To the Family in the Red SUV at Tim Horton’s Today…

Readers — This Facebook post by Luc Perreault in Sudbury, Ontario was sent to us by a guy named Michael Cattle and I believe is destined to become a country song, a poster, or a wildly viral post. At least I hope so. You read it here second!  – Lenore

To the family in the red SUV at Tim Horton’s today,,

Yes I am a big 280 lbs guy with motorcycles and full of tattoos, I am a welder, I am loud, I drink beer, I swear and I look like I would eat your soul if you stare at me wrong.
What you don’t know is that I have been happily married for 11 years, my kids call me daddy, i am a college graduate, my mother is proud of me and tells everyone how lucky she is to have such a wonderful son, my nieces and nephews are always happy to see there m’noncl Luc, when my daughter broke her arm I cried more than she did. I read books, i help people, I go out of my way to thank war veterans and I even cried at Armageddon…..

So next time I smile and say hi to your little girl and you grab her and tell her “No no dear we don’t talk to dirty bikers” remember that even tho you hurt my feelings this “dirty biker would be the first person to run into your burning house to save your little girls gold fish so she wouldn’t be sad!!!! – L.P.

Luc Perreault
Cool hand Luc

322 Responses to To the Family in the Red SUV at Tim Horton’s Today…

  1. molecularmommy July 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    This reminds me of our former neighbors. He was big and burly, had long hair and looked pretty darn rough. But if you got him around a little dog (they liked Chihuahuas) his voice went up two octaves and he’d talk baby talk! They would be the first people I’d call in a crisis and I knew they’d help in any way they could. The best kind of neighbors and friends to have.

  2. christy ford July 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    “No no dear we don’t talk to dirty bikers” Really? REALLY? -_-

  3. SKL July 28, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    This reminds me of a discussion on another website about the impressions people have of gun owners. So many people say they have taught their kids that if they see a gun they are to scream and run to their parent. (Seriously.) Because in the minds of some, the fact that you own a gun probably means (a) you bought it so you could shoot people, (b) you are too stupid to clean it without discharging it in the direction of a human being, (c) you missed the chapter of Miss Manners where she says it is bad etiquette to let anyone ever see evidence of your gun ownership, (d) you are not worth being friends with because you are probably an ignorant, red-necked, illiterate, uncivilized jerk. Who has no value for human life.

    Sigh.

    Then there are the other 50% who are (or know) gun owners who would . . . well, what that Luke said. Save your daughter’s goldfish from a burning house.

    People can’t seem to distinguish between “different” and “creepy.”

  4. Earth.W July 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    In Australia, the Conservative run State Government of Queensland has a Member of their mob who is pushing for every tattoo to be registered as if they are criminals. If you have a tatt, you would have to present yourself to show your tattoos and be put on a Government file. This twit does not seem to realise that even the Police often sport at least one tattoo on their person as well.

  5. Jen July 28, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Oh, for goodness sake! What is the matter with people?!? Is it possible that every person is not exactly the same? And that people who are different might be “okay”? Argh!!!! Luc, please come hang out with us anytime!

  6. Gene in L.A. July 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    S.K.L.,
    So let’s not just complain about it. Let’s be pro-active like Luc, write letters, talk to people, demonstrate other than their expectations. Creating lines between “us” and “them” is one of the most critical problems facing our entire society. The more of us who take small steps to correct it, the better our country will become. Cheers!

  7. Maika July 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Prejudice in all its forms is so sad. But please don’t run into burning buildings to save goldfish. You are too important and needed to take such a risk. Hugs from CA!

  8. Paul R. Welke July 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Luc,
    As a veteran of the Canadian Forces, I thank you for your support.
    Looking at the photo you attached, you kind of remind me of the man that pushed my four year old son on the swings. Dude looked like an extra from “Sons of Anarchy,” and was a really nice guy.
    My boy’s five now. If you ever make it out to Alberta and run into him, he’ll probably try to talk your off. I’ll let him.

  9. Are we there yet? July 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Well, to SKL @ 2, a lot of people do buy guns to shoot people: what else is the self-defense argument based on? And someone who has guns in plain view of children, particularly other people’s children who may not know firearm safety, is someone whose judgment I would question. There’s a time and place for everything and maybe little Johnny’s play date is not the best time to be cleaning your gun.

    I don’t agree with screaming and running, as you describe the advice on another website. But I’m not averse to an child telling their parent about what they see in a friend’s home.

  10. Mike July 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I just love that he admitted to crying during Armageddon because yes.

  11. MetalMaxx July 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    I am a 53 yr old big bearded biker/ metal type guy with children and grandchildren. I concur with LP on this matter, I have had people lock their car door when they see me, although it might hurt my feelings, if I saw them in the next block involved in an accident, I would be the first to attempt to get them and their child to safety even if the auto was on fire. This kind of behavior is so easily dismissed by them as harmless and all they see is an outlaw in their eyes. Oh and did I mention that I belong to the largest Fraternity on the planet and have ran for President of The United States. Some people just see the clothes. ~feeling very sorrowful for those who can only see the shell and not what is truly there..A HUMAN BEING~

  12. Goldie July 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    Wow. I’m really sorry you had to experience that. I try VERY hard to teach my kids not to judge people based on their appearances and it saddens me that people assume you are a “dirty” anything just because you have tattoos or ride a motorcycle or have a beard or any other stereotype.

  13. Baxter July 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    If that guy came up and talked to my little girl, id probably call the cops. that guy looks creepy as fuck.

  14. Nancy July 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    Sigh. Sigh again. And a hug is trying to come out to this man. How do I get it through the internet?

  15. Bill July 28, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    @Nancy, What a load of sappy bullshit, give me a fucking break.

  16. Stephanie W July 28, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    My Mom taught us early to “not judge a book by a it’s cover”. Back in the 70’s she had run out of gas on a highway in the San Jose Bay Area. No one stopped to help her when she was on the side of the highway, except for a tattooed biker that stopped, found out the issue and then brought back a gallon of fuel to help her out.

  17. Emmy July 28, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Bill is someone I would stay away from. Swearing at people and throwing a fit whenever he does not like someone he doesn’t know.

  18. Puzzled July 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Max, the only thing I find scary in that description is your desire to be President. The rest sounds fine.

  19. LegalMist July 28, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    Baxter,

    Wow. To me he looks like a big teddy bear of a guy. I’d have my kids say “hi” back to him, and probably ask him about his motorcycle, if it were nearby.

    You need to get out of your shell a bit more!

    –LegalMist

  20. This girl loves to talk July 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    I had a similar conversation at the park today. When I (and my 3 year old) got to the park a man quickly started packing up and being all apologetic and saying I’ll get out of your way.. I said parks are free to all, don’t rush off for my sake…
    He said because he is an older man (prob mid age though) who rides a bicycle, has a backpack and tatts hes had too many instances where he has had the cops called because he was at a park (people thinking he’s homeless, pedophile or going to cause trouble) I kept telling him to stay but he said thanks for your kindness its ok….

    Now he did seem a little intoxicated, but he said he enjoys a big swing there (kinda like a round disc you lay on) but doesn’t like the trouble that seems to follow him, if anyone else turns up. He said yeah I been to jail – but for pot growing, riding motorbike illegally but never for anything to do with kids… but better safe than sorry… thanks for your kindness… but being a single man these days means your the lowest of the low….

    it made me kinda sad and I hope he felt a bit better from my words.

  21. SKL July 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Sigh.

  22. Michelle July 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Mr. Perreault, you are welcome to say hi to my daughters, and sons, any time.

    And I don’t see how he looks creepy. He looks like my husband, and FIL, and about a hundred other good men that I’m glad to know.

  23. SKL July 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    If a guy is in his own house doing something with his own guns, and his kid’s neighbor friend drops by and comes in to play Barbies, that is not a sign of irresponsibility. Just because the guns are seen by the kids does not mean they are going to be allowed to touch them.

    I grew up in the home of a dad with gun-related hobbies. I was around guns a lot – safely. I can understand that those who were not brought up with guns may feel odd in that situation, but it’s a jump to declare the person dangerous or irresponsible for having a hobby different from yours. There are stupid people, yes – stupid with guns, stupid with cars, stupid with jobs and money and their own kids. But most dads with guns are extremely careful with them. You never hear about the thousands of guns that are being handled and stored safely. You only hear about the occasional one that was mishandled, resulting in an accident.

    I’m not gonna go on about this because it isn’t the topic of the post. But yeah, it’s no different from a tattoo on a motorcycle.

  24. C.J. July 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Personally, I have never met a big burly motorcycle guy that wasn’t a big teddy bear.

  25. Gina July 28, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    What? Just what?

  26. Rich Wilson July 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    I’ve often had the idea that most of us are in some way a member of a maligned group. Might be our ethnicity, religious views, size, fashion sense- whatever. We’ve all probably had someone quickly look away, like they wished we just weren’t there.

    Sadly, we aren’t able to remember that feeling when we see someone we wish just wasn’t there.

  27. Meagan July 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    When bikers smile at my 2-year-old motorcycle-loving son, I smile and wave back even while my son pretends to be shy. Then after they are gone he points after them and shouts, “bike!” excitedly. The thing about a narrow world view is you don’t just harm those you slight… You deprive yourself of so much joy.

  28. WendyW July 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    My husband is a biker. Big, beard, leathers, no tats yet (*I* don’t like them) and he’s also a retired Veteran and a teddy bear.

    “Those kind” of bikers are referred to as “one-percenters” because the bad ones only make up about 1% of the biking population. Unfortunately, it’s one more group that Hollywood has ruined the reputation of by their constant poor portrayals.

  29. Hels July 28, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    The only time I am negative towards bikers is when I see one cut me off suddenly (and there are a few of those around, but never the big burly guys, always the young punks – I suppose, with their antics they just don’t live long enough to become big burly guys). The only thing I judge people by is their manners – and then I am very quick to jump to conclusions. And entirely politically incorrect and unapologetic. Bite me. :)

  30. KM July 29, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    SKL: I certainly don’t think gun owners are all stupid, but if my 7 year old son was at a friends house and came across a gun that was just laying out or being shown to him by a friend, I really hope he would run away and find an adult. I don’t think that is bad advice.

  31. sam caldwell July 29, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    As the son of a welder who grew up around the oil field, and as San ex-con as well as a red neck who’s known a biker or two, I would have probably made a smart remark like “dirty biker? No…dirty welder!” or “where? Hang him!”

    I’ve had my share of detractors…screw ’em.

  32. SKL July 29, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    Well KM, the context of the discussion was of a teen guy seeing a friend’s father cleaning his gun. Does that change your answer?

    I agree that it’s a good idea for a young child to tell his parent that he saw a gun, and the details surrounding it. Not to scream, run, or draw any unsupported conclusions.

    When I say “kid sees gun,” why do people assume I’m talking about a gun lying around for kids to find, play with, etc.? Usually when you see a gun, it’s in the possession and control of its owner, or in a locked cabinet or similar safe place. Of course there are exceptions – to everything. Just like there are some bikers you wouldn’t want around your kid – and some teachers, and some pastors, and some relatives . . . .

    Obviously my child is not allowed to touch a gun without my permission, at least not until she is old enough to make a sensible decision about it herself. But I have no problem with my kids *seeing* a gun. I actually wish it could happen more often, as a lot of my happiest childhood memories involved my dad and his gun stuff.

  33. Stephanie July 29, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    I can’t imagine being so rude to someone like that. Some of the most fun people we’ve talked to have been the heavily tattooed sort or bikers. A few years ago we were wandering Big Bear with the kids and came across a tattooed couple resting with their boxer dog. They were so delighted that we weren’t telling the kids to stay back, just checking that the dog was friendly before allowing the kids to approach. They were just nice, fun people.

  34. LRothman July 29, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    My husband is a large, bearded guy and volunteered to help with a high school band fundraising event involving my daughter. It involved driving a group of four kids to a neighborhood and following them around so that they could give him money, have a place to store their water and move them to the next area.

    When he got home, he said he was worried someone would call the police – a guy in a minivan following a group of 4 teenage girls around. He now asks to either drive some of the guys or for a non-driving job on that day.

    Sad enough that he thought about it – I can’t imagine how the folks Luc that actually have someone say something must feel.

  35. hineata July 29, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    Wow, this guy looks pretty normal actually. What in the world would these people do if they came across, say, a Sikh, a Muslim with a fez or a burqah, or, God forbid, an actual Samoan or Maori? The tatts on a few of them, well :-)….let’s just say they need to be wearing a loincloth to fully give expression to the art work involved…. Now, a pair of nicely shaped and tattooed buttocks – that would truly be something to present to this sort of narrow minded oddball!

    Seriously, what a sad and ridiculous thing to say about anyone you don’t know. Some people are just plain ignorant and nasty…..Hope Luc got lots of positive feedback to his Facebook post.

  36. Andy July 29, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    Kinda related: take a look at Vladimir Franz appointed Professor of Dramatic Arts and former presidential candidate. He did not won and had votes mostly from young people (not surprising).

    * wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladim%C3%ADr_Franz
    * better look at his tattoos: http://designyoutrust.com/2012/09/vladimir-franz-completely-tattooed-czech-presidential-candidate/

  37. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    I’ve always found bikers to be very friendly. They wave at my girls when they gawk at their bike at a stop light, and and always let them touch and sit on it when parked at a diner. (My girls have a thing for motorcycles)

    The only thing that terrifies me about bikers is that I won’t see one when turning/passing, and cause a crash.

  38. Michelle July 29, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    SKL, when I hear, “kid sees a gun,” I don’t think, “in the hands of a responsible adult or locked in a cabinet,” because, in my mind, those aren’t situations that need to be addressed. That’s like, “encountered a wild animal… at the zoo,” or, “stepped in front of a car… while it was parked.”

  39. Donna July 29, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    My last trial in the states involved a guy, not a biker, covered in tattoos. His clothes covered most of them but some were still plainly visible around his neck and hands. During jury selection, I asked the potential jury pool if anyone had already formed an opinion as to my client’s guilt. Some guy raised his hand and said “well, yeah, look at him and all those tattoos.”

    Prejudice is scary.

  40. S July 29, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Saying “hello” to children is fine. Your children need to just say “hello” back and know not to wander off with ANY stranger. My dad had a story once about how he went to some Harley show and a group of men were trying to get into a trailer where they knew a woman was…of course that was 40 years ago.

  41. S July 29, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    **They were bikers

  42. Warren July 29, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    LOL, I wonder if this lady would let her little darling talk to a couple of buddies of mine. Long hair, tatts, and both over 20 years as Toronto cops. Nicest guys around.

    Danny “The Count” from Counts Kustoms must scare the daylights out of these people.

