Dudey-Free Zone is a 26-minute documentary on the importance of women’s/transgender/gender-queer bike spaces.
Over the past 4 years of working with bikes in Minneapolis/St. Paul, I (Laila) have frequently run up against a refusal to accept that there’s anything wrong with the male-dominated bike scene. I have been consistently talked down to in bike shops, had tools taken out of my hands at community bike spaces, and have been treated like a sex-object at bike parties. So last winter I decided to make a film featuring people who have given a lot of thought to the issue of “safer spaces” for women, trangender, and gender non-conforming people, and can talk about it in ways that make you think.
The focus of the film is on community bike spaces: often volunteer-run spaces with stands, tools, and used parts where anyone can go to learn how to fix their bicycle for free. There are a number of these spaces across the USA, and many of them have a day dedicated to women/trans/queer people. We chose this focus because this is where the bulk of our experience lies, and it’s also where issues around gender and bikes are debated most hotly, due to their collective nature and democratic or consensus-based decision-making. But we also wanted to make a film that would be relevant to those who work in and patronize for-profit bike shops, where there is often little awareness of the sexism that is still prevalent in bike culture.
It is our hope that the content of the film will spark discussion both among those who haven’t yet given gender in the bike scene much thought and those who are already working to end oppression in bike culture, and are looking for ideas on how to do it better. If you want a copy on DVD, please email us your address at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to contribute something to cover the cost of postage, please send $3-5 to:
Dudey-Free Zone, 1862 East 26th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA
We welcome showings of the film, so go ahead and organize one! (It’s 26 minutes long.) Just let us know where it is so we can post it on this website (or post it yourself!).
The film features interviews with the following people. Please follow the links to find out more information about their organizations:
Hillary Kathleen Andersen, Yellow Bike Project, Austin, TX
Ashanti Austin, The Hub Bike Coop, Minneapolis, MN
Stacia Bowley, Yellow Bike Project, Austin, TX
Katie Burgess, Trans Youth Support Network, Minneapolis, MN
Donna, Da’jae, and Journee, Austin, TX
Alicia Dvorak, Sibley Bike Depot, St. Paul, MN
Tiana Johnson, Minneapolis, MN
Laura Kling, Grease Rag Ride & Wrench, Minneapolis, MN
Cynthia McArthur, Center for Victims of Torture, St. Paul, MN
Kat McCarthy, Grease Rag Ride and Wrench, Minneapolis, MN
Calla Martin, Minneapolis, MN
Amelia Smith, The Hub Bike Coop, Minneapolis, MN
Jake Riley, Bike Church, Philadelphia, PA
Amber Schmidt, The Hub Bike Coop, Minneapolis, MN
Dani Slabaugh, Yellow Bike Project, Austin, TX
Claire Stoscheck, Sibley Bike Depot, St. Paul, MN
Erika Tindall, The Hub Bike Coop, Minneapolis, MN
Thanks to everyone else who appeared in the film!
Music by Alas, Alas
And many thanks to the following for technical and emotional support:
Halima Benayad and Imad Salhab
Doug and Susan Schaefer Davis
And finally, thanks to the 2010 BFF Mpls organizers for encouraging us to make a film!