Harley Davidson’s Bikes for Women ads: Sexist/homophobic or empowerful?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Being a narcissistic nerd, I check the stats on my Flickr photos on a near-daily basis; the referring URLs, of course, are of particular interest. I must know who is discussing me, dammit.

My Animals & Women and Misogyny sets have proven especially popular. Usually, people – by which I mean fellow feminists and/or veg*ns – agree with the ways in which I’ve tagged, filed and otherwise categorized the photos.

Few people seem to concur with my assessment of these ads from Harley Davidson, however. Browsers of the interwebs do not like that I filed these in the Misogyny set.

So I ask you, dear readers – Harley Davidson’s Bikes for Women ads: Sexist/homophobic or empowerful?

Harley Davidson Bikes for Women 1

Harley Davidson Bikes for Women 2

My initial reaction when spotting this series at Ads of the World was laughter. The thought of some biker dood, stuck at home doing the cooking, cleaning and childcare, while his “old lady” was out cruising the town on her “hog,” struck my fancy. “Damn skippy!,” I giggled with glee.

And then I considered what Harley Davidson’s core demographic – biker doodz – might think of the ads. I realized that they, too, would get a good guffaw at the thought of one of their own stuck at home doing womanly chores…but probably not for the same reasons I do.

(More below the fold…)