  43. Linda July 29, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    The last notable time we encountered a tattooed biker, it was the AAA guy coming to help us change our flat tire (really…the AAA guy showed up on a motorcycle). He was very friendly and helpful, and my 3-year-old thought he was great.

  44. Kenny Felder July 29, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    I spent years of my life with long greasy unbrushed hair and a big untrimmed beard. It wasn’t a biker look–more like a hippy look–but it gets a lot of the same reactions. Ultimately I decided the world wasn’t going to change to fit me, so I changed my appearance to fit the world a little better. I cut my hair and trimmed my beard. I didn’t change who I was, but people started reacting to me differently.

    You can spend the rest of your life wishing that people didn’t judge you based on your clothes, hair, and tattoos, but people are going to judge you based on those things–and they’re not entirely wrong–those things are deliberate statements you make about who you are. If you want people to hear something different, say something different.

  45. pentamom July 29, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    I don’t at all condone her prejudice in the first place, but saying *in front of the person in question* that “we don’t talk to dirty bikers” is beyond belief. I might actually want to teach my child that “we don’t talk to glassy eyed creeps” but I’m not going to say that out loud where the person can hear, and not in such cruel language — he may well be a quite innocent person with feelings.

    So a few *extra* points off to this woman for not even having the manners of decent society, let alone an open mind and a charitable heart.

  46. Brian July 29, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Kenny nailed it. He has chosen a specific persona through his dress and personal appearance. And the difference between this and racial profiling is that the “biker” can get a hair cut and put on a shirt from the gap.

    I’m not saying he has to, but I am saying that if he chooses not to inspire these reactions then he could. We all profile every single day. It is how our mind works. We read and give off clues to others to identify ourselves in specific ways.

  47. pentamom July 29, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    BTW, to make it abundantly clear, I’m not equating “dirty” bikers with “glassy eyed creeps,” I’m saying that even in the case where a person’s appearance was genuinely disturbing as though there might be something seriously wrong with him that might cloud his judgment, you still treat the person as a person with feelings and handle the situation tactfully, not like the person is a piece of meat or an object with no feelings.

  48. lollipoplover July 29, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I hate that good manners (smiling and greeting others) has turned into blind judgement on appearances. How stupid to teach a child to be shallow and ignorant.

    I’ve noticed in my neighborhood dog walking circle that the big, surly mix-breed dogs are the gentle giants and the nicer-looking toy breeds with the little bows and grooming will bite your finger off in an instant…. Just an observation. Looks are deceiving!

  49. pentamom July 29, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    “I’m not saying he has to, but I am saying that if he chooses not to inspire these reactions then he could. ”

    This is definitely true, but I’m not sure that makes the woman’s reaction any less fallacious. More understandable, maybe, but the fact remains that not all bikers with tattoos — in fact, only a small minority of them — pose any threat to children or anyone else, even less so to random strangers. Anyone who actually knows anything about those who present as bikers knows they’re generally the kind of person who will go out of their way to protect people who have done them no harm, even if they’re also among those who will beat up those against whom they take offense.

    So maybe part of the responsibility is on the guy who is willing to present in a way that a lot of people find threatening, but most of it is on the ignorance and prejudice of the person who thinks that this kind of person is *more* of a risk to her child than average, when he’s almost certainly *less.*

  50. Sara A. July 29, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    I currently live in a sketchy area of DC. My mother always taught me that you are to treat everyone like a person; especially if they look odd. I’d certainly be happier if there weren’t drunks and drug addicts on my street corners, and I may pull my baby closer to me as we walk by, but if they call out a greeting, I respond in kind. I’d rather have my baby say “hi” to the bum with the jitters and keep him happy, than pull her close and ignore him. We have to live here. I find skinny people with few teeth mumbling to themselves waaaay scarier than big men with tattoos. Chances are the big guy on the motorcycle, won’t behave erratically, little mumbler might.

  51. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    People used to wear white powdered wigs as large as a toddler.

    People used to wear codpieces.

    People used to wear cravats.

    People used to wear fake beauty marks.

    People used to wear nose rings that connected to their earrings.

    People used to shave their heads except for a long strand which they tied in a ponytail at the top.

    Not to mention all the body deforming constructs that women wore: feet binding, corsets, neck rings, etc.

    People get plastic surgery because they don’t like what they’ve been dealt or want to look 25 forever.

    In the grand scheme of things, tattoos/piercings/long hair/weird make up/dress are pretty tame.

  52. SKL July 29, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Michelle: “SKL, when I hear, “kid sees a gun,” I don’t think, “in the hands of a responsible adult or locked in a cabinet,” ….

    Why?

    In all the times you have seen guns (real guns), what % of the time were they in the hands of a responsible adult / locked / secured, vs. out for unsupervised children to play with?

    I think it’s because of the media hype which suggests that liking / having guns = backwardness / low regard for human life.

  53. J.T. Wenting July 29, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    “He said because he is an older man (prob mid age though) who rides a bicycle, has a backpack and tatts hes had too many instances where he has had the cops called because he was at a park (people thinking he’s homeless, pedophile or going to cause trouble) I kept telling him to stay but he said thanks for your kindness its ok….”

    and he was right. You might not have minded, but some twit walking past would have tried to be a do-gooder and called the cops that some creep was stalking you and your child, he’d have been arrested, and your assertions that you told him it was ok to be there would have been used as evidence against him “see, he was already sweettalking her into letting him near her kids”.

  54. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    @hineata-
    About Sikhs’ appearances, there was an incident of your typical Internet bully making an idiot out of himself. He took a picture of a Sikh student at a university, posted it to reddit to ridicule her. The woman responded and quite simply, made the world a better place.

    Read her response here, it will make your week:

    Http:/cracked.tumblr.com/post/32253919728/after-going-viral-on-reddits-funny-section-for

  55. Lissa July 29, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    I have come to the conclusion, after attending several punk shows in my life, that people covered in tattoos are some of the most polite people around.

  56. CrazyCatLady July 29, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    My husband has a Harley. He has long hair and a beard. (No tats or piercings though.)

    He also has 3 kids, a wife, a house, a Ph.D. and a good job. All with long hair and a beard.

    My youngest son also has long hair like his father. It confuses people where I currently live because this is a very Christian and Mormon area. My son really likes to dress up in a white shirt, black pants and a tie. When people do ask, I tell them he has long hair like his dad. Then they want to know what his dad does for a living. They are amazed that he he could get a decent job with long hair and a beard.

    It amazes me that they even think that is a qualifying issue. He does, after all, have suits for interviews and for when he does presentations at various colleges and conferences. Fortunately, the people doing the interviews tend to understand that it is being highly qualified that makes the difference, not the length of the hair.

  57. Rob July 29, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    The person in this story who uttered the words “we don’t talk to dirty bikers” should try living near Austin, Texas. We have ROT rallies here that bikers come from all over the place to attend. For 3 or 4 days, Austin and the surrounding areas are literally swarming with bikers.

    We think it’s cool.

    This woman would probably lock herself and her family in the house and refuse to leave until it was over.

  58. Captain America July 29, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    This is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you don’t situation.

    There is a contemporary informal dress style which is intentionally in-your-face and upsetting/off-putting.

    So why be alarmed if people are put off?

  59. Michelle July 29, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    @SKL, if you had bothered to read the rest of my comment, I explained WHY. Because there’s absolutely no reason to warn children about, or even worry about, guns in the hands of responsible (non-criminal) adults or locked in cabinets. It’s a conversation I would never even think to have. Like I said in my previous comment, it’s like warning children about what to do if they encounter a wild animal at the zoo. It doesn’t make any sense, IMO.

  60. Talia Gamble July 29, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Ohhh! I just want to hug this guy! Some of the most amazing, kind, decent, people with integrity I know are bikers! *HUGS* to you sir for this woman’s small minded remark.

  61. Jason July 29, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    If you are going to dress like a biker and swear a lot, you are intentionally projecting an image of intimidation. Don’t be shocked when people accept the image of you that you send.

  62. Mike July 29, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    What parents should teach their children is that bikers are protectors. If a child is ever lost or scared, and sees a group of bikers, go ask for their help. Most of us are fathers and the thought of harm to a child gets us, well, let’s just say upset.

    Everyone should know about the group Bikers Against Child Abuse.
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/azliving/articles/2012/07/13/20120713bikers-against-child-abuse-make-abuse-victims-feel-safe.html

  63. Julie July 29, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    If a parent is overly concerned about their kids’ safety, shouldn’t they teach their kids to go to heavily tattooed people for help? After all, they are far more identifiable to the police if something went down.

  64. Jenna Wood July 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Years ago we took our kids out to dinner at a buffet place. My oldest son, then 6 or 7 struck up a conversation with a biker who gave him a BACA sticker.

    We explained to our kids what child abuse is and talked about all the good these people do. My kids still keep their eyes out for BACA stickers and symbols on bikes and bikers because they know that they are some of the good guys.

  65. Brian July 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Bikers may be protectors if you are not gay, black, Hispanic, nerdy… otherwise you are a victim. Their relationship with women is also complicated running from abusive to protective.

    For white women with kids, they are probably protectors. Otherwise, this is a pretty dangerous lesson. I don’t think gay teens or Trayvon Martin should be taught to seek bikers to back them up if they are being attacked.

  66. SKL July 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    I have to admit that I personally don’t understand why anyone would want to be all tattoo’d up. I assume part of it is to show how badass you are (you can take the pain). That said, I have nothing against being tough. I’m pretty tough myself. I just think that degree of tattoing is something a lot of people will regret as they get older. I prefer not to do anything permanent to myself, but that’s just me.

    Personally, when I see all that, I’m in the “whatever floats your boat” camp. Not my cup of tea. I have never told my kids anything one way or the other about tattoos, but when I do, I will just say it’s not my thing personally, but we’re all different.

    I’m middle-aged now so I’ve seen a lot, which means I have learned not to judge a book by its cover. I’m sure that when I was young and inexperienced, I subconsciously did just that. And I’m not convinced that is entirely a result of education. I don’t think parenting is always the source of prejudice. To some extent I think it’s instinctive to distrust someone who seems very different, especially at certain ages and stages. Acknowledging that would help to improve our efforts at bringing up wiser kids.

  67. Katie July 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Sounds like your typical idiot SUV/gas guzzler driving helicopter parents! SUV drivers are always the worst.

    A stranger is oh so dangerous, but driving 2x the speed limit to get the little spoiled brats to there 3rd practice/lesson of the day, well that’s perfectly safe.

  68. SKL July 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    LOL Katie, way to demonstrate tolerance! Good thing I don’t drive an SUV.

  69. lollipoplover July 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    “Sounds like your typical idiot SUV/gas guzzler driving helicopter parents! SUV drivers are always the worst.”

    This is just as bad as judging a biker by their appearance. I drive an SUV- I also have a gaggle of kids, two large dogs, and bikes and kayaks we travel with. We travel a lot and all fit in one car.
    I didn’t know my choice in transportation made me a bad person. Almost like being a biker….

  70. T. July 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Talk about judging a book by it’s cover! Wow.

    This man is a larger version of the bulky guy who appeared on my doorstep about half an hour ago with my 8 year old in tow. I opened the door to this man and my crying-and-face-covered-in-blood son. Turns out little mister fell face first off the swing at the park and the nice man was making sure he got home ok. It also turned out to be an awul lot of blood from a very tiny cut in his eyebrow.

    I had a few moments of guilt that I wasn’t there with him till I remembered that 1. he’s been going by himself to this park and one a bit further away all summer and this is the worst thing that’s happened to him and 2. even if I’d been at the park with him, I could not have prevented him from getting hurt.

  71. Katie July 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Actually there’s a difference at least when it comes to the area I live in (I don’t know one person where I live who has more than 3 kids).

    SUV drivers don’t like bikers because they realize they aren’t good drivers and get nervous. They also think they own the road and don’t like anyone who gets in the way of that. They also hate knowing that everyone doesn’t live in a scared little bubble like they do.

    With SUV drivers it’s true!

  72. SKL July 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Katie, please tell me you are joking. Or do you have an in-law with an SUV?

    I only know one person who owns a red SUV. She is single, childless, and 45. I don’t know whether she is a speeder or not. But I do know lots of speeders who don’t drive SUVs. LOL.

    My kids’ nanny and my sister both drive SUVs and both drive like turtles. Bah, it makes me crazy!

  73. SKL July 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Here’s a question. If a biker also owns an SUV, how is his driving?

  74. Gina July 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Something I find interesting in this discussion:

    “Sounds like your typical idiot SUV/gas guzzler driving helicopter parents! SUV drivers are always the worst”. (Katie)
    “I have come to the conclusion, after attending several punk shows in my life, that people covered in tattoos are some of the most polite people around.” (Lissa)
    “I’ve always found bikers to be very friendly. ” (Natalie)

    Bikers, like all human beings (Jews, Blacks, Dancers, Actors, Police Officers) can be kind or nasty, smart or stupid, etc). We are still stereotyping…Point is to be kind and accepting and NOT judge people by their appearance but by “the content of their characters” (Thank you, Dr. King).

    Katie: I am an SUV-driving mom. I have 5 kids, I need the room. Yes, my car guzzles gas, but I try to make it up to the environment in other ways. I am an excellent driver and have never even been stopped by a police officer in 40 years of driving. I am polite and kind to everyone and teach my kids to be the same way.

    STEREOTYPING IS WRONG….in every way.

  75. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Right, so stereotyping SUV drivers is fine because the stereotype has been observed.

    People who stereotype bikers never see anything to base their judgements on.

    . It’s okay to stereotype as long as we’ve observed said stereotypical behavior.

    Got it.

  76. Gina July 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Natalie: Are you responding to my post? If you are, I think you misunderstood it.

  77. Captain America July 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    I agree fully with the “take each case as it comes” method.

    However, there are dozens and dozens of people that I am around, and who are around me each day. Psychologists are right to point out that stereotypes serve a useful screening or discernment function.

    It is when I interact with the person that I can then use my “take each case as it comes” approach. If others who LOOK threatening are in my area, who I don’t know and have not interacted with. . . well, I am likely to FEEL possible danger.

    That’s eminently reasonable for anyone.

  78. Katie July 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    @SKL I live in the city. There is no reason to be driving an sub through the city. A van or pick-up perhaps if you absolutely need it , but not an SUV. People who drive around solo or with one/two kids in SUV are the reason that there are so many people dying and having worse asthama and allergies not to mention destroying the environment and causing more serous accidents.

    I’m not crazy about the idea of bikers riding through the city just because. If they are using it for transportation that is different. If they want to ride around on country roads or high ways that is different.

    I’m also guessing you don’t live in an urban area which is fine, because if someone pulls a gun in the urban area where I live, I’m running and screaming because nothing good is going to come from that. No one where I live unless they are a cop carries a gun in plain sight just because. I understand in the country it might be different.

