First of all, let’s make clear that “WTF” in this post is a reference not to a commonly understood abbreviation for a three-word vulgarity, but to a different concept that may, in fact, seem vulgar to some: “Women Trans Femme” — those people who self-identify as women, no matter their physiological makeup.
We live in an age when disruptive claims and political narratives about homosexual rights and gender-identity protections mean that stories such as this take on a far more serious import than one might normally assign to them.
So when a small bike shop in what many describe as an ultra-liberal la-la-land promotes “WTF Night” every other Tuesday, it’s an avowed effort to welcome virtually anyone other than men into a “safe space” where they can learn the skills necessary to break up what the shop sees as the “male dominance” in cycling. As The Daily Caller notes about the bi-weekly WTF events at the Davis Bike Collective — a small outfit with close ties to the University of California-Davis where the use of bikes for basic transportation is widespread — the organization’s proudly proclaimed mission is all about “empowerment” of non-male riders.
“Our goal is to empower the female, gender queer folk of Davis and surrounding areas to learn more about bike mechanics and gender relations. WTF is a safe space for women, genderqueer, femmes – those who are typically marginalized in the bike world,” the collective’s website says.
So, it would seem, the goal of the WTF nights at the collective named Bike Forth is to teach a select group of people how to choose, ride, and maintain two-wheeled equipment, as long as these folks are not, dare we say, endowed with certain distinguishing equipment of their own.
A publication called The California Aggie quotes a volunteer at Bike Forth who justifies the WTF events at which men — or those who identify as men — are not welcome. If you don’t identify with the WTF community, well, then you could attend a WTF Night–but you’d be made to feel like an ostracized outsider. You’d presumably be made to experience the very kind of feelings these special events are apparently meant to discourage.
“’At the shop it’s a very supportive community, but some people still feel intimidated about coming to work on their bikes, specifically women and people who identify as women. We want to empower them to work on their bikes, and if that means having a special night where they can come and not feel intimidated then that’s what we want to offer.’”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth