Vespa: Masculine, Feminine or Other
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Which one of these statements do you agree with the most?
Beetles and Miatas are strictly for chicks and/or gay men but Vespas aren't.
9%
 9%  [ 9 ]
Vespas, Beetles and Miatas are for chicks and gays. Harleys, Trucks, 'Stangs and the like are a straight man's choice.
8%
 8%  [ 8 ]
Neither. I don't see a gender distinction in vehicles.
82%
 82%  [ 82 ]
Total Votes : 99

Author Message
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:53 pm quote
This poll got me thinking about the classic "chick vs. guy car" debate as it pertains to Vespas. Personally, I could probably be classified as "metrosexual" by those out there who like to put things into comfortable little categories to define the world around them—myself not excluded. And by certain standards or opinions, it would seem I lean towards lots of "chick" or "gay" cars. That said, I personallly don't believe there is such a distinction.

If you do participate, please share why you chose an option.

And as the Human Torch so famously said: FLAME ON!
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:08 pm quote
Last night I was watching Boondock Saints and saw Willem Dafoe in drag.

I just don't know what to say on this subject after that.
Molto Verboso
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:21 pm quote
Some vehicles are definitly better at compensating for an unacknowledged feeling of inadequacy on the part of some men (Harleys and Hummers often seem to fill this role).
Anyone who feels a need to "prove" their gender through a vehicle must have some issues that they would do themselves a favour to sort out!

Tim
Molto Verboso
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:27 pm quote
Well, I'm not sure what this means. I like my Vespa, and I'd rather drive a 1968 Dodge Charger than my new Toyota Corolla.
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:33 pm quote
I never choose *anything* based on what I think others will think, nor do I try to impress anyone with my purchases. I could give a flying flip what anyone's opinion is. I get stuff I like.

Last edited by Smorris on Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:35 pm quote
FarSideMan wrote:
Well, I'm not sure what this means, but I like my Vespa, but I'd rather drive a 1968 Dodge Charger than my new Toyota Corolla.
I once had a female co-worker who drove a nearly mint '68 Camaro daily. She didn't need the car to make her any sexier (she was SMOKIN' hot) yet somehow it did.

Hypothesis: classic American cars are sex appeal "enhancers". I would need 2—'68 Nova & '61 T-Bird—to reach my fullest potential.
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:49 pm quote
I'm not sure how to vote. I don't think Miatas are for chicks and gays, but Beetles are definately girl cars (but not necessarily gay) Vespas, on the otherhand, are all encompassing: chicks, dudes, gays, whatever - I get along with all of them.

Big-ass trucks, loud-ass Harleys and mean-ass pit-bulls are for guys with endowment issues. I see 'Stangs as gender nuetral rental-type cars. They don't have the 'nads to be masculine (my wife drives a Camaro SS )

