— Customer calls out example of everyday sexism.
Moby Move, an Irish stationless bicycle rental service, has said it will remove the female names from its bikes after a customer complained that their new app “tells you how long ‘you’re riding Mary’” and how much she costs.
The new app is part of an expansion for Moby, which includes adding 350 non-electric bicycles to Dublin’s streets, and expanding stationless bicycle share service to Athlone and Mullingar.
The customer, Eemer Eivers, companies that it was an example of everyday sexism, but said that Moby “see nothing wrong with buying women for a ride”. Moby only said they would act after Eivers took to Twitter.
A DailyEdge.ie article covering Irish slang said the word “ride” is “Perhaps the one that causes the most confusion”, before explaining: “Ride in Ireland DOES NOT mean sitting in a car, or hopping up on a pony. It means hopping up on a person, or that you think they are attractive enough to be hopped up on. It means sex. SEX.”
In an email to Moby on Thursday, Eivers wrote: “…from a quick look at the app, all bikes now seem to have female names. I am going to assume you are an exclusively or predominantly male organisation. No female-led company would make such a naive error. I’d ask that you reconsider and revert to numbers, in order that females are not perceived as rides for hire.”
In a reply on the same day, Moby said: “Thanks for your suggestion, but it is not possible to change the bikes and App names.”
The email from Moby added: “I am a woman and I named the bike as a woman because I wanted to pay tribute to strong and powerful women.”
However after Eivers posted about the issue on Twitter on Saturday, it turns out by Sunday afternoon the company had changed its mind and the names of the bicycles can now be changed.
On Saturday she tweeted about the issue and also a glitch where you could not stop rentals, which Moby has now fixed.
She joked: “Launched new app on Thursday, no support all weekend. I’ve been ‘riding maeve’ for 18 hours and no way to stop. I’m almost impressed with my endurance.”
On Sunday, Eivers said: “Positive news. The bikes will revert back to their original numeric identifiers. I did suggest this to them in an email on Thursday, when I complained about ALL female names, but was told it wasn’t possible. Thank you Twitterati.”