  79. Gina July 29, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Katie: Should I have two cars, one I drive when I’m alone and one I drive when I have all 5 kids with me? I live in the suburbs.

  80. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    @gina-
    I get your point. Bikers are people. They have the characteristics of… People. Which is to say, anything goes.

    The bikers I’ve met have been friendly because the unfriendly ones wouldn’t bother talking to someone like me or my kids. It doesn’t mean that unfriendly bikers don’t exist. If I was unfriendly I wouldn’t bother talking to people I didn’t know.

    The fact that I’ve met friendly bikers (and some of the other positive statements said here) were brought to counter the stereotype that bikers are out to do… I don’t even know what this mom thought. I guess if I added the word “some” in my sentence, that would be preferable, but IMO, you are nit-picking. I’ve only met “some” bikers, and can only speak for the ones I’ve talked to. I’m not claiming to do more than that.

  81. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    @gina-
    First post was to Katie, second post to you.

  82. Katie July 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    @Gina
    I live in a nice urban area. I don’t know one person who has more than 3 kids and even 3 is a rarity. It’s also walkable so there’s no reason to drive kids around everywhere. It’s sad and shocking that these people with 1 15lb baby feel they need to kill the environment by driving a giant gas guzzler 5 blocks when they could simply put the baby in a stroller and walk. And as I stated these people who drive around there 1/2 kids or even just themselves drive like total jerks.

    As for your question, you should get a minivan. It’s also too bad the government killed the station wagon.

  83. Gina July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Natalie…true…I am nitpicking. I apologize. I am so often the victim of stereotyping (See Natalie’s post ^) that any hint of it frustrates me. Yes, your comment was appropriate and made total sense. You said what you have always found, based on the bikers you have met. :)
    Peace?

  84. Gina July 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    *** SEE KATIE’S POST ….correction

  85. Katie July 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    @Gina Except your not a victim because you make the choice to have an SUV. If everyone who made a bad/selfish choice got to call themselves a “victim” because someone called them out on it…well I guess that’s why the world is in the state its in. Because heaven forbid anyone ever call anybody out on anything.

  86. Gina July 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Katie: I have a minivan at the moment but have had SUV’s in the past. 4 of my 5 are adults and can drive themselves, but when we do a family road trip or go out to dinner, we like to go together. I can’t afford to have a minivan/SUV for those trips and a smaller car for my day-to-day.

    My point though is that you are judging ALL SUV drivers and I am not even close to what you have stereotyped. STOP doing that. STOP assuming ALL people of one type or another are the same.

    I think we’ve lost sight of the point here which is that the woman in this original article is teaching her children to STEREOTYPE and to be RUDE to people based on those stereotypes. It has nothing to do with Bikers or SUV drivers specifically.

  87. SKL July 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Katie, really, nobody asked you what vehicle they ought to drive.

    If consideration is so important to you, consider whether or not your posts reflect any of it.

    PS, I live in a city, was born and raised in a major US city, where my dad had lots of guns in our house. I wasn’t talking about people wandering up and down the street with a gun in their hand. Assumptions galore here. Can’t anyone just read the actual words as written?

  88. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    @gina-

    You know what? I completely understand. If I read too much of MissRepresentation or everydaysexism, I’m ready to go on a rampage.

    And I know all about the dangers of positive stereotyping. I’m right with you there.

  89. Katie July 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    @Gina and now the truth comes out. You really don’t need to be driving an SUV/minivan everywhere. I’m not buying the you can’t afford a second car argument either. Lots of people say they can’t afford when what they actually mean is they choose to spend money else where. Heck I’ll even confess to telling people that.

    And while we are talking about stopping things, please STOP playing the victim. I have no idea why everyone wants to pretend to be a victim when they are the ones making the bad choices. I get that you may have mixed feeling and guilt over this choice, but let’s not forget that it’s a choice.

  90. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    @SKL

    There a big difference between consideration and standing up for what is right.

    Having people speeding around urban areas in giant tanks endangering others isn’t about consideration it’s about safety. If criticizing them offends them then so be it. If it makes them reconsider there actions even better.

  91. SKL July 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Katie, I highly doubt that after reading your unkind rants, all the SUV owners on FRK are going to stand in line at the trade-in counter.

  92. Warren July 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Okay let’s get something straight. Just because someone wears leather, has tattoos and rides a bike, does not make them Hell’s Angels, Choice, Banditos, Vag, Dice or any of them.

    @Katie
    Wow, you have issues. In my personal drive we have an SUV, a four door sedan, two pickups, and my 67 GTO in the garage, out of the elements. And only two licensed drivers in the house.
    Why? I won’t bore you with a long excuse, because we don’t need to. We do it because we can. No I do not need my GTO that gets less than 12 mpg. But I fire that baby up and go for a drive whenever I can. Listen to the rumble of the exhaust, the power, no seatbelts and a whole lotta fun.Tell me where you live and we’ll go for a cruise.

    Back to the biker thing. I really hate to inform you, but it isn’t the same as Easy Rider, or any of the other movies you have seen. Again this is weak minded individuals believing fiction before fact.

  93. SKL July 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Katie, what do you drive? I would like us to have the chance to pick it apart.

  94. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    @katie-
    You already live in an industrialized nation, right? So you’re already using more energy and producing more waste than most of the world. Driving a different car over an SUV doesn’t change that.

    There are other factors besides car type which determine mpg, like engine type. Our SUV got the same mpg as my parents’ 4-door sedan awhile back before they bought another car. The age of the car also reduces the mpg.

    Maybe what you should do is check the car model and make, check the year, check the engine type, and then politely ask the driver what the odometer reads. THEN accuse them of killing kids by giving them asthma and tell them that they’re lousy drivers and hog the road.

  95. Warren July 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    @SKL

    Katie would really be ranting if she lived in a state that allowed open carry. LOL. Or around here, it is nothing to see a man walking down the road with a rifle over his shoulder.

  96. Gina July 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    LOL. I am absolutely NOT a victim. I have no guilt about my car or any of my other choices. You have no idea what my financial situation is or whether I can afford one car or fifty. (Also, do you suggest that I don’t need to drive the minivan everywhere because you think my kids should drive their own cars to the same place we are all going? Seems like THAT would be the bad choice for the environment, doesn’t it?)
    Again, the point is YOU ARE STEREOTYPING me based on my car. That makes you ignorant and judgmental. Stereotyping does not make me a victim of anything. It makes you a perpetrator of prejudice.

  97. Gina July 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    BTW, I don’t “speed around” in anything.

  98. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    @Warren-Personally I’m fine with open carry in a lot of places. I don’t see it as a value add though just something those in the country like.

    However where I live people don’t just wave around guns just because. If you see a gun it means someone is going to attempt to kill someone. Granted I’ll admit I’ve never had this occur, but if I saw a gun where I frequent the first thing I would think is gang or attempted political killing. Granted it’s not something I spend much time worrying about but, that’s pretty much what happens on the rare incidents when you might actually hear about a gun in public view.

  99. SKL July 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    What’s the use of clean air when it’s being sucked up and recirculated by toxic people?

  100. Gina July 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    @Katie: BTW…YOUR means you own something. YOU’RE means YOU ARE..as in “You’re not a victim”…

    Just pointing out further ignorance on your part.

    I am done. I’ve made my point several times in several different ways. You just keep going and keep putting your (YOUR) foot in your (YOUR) mouth.

    :)

  101. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    @Gina

    If your all going together it makes sense to drive the minivan. If you are going somewhere with less than 6 people yeah that’s a waste. I can’t imagine your 5 adult kids go everywhere with you. If they do clearly they haven’t bloomed and your not quite the free range parent you claim to be.

    Is calling me ignorant not a judgement?

    I guess the pot is calling the kettle black. As for your comment well they only validate my points about SUV drivers that it’s all about them.

  102. SKL July 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    So Katie, let me make sure I understand. You have never actually seen anyone waving a gun around, but you know it happens and you know exactly what it means when it does. Murder afoot!

    LOLOLOLOLOL

    If I ever saw someone “waving” a gun around, I’d call 911 too, because it would probably mean that person was insane or very drunk.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a gun being “waved” around, though. It’s not a flag, after all. LOL.

    Do you even know there are different kinds of guns? Have you ever heard of hunting? Target shooting? Did you know that there are Olympic medals given out for gun shooting contests?

    Just because nobody (hopefully) goes hunting (for critters) *in* the inner city, that doesn’t mean nobody in the inner city is a hunter. Maybe they hop in their SUV . . . er . . . their SmartCar and drive to the boonies to enjoy their gun sports. And unlike horse sports, you can bring your gun back home to your city dwelling to clean it, polish it, even show it to your friends before you lock it safely away.

  103. Gina July 29, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    YOU ARE=You’re

    My kids would laugh if they saw YOUR post.

  104. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    @SKL I do know people where I live who are into guns. They put them in a case where people know they are transporting them. But where I live no you don’t walk around with a gun out of a case. To do so would to only put yourself in danger. There was a guy who was shot and killed because he took a gun to a neighbors house he thought was being burglarized the police assumed he was the burglar. Sad, but as stated there is a reason I say people don’t just walk around with guns where I live. It isn’t the culture.

    I also say I don’t see guns as a value add because I’ve spent time in London and there guns are banned even the police don’t have them and London has to be one of the safest cities in the world.

  105. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    @Gina Let me clarify. You don’t like those who judge you for driving your gas guzzler. But you judging others over things as petty as spelling well that’s fine. Your a weak person who can’t take criticism, but sure can dish it out and have to overcompensate with a giant gas guzzler. Yup I know your type.

  106. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    @Gina PS. Do all 4 of your adult kids live with you?

  107. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    What’s all this talk about equating car type with personality anyway? I thought the only thing you could glean from a driver was if the size/price of their car was large enough, they were overcompensating for certain physical shortcomings.

    😉

  108. Gina July 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    ROFLMAO.

    Nope.

  109. Gina July 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Natalie–you caught me! I’ve got a tiny penis. :)

  110. Gina July 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Katie..are you continuing to spell it incorrectly to prove a point?

  111. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    @Natalie LOL (good way to put it too while keeping it clean)

    Actually though you can also equate personality types with car and even parenting styles. There is a book called High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV by Keith Bradsher about that.

  112. Warren July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Katie where do you live now? Because in most places the police do not execute someone for being a suspected burglar, even if they are armed.

    London cops don’t have guns? Lived in London quite awhile ago, but every cop I saw was carry either a revolver, or the new semi 9mm. I could walk the streets of London today, and every cop would be carrying a 9mm semi on his or her hip.

    And in your honor Katie, I think I will take my bride for a drive along the river after dinner, in the GTO, just for the pure fun of driving.

  113. Gina July 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Penis is dirty?

  114. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    @Gina who cares if I can spell well or not. Clearly spelling hasn’t helped your adult kids to grow up and live on their own. Nor has it made you into a person who cares about others, the environment, or those who have died from the decline in air pollution.

    And I still want to know if calling someone ignorant or judging someone based on spelling is not a judgement?

  115. Katie July 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    I live in DC.

    I don’t know if London cops used to have guns I’m sure they did at one point, but UK now has a very strict gun ban. If you don’t believe me do a little bit of research on this.

  116. pentamom July 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    “I live in a nice urban area. I don’t know one person who has more than 3 kids and even 3 is a rarity. It’s also walkable so there’s no reason to drive kids around everywhere. ‘

    Hi, nice to meet you. I’m a “rarity.” So are the several families I know personally who have three, four, and five kids. If I wanted to be as insulting as you are, I could make cracks about people who live in urban bubbles and think that everyone in the world has only two kids and no reason ever to leave the city.

    And believe it or not, some of us sometimes take all our kids farther than walking distance for reasons that you, should you deign to condescend to us lesser mortals, just *might* consider legitimate ones.

  117. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    This is the first I’ve heard of people dying from the decline in air pollution. Hmm, what’s Al Gore got to say about that?

  118. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Katie lives in DC which is a “nice urban area.” OK.

    I have an ex who lived in DC where he was held up with a handgun not once, but twice.

    DC is known as the murder capital of the world. It also has one of the strictest gun control laws anywhere.

    I think your narrow personal experience is coloring your perspective big-time.

  119. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    @SKL-
    Who knows? I’m still waiting for an answer on how she can justify living in an industrialized nation. Cause, you know, if you don’t drive an SUV, you don’t consume any energy at all. Or produce waste.

  120. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    @Pentamom
    Nice to meet you too. Somehow you don’t seem to be holding back much from your judgements of my urban bubble. Which is fine, I know plenty of suburbanites who judge me for living in a urban bubble. I don’t care. What I have a problem with is people who criticize others for making a judgement and then turn around and make a judgement themselves.

  121. Gina July 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    So you can’t spell AND you can’t read. I said NO, my kids do not live at home…

    I called you ignorant because you continue to assume you know all about me when you don’t know anything. And you base your assumptions on my CAR!

    Just remember, everyone is on a different journey…we all see through a different window.

    I wish you peace.

  122. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    As for the guy who supposedly took a handgun to the neighbor’s house during a robbery – I’m sorry that’s the only example you can think of where a guy had his gun out in public. That sort of thing does not happen around here; if we think there’s a burglary going on, we call the cops and try to get a photo of the getaway car, LOL. And furthermore, I never brought up having a gun out in public, you did. I was talking about someone seeing another person’s gun on the gun owner’s own property – usually inside his own house.

  123. Gina July 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Natalie and SKL: Thank you for your intelligent responses based on what you do know and lacking any stereotyping at all.

    :)

  124. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    @SKL Actually your just showing how little you know about DC. Sure SE is terrible and NE isn’t great either. But here’s what you don’t know:

    NW is probably one of the nicest areas in the country. So are area’s such as those in Arlington and Montgomery county along the metro lines. Also you clearly aren’t aware that in a matter of years many bad areas have become great areas such as Gallery Place, U street, Eastern Market etc because people want to live close in.

  125. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    @Natalie So by your argument we should just all pollute as much as possible?

  126. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Katie, living in DC doesn’t make you “in an urban bubble.” Talking like you can’t fathom a different lifestyle does.

  127. Captain America July 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    It WOULD be an interesting sociological investigation to see if people who dressed in categories considered “dangerous” and “threatening” were to actually be studied to see if they WERE, in fact, MORE threatening or dangerous than the norm.

    In the back of my mind, there’s a little guy saying, “yeah, sure, I can see how there are kindly, friendly motorcyclists. . . and I can also appreciate that there may be a percentage of motorcyclists who really ARE antisocial.”

    Would make for an interesting study. Sometimes we dress to “represent” ourselves.

  128. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    @Actually SKL Your the one who can’t fathom a different lifestyle. I’ve repeatedly said that’s fine if others want to live in areas where they carry around guns.