I do, however, see gender in other vehicles, but none that are represented here.
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:49 pm quote
Smorris wrote:
I never choose *anything* based on what I think others will think, nor do I try to impress anyone with my purchases. I could give a flying flip what anyone's opinion is. I get stuff I like.
werd
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:56 pm quote
robotribe wrote:
evilbahumut wrote:
The miata? That's an autocross tool for sure. It is still a chick wagon by default, but I wouldn't complain if I was given one as a present:)
Man, this contradiction just gave me a great idea for a poll. Thanks.
I hadn't seen this before I posted the previous comments. The autocross capabilties negate the chick/gay-ness of the Miata.
Molto Verboso
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:07 pm quote
Chick cars and Vespas
My former fiance always had a latent problem with me on a Vespa, Although she ultimatly understood my interpretation as well as all of us here who are Not Gay or female, she never saw the complete picture of what these incredible little machines mean to all of us.
There is a demogrraphic of riders that are from a different lifestyle that ride Vespas and to them I appreciate their business.
I did take a stand riding around on that Pink Barbie Vespa since it was so "feminine", To that end, a beautiful woman ended up buying that scooter who was a educator at a local college that did not fit the sterotype of who I thought would buy the barbie scoot.
So in closing, My opinion is that Vespa's are universal, unisex, stylish and fun. and i am still macho! DR
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:13 pm quote
Ok so if big trucks are "Guy" toys and Vespas are "?" toys. What happens if you have both? I am mixed the hell up , Beale.
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:20 pm quote
Smorris wrote:
I could give a flying flip what anyone's opinion is. I get stuff I like.
What Steve said!
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:24 pm quote
Re: Chick cars and Vespas
ramrezz425 wrote:
My former fiance always had a latent problem with me on a Vespa, Although she ultimatly understood my interpretation as well as all of us here who are Not Gay or female, she never saw the complete picture of what these incredible little machines mean to all of us.
There is a demogrraphic of riders that are from a different lifestyle that ride Vespas and to them I appreciate their business.
I did take a stand riding around on that Pink Barbie Vespa since it was so "feminine", To that end, a beautiful woman ended up buying that scooter who was a educator at a local college that did not fit the sterotype of who I thought would buy the barbie scoot.
So in closing, My opinion is that Vespa's are universal, unisex, stylish and fun. and i am still macho! DR
Funny thing is, I had an employee at my previous job who drove a dropped and lightly-customized Beetle. He was what some would describe as a typically latino-ghetto "macho" homie (straight outta the South Bay); fist first, talk second, ex-minor league pitcher, hip-hop label co-owner all around intimidating guy—outside of the car. He's the kinda guy who cops in SoCal automatically put their sights on (oh the examples I could share). I'd never pick a fight with this guy. I won't mention what he kept in his Beetle's flower vase.

I think, based on similar criteria that some deem a Beetle a chick/gay car, that same person could make a convincing argument that the Vespa fits all the same criteria: curves, soft lines, small size compared to other 2-wheeled motor vehicles etc.

Therefore, what makes a Beetle a chick car and Vespa not a chick bike?
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:40 pm quote
There appear to be a lot of preconceived notions in your initial post and survey questions.
I enjoy lively subjective debate any time but to discuss gender and sexual preference and it's relationship to vehicle choice seems to be very rocky ground and is inviting potentially offensive material.

Mind how you go from here please.
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:44 pm quote
Boulty wrote:
There appear to be a lot of preconceived notions in your initial post and survey questions.
I enjoy lively subjective debate any time but to discuss gender and sexual preference and it's relationship to vehicle choice seems to be very rocky ground and is inviting potentially offensive material.

Mind how you go from here please.
Well said, Boulty.
Happy Holidays to all.
Molto Verboso
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:11 pm quote
uh... I didn't know it mattered...

Seriously, if something looks right, and it looks feminine, then it still looks right. If something just looks wrong, then it looks wrong.

To me the ET series looks kinda feminine while the LX series looks more masculine. I like them both because while they look that way to me, they both look right in their own way and I will ride either one.

I like what I like and its independant of what other people think.

the Roadbum
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:31 pm quote
The old Beetle is completely gender neutral. If there is a VW that isn't gender neutral it's the Cabrio. The New Beetle seems to have a following among women, but there are ways to have one that's a bit more butch. Going with the TDI option is the easiest. However, that's not enough for some. For people like that, HPA can toughen things up a 555hp twin turbo VR6 in with a 6 speed and all wheel drive. I'd love to have that in a New Beetle convertible so I could pull up to people with "fast" cars and see who can get to the next light fastest.
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:34 pm quote
Timbit wrote:
Some vehicles are definitly better at compensating for an unacknowledged feeling of inadequacy on the part of some men (Harleys and Hummers often seem to fill this role).
Anyone who feels a need to "prove" their gender through a vehicle must have some issues that they would do themselves a favour to sort out!

Tim
His best role ever!

