feel of social media, are spot on and always welcome. Thanks for your hard work on the page!
I honestly thought it had been posted to provoke discussions. I never thought you meant the meme x
Sorry I missed your post. I expect I would have chuckled.
Yes. You’re also a cyclist! 🙂
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