    Why would I want a different lifestyle? I can get wherever I want by either walking or subway. Grocery store, museums and the zoo, urgent care, the pediatrician, clothing stores, really almost anything I want I can get too without any of the stress and hassle of worrying about a car. Not to mention great friends who share my interests. The only places I could think of that would be better would be NYC or London (and maybe Chicago or San Francisco).

  129. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    @Gina Thank you for addressing the ignorant part, however you still did not answer the question which is isn’t that a judgement?

    You’ve only proven by point about SUV drivers.

  130. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Oh, I’ve done a lot of working and playing in the DC area. I know some rich people who live there, even. But you’re never very far from the poverty, drugs, homelessness, hopelessness.

    My work colleagues tried to talk me into moving there since it was the hub of the work I was doing. I declined because I have a much higher quality of life staying where I am – even at much lower pay.

  131. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    @SKL Funny because I’ve heard the same thing as your first statement from plenty of helicopter parents about why I should live in the suburbs. And yet if you actually spent some time in NW or Arlington or Bethesda you would quickly realize that the worst thing your going to see is a homeless person asking your for money…if even that.

    If you like where you live great!

  132. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Personally I’m not a city gal, though I’ve lived in the city and in the country and currently live in a conveniently-located suburb. Yes, I need a car to get around, but parking is free; and besides, I have a paid-off house that would easily cost over $1m anywhere near DC. :) My kids don’t have to sleep in fold-out beds in the living room like my millionaire ex-boss’s kids did. To each his own.

  133. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I’m not telling you where you should live, Katie.

    PS, just curious, do you have kids, and if so, how many?

  134. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    @SKL Great glad you like suburbia. I know others who like it and even grew up in it. I understand needing a car in suburbia. I never said I didn’t. What I don’t understand is people who think they need to drive a giant gas guzzler with 1/2 kids and themselves or just themselves particularly into a urban area.

  135. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    @SKL Yes, 1 and would want 1 more at most.

    PS. I wasn’t telling you where to live either. Just curious though where in Northern Virginia (or perhaps I’m misunderstanding and you don’t live in Northern Virginia) do you live that people carry around guns?

  136. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Katie, people are going to buy a car based on more than just one factor. Personally I have no intention of ever having more than one car (I am a single mom). I have the car that does most of what I need transportation for. In my case that is a sedan, which does not get the greatest mileage but certainly not the worst. It’s big enough to fit five butts and my kids’ two 16″ bikes fit in the trunk. In the rare occasion I need something bigger (for example, if I have out-of-town visitors over for a nearby road trip), I rent.

    There are people who have a couple of cars so they can use one for their work commute and another for family stuff. However, cars aren’t exactly cheap, so I don’t expect people to do that. If I lived in DC, wouldn’t it cost me a lot to park two cars just in case I wanted to drive one in the city and the other for family recreation?

    Besides, city driving only involves a few miles. In the grand scheme of things, that is not a lot of gas.

  137. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    @katie

    Not at all. You’ve zeroed in on SUV drivers saying that it is because of them that kids are getting asthma and dying, and the environment, etc, etc…

    But SKL is right in that pollution levels have been going down for some time now. Unless you’re talking about CO2 levels, which are going up, but CO2 is not giving any kids asthma. Is it?

    If you live in Bangladesh, you’re really not consuming that much energy. If you suddenly get an SUV in Bangladesh, you’ve increased your energy output tremendously.

    The average American consumes an incredible amount of energy. Not just in how we get from point A to B, but in what we eat and how we prepare food, HVAC systems, the stuff we buy, being on line. Buying socks means you used power from a coal plant in China that doesn’t have the same emission standards as the US. Yay, more mercury in the oceans.

    And so, this average American who just bought an SUV, has possibly decreased the mpg from his previous car. Possibly, I say. It’s not a given. Age, engine type, year/model also factor in. And if he decreased the mpg by 4-5, when you take into account the lifestyle from just EXISTING in an industrialized nation, does that really warrant all your ire?

    Take away the SUV and replace it with a hybrid 4-door, your average American is still consuming more energy than most of the world.

    So no, I’m not saying pollute as much as you want, I’m saying that it’s going to take more than not driving SUVs to change things. Not driving SUVs won’t make much of a difference at all.

  138. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    How did you figure Northern Virginia??

  139. Donna July 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Ummm, Warren, unless you are much older than you seem, you have not lived in London and seen every cop carry a gun. The carrying of guns by police officers has NEVER been universal in London and has been severely limited since 1936 to only allow a very small number of police officers to carry guns. The highest percentage it has ever been is 17% (mid 60s to mid 80s) and is now only 7%. While I suppose it is possible that you saw only the same 1 or 2 officers the entire time you lived in London and believed them to be many different people, I call bs on your comment.

  140. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    @SKL It’s not just the environmental issues though these people drive their gas guzzlers into the city and try to use them like battering rams. They have no problems doing that even if your a mom with a kid in a stroller. They drive too fast and try to blow through cross walks even when they know you have the right of way. It’s all about them and their spoiled brats. As I mentioned I don’t know one person who lives in the city who has more than 3 kids and 3 kids can fit into a sedan. And I’m also well aware of who these people are in their giant gas guzzlers in the city and they do not even have 3 kids. They get them to bully others.

  141. Gina July 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Katie: I’m a little unclear on what I haven’t answered. If you’re asking me if it’s a judgment on my part to call you ignorant for thinking you know me, I don’t see it that way, but perhaps it’s semantics. If that is your definition of judgmental, then I guess I am. Either way, the fact (not my judgment, the FACT) is you DON’T know anything about me. But I am not judging you based on a stereotype, which is what we are talking about here.

    What point have I proved? It seems that your point about SUV drivers is that they are rude drivers who don’t care about the environment. Neither of those things are true about me. Perhaps I’ve missed another point you made that I’ve proven?

  142. pentamom July 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Katie, you do understand the difference between living in the city, and living in an urban bubble where you don’t grasp that other people can and do legitimately live differently, as in, having more than two kids, and needing to go places with those kids that aren’t always walking distance?

    The phrase “living in a bubble” doesn’t mean “living somewhere in particular,” it means “thinking in such a way that you don’t understand that your own frame of reference doesn’t describe everyone else.” My suggesting that might be the case with you wasn’t a snap judgment about you based on where you live, it was a reasonable conclusion from your attitude.

    You’re trying to justify your initial bigoted remarks about SUV drivers by suggesting that it’s entirely reasonable to criticize people who live in an urban area and drive an SUV when they don’t need to. The problem with that is, you lumped ALL SUV drivers together and suggested that EVERY SUV driver can be expected to be a bad driver, arrogant, etc., you didn’t say “people who drive SUVs when they don’t need to.” Also, this story took place in Sudbury, ONT, which is a city of 160,000 in the middle of nowhere — hardly the kind of place where it’s unreasonable to think you might need an SUV, so *even if* you are in a position to decide who does and doesn’t “need” an SUV, and therefore who is an arrogant illegitimate SUV user, it probably wouldn’t apply here.

  143. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    @SKL because you keep mentioning DC. Although perhaps you live in Maryland, but my understanding is Maryland is generally more liberal and not so much into guns which is more of a Virginia thing. Anyway where do you live? (I’m not asking for your address I’m just saying generally). After all I did answer your question.

  144. Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    @ Gina, pentamom, Natalie etc.

    I have other things to do then explain to you guys that driving an SUV is not a good thing to do. Not to mention defending driving of SUVs and trying to claim they are needed is extremely helicopter parentish. In that sense although I’m not a huge Warren fan I do have to say that I do agree and see where he is coming from when he’s said some people here really are not free rangers.

    Well keep on judging guys and keep on getting upset anytime anyone says anything that you disagree with even when your acting completely selfishly and stupidly.

  145. pentamom July 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    SKL, I think I know where Katie got northern Virginia:

    You said you lived in a suburb close to a large city, and you said….

    ” I have a paid-off house that would easily cost over $1m anywhere near DC.”

    I think she took that to mean that you DO live in near DC, not that you can afford your house because you DON’T live near DC, which is what you meant, right? So from that and near-suburb, she got NoVa.

  146. Donna July 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    SKL – I laughed picturing your inner city hunter getting in his Smart car to go to the country to hunt. Around here the hungers all drive pickup trucks, usually really big ones that use a lot of gas.

  147. SKL July 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Well Katie, even if what you are saying is true of where you live, you’re talking about one small, teeny tiny corner of the world. There are SUVs in all 50 states.

    My sister lives in the boonies, and she drives an SUV because it saves her from being stuck in the deep snow. Out where she lives, they don’t have crosswalks, and nobody would be on her street with a baby in a stroller. Deer, that’s a different story. Oh, and my sister doesn’t have any kids, but she often has a couple of dogs (or a litter of puppies) in her SUV. And she has a gun, too – she has used it to shoot critters who were threatening her dogs, and it also makes her feel a little safer living alone out in the boonies.

    My kids’ nanny lives in a suburb and hates to drive, especially fast. She will not drive on the freeway unless she no other option. I’m not really sure why she chose an SUV but it’s really not my business, is it? I’m pretty sure she isn’t one of those people who tried to mow you down while you crossed the street.

    I don’t know too many others with SUVs. Most people around me drive either sedans, and some drive APVs. But I must say that it’s a slow news day when I get fired up about what kind of car someone else is driving. :)

  148. Donna July 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Hunters, not hungers

  149. pentamom July 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    “Not to mention defending driving of SUVs and trying to claim they are needed is extremely helicopter parentish.”

    Attacking all people as having a certain belief system and attitude and behavior pattern because of the car they drive is not Free Range. I don’t know about anybody else, I’m not “defending driving of SUVs” (as though the car someone chooses to drive needs any defense from anyone), I am pointing out that judging people by the car they drive without knowing a single other thing about them, including how they drive, how they acts, or why they have the car, is not remotely defensible no matter how good or bad that vehicle might be for whatever reason.

    And there’s nothing “helicpoter parentish” about defending the driving of SUVs in certain circumstances. I don’t know what you think that phrase means, but it doesn’t have a lot to do with how big your family is, whether it makes sense to have an extra car to drive when your car’s not full that sits there the rest of the time, and what your climate is like, that might make an SUV the most practical, economical and yes, environmentally-friendly choice for the circumstance.

  150. Warren July 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Donna,
    I was wondering how long it would take. LOL, but obviously Katie was not as sure about her statement, as she would like to be.

    I lived in London, Ontario for about a year, just behind the hospital. Fantastic place. In the winter, they flood the footpath in one of the downtown parks, light the trees so you can skate thru the park.

    Yes for the most part London,in the UK, their police have been without sidearms. But not London, Ontario.

    @Katie
    We do not have to drive any one vehicle over another. It is a free market, that if you have the financial ability, you can drive whatever the heck you want.

    And just how good is public transit for the economy. When I am done with what ever vehicle I was driving, I shut it down, and it’s energy consumption is halted.
    Public transit consumes huge amounts of energy around the clock. How energy efficient are they when their is minimal riders at some hours. Not to mention all the lighting in stations, outside stations, to and from stations, and so on. So Katie, your carbon footprint is not nearly as small as you think.

  151. Gina July 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Again: basing your judgment of me by the car I drive.

    You think I am a helicopter parent because of my car. Not based on anything to do with my style of parenting.

    Not quite sure how to respond to that.

    Anyone?

  152. SKL July 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Katie, *I* keep talking about DC? You brought up DC because you live in DC. I was pointing out how your views are colored by your failure to realize that not every place is like DC.

    I live a 6-hour drive from DC (not counting potty/gas stops). LOL.

  153. SKL July 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    It’s only a matter of time before they come out with an SUV that has a helicopter blade on the top.

    Detroit/Tokyo/Seoul, I want royalties for that idea. LOL

  154. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    @katie

    I’m not defending SUV drivers, I’m saying I don’t think they cause kids to get asthma. I’m saying that calling SUVs the cause for environmental woes is silly because they’re a drop in the bucket.

    You don’t have a response to that? Okay.

    I’ll stay out of your hate-fest.

  155. SKL July 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Gina, don’t you get it? If you have an SUV, that means you are constantly carting your kids around and catering to their every need, want, and desire, when what they need is more responsibility and independence.

    Thing is, in some places, the SUV / APV is the second family car, the housewife’s / soccer mom’s car, and they do use it for running their kids around.

    Obviously running your kids around (whether or not they have access to public transportation etc.) makes you a helicopter mom.

    Any other questions?

  156. Puzzled July 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    I can remember when most posts would not turn into mud-slinging events, and only once in a while, on a hot-button issue, would the comments turn into a fight. Now it’s every post. I blame the heat.

  157. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    @gina

    You and SKL patent her idea. I think that’s a good response.

  158. Donna July 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    Warren, LOL. Forgot there even was a London, Ontario.

  159. Sertorius July 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    @SKL

    I’m curious what other website you were reading where parents teach their kids to scream at the site of gun cleaning? Just curious. I have taught many teenagers to shoot (with parental permission) and haven’t had one screamer yet.

  160. SKL July 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Sertorious, it was just a parenting website where someone brought up that topic in the chat forum. Not a gun-related website.

    But I learned that some parents do teach their kids that if they ever *see* a gun (including in someone else’s home), they are to scream and run. (Others are a bit less extreme, merely teaching their kids to leave immediately and tell Mom and Dad and never go back there again.) The only logic behind that instruction would be if you believed that anyone allowing a child to *see* a gun must be irresponsible. Weird.

  161. Gina July 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    @SKL…thank you for that clarification.

    I am ROFLMAO.

  162. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    But wasn’t this whole post supposed to be in support of Luc and his awesome biker self?

    Whatever happened to Saturday niiiiii-hiiiiiiight?

  163. Jeff July 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    For those juxtaposing the perceived actions of bikers, tatooed guys, etc. and their actual actions, we should remember the censorship movement that led to those Parental Advisory labels on explicit music. One of if not the main faces of the music industry in this movement was Dee Snider of Twisted Sister.

    For those who don’t know, Twisted Sister was a metal band famous for cross dressing in their acts. The movement, led be Tipper Gore, were completely stunned when he was the most articulate, thoughtful person in the room when he was brought to Congress.

  164. Gina July 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    So, what’s my stereotype if I have a Grateful Dead Dancing Bears bumper sticker ON my SUV?

    And another one that says: “What Would Neil Young Do?”

    Now what can you tell about me?

    This is fun :)

  165. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    @jeff-
    Basically, Alice Cooper’s discussion of the origins of the word “Milwaukee” in Wayne’s World.

  166. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    @gina-
    That you have lousy taste in music?

    (Sorry, that was too much of a set up)

  167. Warren July 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    A little eduction about Sudbury, Ontario, and Tim Horton’s in Ontario.

