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GENDER+his(her)story. (and more Kano)

“Look. Yo!”

(first line in one of my favorite Gorillaz songs)

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So, I am really struggling here. I need to write an “introduction” to Molly Cameron for sponsorship proposals and press releases. I loathe writing about my self. It is sooo hard. (I can already see the comments pouring in “and… you write a blog about yourself you self-important jerk!”) But, it is hard. And the kind of work I need to do but, just loathe doing. I’ve used loathe twice now. That means I am not thinking very creatively.

ugh.

I’m going to go and re-read the story Josh Cohen (printed in cyclocross magazine) wrote. Yeah, now THAT is not self important. Is it PRO or EURO to reference articles about yourself to write more about yourself? I don’t know; ask your local, lovable curmudgeon! Some sarcasm here but, the point is writing about gender in my personal context. Presenting it to the public in a thoughtful and concise way. Without making it my sole cause or championing it. I’m damn proud of who I am but, I also don’t like shoving my politic down people’s throats. So, I am struggling with this one.

How do I introduce someone who has no idea who I am to myself. I am certainly a product of what I believe in. Yet without having a half hour conversation with someone who has NO concept of gender identity, a simple blurb does not suffice.

For instance, I run into Kano at a bar. We start talking; he just started riding bikes again. Has no idea who I am but catches one of my friends calling me “she”.

“Oy!” Kano says, “you a bird mate?”.

How do I respond, with out roping him into a 40 minute processing session. I need a quick 30 second blast of intelligent thought.

You would think after a decade+ I’d have this dialed…

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Hey with all that said, I’ve been meaning to comment on the comments on one of my favorite web-journals. The Competitive Cyclist blog.

This post got a bunch of hilarious comments.

I LOVE the PRO haters. I was dating someone who hated that I wrote PRO in caps and used it to refer to well, almost everything. (is it wrong that my life is too PRO? That I eat PROBARS, am sponsored by PRO components and it says PRO on my license?) PRO is certainly something I aspire to yet, not something I put a lot of thought into. I’m self-aware enough to know I am making fun of MYSELF every time I mention PRO or EURO ness.

And, the comments in the CC blog are brilliant. A bunch of bitchy dudes bitching about other bitchy dudes mis-using PRO and my gender pronouns and then trying to self-promote their businesses and prove how intelligently witty they are! so pro.

I do appreciate the voices that popped in to correct the gender in my defense. Thanks!

(and yeah, I’m surprised but, not surprised at all that my gender keeps coming up over and over again. We forget that cycling is a very straight little scene. Lots of people are not exposed to gender queer and punk ideals.)

PS: I should add that I love what CC is doing. Looks like they are running a decent business, they are keeping the PRO dream alive with legit product offerings and a clean PRO as website. If I had the means, I would have a business model similar. But, I don’t so, enjoy my mediocrity as I struggle to create something awesome here in Portland!

And, I appreciate the props. CC has no obligation to tip their hat my way and mention shit about FMB and my relationship with Francois. Most businesses would never do something like that. Most never mention or even give a digital “high-five” to your competition. It seems the mindset is to bash what every one else is doing. Whether it is PRO or not PRO, EURO or not EURO, haters wait for a sign of weakness, a slip up and a moment to strike.

Well, if there is one thing that is easy to do on the internet: be a critic. Not original or very difficult.

I’m more interested in putting creative and interesting work out there. (internet or otherwise)

Ahem! Good job Compcyclist! I certainly appreciate your expensive tubular wheels and you won’t get any hate from me for bringing more FMB in to the US. Unless we make him so busy that he can’t deliver my custom built tubs for the cx season!

Then yr f’ed.

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Discussion

6 comments for “GENDER+his(her)story. (and more Kano)”

  1. Molly,
    I still remember our first interaction at the Mount Tabor Series many years ago. I handled it poorly. Despite your frustration, you handled it with grace.

    Why not just say that you are a kick-ass, blue-collar, American bike racer with Euro-PRO leanings who is self-aware enough to know you can’t be described in a single sentence?

    Good luck.

    Posted by Puskas | April 29, 2010, 4:39 pm
  2. geez.

    Thanks!

    Posted by Molly | April 29, 2010, 5:24 pm
  3. not thinking so hard. makes life easier.

    “you a bird mate?” on the inside, wanker. smile. high five. and scene

    ps. you rock, good look on sponsor hunt.

    pss. SPONSORS i’ll buy anything molly rocks. (under a grand, brother got to eat)

    Posted by graz | April 29, 2010, 10:56 pm
  4. does your license say PRO or just PR? mine just says pr. fuck.

    PS. i think i am one of maybe 3 other dudes you race that knew that hazel song awhile back.

    Posted by steevo | April 30, 2010, 5:48 am
  5. I am/was confused when I first came accross Molly Cameron. She? Girl’s name but then so did ‘John’ Wayne? Looks like a dude? Looks pretty cool!

    I say “am” ‘coz I kind of get it, I say “was” because I am sure I still don’t understand fully, and why should I, it’s none of my business.

    You ride good bike, You are a great ambassador for your sponsors and for your sport. You seem intelligent, well versed, well spoken and cool too. Nuff said as far as I’m concerned.

    Posted by chr15 | May 20, 2010, 2:25 am
  6. How about: “Molly Cameron doesn’t believe biology is destiny and so she chooses to live, love, and shred as a woman.”

    -or-

    “Freud said biology is destiny; Molly Cameron rode her cyclocross bike over Freud’s head.”

    Molly, this is a tough one. For folks who live this and think about it constantly, it seems almost too easy to understand. It’s daunting/terrifying/whatever when we meet someone who just doesn’t immediately *get* that gender isn’t entirely about body parts.

    I think for proposal purposes, you can skip the high (and low) feminist and queer theory and simply state that you identify (though “identify” is loaded, maybe “understand yourself”) as female but race with the elite men.

    On the other hand, one of the (many) things I like about you, Molly, is that your gender is kind of the last thing I think about when I think about you (as in, your gender presentation isn’t what *you* are all about). So I wonder if it’s worth addressing initially at all…

    Hmm…

    Posted by Mark | May 25, 2010, 5:00 am

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