It’s a Bicycle Feud

What do you get when you ask fatuous and leading questions? You answered, “Family Feud.” Let’s see if it’s on the board.

Family Feud may struggle to get a Logie in the light entertainment category (it’s light enough, just not terribly entertaining) but that doesn’t mean people won’t get all hot under the collar every time a bunch of dills give you the answers you expect. Feud had a good year in 2014, ruffling feathers by asking, “Name something people think is a woman’s job.”

Answers ranged from washing clothes to receptionist. (What, they let women answer phones now? Not in my day!) Here are the answers:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Nursing
  • Hairdressing
  • Domestic Duties
  • Dishes
  • Receptionist
  • Washing Clothes
Queue the moral outrage. Being the pedant I am, my main concern was that most of these seemed to be the same answer. Aren’t cooking and cleaning classed under “domestic duties”? Isn’t “dishes” just another term for “cleaning”? Isn’t “nursing” just another term for “washing clothes”? (Sorry, I just did that to upset nurses. See how easily that moral outrage rises in your throat?)
Family Feud copped a bashing around the head for being sexist. Which is a bit unfair since they didn’t supply the answers. They just asked the question. The real culprit was the general public, who when asked a sensible question gave stupid answers.
Okay, to be fair, the question is a little leading. And it has logical hurdle in it, “name something people think,” makes you wonder what other misogynists might think. So in fairness to the Australian public, the question was always going to get the answers it got. Slap. Family Feud gets the manicured fingers of the post-feminist raked across its face.
So how does this relate to cycling you’re wondering? Well Family Feud has done a “name a chicks job” number on cyclists. The question “name something annoying cyclists might do” got some predictable answers. From “everything” to “wear lycra” this was a revelation of the type of hateful scorn in which cycling is held. Here are the answers:
  • Taking driving lane
  • Cut you off
  • Everything
  • Run red light
  • Pull out in front
  • Ride slowly
  • Ring bell
  • Wear lycra
I drive a car occasionally. (Actually quite a bit at the moment. It’s 30C plus every day here and the humidity is reaching saturation point. I’m sure we’ll need gills to breath our air soon. My client’s can’t be exposed to my sweating edifice every time they won’t their computer looked at.) I know how frustrating driving is. I internalize the frustration, which is why I’m such a seething mess after even the shortest of journeys. Plenty of people still seem to hold onto the myth about the joys of driving though, so I’m assuming they externalize their frustrations. I’m assuming that driving in 100m spurts is considered an interruption to the otherwise divine pleasures of unfettered travel across cities and continents. Those people aren’t accepting responsibility for being part of the problem. They’re looking for someone else to blame. When the traffic lights have stopped them for the tenth time in five minutes. When there are so many other cars on the road that they can barely get through the lights when they’re green. They still blame cyclists. Or pedestrians. Or public transport. Or the government (who failed to build enough roads). So yeah, they hate cyclists because they’re too stupid and self-centred to blame themselves.
So of course, when they’re asked to name something annoying a cyclist might do, their number one answer is “they keep riding in my lane!”
It’s a revealing answer. Most drivers think roads belong to them and other road users shouldn’t be there. We’re tolerated but not accepted. Pedestrians can cross at designated spots and be quick about it. Drivers truly are so egocentric they think they own the spaces we provide for them to move their cumbersome boxes around in.
To blame Family Feud for revealing how most people think about cycling is about as stupid as the responses Family Feud got. Family Feud only asked the questions, the general public did the rest.
The other answers are just as revealing as the top answer. “Everything” is a good answer. That shows a level of bigotry normally reserved for the way people enjoy sex or practise their religion.
“Cut you off” is my favourite answer. Just how often are you guys cutting off cars? You got some gall cutting off vehicles that could run you down and kill you. My personal experience of riding is that I get cut off about 100 times or more for every single time I cut off a car. And usually when I “cut off” a car it’s because I had right of way and I’m feeling surly enough to enforce it. But the car drivers of Australia are convinced we’re cutting them. So I guess we are. Good on you for punching above your weight.
Brisbane Times (and no doubt every rag syndicated by one of the two owners of Australian media) ran a story on the Feud. They trotted out some cycle advocate who prefaced his comments with, “I don’t watch TV at all but…” Whoa! You don’t watch TV but think you can comment on Family Feud? Family Feud is TV. It’s the junk which holds the TV together. It’s what people watch when there’s nothing to watch, which is pretty much what TV is. It’s stupid and forgettable and inane and I must have watch about a 1,000 hours of it when I was a kid. If you don’t watch TV then don’t comment on the Feud, dude.
To be fair, if the press asks you a question you answer it. Some journo googled cycling and got Australian Cycle Alliance president Edward Hore on his/her third or fourth call. Edward provided the quote they needed, they filled out the rest of the article by copy-pasting some shit from Twitter (the laziest resource for journalists everywhere) and went back to surfing the internet looking for meaningful and interesting comment by authoritative authors, wondering all the while where they went wrong in life.
You gotta ask yourself though, are cyclists (or feminists) really getting upset by the answers provided by Family Feud? On a scale of 1 to stupid it’s right up their with Kim Jong-Un getting pissed about The Interview. Really, has he ever seen a Seth Rogan movie? Here’s a short and digestible example of his genre:
Yeah, if he ever dissed cycling I’d be crying all over my fart joke.

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