    Sudbury is at the crossroads for many people travelling. It is on the Trans Canada Highway. Be it north, south, east or west everyone stops in and around Sudbury for gas, potty and coffee.
    Tim Hortons is a gathering place for locals all the time.

    I would bet money on the mom and daughter being travellers and not locals. Most likely from The Greater Toronto Area, on holidays. Had they been locals, they would have seen Luc and the boys before, and this would not have happened.

    My Dad’s side of the family is scattered from Sudbury along #17 to Pembroke. People from up there would not have reacted as this mother did. My money is on her being from Toronto.

  168. Sertorius July 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    @SKL

    What website? I promise not to post anything. I’m just curious – sort of like an anthropologist wanting to look at a different culture. Around where I live, a parent who taught their teenager to scream and run away at the sight of a parent cleaning a gun would be referred for a mental health screening.

  169. Gina July 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    @Natalie: LOL..you’re right, of course..

    I hope you don’t really think that though…if so, you’re missing some mighty fine music!

    :)

    @Warren: Um..stereotyping again. Toronto moms hate bikers?

  170. SKL July 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Sertorious, if I’m going to give you the website, I will have to come clean a little. The original post of the thread was a question: “what would you think if your son went to pick up his date, and the girl’s dad was sitting on the porch cleaning his gun? Dad spoke nicely and all….” So the original topic of the thread was people’s reaction to the old, mostly joking, symbolic gesture that a lot of dads say they are going to do, and apparently some dads actually do. (Or maybe the guy really was just cleaning his gun – who knows?)

    So most of the comments are debating whether the dad was righteous, witty, weird, rude, or a serious danger to society. LOL.

    But some of the commenters said they thought it was always wrong to let a visitor see your guns / see you cleaning them (one compared it to cleaning your toilet), and some mentioned that they had this rule that their kids must always flee if they ever see a gun.

    My view was that some people’s gun control biases and lack of experience were coloring their reactions.

    So I was doing a bit of selective reporting here, pulling out some of the comments which weren’t entirely on topic.

    Anyhoo, with that background, the website is the Well-Trained Mind forums (a community for mostly homeschoolers). The last comment on the thread would have been yesterday or today. :)

  171. Donna July 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Having never driven an SUV, I wanted to clarify in case I’m missing out on something really cool – they don’t actually drive themselves, right? Because I am a bit confused by all this blaming SUVs for bad driving.

  172. Gina July 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    No, no, no Donna…She was blaming ME (the SUV driver) for the bad driving..sorry you misunderstood.

    :)

  173. SKL July 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Just the mere fact that you went to a car dealer that sells SUVs tells me all I need to know.

  174. SKL July 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    I’ve driven my sister’s SUV a couple times. I guess I’m tainted now.

  175. Donna July 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    So if you buy a Prius, you magically become a responsible driver who drives slowly and smiles at all the babes in strollers in the crosswalks?

  176. Warren July 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    @Gina
    Not stereotyping at all. I know the area this happened in, I know the culture of the people up there, as I am related to hundreds of them. But I was born and raised in Toronto, and I know the culture there as well.

    “My money is on” is not stereotyping, but going with all that I know, and if I was going to place a wager on it, her being a mom from Toronto is the best bet.

    You have to understand that along with Luc’s appearance also comes an accent. We often joke that they are Ontario’ rednecks. Most of us joke in fun not insult. That accent is often look down upon by those from the major centers of the south.
    The french are not really liked by Torontonians, and Luc’s accent even if he is not french, is french influenced.

    I could go on and on, I know my Ontario, I am proud of it, I love it, and wouldn’t live anywhere else. Just don’t make me live in Pembroke, Ontario. That is the only condition.

  177. SKL July 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Donna: “So if you buy a Prius, you magically become a responsible driver who drives slowly and smiles at all the babes in strollers in the crosswalks?”

    ROFLLLLLLL! I can think of a Prius owner who has a suspended license half of the time because she drives so irresponsibly. (No alcohol involved even.)

    The Prius isn’t considered that environmentally friendly anyhoo. Mileage is OK, but the tires wear out too fast and the battery can’t be recycled. It’s probably still better than my Saturn, but at least I’m not trying to prove anything. :)

  178. Gina July 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    @Warren–still stereotyping. I’m a Jewish girl from the North Shore of Long Island. I guarantee that tells you NOTHING about who I am!!!

    @Donna–yes, of course! And if you walk or take public transportation, you are automatically nominated for sainthood.

  179. Warren July 29, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    As for Katie and her vehicles.

    I would love to go completely green with all my vehicles. There are a few conditions, which also means my GTO is untouchable, non negotiable.

    1. They have to perform as well as or better than what they are replacing. That means power, reliability, and durablity.
    2. They come in at or as near to as possible, as what it costs for me to get right now in a gas/diesel.

    And as of right now, there is nothing on the market. So we will keep our fleet of company pickup, all diesel, and our fleet of personal vehicles all gas.

  180. Gina July 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    My best friend drives a Prius. He also smokes cigarettes and is not fond of kids.
    I have two daughters, 2.3 years apart, raised in the same house at the same time by the same parents. One dresses like a fashion model, the other looks like a hippie chick (like me)…they BOTH have hearts of gold and are the most respectful, kind, delightful, tolerant people I know.
    My 26 year old son has pierced ears and dresses like a slob. He has Asperger’s Syndrome along with several other semi-debilitating conditions, both physical and emotional. He is one of the best preschool teachers I have ever met.

    STOP JUDGING BY APPEARANCES….they tell you NOTHING!

  181. Sertorius July 29, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    Thanks, SKL. That was an interesting discussion – and your description of the different points of view was very accurate.

  182. Warren July 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    @Gina
    Nope, not stereotyping at all. Making an educated guess. Because I do not think all Torontonian moms are like that, nor do I think all Torontonians are like that.

    Making a guess based on odds, is not stereotyping. And your comparison of telling me where you live, and your faith is not the same. I am going by reported behaviour, and what I know of the area it happened in. I am then combining my experience to make an educated guess.
    It would be stereotyping to say that because you are from Long Island, and Jewish, that you must be whatever. That is stereotyping. Reading people is not.

    Let me guess, you are one of those ones that hates law enforcement using profiling because it is stereotyping, racist, sexist or whatever.

  183. Gina July 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Warren: point taken…i see the difference.

    As for your question…I live in Maricopa County (Sheriff Joe Arpaio) so I have no choice but to have that opinion. However, even if I didn’t live here, yes, I would feel that way.

    I appreciate your clear, intelligent argument instead of insults and name-caling. It’s refreshing to have a discussion with different sides without feeling attacked.

    :)

  184. Beth July 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    “No, no, no Donna…She was blaming ME (the SUV driver) for the bad driving..sorry you misunderstood .”

    Don’t forget, she was also blaming you (and all of us who forgot to check with Katie before buying a vehicle) for driving 2x the speed limit and having spoiled brats who go to 3 practices or lessons per day.

    She has an amazing wealth of information about people and children she has never met.

  185. Gina July 29, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    That makes a total of 15 lessons/practices a day for me…75 a week. it’s a wonder I can even stand up, let alone drive 2x the speed limit!

  186. Donna July 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Wow, I didn’t know my car choice was such a moral flagship. And to think, the last time I bought a new car my sole thought was “well damn, what can I afford with the settlement check from the idiot who totalled my car because I so wasn’t planning on buying a new car for another 5 years.” How short-sighted of me. I clearly should have thought about it more since there is a lot of pressure on cars these days.

  187. SKL July 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    I may not own an SUV, but I have been guilty of setting my kids up for 3+ lessons on a single day. What shall my punishment be?

  188. Warren July 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    SKL
    No more anything for the kids. They must all take course in mechanics, as to keep your vehicle in the best of shape, to stay in the good graces of Katie and her followers. Online courses so you do not have to transport them anywhere.

  189. Warren July 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    No Donna,
    You are in law. You don’t drive at all. You should be using a car service, to keep up appearances. Preferably hybrid limo, if you can.

  190. Donna July 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Warren, I’m a public defender. I think hitch-hiking with my hobo stick is a little more appropriate to my status in life.

  191. Warren July 29, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    How’s your balance? Skateboards must be enviromentally friendly.

  192. Donna July 29, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    SKL- You must write “I will not destitute the environment by making so many unnecessary trips when clearly we should all just stay home and sing kumbaya” 1000 times in your best penmanship and mail them to Katie.

  193. Donna July 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    That should have been “destroy the environment,” but destitute is better, albeit not the correct usage. Thanks autocorrect.

  194. SKL July 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    But . . . but . . . the piano lesson was at school, and the other 3 lessons were at the Little Gym, one after the other. So only one extra car drive compared to if they had no “lessons.”

    But on the other hand, thanks to urban sprawl, that meant an extra 15-20 miles of driving for the day. Terrible, terrible.

    I probably shouldn’t mention that we stopped at the McD’s drive-through along the way . . . .

  195. Gina July 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    SKL–McD’s???? That settles it..you are banned from Free Range Parenting. Never post here again.

  196. SKL July 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    LOL.

  197. K July 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    There is absolutely no way you can judge a person or their commitment to the environment based only on their car. Maybe that person driving the SUV is a doctor, who has to get to the hospital no matter what if it snows. Maybe they have five big dogs. Or maybe they are like my neighbor and moved here from Alaska, where you have to have something heavy with 4WD. Or a team of sled dogs. Should my neighbor replace her big SUV that is already paid for, just to make someone like Katie happy? Or should Katie mind her own judgemental business? My other neighbor owns a Prius. He also pours bleach on the weeds in his sidewalk, smokes and throws the butts on the ground and doesn’t recycle his beer cans. FWIW my husbands SUV gets better gas mileage than my minivan, and the SUV is two years older.

    As to the main post, tattoos are mainstream now. You can’t assume someone with tats is an ex-con, uneducated, on drugs, or some sort of rebel. Just like you can’t assume the guy with the suit and nice haircut is a great guy.

  198. hineata July 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Gosh, really, you people need to get up with the play. Forget SUVs. Didn’t y’all know cows are actually the major source of global warming? Now, down here where we all ride our cows to work and back, and to all those after school lessons…..the Ozone layer is coming down in sheets. And we still luv ’em. There’s something about being able to hop off your ride and get a drink….

    About the only place I don’t take Daisy is the drive-through at McDonalds – I send the chicken out for that…. :-).

  199. hineata July 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Oh, and the real beauty of a cow, is that you can tattoo them to look cool – no need to go through all that pain yourself, LOL!

  200. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    Educated guess vs. stereotyping. Hmm…

    Someone tells me about a lousy driver that almost ran him and his three kids over at the crosswalk. The driver yelled out a curse indicating that she hates pedestrians. Before even knowing what kind of car it was, I just know that the driver was a driver of an SUV. Not that I stereotype, heavens no. I’m fully aware that not all SUV drivers are lousy drivers and pedestrian (especially pedestrians with kids) haters. In fact, some of my best friends are SUV drivers. But, from what I know about drivers and cars, from my observations, from my incredible wealth of experience, I can make an educated guess and say that the driver in the story was an SUV driver.

    So it’s an educated guess. Not stereotyping.

    Or… It’s the same thing and I’m trying to convince myself that it’s not by just giving it another name.

    Some of my best friends are Toronto moms, too.

  201. baby-paramedic July 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    I own a 4wd. A fairly big one.
    It has a bullbar that is *not* pedestrian friendly. If I hit a person they will splatter.
    I also happen to live in inner city – I pay an inner city levy on my car registration. My postcode is the CBD’s postcode.

    There are near constant cries to ban vehicles like mine from urban environments.

    So, why do I drive such a beast? Well, it is simple really. I work relieving. I can be working at any ambulance station within my state to ensure proper cover for the community. This assists in covering things like sick leave, or holiday leave by paramedics. I mostly drive this vehicle to and from work.

    In Australia we have these brilliant animals called kangaroos. Often it seems like their main purpose is to write off as many cars as possible. Our main causes of car accidents are much the same as the rest of the worlds, under the influence, speed, etc. We just have an extra one – hitting roos. Hitting an emu is worse, but that doesn’t happen as often. Naturally, roos are not a big issue in the city. They are a VERY BIG issue when you get out of the towns. Apparently there are 200,000 reported car accidents involving roos. I have hit several, and haven’t reported one (thanks to the vehicle type I drive, no damage yet).

    So, I get scowled at, even have been yelled at, for having such an irresponsible and unnecessary vehicle in an urban environment. But, I need it for when I *leave* the urban environment.

    People should try being Less judgey.

  202. SKL July 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    This reminds me of the time I was at a McD’s drive-thru with my kids. They were about 3 or 4. Anyhoo, we went through the whole thing and I got the food and then one of my daughters asked, “was that lady’s skin brown?” (They could not see the server’s face, which did happen to be brown.) Was that an educated guess or a stereotype? Whatever it was, was there anything wrong with the thought process?

    Of course it’s one thing to say “That person might have been ___ based on my experience,” another to say “____s are always like that!”

  203. SKL July 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    baby-paramedic, your roos sound like our deer. :/ They are all born with a death wish. And their wish is to take out as many cars as they can along the way.

    We have a lot of them right here in our suburban neighborhood. (Probably because the bleeding hearts raise a protest every time the county proposes to cull them.) It’s nerve-wracking.

  204. K July 29, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    My brother hit a deer on a high speed four lane highway. It totaled his car. Luckily, he was okay. Baby paramedics roo story makes me think of the beginning of one of the crocodile Dundee movies, where mick dresses as a zoo with a big gun to scare away the poachers.

  205. MT July 29, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Just as a counterpoint to Warren’s assessment of Torontonians… I was born and raised here, and don’t know anybody who would react like that. That lady could have been from anywhere, rudeness is unfortunately found everywhere.

  206. baby-paramedic July 29, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    I know in some towns where the culling of them has been banned they are an issue, much like your deers sound to be. Thing is, if you only have one or two jump out at you every now and then, it is not so bad. But, on a particular 50km stretch on the way home, it is not uncommon to have 40 or so give it a go. Sometimes I just cannot dodge them all, especially when trying to ensure I do not get hit by a roadtrain by hitting my breaks too hard, or straying away from my thin side of the road (many “highways” are in fact one lane, where you drive down the middle until something bigger comes along and pushes you off it. Roadtrains always win this game).

  207. Natalie July 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    @SKL
    People always use qualifiers that not all xxx’s have yyy qualities. Just generally speaking, you know. Enough to make assumptions.

  208. Gina July 29, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    In Arizona, we have suicidal elk! I don’t think any car would win a fight with one of those.

    @Natalie–well said!

  209. Warren July 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Well it does not take long for all the cry babies to come crawling. So sensitive, so fragile, so weak that they want to feel like a victim. The best thing about these people, like k and Natalie, is that they cannot read. At no point did I say all Torontonian moms are like that.