I couldn't image anyone else giving that performance.
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:27 pm quote
Funny, I've always thought of Vespas as typically Continental, elegant symbols of the Parisian and Italian good life a la Roman holiday and an American in Paris.
As an aside I watched 'The Talented Mr Ripley' with Matt Damon last night; anyone know what scooter he had? It looked almost American.
Regards
from Ottawa
Harvey
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:44 pm quote
This may be the first poll I can't vote for!!!! If anything I see all three, the Miata, Beetle and Vespa as white, urban upper middle class.
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:52 pm quote
I can't vote on this one because none of your options comes close.

I would have voted for something like yes, there are gender-specific vehicles, but I don't see a Vespa as being one. Where I do see Vespas at is for people with self-esteem, or for people who know what THEY want.
Hooked
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:36 pm quote
it's all about the rider. If your safety gear consists of heels and tou tou, you're either a girl or a girlie man. Nothing gay about vintage scoots no matter what the wardrobe BUT miata's are gay for sure. If you own one because of the performance, I can dig it. You're lyin, so leave the pumps in the trunks.
Ossessionato
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:27 pm quote
Harvey wrote:
Funny, I've always thought of Vespas as typically Continental, elegant symbols of the Parisian and Italian good life a la Roman holiday and an American in Paris.
As an aside I watched 'The Talented Mr Ripley' with Matt Damon last night; anyone know what scooter he had? It looked almost American.
It was a Lambretta. Early Lambrettas had more open construction, much like the pre-WWII American scooters.





Judging the bodywork and the front suspension, I'm making an educated guess that it's a model C Lambretta.
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Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:39 pm quote
The questions are a little absurd to begin with. I have been called "gay" while riding my Vespa and we know that there's a lot of public perception of scoots as "gay" vehicles. But, as riders, we know that there's really not any correlation between homosexuality and Vespas and that there doesn't appear to be a disprpoportionate number of homosexuals who own or ride them. I certainly don't feel any more gay while riding it—or, for that matter, when I drive my '92 VW Cabriolet—and don't think it makes me any "more gay."

The Vespa is a very feminine machine. The wasp shape, the curves, even the sound of a modern Vespa's engine all have a kind of femininity to them. This is also true of some sportscars, IMHO, such as the Jaguar XKR. All that implies about their owners, though, is an appreciation of a certain type of form and style.

Putting things into "comfortable little categories," as you put it, is a necessary part of humans making sense of the world. But it doesn't necessarily have to lead to stereotyping and perpetuating these types of misperceptions. I realize in some ways you're having fun with it, but I'm not sure everyone will see it that way.
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 12:05 am quote
Boulty wrote:
There appear to be a lot of preconceived notions in your initial post and survey questions.
First off, the poll doesn't represent my personal conceived notions of gender bias or sexual orientation regarding the Vespa or any other vehicle choice. In fact, I was merely collecting some seemingly "popular" opinions I've heard on these message boards, other web forums and many other conversations I've had with folks on this very topic, and putting them on the table for discussion.

Is it a provocative subject? It would seem so, much to my surprise. Can it be discussed in a mature and fair fashion? I really hope so since I enjoy the intelligent exchange we have here. It's a rare thing for message board communities, it would seem. If not, than by all means, moderators, lock this up and mark this topic as "taboo".
ericalm wrote:
The questions are a little absurd to begin with. I have been called "gay" while riding my Vespa and we know that there's a lot of public perception of scoots as "gay" vehicles. But, as riders, we know that there's really not any correlation between homosexuality and Vespas and that there doesn't appear to be a disprpoportionate number of homosexuals who own or ride them. I certainly don't feel any more gay while riding it—or, for that matter, when I drive my '92 VW Cabriolet—and don't think it makes me any "more gay."


Putting things into "comfortable little categories," as you put it, is a necessary part of humans making sense of the world. But it doesn't necessarily have to lead to stereotyping and perpetuating these types of misperceptions. I realize in some ways you're having fun with it, but I'm not sure everyone will see it that way.
Personally, I agree it's an absurd question, yet I respect that someone disagrees and truly believes otherwise. Me? Well, I think I made it clear that I believed in gender/sexual orientation neutrality with regards to vehicles. I do think it's silly, but that's just one person's opinion. If the questions somehow made people think I was pushing some kind of agenda promoting said stereotypes, than that's completely off base. It's a poll—not a sermon.
Boulty wrote:
I enjoy lively subjective debate any time but to discuss gender and sexual preference and it's relationship to vehicle choice seems to be very rocky ground and is inviting potentially offensive material.

