Wednesday, 23 July 2014

What do these hate videos tell us?

Another day, another bigoted rant about cyclists from someone with an over-inflated sense of importance. I'm not much interested in the specific nonsense espoused here, but if you haven't seen it here's a copy that hasn't yet been brought down due to copyright complaints:



Don't think so much about what she's saying -there isn't much brain activity evident at all in fact, its nonsense of the highest order. This guy she's talking to probably isn't going to assault a cyclist using his car for a dollar. What she's saying is dull, its not even a witty example of bike hate.

Think about how she's said it. With a cheesy smirk, she expresses an extreme hate of cyclists. She displays a confident, smirking demeanor. She 'knows' that the people she's talking to will share her view, because she 'knows' that she's being perfectly reasonable. Everybody hates cyclists, don't they? So it MUST be okay.

You'll see she's not trying to justify her rage against cyclists - she's merely picking up on the things that make them look different, for example with with her 'spandex' comments (spandex is the material more often in sportswear referred to as the brand name Lycra - spandex being used here in a supposedly derogatory way). She picks up on an perceived idea that cyclists must think we're better than she is with our 'my other car is a bicycle' sticker on the back of a Prius (ironically, in so doing she demonstrated that we are better than her). So she's sharing extremely hostile views supported solely by observations of a social outgroup being visibly different - its just prejudice. Plain. Boring. Un-extraordinary. Dull. Gosh I'll bet she's fun at parties, she's probably the one ranting about who she hates to a whole group of people standing in embarrassed silence, all waiting for someone to create an excuse to leave.

Consider what she doesn't do. She doesn't justify her hate, she doesn't question it. She's probably not even thought about it. She's not coy about anything - its sneering, happy, disgusting hate. Go back to the video again - move forward to 46 seconds. She yells at the cyclist for being outside of his lane, then for signalling to turn left, and THEN for signalling to turn left from the right hand cycle lane that she just chastised him for not being in - as ever with prejudice, facts don't matter. The other folk are in the wrong and we can state what we like to show thats the case.

She's an unremarkable example of a cyclist hater - closer to a Type 1 than to the Type 6 she aspires to be. Its the same kind of 'I hate cyclists' comments we see on twitter from mindless cycle haters every day, and its a symptom of living in a society where hate is respectable so long as you choose the right minority. She hates cyclists because thats what she's been told to do.

I'm reminded of the same comparisons of cyclist hate with racism that I've made before. It wasn't the sick old racist comedian in the working mans club who went out and assaulted people of other races, but this created the climate in which acting out on prejudice was accepted. So its good that this ladies police department suspended her from her duties - we need to treat this kind of hate like we would any other arbitrary hate, its not a direct incitement to aggression but it creates a climate where such is more acceptable.

So, ladies and gentlemen of the online cycling community - you spotted this video, you brought attention to it, and you reacted. Well done. We need your vigilance and your action to find defeat this kind of prejudice. Keep at it, and to quote Bon Jovi, keep the faith. Keep at it. And we'll win.


2 comments:

  1. Its weird - watching that video (in the office, with the sound off - I'll have to watch it with her commentary some time) - I can't see that any of the cyclists are doing anything that anyone (even a petrolhead) might find objectionable. All are obeying good lane discipline, nobody flitting about, all 'serious cycling types'. So basically, the only thing that this v-e-r-y silly woman actually has to object about, is that they *exist*.

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    1. Well, you can turn the sound on if you like. She's even more annoying and its no more obvious what it is that the cyclists are meant to have done wrong.

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