    I would not speak that way of my mother, grandmother, aunt and two cousins that are Toronto moms, because I know they would not react that way.

    And for all you poor little victims that take offense at being lumped in with one group or another……….sucks to be you. Grow up and get thicker skins. You want to call people racists, sexists, bigots or whatever, every time someone makes comments on observing human behaviour.

    Observing, analysing and making conclusions based on human behaviour are done all the time, and are a part of life. Everything from cops trying to prevent and solve crimes, to advertising, to teachers, to whatever………it is called life.
    Been there done that with Natalie before, when she called me sexist for stating there are differences between men and women. She seems to think there isn’t, which makes me wonder how she had kids……..but that is her business.
    There is a big difference between stereotyping and understanding human behaviour. Though I doubt Natalie you would understand that. You see I have found that alot of people that scream racism, sexism are ones that are racists, and sexist themselves, but just cannot see it.

    @mt
    Well how long have you been alive, because the whole damn city was in an uproar when Mayor Mel was photographed shaking the hand of a biker? Do you remember that? Do you remember when the city was all ticked off, that Dice had a ride thru the Beaches, and the police didn’t arrest them? Only to find out they were riding to raise money for a toy drive.
    Any other questions MT?

  210. Warren July 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    @k
    sorry in the above post meant MT not you

  211. Gina July 30, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    Well, I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed today’s conversations. I will have to sit at my computer all day again sometime soon.

    I leave you with this thought:

    Katie: Are ALL DC women judgmental of SUV drivers? 😉

    Goodnight :)

  212. amy July 30, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    I live near Sturgis, SD, have done for most of my life. Most of the folks who attend the rally are just hairy and scary for the week. But the fighting, rapes, dui’s and murders are real. Bikers love their badass image whether they are in a violent gang or just playing dress-up. If a person is a big cuddly teddy bear at heart, why try so hard to look mean? I know there are perfectly nice bikers but how to tell if it’s just a way of dress? You want to look the part? Fine. But don’t whine when people react according to the mean-guy rep you all have worked so hard to engender.

  213. Erica July 30, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    @amy
    The picture that Lenore posted of the guy in the red hat is the biker that wrote the initial Facebook post. Does he really look hairy and scary? If he rode his bike that particular day he was probably in leather, does that make it worse? What’s the harm in giving a polite nod and smile even if the attire seems intimidating? Is that gesture going to let vampires in the house?

  214. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    @warren

    At no point did I say that you said that all Toronto moms are like that. Which was the point. It’s the classic “some of my best friends” claim.

    And yes, it is exactly how you justified your views on women (5 months ago?) So I’m not surprised that you would use the same reasoning. That, and having a uterus, which was also your justification for making generalizations about women. Pretty standard fare.

    I know, sucks to be called sexist. But if you want to speak in generalizations, it’s going to happen.

    And no, insulting STILL doesn’t make a good counterpoint.

  215. SKL July 30, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    All righty then!

  216. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Also, Katie.
    One reason that parents with 1/2 kids would want that 3rd row that an SUV or minivan gives is to carry friends. Car seats are huge. I can’t fit my two girls and a friend, legally, in my Honda accord. Can’t be done. Can’t carpool, can’t pick up a friend to go on a trip with us, can’t pick/drop off from play dates, can’t do a favor for a friend in a bind.

    Car seat laws encourage the purchase of bigger cars. Did that author of the book take that into account?

  217. Warren July 30, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    @Natlale,

    You are on piece of work. Quite far up on the whackadoodle scale, and very out of touch with reality.

    Stereotyping is one thing, reading people and making educated decisions is completely different. And if you are too narrow minded to see that, you are proving my point. That you are just as bias as those you accuse.

    Reading people, taking into accont any and all information you can gather from behaviour, dress, appearance, body language, speech you name it, but reading people is a part of daily life.
    We do it when we interview employees, make decisions on whether to set up customers on account, bargaining for deals, joking with people, and most any other interactions that we have with people.

    I would say that you are the one doing the stereotyping. By insisting that people that read human behaviour are stereotyping. You are unfairly lumping us in with the bias. That act on your part makes you bias, and guilty of stereotyping.

    One of these days Natalie, when you grow up, and join reality you will understand that the whole world isn’t made up of humans that are all the same. That men and women differ from each other. And instead of you being ashamed of those differences, you should be proud of them.

  218. amy July 30, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    @Erica,
    I’ve never been rude to a biker. I’ve had many many conversations with then and am aware there is a unique and often kind person behind the facade. But I’ve experienced being in a crowd of literally thousands (to and from and at my job as a teen grocery store clerk) most of whom are doing their best to look menacing. Didn’t stop to analyze who was actually kinda cute. The nice folks are lumping themselves with the not-nice ones when they CHOOSE to emulate them. So I CHOOSE to be cautious until I know more. Some are just passionate bikers. Some are gang members with little regard for human life and live by their own set of laws. Try not to get your self-righteous indignation fired up until you read up a little on the subject. Come to Sturgis and tell me you feel perfectly safe walking to your car at night when you know there’s a turf war in full swing.

  219. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Warren,
    if you say that the rude woman was probably a Toronto mom, yes, that’s stereotyping. If I say that a lousy, rude driver was probably an SUV driver, yes, that’s stereotyping.
    The fact that your aunt/mom/best friend is a Toronto mom and doesn’t behave according to your generalization doesn’t mean you’re not using stereotypes. I can also say that my aunt/mom/best friend drives an SUV, and is courteous on the road, that doesn’t contradict my generalization about SUV drivers.
    Yes, it’s still stereotyping.
    No, you’re not the first or the last person who’s tried the some of my best friends excuse.
    Yes, you still think that an insult is a replacement for a reasoned argument.

  220. Erica July 30, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    @amy
    The story was about one biker at a grocery store in Sudbury, Ontario not a group of gang of bikers. I’ve never been to Sturgis but I have heard about it. No, I probably wouldn’t feel safe in the middle of Sturgis, but I can give a polite hello to a biker in the parking lot of a store instead of telling my kids “we don’t talk to dirty bikers”.

  221. amy July 30, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Erica- Me, too.

  222. Warren July 30, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    For one thing Natalie, there was no insult. Just an observation and opinion of you. No insult. Some of the nicest people are whackadoodles.

    Natalie, I could debate with you for days on this, to no end. If you had some basic understanding of human behaviour, outside of you sexist bias standpoint, we might get somewhere. But unfortunately your narrow minded way of judging and stereotyping people make that next to impossible. Should you ever become more open minded, then maybe we could actually discuss this.

    Why is it the first people to scream racism, bigotry or stereotyping are the worst offenders of just what they claim to be fighting. Natalie is not different. Maybe she is trying to fight her own demons, who knows.

  223. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Warren,
    You don’t know what debating is. I’ve given you an example which explains why your “educated guess” is actually stereotyping.
    You respond with insults.
    Pretty typical.

  224. pentamom July 30, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    “SKL- You must write “I will not destitute the environment by making so many unnecessary trips when clearly we should all just stay home and sing kumbaya” 1000 times in your best penmanship and mail them to Katie. ”

    Donna, HOW DARE YOU????? You set her a writing assignment and didn’t insist she use sustainable ink????????

    You are a terrible person. I refuse to believe you don’t drive an SUV.

  225. Katie July 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    @Natalie, Gina How exactly are you free rangers?

    Because I have to say I’ve had the exact same conversations many time with helicopter parents in person , but never with a free ranger in person?

    Anyway go have fun sitting behind your computers. I’m not hanging out here all day because I have actual free range friends I hang out with. Not wannabees who sit behind a computer trying to dilute the free range movement.

  226. SKL July 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Why do I feel like I was just transported back to 4th grade recess?

  227. SKL July 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    I’m trying to imagine anyone in real life, free ranger or not, wanting to have a conversation about the evils of SUVs and their drivers.

  228. Donna July 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    I forgot sustainable ink. And recycled paper! I am a terrible person. I might as well just trade in my civic for a SUV instead of getting the window fixed.

    But then I couldn’t be free range since owning an SUV per se equals helicopter parent. Which begs the question: is the opposite true? If I keep my child actually handcuffed to me all day but drive a Smart car, am I automatically free range?

    SUV or free range parent? It is simply too difficult of a decision. How do others choose?

  229. Warren July 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Natalie,
    How is making observations of your stubborness and narrow mindedness insulting? How is pointing out that you are guilty of the acts you claim to be fighting, insulting?

    You constantly call me and others out and demand we explain our ideals and actions, yet when challenged or called out you refuse to answer. That my dear is the stance of a weak person, with no courage.

    You sit up on your high horse calling people racist, sexist and guilty of stereotyping, when you do not have the slightest idea of human behaviour. It is your behaviour that is in question.
    You snapped to judgement calling my actions stereotyping. You based that on on piece of the puzzle. I based my educated guess on the ladies reaction, the time of year, the setting, the geographical location, and Luc’s account. So by your flawed logic, anytime someone asses the situation, and makes a guess at who the person was, is guilty of stereotyping.
    Natalie, if you cannot see the flaws in your arguement, then I assert that you are the one guilty of bigotry and stereotyping. And that is a sorry way to live.

  230. Donna July 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    SKL, ummm I think you just insulted 4th graders.

  231. Maggie July 30, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    My husband doesn’t have tattoos or long hair, but when we lived in town and he used to walk or jog in the evenings, women would cross to the other side of the street to avoid meeting/passing him.

  232. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Warren,
    What in the world are you talking about? You’re all over the place.
    It’s you and Katie that I’m calling out. Katie about SUV drivers, you about Toronto moms. Here. in this thread. right now.
    You haven’t responded to the example I put forward 20 posts ago. Katie says she’s too busy being free range to discuss her hypocrisy, you talk about Whackadoodles and demons instead of discussing yours.

  233. SKL July 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Donna, it wasn’t an insult, but I will admit it was a stereotype . . . .

  234. SKL July 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Just thinking how I would be telling my daughters off if I caught them having an online tiff like this. LOL.

  235. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Seriously, SKL, Donna,
    Sustainable ink and recycled paper aside,
    If you go back to my post at… oh geese. 8:07 pm. Do you think those two examples are the same? Are they educated guesses or stereotypes with the “some of my best friends” caveat? Or something else entirely?
    I think I’m explaining myself clearly. And I actually would like to talk about this with people who are capable of doing so.
    Or would you two rather just sit this one out?

  236. Gina July 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Katie: I don’t even understand the question. I am FR because I don’t hove over my kids like a helicopter, I let them make their own choices and suffer or enjoy the consequences, I give them freedom to make mistakes…..What does that have to do with anything that was said on this board today?

  237. Katie July 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    “How is making observations of your stubborness and narrow mindedness insulting? How is pointing out that you are guilty of the acts you claim to be fighting, insulting? You constantly call me and others out and demand we explain our ideals and actions, yet when challenged or called out you refuse to answer. That my dear is the stance of a weak person, with no courage”. (quoting Warren)

    Wow, it’s a cold day in hell when I actually agree with Warren!

  238. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    It’s not surprising.
    Neither one of you is making much sense today.

  239. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    @gina-
    I still want to know why driving an SUV over a 4-door is the tipping point for kids getting asthma. Maybe it is. But it doesnt seem likely to me.
    Or the cause of such environmental ruin that all drivers deserve the vitriol she harbors towards them.

  240. Warren July 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Not making sense? The last ditch reply of a weak person knowing their back is against the wall.

    Natalie, you are a joke. You call people out, yet you cower and hide when put on the spot yourself.

  241. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Warren,
    do you understand the concept “some of my best friends are”? That’s the issue here. Do you understand that you can hold stereotypes about a group without thinking that every single person in that group behaves according to that stereotype?
    It appears that you don’t, as your explanation before your barrage of insults, was that you don’t think every single Toronto mom is rude.

  242. SKL July 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Natalie,

    I try not to engage Warren on principle. Sometimes I still do, but the conversation always devolves into . . . what you see here. A while ago he called me just about every foul name for which there is a spelling. Somehow that’s just not my idea of a good time.

  243. Donna July 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Natalie,

    I agree with SKL. Any conversation with Warren in which you don’t agree with him devolves quickly into name calling and insults. He has no other “debate” method. Sometimes, when I’m bored, I disagree with him just to see how outrageous he can get.

  244. Warren July 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Natalie,

    No matter how many times you repeat the same old lines, it does not change the fact that while in theory you make some sense, your application is flawed by your own stereotyping.

    While making an observation about a group can be stereotyping, not every observation is stereotyping. That is where you fail.

    the whole some of my best friends are, was never said by me. I still have female relatives…oops, relatives…dont want to stereotype all my relatives as female. I still have relatives living in Toronto.

    What barrage of insults. The truth hurt? That you are a narrow minded, stubborn, sexist, racist, stereotyping woman trying in vain to act like you are not?

    You believe that your way is the only way, and being called out on it just kills you.

    When you have settled your bigotry, sexist, stereotyping ways and issues, then you can maybe try to correct others. Untill then, you are just a bigot.

  245. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    SKL-

    I was asking your opinion because you ventured in with the Hispanic (or other minority?) people working at McDs, and then didn’t continue. It’s an interesting example. And Donna, because she was still replying, and might have an interesting take on recent news events.

    I didn’t mean to drag you into this morass, I wanted a discussion about when it’s a stereotype, when it’s an educated guess, do they overlap at points? at what point is it harmful? there are so many things to talk anout with this subject, especially with the Trayvon Martin case (Zimmerman claiming he couldn’t hold racist views because he had a black friend) And Warren is the only one responding, so it’s an exercise in futility.

    Don’t worry about it. Maybe we’ll have another chance.

  246. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Donna-
    Shame on you, you made me snort my coffee.
    So you’re also engaging in a bit of schedenfreude at the unintentional hilarity? Now I don’t feel so bad.

  247. Donna July 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    “You believe that your way is the only way, and being called out on it just kills you. ”

    Pot meet kettle.

    Had to be said.

  248. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    He doesn’t understand that his insults are the height of irony.

  249. SKL July 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    Natalie,

    I think they overlap, and I think that most of it is subconscious, so we don’t tend to think critically about whether it’s the wisdom of experience vs. a learned stereotype when it happens to us.

    We seem more ready to think about such things when the person to be critically examined is someone other than ourselves.

    Sometimes it honestly doesn’t matter. Today some thugs in hoodies gunned down a store owner named Mohammad Ismail (and his employee) in a low-income neighborhood in the big city near here. Did I form a possibly incorrect picture in my mind of the thugs and the store owner? Yes, even though I have enough sense to know the reality could look different. Was I stereotyping or calling on experience? Well, probably both. The majority of the population there is AA and the majority of that type of crime is done by local people. Store owner – could be AA or Middle Eastern or South Asian, but there aren’t that many stores owned by AA around here, so. Educated guess? Maybe. Does it matter? Not really. In my opinion, what matters is that someone in the neighborhood was gunned down. This is going to have a domino effect on the entire community. One thing I wondered was whether anyone was going to holler racism in connection with the murderers. I rather doubt it. Educated guess? Stereotyping? Who cares?