Mind how you go from here please.
I would hope that we could all be grown ups and respectfully discuss the topic without it going in that direction. If we can't and it's far too sensitive a topic to discuss, than I regret assuming it wasn't. Maybe too much Project Runway and Queer Eye watching has let my guard down too far to approach such a discussion so casually. Darn you, Bravo channel and your entertaining programming!

And for the record, my best friend (other than my wife) who happens to be a gay male I've been buddies with since high school, says he wouldn't be caught dead on my Vespa. He also hated my Beetle, but loved my TT.

There goes that stereotype, I guess.

Oh, and please don't hate me for asking the question. That would really bum me out.
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:45 am quote
I ride a Vespa and drive a Miata ....my name is Alice ...and I'll take a dare!!

bin.png

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Sat Dec 23, 2006 7:50 am quote
Re: Chick cars and Vespas
[quote="ramrezz425"]My former fiance always had a latent problem with me on a Vespa, Although she ultimatly understood my interpretation as well as all of us here who are Not Gay or female, she never saw the complete picture of what these incredible little machines mean to all of us.

Thus..........former fiance
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:27 am quote
I don't think it's easy to generalize in such a diverse forum. A lot depends on where you live. When I travel I notice definitely different demographics/car choices and my normal instincts don't work as well on the road. The typical urban "soccer-mom" or "yuppie princess" vehicle in Toronto may seem more like the macho compensation vehicle in another city.
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 9:45 am quote
Christine wrote:
I don't think it's easy to generalize in such a diverse forum. A lot depends on where you live. When I travel I notice definitely different demographics/car choices and my normal instincts don't work as well on the road. The typical urban "soccer-mom" or "yuppie princess" vehicle in Toronto may seem more like the macho compensation vehicle in another city.
Great point. In my area, they Beetles seem to be the senior members of society's choice. Drive 20 miles in either direction, and that generalization goes out the door.
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:16 pm quote
Vespas are well made scooters, and they are friendly to the enviroment. My wife and I just really love the look and history of the vespa so thats why we got one.
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:19 pm quote
Gender and your ride
Don't know what Gender has to do with anything, the thing that means most to me is how do I fit on it and how far can I ride it before I want to get off and take a break and how reliable is it! Riding is s hobby for me and if I found a Harley that fit me real good and I liked it twice as much as my GTS or my Burgman I would give it a try but so far for me they don't hold a candle to either of the two I have now...............walterb
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:25 pm quote
zendog wrote:
Vespas are well made scooters,
No disagreement.
zendog wrote:
and they are friendly to the enviroment.
Sort of. They aren't held to the same emissions standards as cars and light trucks. If everyone suddenly switched to scooters and motorcycles, we would see more air pollution and lower air quality. On the other hand, they are less damaging to roads themselves, reduce traffic congestion, and take less energy to manufacture than cars. They also require less fuel, which means less to refine and transport. So the net energy use might be less overall, but often energy consumption and the cleanliness thereof are not directly correlated.

Last edited by Bryce-O-Rama on Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:45 pm quote
meritlane wrote:
Nothing gay about vintage scoots no matter what the wardrobe BUT miata's are gay for sure.
I would have to disagree with that statement! I agree that there's nothing 'gay' about scooters in general, but the same can be said about Miatas. I've owned 2 Miatas, and 2 MGB's as well, both really nice roadsters, made more for handling than pure power/speed (sort of like a scooter in that regard). I tend to like either small 2 passenger cars, or big trucks (I've also owned 3 1 ton dually's, 2 with Cummins diesel engines)

I don't usually attach a gender specific tag to any vehicles, nor do I usually name my vehicles. Currently I own a Jeep Cherokee, a Stella scooter, a Kawasaki MC and a Honda CT-110 trailbike, and the only one of them that has any genderizing at all would be the Stella, simply because I can't imagine something named Stella being male!
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Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:54 pm quote
ericalm wrote:
But, as riders, we know that there's really not any correlation between homosexuality and Vespas and that there doesn't appear to be a disprpoportionate number of homosexuals who own or ride them.
I found it quite interesting at the Piaggio booth, Seattle Motorshow.
The salesguy, who proudly announced he was the "top salesperson" in the US announced that he sold to a huge homosexual clientele.

