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Why is it harder to sell woman's cycling

(13 posts)
  • Started 10 months ago by Kim
  • Latest reply from Instography
  • This topic is not resolved

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  1. Kim
    Member

    I is very noticeable there is much more interest in Mark Beaumont's talk than Juliana Buhring, both are round the world cyclists and Juliana was faster than Mark!

    OK so Mark is a local hero, but even so that shouldn't be a reason why there so little interest in Juliana.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  2. amir
    Member

    TBH I'd prefer to go to Juliana's talk as I know less of her escapades.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  3. Min
    Member

    She seems to have answered this herself in her blog.

    http://julianabuhring.com/a/what-women-want#comment-1801

    Posted 10 months ago #
  4. fimm
    Member

    People have heard of Mark but not Juliana?

    (Though why that should be is another layer of questions!)

    Posted 10 months ago #
  5. Kim
    Member

    @fimm that is a fair point, I have been trying hard to get journalists to do an interview with Juliana (a lot of them female), but no interest. I wouldn't have that problem with Mark, or for that matter with MCA (it was more a problem that they couldn't get a hold of him in Vienna).

    It is a real struggle to get press interest in female cycling.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  6. SRD
    Member

    As far as I can tell, like many other 'adventurers' Mark Beaumont is into selling Mark Beaumont.

    He's done a good job of it, and that tends to be something men do well.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  7. Kim
    Member

    @SRD so are you suggesting that Juliana is less of a self publicist than Mark? Have you read her blog and her first book (written before she rode around the world)? She is not exactly a shrinking violet.

    Having met Mark Beaumont he is a genuinely nice guy and not at all the boasting arrogant type. Although I have yet to meet Juliana, the contact I have had with her suggest that she is also genuinely nice person.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  8. SRD
    Member

    Then why has Mark Beaumont had tv programmes etc made about him and she hasn't?

    Not my area, so I risk descending into amateurish analysis, but western gendered modes of talking, presenting, even just body language do shape how women present themselves and how they are perceived by audiences.

    My comment did suggest it was about personalities, which was not at all what I meant to suggest.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  9. Arellcat
    Member

    This is where we need Jacquie Phelan to chime in. She was writing in the mid-90s about the disparity in the prizes for men's and women's mountain biking.

    "Me big man! Me cycle round world! Me big hero!"
    "Here, write a book about it and we'll pay you lots of money. Here, come on this talk show. Here, we want you to do it again, on ice!"

    "I'm a tough woman, and I've cycled around the world too. I'm a heroine in the eyes of my children and in the eyes of female cyclists everywhere."
    "Sorry, pet, that big guy already did it."

    Posted 10 months ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    "This is where we need Jacquie Phelan to chime in."

    http://jacquiephelan.org/2013/06/17/prize-prejudice

    Posted 10 months ago #
  11. Instography
    Member

    Didn't Mark Beaumont make a TV series about his cycling around the world while he was cycling around the world? That suggests that a lot of the groundwork of his subsequent fame was done before a pedal was turned. Somehow, he had pitched the idea, got the support and the commitment of other people to make a TV show, write a book, do lecturers etc and then all those people, having invested in the idea (and in Mark Beaumont) then had an interest in making Mark Beaumont pay off. They only cash in if he's famous so they all started working to make him famous. You make someone famous by making their achievements spectacular, dramatic etc By getting them booked on talk shows. So, although I suspect Arellcat is joking with the Neanderthal "Me big hero" thing, actually it's a clever strategy. You don't expend all the effort without there being lots of people committed to making it financially worthwhile.

    I'm afraid I've never heard of Juliana. Has she made a TV show? Maybe it's not that she's less of a self-publicist but a less successful self-publicist. Maybe she felt it was more important to go quickly and get the Guinness record instead of doing something that was good to watch on TV or made a good book. It says on her website that "[t]he majority of her journey was unsupported. Without sponsorship or financial backing of any kind, she completed her attempt with the online donations of over 100 individual friends and supporters."

    That makes her achievement heroic but it also means that when she's finished there's no product - nothing to sell and no group of people with a personal and financial interest in making her famous.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  12. I think Insto is onto something there. Beaumont had support from bike and parts manufacturers who had an interest in helping plug his achievement because it made their bits and pieces look good (he was apparently supposed to do the ride on a Manta saddle, which he really liked, then Specialized (I think) offered him a load of support if he used one of their saddles).

    There are quite a lot of people have gone a LOT faster than Beaumont since his record - I'd actually say that his working of the publicity lead to a lot of that as it brought the attempt to the eyes of the public, but at the same time there's definitely an aspect of 'it's been done before' for anyone then following (whether they are male or female - I don't actually think there's a disparity here based on gender, there have been a number of blokes who have gone round the world faster then Beaumont, and I'd challenge anyone to name any of them as well).

    Posted 10 months ago #
  13. SRD
    Member

    Yes, agree with all that, except that then we need to ask if the sponsors etc would have been as enthusiastic to support a woman doing that?

    Personally, I just don't really get the point to going around the world fast. If you're going to go around the world, don't you want to enjoy it? and actually see as much of it as you can?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  14. Instography
    Member

    Ellen MacArthur?

    Posted 10 months ago #

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