A Waiter or a Server? A Stewardess or a Flight Attendant? Titles have always been important, but can changing the wording of a title, change the way people view you or your profession? Does it label you as a type of person beause of the image it may be associated with?
I attended a clinic this past weekend hosted by USA Boxing. At one point I had a question about the topic we were discussing. I asked, “do the fighters get to see this?” I was immediately corrected by the man leading the clinic. He said, “boxers, not fighters.” It made me think about the importance of titles, and how they have changed over the years. Granted, some are no longer socially acceptable, and never should have been. But does calling a competitor a” boxer” or a “fighter”, alter the way you view the sport? Does being a competitive boxer command more respect than being a competitive fighter? Does it make the sport seem more brutal, therefore less socially acceptable?
The funny thing is, I have been calling myself a motorcyclist since I began riding. If anyone makes the mistake of calling me a biker, I immediately correct them. I have been asked before what the difference is, and it is a bit hard to put into words. It is more of an image I have in my mind.
The image I have of a biker is a helmetless, middle aged man (yes, man), with long hair and a beard, lots of tattoos, wearing sunglasses, a sleeveless shirt, black leather vest, black jeans, riding a Harley Davidson, and is probably heading to a bar to watch NHRA drag racing.
Of course I know that that is not what defines a biker, but I can’t help that that image is imbedded into my mind, and always will be. Though I have a feeling I am not alone.
The image I have of a motorcyclist is a helmeted rider, with stylized motorcycle clothing (color coordinated with the motorcycle of course), who rides multiple brands and styles of motorcycles, and is probably heading to a cafe to show off the bike and watch MotoGP.