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Women Bike Riders and Pictorial Discomfort

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With futuristic inception setting foot on modern society, a regular advancement in the status of women has been observed as well. The empowerment of women in various sections of society has brought about optimistic modifications within their political, social, and economical status. Needs, passions, and many times, responsibilities drive women out on the streets, with enough justification. And through the harshly trafficked streets of Pakistan, aside from the good old walk, what could possibly be the easiest commute? A motorbike. 

That’s what it should have been seen as too, a commute, a ride home or work, or any other place. But cultural standards have a brutal way of resisting change. In a nation where women are mostly accompanied by a male companion, the sight of a woman bike rider would be a rarity. Truth be told, most eastern states are still comprehending moderation. On the road, however, one has their focus on their destination and signals. When did people with mobile phones turn to you, open stares, bitter whispering, and gawking, set into the list? Well, these are all exceptions for most of the women who decide to opt for a bike.

Pictorial Discomfort: 

Presently, whenever a women bike rider comes out on the streets, pedestrians and other travelers instantly bring their smartphones out. They start by capturing images of the female riders as if it were a supreme shock to their system. Wasn’t it something worth recording, enough to trample someone’s consciousness for? Ethically, this move is beyond troublesome considering they are taking her photos and videos without asking for any consent, let alone letting her drive in peace. Sometimes, it might be their way of appreciation and may only implement with the motive of encouraging them. However, these photos end up on social media. Appreciation or not, they don’t come out as pleasant for the poor rider. Unsurprisingly, it makes them uncomfortable right on the spot. 

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Brings Forth Self-consciousness:  

Pictorial discomfort is as uneasy to experience as the name sounds. Undoubtedly, it is an ethically degraded practice that is likely to distract the female riders by making them feel so anxious publicly. What would it feel like if a stranger starts clicking your picture or recording videos publicly as if you’ve indulged in a bizarre act? Of course, no one would feel confident drowned under anonymous stares. That’s exactly what happens with these bike riders as well, having all the eyes on them, judgment swimming clearly in many of them and other unnerving struck gazes.

Targets Confidentiality: 

Oftentimes, we couldn’t understand if travelers take snaps of female bike riders diligently or out of their curiosity. Besides snapping, if someone adds clicks of random women motorbike riders on their social media platforms captioning in support of women empowerment and that they are highly impressed with this act of women independence. Remember that this small stunt on social media is highly unethical too, despite only having the best of motives. If you genuinely want to support her on her way, the best way to do is by ignoring her as we do with the male riders. By doing so, you give her the respect that she deserves for being a human as well.  

Respect Equality: 

As mentioned earlier, desires come at a social cost for women, and riding motorcycles fall in the same category. Woefully, society hasn’t been following the laws of equality. For instance, whenever a female motorcyclist approaches a fuel pump, while some attendants glance at her abruptly, others judge her outfit and later make it a part of the tidbits of gossip. Once these pictures go online, they become a part of a huge conversation, with people of all sorts attesting their opinions and labeling her whatever they wish to. In an independent state, however, we should still remember and acknowledge the existence of diversity and differences. 

In modern times, the practice of bike riding is no longer remaining an exception but rather a necessity for both men and women alike. And the best way of motivating female bike riders is to applaud them with ignorance, just like any other rider down the road. 

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