THERE seems quite a row over some pseudo-intellectuals drumming up the issue of women driving or not driving motorcycles in our towns to keep the pot stirring and to give the issue a hue as if it were a ‘life-threatening’ matter without which women shall be deprived of their unsought right.
Since women generally do not prefer to ride motorcycles (frankly most of them cannot even ride a simple bike), there is hardly anyone who objects to women riding bikes or straddling behind the rider.
Motorbiking is a risky thing even for men today lest women be opened to the driving hazard given the enormous increase in population, bad roads, bad traffic sense and deplorable traffic system and congestion.
The unnecessary armchair proponents of women motorcycling seem oblivious of the changes that have occurred since the 1970s when one could ride a bike safely in a small town with his wife straddled behind him and holding a baby.
They would, however, not tell the public at large what prevented them, their pillion-riding women and the baby they clenched from wearing helmets for safety.
They also forget to state the reasons or even look at them as to why our women do not straddle and sit with their feet on one side of the motorcycle.
It may not be out of point to mention that normally our womenfolk liked the way they sat behind the rider because in that posture they feel more comfortable, safe and it is also convenient for them to be seated in that fashion due to the typical nature of their costumes and preferences.
It is wrong to assert that women sit behind that way due to social or religious bar.
Those who try to heed the need for women to drive motorcycles need to learn more about their socio-cultural determinants rather than malign religion for it.
MAZHAR BUTT Karachi