  250. SKL July 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    As for my earlier example involving my preschoolers and the McDs worker (who was AA), I really didn’t have a point other than: you can form a “stereotypical” picture in your mind without being racist.

    And no, I don’t think my preschoolers were being racist. They have brown skin themselves and it was a fascinating topic for them at times. This was before their MLK lesson in KG, where they were taught that race-based discrimination is an institution in our culture. :(

  251. K July 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    What the heck does driving a SUV have to do with helicopter parenting? Last I checked, you don’t even need to have kids to buy one.

    Also, I live in MD and whomever mentioned that this is a liberal state was right. Gun ownership is not nearly as common here as it is in, say, Missouri or VA or Alabama. We have a problem with illegal handguns and drugs and gangs. Also, our governor is a douche.

  252. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Where do you live, if you don’t mind me asking? CA?

  253. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I wasn’t saying your kids were racist. Sorry if it sounded that way.

    Not all stereotyping is racism. Toronto moms are not a race unto their own. But it’s a slippery slope if people engage in it too much.

  254. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    You’re right in that a lot of it is subconscious though.
    There have been quite a few studies showing that hiring managers (male and female) offer male candidates slightly more money than female, and rate their perceived competency higher even though the only difference on the resumes was the name. Same for “black” sounding names vs. “white” sounding names.
    It’s hard to get rid of.

  255. Donna July 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Natalie,

    What Warren said was indeed stereotyping. “I believe that, if insults are going to be slung at a biker, it is going to be a woman from Toronto doing the slinging” (which is essentially what Warren said) is indeed stereotyping. But stereotyping need not be bigotry.

    We all stereotype to a certain extent. Our brains seek to put unknown things into buckets already known and fill in blanks based on our own life experiences. And many stereotypes are stereotypes because they DO describe a large portion of the group being stereotyped. Little old ladies driving slow is a stereotype but it is also true of a large percentage of little old ladies and is a result of decreased vision and reaction time.

    Bigotry is when your stereotype clouds your thinking about all people in that particular group. Katie and her SUV drivers for example. She is so bigoted against SUVs that she cannot comprehend an SUV driver that is not a horrible, helicopter parent although that is far from true about the vast majority of SUV drivers. She views her friends as very limited exceptions to the SUV-drivers-are-all-awful rule, as opposed to Warren who seems to view Torontoians (I have no idea what to call people from Toronto) as good people in general but believes that Torontoians are more likely than any other group in Canada to insult bikers. Katie hears “SUV driver” and immediate jumps to evil person. Warren doesn’t hear “Torontoian” and immediately jump to person who insults bikers, but when he hears that someone in an SUV in this area insulted a biker, he does immediately jump to the belief that it was an Torontoian.

  256. SKL July 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    I didn’t read all of Warren’s posts in detail, but I assumed that his initial reference to Toronto meant “it was probably a city chick” which was probably based on his impression that city chicks don’t see bikers as much and hence are more likely to be taken aback when they do. Maybe Toronto is the nearest big city to where this happened, I don’t know.

    Now as to his impression that city chicks don’t see many bikers etc., I would lean toward that being the voice of experience, honestly. Of course there are exceptions, but. I lived in the city and in the country, and they are very different, and you get used to different ideas of “normal.” Of course then there is the TV which feeds stereotypes of everything you rarely see in real life. It happens to all of us.

    Not saying this to agree or disagree with anyone. Just that was my first impression.

  257. SKL July 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Warren’s quote:

    “I would bet money on the mom and daughter being travellers and not locals. Most likely from The Greater Toronto Area, on holidays. Had they been locals, they would have seen Luc and the boys before, and this would not have happened.”

    Seems to me he’s just saying the family is reacting to not being familiar with bikers. To be honest, it sounds logical to me. He didn’t even say “it has to be a Toronto chick.”

    If we’re honest with ourselves, we do what Warren did above many times every day. And I don’t see it being a problem. Just musing and trying to make sense of something that seems strange.

    Now of course all that came after – what Warren does when anyone challenges him – I cannot support. That is why I quit reading the whole back-and-forth. I have no appetite for it. Even if I did, I’m supposed to be working. 😛

  258. EricS July 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    This isn’t surprising to me. I hear people saying the most ignorant things like this. It’s more proof how many people get suckered into believing things that are told to them, but other ignorant people. They don’t stop to think and realize for themselves. I was taught to never judge a book by the cover. And some of the most down to earth, kind, and considerate friends I have, would be considered “dirty bikers” in stupid people’s eyes. A teacher doesn’t make you a better person than a “dirty biker”. How many stories do we hear about teachers abusing and molesting children. Same goes for priests. Executive business men in suits and ties? Half of them are crooks. Sure, there are really bad bikers out there. Just like really bad parents, teachers, coaches, relatives, etc… We are all human. We have the potential to be terrible, but also compassionate. It’s not what we wear, or how we look. It’s what’s in our hearts, minds, and actions that should be assessed. What the most sad and terrible thing about this incident is, and many like it, the children learn to be ignorant just like their parents. They go on to dislike certain people, because that’s what they were taught. All because of stupid parents, the children suffer in their future.

    “No honey, we don’t talk to ignorant bigots, who judge people without ever knowing them.”

  259. Donna July 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    It is still a stereotype. Many of our stereotypes are “the voice of experience” speaking to us. But our experience involving the group is extremely small. For example Warren actually knows very few of the people who live in Toronto. His experience would be extremely limited and he is extrapolating that out to the entire population.

    Your statement that city chicks don’t see many bikers is also a stereotype. May be true of SOME city chicks but some city chicks are bikers.

    Further, he has no basis on which to make his assertion that it is a woman from Toronto. Even if the belief that city folk have less experience with bikers is true, this reaction may have had nothing to do with lack of experience. It could have been a woman who lives right next door to bikers and hates them.

  260. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    @Donna
    So you’re saying the difference is not educated guess/stereotype.
    You’re saying the difference is bigotry/stereotype.

    Admittedly, I had to look up the word bigotry because it’s one of those words that I think I know the meaning to, but in this case, I find I’m not so sure.
    Bigotry: an intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from ones own – (I always associated it with racism/sexism, etc)
    Stereotype: widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing

    I agree that Katie’s stance is bigotry and Warren’s talk of toronto moms wasn’t, I didn’t really explain what I felt the differences were, I just changed warren’s sentences about Toronto moms to SUV drivers so that it would be more apparent that his statement was also a stereotype.

    I agree in that it is a more natural tendency of humans to stereotype, we like to simplify and classify things according to characteristics. Stereotyping is something you have to work actively against, make a conscious effort.

    As an aside, how do American Samoans think of us mainlanders?

  261. Natalie July 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    @skl-
    heh! i’m furloughed/on leave. on the ipside, my laundry is DONE!
    I see what you’re saying and agree that we all stereotype. It’s sobering if you or someone else catches you in one that can be hurtful. But I still consider Warren’s comment to be a stereotype.
    Donna can type faster than me and say more in fewer words, so ill just say
    “What she said.”
    That being said, I need to go get the girls and will be back later. I really appreciate the two of you responding, and being sane about it.

  262. sylvia_rachel July 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I’m not sure how it’s possible to look at a chubby dude wearing a fuzzy red stetson and think “OMG scary!!!” Those two concepts — fuzzy red stetson and terror — seem really far removed from each other.

    My little brother (not a biker — he fronts a punk band when he’s not at his middle-management job) is tattooed ALL OVER and used to have a mohawk before he started losing his hair. He’s a kind, generous, helpful, honest person. Adults will often give him the hairy eyeball when he’s dressed up all punk with the tattoos showing, but little kids always seem to love him. To me, this is an example of young people seeing more clearly than their elders 😉

    Also: I live in Toronto, no car, and my 10yo and I have been riding the bus together regularly since she was a tiny baby (well, before that too, I guess…), so we’ve seen some moderately wacky stuff, including a fist-fight or two. We’ve had some conversations about people who gave one or both of us a bad vibe … but we have them QUIETLY. Geez, “dirty biker” lady, way to teach your kids to be paranoid AND rude! :S

  263. Katie July 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    LOL Bigotry. Please you’d fit right in perfectly with a few of my husbands friends wives who are complete helicopter moms. You’d have a great time talking about how you need your giant gas guzzlers to transport your 2 spoiled brats around and dreaming up worst first scenarios for why your kid can’t walk from the bus stop, even though you’d really like it if they did…but you’ll never let them. Not to mention throwing around silly words like bigotry and bullying while you then one minute later turn around and gossip and smack talk your relatives and that other mom you don’t like.

  264. Skl July 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    The more I see of Katie, the more she looks like a troll.

  265. Warren July 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    @Katie
    Wow!!!
    Gonna make an educated guess, your parents gave you a swingset that faced the wall didn’t they?

  266. Katie July 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    @ SKL
    That’s funny because the more I see of you Natalie, Gina, pentamom the more you all look like trolls with your comments about how you take your kids to 3 activities a day, would meddle in some minor disagreement your kids got into on the internet, think it’s not helicopterish to drive your kids around in some giant tank as long as you come up with some bs excuse for it, insult a mom because her kid got out in the middle of the night, and think your kid is going to die if they are dunked in a pool.

    You want the title, but you then want to act worse than the average helicopter parents I know. So either start walking the walk or admit that your actually helicopter parents.

  267. Donna July 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Natalie,

    I think most educated guesses such as Warren’s are really just stereotypes. Now if Warren said “I know everyone in this town, only 3 women drive red SUVs and I can’t see any of them saying this so it most likely was someone passing through,” that would appear to be more of an educated guess that lacked stereotyping.

    American Samoans are very friendly people who typically like mainlanders (they have less of a positive view of Asians and other Polynesians). But they definitely view us as guests on their island, and even marrying a Samoan and/or living on the island for many years is not going to get you fully accepted into fold.

  268. Donna July 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    We’re smack-talking our relatives now? When did that happen?

  269. Christina July 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    One of my favorite people in Dallas, TX back in the 90s was the doorman/bouncer for Club Dada. He was a big guy who sported the classic biker look, and if you took the time to talk to him, you found out he was one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and a super proud papa to boot.

  270. pentamom July 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Katie, if there’s a clearer example of not discussing things rationally than attributing things to people they didn’t say and didn’t even indicate than they think, I’m not sure what it is.

  271. Gina July 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    @Katie: “That’s funny because the more I see of you Natalie, Gina, pentamom the more you all look like trolls with your comments about how you take your kids to 3 activities a day, would meddle in some minor disagreement your kids got into on the internet, think it’s not helicopterish to drive your kids around in some giant tank as long as you come up with some bs excuse for it, insult a mom because her kid got out in the middle of the night, and think your kid is going to die if they are dunked in a pool.

    You want the title, but you then want to act worse than the average helicopter parents I know. So either start walking the walk or admit that your actually helicopter parents.”

    With the exception of having a minivan/SUV, please show me where I have said ANY of those things?
    If you can’t meet that challenge, then you are STILL saying that I am a helicopter parent based, and ONLY based, on what car I drive.

  272. SKL July 30, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    I am not going to stereotype or anything but if I were feeling the way Katie is talking, in my case it would be a very bad case of PMS….

    Katie, I’m not sure how you got the idea that I care whether or not you consider me a free-range parent. I don’t come here so I can feel like part of an exclusive club. I come looking for a little sanity – which this discussion ain’t.

  273. pentamom July 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    Same here, Gina. I’ve defended, not driving SUVs, but the right of people to drive SUVs without being assumed to be horrible people of a certain mental and moral makeup and a specific behavior pattern, but I haven’t said anything like any of those other things. Some of those arguments I’ve completely stayed out of, some of those things I don’t consider any of my business if someone else does or does not do them, and some of them I’ve taken the opposite side on from what Gina’s talking about. Hence my 8:22 comment.

    And yeah, having more people than fit in a car or living where an SUV is needed in the winter is a “BS excuse” if “BS excuse” means “isn’t something someone in DC needs to do if they have fewer than three kids.”

  274. Gina July 30, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    No, no, no…BS excuse means “Katie thinks it’s not a good reason.”

  275. Gina July 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    It also seems as if Katie is confusing “Free Range Parenting” with being “environmentally responsible”. While it’s true that two may frequently overlap, neither is a prerequisite nor a consequence of the other.

    That said, even though I drive a minivan I am both:

    A free range parent AND
    Environmentally responsible

  276. Erica July 31, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    @Gina
    hhmm I donno. Everyone knows that all minivan drivers are soccer moms and tote their two spoiled brats to 60 practices a day. That’s not a very environmentally friendly activity and therefore not an environmentally friendly car choice. (totally dripping with sarcasm of course)

  277. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    Oh, I would be the one smack talking my relatives. We’re all competitive, so the smack talk can happen in anything from Settlers of Catan (great strategy game, highly recommend!) to tennis to T-ball.
    We’ve got some mixed marriages too, so the smack talk can get interesting.
    “Chosen people? Chosen for what? To LOSE?”
    “Where’s your Jesus now, buddy? I don’t see him saving much of anything let alone that BALL.”

    The victory dances are pretty silly. But one has to gloat.

  278. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    Are American Samoans a tribe?

  279. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    A title?

    Claiming to be free-range doesn’t get you fame and glory. It gets you a smile and nod from those who are polite and/or don’t want to start an argument. A comment like, “you’re so brave” (but that’s not the adjective they’re thinking)
    Sometimes, I get a stare with furrowed brows. Like the person is really mulling things over.

  280. Donna July 31, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    There is no such thing as tribes in Polynesia. The various archipelagos (groups of islands) in Polynesia were all separate nations, each separated by thousands of miles of sea, before European conquest. Most have reverted back to independent nations today and are no more tribes than Germany would be considered a tribe.

    American Samoans are in a weird position. The US government just considers them indigenous peoples, same as the Inuit or Cherokee. However, the Samoan archipelago was split between the US and Germany back in the 1800’s. Germany’s half moved to New Zealand after WWII and then became an independent nation 50+ years ago so Samoan is a nationality in and of itself.

    American Samoans have close ties to both Samoa and America. Most American Samoan families have close members in all 3 places (and probably some in New Zealand as well). But they consider themselves far more part of the Samoan nationality than American. They aren’t American citizens – they actually aren’t official citizens of any country – and the majority don’t appear to want automatic citizenship. They really like the money provided by the US, but their hearts are Samoan.