Whether true or not - or how relevant sexual orientation is in regards to scooters - this comment was just as bizarre and unexpected as this poll - which I'll skip I think :?
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Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:01 am quote
There is no doubt that society teaches us what is acceptable. Little boys play with GI Joe, little girls barbie. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, sugar and spice and everything nice. It's interesting that most people on this form feel as I do, it just doesn't matter.

Sexual orientation and the stereotype of what we drive is very interesting to me. Last night at a dinner party the subject came up, "how gay are you?" Many straight friends laughed when I said about a 7? Scale of 1-10. Two dear friends who happen to be gay rated each other a 4 and 6.
I love to shop, cook, decorate, hate watching sports on T.V., unless it's old hockey...(I'm still boycotting from the last strike.) My wife of 8 years watches N.F.L. on Sundays, hates to shop, couldn't care less what colours the walls are, or anything about the art we hang. I love that we don't care about stereo types. What attracted me to her above all else is that she is my opposite.
By the way, she says I'm too gay for a Harley.
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Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:36 am quote
I do think that vehicles have genders. Harleys are big, noisy and aggressive: 100% stereotypical male. Stellas, if only for their name, are clearly female. (Because it'd just be cruel to name a man Stella!)

But I don't think the vehicle's gender should dictate the rider/driver's gender.

If it did, wouldn't insecure men be riding female vehicles? I mean, people might get the wrong idea if they're seen riding male(vehicles)s in public!
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Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:51 am quote
Modern scooter buyers generally tend to be pretty open minded, progressive people. They often do what they want to do without a whole lot of regard for what people will think of them. Many of the GLBT people I know fit that description. Having said that, I've seen gay biker clubs where everyone has a Harley and dresses up in leather from head to toe. So I tend to discount when people say something is a gay, straight, male or female vehicle.
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Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:00 pm quote
Christine wrote:
I don't think it's easy to generalize in such a diverse forum. A lot depends on where you live. When I travel I notice definitely different demographics/car choices and my normal instincts don't work as well on the road. The typical urban "soccer-mom" or "yuppie princess" vehicle in Toronto may seem more like the macho compensation vehicle in another city.
I would agree. I live in Melbourne which is quite cosmopolitan and while its not exactly Rome, its still pretty alright for guys to get around on scooters without having to feel un-macho. But a couple of hours away in the scary australian country/bush, you would probably have rocks thrown at you for riding such a 'sissy' bike.

I personally don't see Vespas as more suitable for one gender or the other, although they are a stylish and fun vehicle rather than a 'tough' one. Just a matter of good taste, really....how can that be gender specific?
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Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:36 pm quote
Rorschach wrote:
Christine wrote:
I don't think it's easy to generalize in such a diverse forum. A lot depends on where you live. When I travel I notice definitely different demographics/car choices and my normal instincts don't work as well on the road. The typical urban "soccer-mom" or "yuppie princess" vehicle in Toronto may seem more like the macho compensation vehicle in another city.
I would agree. I live in Melbourne which is quite cosmopolitan and while its not exactly Rome, its still pretty alright for guys to get around on scooters without having to feel un-macho. But a couple of hours away in the scary australian country/bush, you would probably have rocks thrown at you for riding such a 'sissy' bike.
In Los Angeles, it can change by what neighborhood you're in, sometimes within a few miles. I have gone into neighborhoods (okay, Van Nuys) where people crossing the street stare at me as if I'd just teleported down from the mothership. Then they stop and ask what I paid for my scoot. Then they look at me like I'm really nuts.
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