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Breaking Stereotypes About Women and Motorcycles

by Aparajita Jaiswal

June 1, 2021

Women shifting gears of their bikes, to shift gears of perspectives of people’s minds!

“Life’s not fair; Get used to it”, a renowned quote by Bills Gates and the first rule from his “11 rules you will never learn in school”. Though Bill Gates had quoted these words for everybody in general, women would resonate with the words more effectively than men. Women have been surrounded by and are living in through the innumerable stereotypes since time immemorial. For everyone who is wondering, what a stereotype is, it is an image of how an individual is expected to act based upon factors such as race, nationality, sexual orientation and lot more. From the very beginning, girls come across rigid stereotypes which at times prove to be major barriers on their path of following their heart. 

The impact of these stereotypes can be bought to light, in two very simple yet thought provoking, statements which are oversimplified and overgeneralized by the society as a whole. “Pink is for girls and blue is for boys”, “Boys don’t cry”, are very common statements. Everyone might have come across one of these two general gender-based stereotypes. What makes everything worse is the fact that, somewhere, each and every person of the society has been, either intentionally or unintentionally been playing a role in building such rigidity. A measure of rigidity is bought to light by the fact that people actually consider that there’s no such thing called stereotyping and usually end up saying “This is how it is meant to be”.

One such stereotype being that “motorcycling is not meant for women”.

Motorcycling and biking has been always taken as a male oriented niche. Since time immemorable, motorcycling has always been associated with men to pursued as a career, hobby or passion. When talked about “bikers” or “motorcyclists”, the first image that is formed in one’s mind is a strong, masculine figure, wearing helmet and a safety kit and riding a heavy sports bike. Never does the image a woman in the same attire, upon a sports bike occur to people. Moreover, in case of bikers on the racing tracks, women are not even taken in consideration even in the imaginations.

For those girls who stand strong and are courageous enough to follow their heart, family restrictions become a barrier. For those who even convince and receive family support, the entire society becomes a major obstacle in their path. 

Yet as a ray of hope in the midst of this stereotypical hanging rope, there are examples of women who tend to break the stereotypes and follow their passion fighting against all the odds that might cross their path. One such inspiring women is Roshni Misbah. During an interview, she gives us an insight into her journey and how she overcame the set stereotypes to follow her passion and become the only girl in India to own a Ninja H2. 

“Just because we aren’t allowed to do it, doesn’t mean we can’t do it” Roshni Misbah boldly quotes in favour of all the girls out there who wish to ride. Coming from a family of Islamic scholars and Hafiz’s, and then being a motorcycle enthusiast was odd. Her parents were initially hesitant but she somehow convinced them.  The support of her family always which proved to be an ease in the rocky path. Talking about her journey, Roshni mentions that she always received odd looks from people on the road while she rode her bike on the way to college. She specifically mentions the fact that boys usually tried to overtake her, perform some stunts around her and make awkward comments. But nothing could stop her from riding, it was her passion and interest for riding is what kept her going. 

“As much as we say, we are living in a free world, the fact that there are still places where woman is NOT ALLOWED to do a lot if stuff” she believes. The issue of gender discrimination and stereotypes are very closely interrelated. However, she adds that “I think its all here! In the mind, for you to hold on to and follow your passion.” “You can follow your culture, ethics and yet follow your passion all at a time” she firmly stated. She also puts to light that the stereotypes are just in the mind. 

Though women today have all the resources and freedom, there is still something that makes their paths so very difficult or becomes a barrier. In most cases its all about the stereotypes and stereotypes are just in the mind. It is the people’s mindset that got to be changed first to bring about the freedom of women in its truest sense.

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