Great Things Are Happening

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor is kicking butt in terms of support, enthusiasm and excitement. I could never have imagined when I launched this online magazine that it would be so successful. To that end, Im happy to report we had an overwhelming response to our first giveaway contest on the site (the first of many, for sure), “Everybody Has A Story” and we picked a winner for our April deadline. A link to the winning story can be found on the Readers Stories link where the contest details are contained.

We also posted a new motorcycle test ride on the Honda Shadow Aero. Be sure to visit our Motorcycle Road Tests. There is also a new story posted in the features section Motorcycle Lifestyle Magazine. I point all these things out so you can go right to them, and not have to search all over the site for the new stuff… although I like when you peruse the different links because except for the Beginners Guide, which is pretty set for awhile, everthing else gets updated on a regular basis.

This Sunday, May 7, Im the guest speaker at Los Angeles Harley-Davidsons Women Rider Expo. Its the second year for the event. Im really looking forward to sharing insight in a speech entitled, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now.”

Ive had a great response to my column in the June issue of American Iron just out. The title of this column is “Accomodating Your Female Passenger,” and many people have written me saying they could relate. Im glad. Thats what its all about.

I was flipping through one of the many motorcycle industry magazines I receive this morning, this one being Motorcycle Product News, and came across an ad that blew me away. I was so flabbergasted I just have to share it with you. Thank goodness I have this forum to do that. First of all, let me preface that Im very used to seeing advertisements for motorcycle products with scantily clad women in them. Its just the nature of the business. Ive become immune to most of them, my eyes go right over the ad, because, as a heterosexual female, my eyes would not be attracted to looking at a bikini babe. Those advertisers are missing out on my business.

However, this one ad for National Powersport Auctions stopped my eyes dead in their visual path. There is a naked woman, yes naked! And shes posing in a scrunched up sort of way so her hair is covering her nipples and her crotch is hidden by her arms crossed in front of her. Shes got a provocative grin on her face, smiling at the camera. The ad headline copy reads, “You think its hard…” in large bold letters. Below that, in smaller letters, it says “building a successful used powersports business?”

What the heck!? Are they kidding me? I cant wait to see the letters that get fired off to Motorcycle Product News editor, Robin Hartfiel (male). Hes already come under fire by his readers for his blatant, gratuitious shots of scantily clad women in the magazine. Grant it, this is an ad, not editorial, but cmon. Where do you draw the line? I swear the shot could be in Playboy!

For fear of being labeled as some radical feminist motorcycle chick, I am very careful of my criticism of the industrys use of scantily clad women. Like I said earlier, for the most part, it doesnt bother me. But this ad steps way over the line. Who is this company trying to reach with an image and copy like that?

I plan to write a letter to the email address listed on this companys Web site expressing my dissatisfaction. My letter will say something to the effect that I dont see how National Powersport Auctions plans to attract the hundreds of female business owners and managers in the motorcycle business with an ad like that. Quite frankly, I know lots of businessmen who wouldnt take a company with a mindset to run such an ad very seriously.

Thats enough for now. Thank you for reading my opinion.

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