I got this email about two years back that really ticked me off.
The email went to a very large group of people and in it the writer described driving past the aftermath of an accident involving a car and a bicyclist. The accident was serious enough that there was an ambulance pulled up and as she drove by the scene of the crime she saw the bicyclist lying in the road be readied for transport to the hospital and she was quite upset.
The action item of her resulting email was "so please please always wear your bicycle helmet" and it was signed "your friendly mother hen" or some similar nonsense. That's right. A crime had been committed and the name of this crime was "a bicyclist went out without his helmet and startled a poor innocent car into hitting him."
Well fuck you and the horse you rode in on, I thought to myself, where unprofessional thoughts are safe and secretive. Here is the email I would prefer to see:
Which one of you worthless muppets knocked down a bicyclist on the way in to the office? You better change your name and update your LinkedIn profile because I am going to hunt you down and tear you a new tail pipe.
-your hostile mother bear
....but we will never see that email, at least not in my lifetime. Possibly because people who write emails like that (namely me) get fired early and often and end up inhabiting cardboard boxes and do not live to reproduce.
Since we (I'm looking at you NYC) are considering having laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets for the purpose of providing (possibly, if they are lucky) some protection from the SUVs that want to run them over....I think it's time that we consider similar protections for women generally and not just bicyclists specifically. As a female bicyclist I think I am extra well qualified to pronounce on the matter.
It is a well known fact that some men batter their wives/girlfriends/random strangers. If women were required to wear motorcycle helmets (so much less wimpy than the bicycle helmet) and bullet-proof vests they would be far less likely to be injured. In fact, you can make a case that women not wearing motorcycle helmets and bullet-proof vests are responsible for any damage they incur on their un-armored bodies. If women aren't wise enough to wear helmets and vests every waking hour of their partnered life, it is the responsibility of the non-women to get some legislation on the matter stat so that we can enforce proper protection of female Americans because you love female Americans don't you? Of course you do.
I'll take Q&A now.
Q: Hi, I'm a happily married man who does not beat up his wife. I like the way she dresses and I like her hair and I do not want a law that forces her to dress up like the Michelin man. Can we please be exempt?
A: Thanks for playing but no, insufficient. A change in job or a brain tumor or a momentary lapse in judgment perhaps brought on by alcohol could result in your becoming someone who beats up women, and so we will need to install protection on all women in your vicinity. Think of the children if you are unwilling to think of the women.
Q: I'm a lesbian who does not plan to ever be partnered to a man. I do not want to wear a helmet. Can I be exempt?
A: No, you cannot. Just because you do not partner with men does not mean you might not get beat up by a man. We want you to be safe.
Q: I am an African-American living in Mississippi. There are quite a few racists living here as well. Should I go out with white shoe polish covering my skin?
In summary, I am grateful to the fine politicians of NYC for raising the important issue of automobile safety. Hitting a bicyclist can have a negative impact on one's overall commute time, a result that can only be improved by hitting a bicyclist who is wearing a helmet.