Women Are Taking Up Space In The Male-Dominated Lowrider Scene With No Plans To Slow Down
California’s lowrider community has a long history dating back to the racial unrest during WWII, as Latinos faced aggressive discrimination. However, the scene was largely dominated by men until the late 90s when women started forming their own lowrider culture.
Now, the women who have fearlessly entered the male-dominated space are getting the attention they have long deserved.
Male-dominated lowrider culture has a long and wild history – one that women have long been a part of.
Lowriding has long faced an uphill battle – even in California where it was targeted with racist undertones and even banned. Despite the challenges it has faced, it’s persisted and gone on to become a fixture of West Coast culture and has even popped up in places like Mexico City and Tokyo.
The scene is known for old school cars – like Chevrolets and Cadillacs – decked out with glitzy designs and bouncing hydraulics. It’s also known for being a scene largely dominated by men but that is quickly changing and more and more women are entering the scene and making it their own.
Suzie Feigel recently told LA’s Spectrum News that she has become used to the teasing and sarcasm that comes with being part of the male-dominated culture.
“They say, your daddy let you drive their car? That’s your man’s car, isn’t it? Where’s your man at? Where’s your man at?” says Feigel.
She’s a member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Majestics Car Club, a club that has gone worldwide after starting in Los Angeles. The club has more than 250 members in California but she is one of only four women in the state. But she’s quick to point out that it was a battle even getting to that point – as even her family wasn’t exactly supportive.
“I wanted a car like them and it was a little hard for us, us females, me and my sister to actually get one. Because it wasn’t really accepted,” Feigel told Spectrum News.
The new book Cruise Night highlights the stories and lives of LA’s lowrider women.
Photographer Kristin Bedford set out to document the fierce female community that is helping to change the lowrider scene into one that’s more inclusive. She ended up documenting the community across five years and discovered a subculture of women passionate about their rides and the form of feminism they represent.
Despite their progress, lowriding is still largely misunderstood by so many.
Although more and more people around the world are familiar with lowriding, it is still too often stereotyped and misunderstood as something crude. Many in the U.S. assume that those who low-ride are part of a gang. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. For many in lowrider clubs, these groups are about community, unity and culture.
And make no mistake, lowriding is a fine art that is every part of the great American tradition and women have been a long part of this ride.
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