  281. Nursey July 31, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    yes… this guy looks a lot like my own husband. A dog/cat lover who will pick up an animal and baby talk to it… is always kind to a baby or a kid… worked at a children’s hospital as an aid… great guy. You have to look past the tats, motorcycle, hair, beard…

  282. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    Yes, Hineata is from New Zealand and i think she said her family is part Samoan. it is interesting how/why they’re connected.

    So the island groups (in general) are a mish mash of ethnicities? Or have they migrated mainly from China, and just developed differently due to distance? Or from Australia? Pacific Islanders descend from the Far East, no?

    I ask because Hawaii is a bit of a mish mash. I remember reading a book in a local shop when there talking about being Hapa. (I think that’s the word) originally from the South Pacific, eventually mixing with Chinese and Japanese. They call it Hapa.

    Is it a status like Puerto Rico? Not really because Puerto Ricans have US citizenship, just not statehood. It is weird. I’m guessing we don’t collect taxes from them? But we finance their local government/schools/infrastructure? Or do local taxes pay for that?

    I could Wikipedia this, but you’ve been there. It’s more interesting.

  283. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    How’s your daughter faring back in the US?

  284. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    That was the last question. Promise

  285. pentamom July 31, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    “No, no, no…BS excuse means “Katie thinks it’s not a good reason.”

    Wait, isn’t that the same thing I said?

  286. Donna July 31, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Hineata is part Maori, which is the New Zealand indigenous people.

    Basically, the pacific islands are inhabited by two different races of people. Some islands – Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand – are Polynesian. They have much larger builds but strong Asian features. Then you have the melanesians – Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea – which look far more African than Asian.

    However, each of the groups of islands evolved very differently and very independently as you can’t easily travel from one island to the other. And the environments of the different islands is very different. Each has its own unique culture and there are physical differences between all of them such that a Samoan can immediately identify a Tongan just by looks. To complicate matters further, these are small populations so immigration affects the features of the people. For example, Indians moved to Fiji many years ago so now you have people who know only Fiji and have no concept of ethnicity other than Fijian but look like the stepped off the boat from New Delhi yesterday. And then there is Pitcairn Island which is inhabited solely by white people – the descendants of the survivors of the mutiny on the Bounty have lived there for generations as the only inhabitants.

    A. Samoa is not anything like Puerto Rico. It is an unincorporated territory, which means that it is self-governing. While there are employees of a couple federal agencies in Samoa, outside of the Coast Guard, they are largely just researchers or Park Services people managing the National Park. There are no federal courts or tax offices, etc. there.

    A. Samoa is basically the largest welfare state in the US. A. Samoa has almost no industry (one Starkist tuna cannery), exports nothing and has virtually no tourism. All services – medical, electric, water, phone – are provided by the government, predominantly from monies received from the US. Other than the handful of federal employees, everyone who works in A. Samoa pays taxes solely to A. Samoa, not the US. There is no sales tax and land is not individually owned so no property taxes. America provides large amounts of money through Dept. of the Interior budget as well as grants. Some funds are collected through A. Samoa payroll taxes and payments for services, but the US is the largest funding source.

    Back in 1899, our ownership made sense. It has the largest natural harbor in the world and is strategically located for American ships in the pacific. We used to have a Navy base there. Today, I see no reason for the US to have it. But A. Samoans show no interest whatsoever in leaving the US to join independent Samoa.

    My daughter loves being back on the mainland. She liked Samoa at first but then the nothing to do except go to the beach got very boring.

  287. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Is the tea party aware of this arrangement? LOL Although, I imagine the amount they get each year is insignificant.

    Have you read Nation, by Terry Pratchett? It takes place on an unnamed South Pacific Island group. YA fiction, alternative history. Don’t know if Terry Pratchett is your taste but I enjoyed that book.

  288. DH July 31, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    @Katie:

    My family owns a mini-van and a small sedan. The mini-van, being newer than the small sedan, actually gets better gas mileage than the sedan.

    When you look at the overall factors involved in producing a new car versus continuing to drive an older car which gets worse-than-currently-average gas mileage, there’s enough pollution emitted in actually MAKING the new car and all its component parts that years of continuing to drive the older car is roughly equivalent. Sure, we can afford to replace the small sedan with a newer small sedan and we can now easily find one with better gas mileage (for the record, the small sedan had decent gas mileage in its class when it was originally purchased). But I’m not going to kid myself that doing that is any better for the environment in overall terms.

  289. DH July 31, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    (For the record, the mini-van averages 28 miles to the gallon given our typical driving, while the sedan averages 23 miles to the gallon. And yes, we know this. We enter every gas receipt + corresponding mileage from the trip odometer into a spreadsheet.)

  290. Donna July 31, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    If Sarah Palin is indicative of the Tea Party, I highly doubt that they even know a place called American Samoa exists.

    I haven’t read it but then I don’t read much YA fiction.

  291. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    @DH-
    Thank you. People don’t consider cradle to grave. Mpg isn’t the bottom line, just a part of many factors when trying to be environmentally conscious. If you have a small fuel efficient car, and you have a long commute, you just might be using more gas than an SUV driver who stays local.
    I know that was the case with us. I generally walked to the daycare/work, and used the SUV for errands and family trips. My husband used the accord for his hour long commute. Our SUV had low mileage insurance because we didn’t use it that often.
    Now we’ve switched because my husband’s work is closer, and he does the carpool.

  292. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Right, you wouldn’t be able to see A. Samoa from Alaska.

  293. Katie July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    @Gina Your not a free ranger or environmentalist. A free ranger doesn’t drive around in a gas guzzler or talk about their grown children as if they are little kids. And your certainly not an environmentalist.

    What you are is a DILUTER. And they are the worst types of people you can have in a movement. They don’t walk the walk, they hardly even talk the talk, but what they do want is everyone to lower the bar to their insanely low standards so they can feel like they fit in without actually doing anything.

  294. SKL July 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Katie, I must have missed where Lenore posted a list of standards to qualify as a free-range parent.

    Would you please re-post the list here so that all of us can be in the know?

    So far I’m getting (a) buy only a fuel-efficient car, (b) have fewer than 4 children, the less the better, (c) never sign your kid up for multiple activities on a single day, (d) never do anything with your kids past their 18th birthdays. What am I missing?

  295. Gina July 31, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    KATIE: Please quote where I talk about my grown children like little kids.

    SKL: I love you!!!

  296. Gina July 31, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    oh..and…

    it’s YOU’RE….not YOUR

    Amazing that you still do this even after you’ve been shown the difference. If you want to call names, which I don’t really think is beneficial or mature…

    YOU ARE (YOU’RE) a moron.

  297. SKL July 31, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Can you just imagine Katie in the hippie / protest days? Whoa.

  298. Gina July 31, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    All I want is for her to quote me in specific examples of where I am NOT free-range. Not generalizations…just a list of examples.

    Oh, and to spell YOU’RE correctly.

    :)

  299. Natalie July 31, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Gina, you are water.

    Water!

    How COULD you?

    Next time you look at yourself in the mirror, say “I am water.” And feel ashamed.

  300. Gina July 31, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    You started the name calling.

    And you still haven’t given me ONE example of how I am not a Free Range parent.

  301. Gina July 31, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    And in the spirit of doing what’s right and not responding to taunts, I agree..I was wrong and I apologize for calling you a moron. It was a result of my frustration with you not answering the questions and I am truly sorry for lashing out in frustration.

    Now, the examples…?

  302. SKL July 31, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Gina, she was putting us all in the same category. You drive an SUV (or did I mix you up with someone else) and you give your adult children a ride when you go places. Me, I take my 6-year-olds to lessons, sometimes more than one a day; and I said in a previous thread that I’m not sure I’d want a swim instructor to dunk my kids’ heads underwater (I’d do that myself it needed). Pentmom has too many kids for Katie’s liking. (Or was that you, or both of you?) Put us all together and we’re one big scary helimomster.

    Of course I have no idea what Katie does to “prove” she belongs in the FRK club, but I wasn’t going to go down that path . . . the only thing I know about her is that she pushes her kid in a baby stroller, but then, I don’t know if the kid is big enough to walk, so . . . . Oh, and she teaches her kid to have an irrational fear of SUVs – that’s pretty free-range, I guess . . . .

  303. Gina July 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    LOL…
    Still, I shouldn’t call her names.

    As for what you said:

    Yes, when we go out as a family, we do go in one car if all the kids are around. Seems MORE green (But nothing to do with FR) to take one car than three or four, no matter what kind of car one drives.

    My kids are way past lessons and when they did go, we always tried to carpool or kill as many birds with one trip as we could. (Again, green but nothing to do with FR)

    I don’t believe in swim lessons; kids can learn to swim just fine by being in the water (how’s THAT for FR, Miss Katie?)…

    I have 5 kids…too many, yes, I guess for Katie’s liking. But an intact family for almost 32 years…with amazing kids who are extremely well-liked, responsible adults. (Again, possibly environmentally unsound, but not about FRK)

  304. Gina July 31, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    She has yet to respond to any of my questions regarding exactly what I do that is NOT free range.

  305. SKL August 1, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    Because it goes without saying that if you drive an SUV, you are a helicopter parent. What’s so hard to understand?

  306. Gina August 1, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Oh yeah. I forgot.

  307. hineata August 1, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Wow, what interesting discussions, regarding A. Samoa anyway. Wouldn’t mind being part-Samoan myself, they play the most fun cricket, and the music is the best!

    @Donna – just had to jump in at this late stage and ask what you mean about the Polys not being tribal any more? I think that’s what you were saying? You have much more experience than me with Samoa, but at least down here we do have different (Maori) tribes, in many ways quite different from each other….they’re called iwi, and the tribal memories go back a fair way – some groups would still have issues marrying between them, for instance. Not heaps you would notice at a national level, except when it comes to some land issues, but still there.

    Has Samoa lost all that sort of stuff? V. interesting, and sort-of cool if they’ve managed it.

  308. hineata August 1, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    @Katie – I must now confess to being a DILUTER. Oh my gosh, I occasionally drop my kids at school, in my old minivan. I sent a cross email to the Guide Co-ordinator in response to a cross email she sent direct to my girls (Guide troop), about a nothing incident that she didn’t bother to get all sides to before firing off her missive (then I actually phoned her and talked it over, and resolved it, in less steamed tones – OMG I didn’t stick to my guns to the bitter end, what the hell’s wrong with me!).

    And tonight, when I dropped the kids off in a seedy part of town to go to the movies, I felt a twinge of concern at the sight of an ‘interesting-looking’ chap outside enjoying a smoke with his drink at the bar across the street.

    Inconsistent, inconsistent….

    Time to shoot myself maybe?

    Crap, just remembered, don’t own a gun… :-)

  309. Donna August 1, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Hineata – What I meant is that Samoa is not itself a tribe, but is rather a nationality of people. As I understood the question, she was asking if Samoans are one tribe of Polynesians and Maori are another tribe, etc. and they should really be viewed as separate nationalities of people.

    But Samoans are not tribal. I believe that, back in the day, what are now villages were tribes, but most of the tribalness is gone. You will never hear a Samoan say that they are part of the Nuuuli tribe, just that they live in Nuuuli. There is some sense of village pride and rivalries among different villages. I got the impression that some of this was long-standing and dates back to more tribal days, but it is more akin to hometowns and high school rivalries than tribes.

    At least in American Samoa. I saw nothing in the Samoans that I know from independent Samoa or when I was in Samoa to indicate that there is any real tribalness any more but Samoa is a more pure Samoan culture so there may be.

  310. pentamom August 1, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    ” Pentmom has too many kids for Katie’s liking. (Or was that you, or both of you?) Put us all together and we’re one big scary helimomster. ”

    Hey, I’ve never had the experience before of being part of a three (or is it four? Are we remembering Natalie?) headed momster. I may not be Free Range, but at least I’m open to new experiences.

  311. SKL August 1, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Debating whether to trademark the term “helimomster.”

  312. Michele August 1, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Awesome post!

  313. Christina August 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    @Katie – Generally, most of us are here to support each other in our free range efforts, whatever those may be. While some of our conversations may, from time to time, become rather “animated”, overall we tend to try to refrain from labels or judgment. People share their experiences for feedback and to provide insight and possibilities for others. Jumping down peoples’ throats because their choices differ does not lend itself to what we are trying to accomplish here. Free range is practiced differently in different locations because the needs (and the battles) are not the same everywhere. I can give my Hordelings certain freedoms here in Chicago that my NYC-based friends cannot give their own children without risking a visit from CPS. That does not mean they don’t fight the free range fight when and where they are able. Please consider that others have very likely put just as much thought into their choices as you have into your own.

  314. Gina August 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Beautiful, Christina

  315. pentamom August 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Brava Christina!

  316. Gina August 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    May I add that some people can be free range about certain things and not about others..it’s not an all or nothing proposition. What makes one mom comfortable for a seven-year-old may not work for another dad till his child is 9.
    And some people might feel comfortable leaving a child in the car to run into Starbucks, but not feel ok about a 5-year-old walking to school alone.

    It’s an overall philosophy, not a dictatorship with unbendable rules.

  317. Natalie August 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Thanks pentamom! I was worried you guys had forgotten that I was also blessed to be on the receiving end of the fun. I was starting to feel left out.

    So… T-shirts. Helimomster on back, on front, a picture of a hydra with four heads (we substitute each of our heads in the picture) with a rotor and blades attached to its back.

  318. pentamom August 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Perhaps this could be used as a starting point for the front?

    http://www.politicsforum.org/images/flame_warriors/flame_03.php

    (The description doesn’t really apply here, I don’t believe, but the image is appropriate.)

  319. Natalie August 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Awesome. I think we’ve got excellent T-shirt material

  320. Julie in Niagara Falls August 13, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    If I was a spectator and hear this kind of BS come from anyone’s mouth I’d be the first to stand up and say “hi” to the little girl as well….then look at the parent…roll up my sleeve and show them the big ass tat on my arm and tell them that “I ride a motorcycle and I’m a mom of 3 and Aunt of several and I work full-time and have volunteered with kids. I’m a contributor to society….how does that grab ya? Am I a dirty biker?”
    F-N rude people. I’ll bet when they go to the bathroom their shit stinks, too.

    Even if I didn’t ride, I’d never say anything like that to my kids (2 girls, 1 boy). Man, that irks me.

    LP…….for the record….you look like a fun-loving guy. My grandpa has tatts all over his arms & he never rode (he was a boxer). I grew up with this being the norm. How can parents teach their kids to be so damn prejudice? Shameful!!

  321. Kelly C August 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    I love all the positive posts and agree with them 100 %. But, I can’t help to wonder if anyone here would feel the same about judging minorities? We deal with this as well on a daily basis, so would anyone post positive comments about us or continue judging? Just wondering.

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