Posted at 14:14h
Came across this on Quora and found it incredible interesting, turns out Sons of Anarchy is quite true to the world of 1% biker gangs.
Read the full question and post a few people give their opinions, one from an "Ole Lady" perspective, another from a former 1%'er. Enjoy reapers.
Being a female, I can only describe what it was like being in the one-percenter culture, but not the actual club Members must be men. But make no mistake: women who are the wives or girlfriends of these men still spend a great deal of time around club members doing club stuff.
My ex was a member of the Bandidos for several years. I found that the illusion of being in a biker gang and the reality of being in a biker gang were very different.
Over the years, people in the one-percenter world would tell me their stories of how they had ended up being a Bandit or a PBOL, and I would see some distinct patterns in the lives of people drawn to the outlaw biker lifestyle.
Interestingly enough, I was surprised by the women in the culture, and their reasons for being drawn to it. The outlaw biker women are very much second class citizens in that testosterone-driven life. Everyone knows that. But what surprised me was these women still tended to be more loyal and devoted to the spirit of the brotherhood than most of the men who were actually in it.
Outlaw biker clubs are a one-stop shop when you're looking for things in life geared toward stroking your own ego.
There’s the thrill that comes when one flirts with danger.
There’s the adrenaline rush of being affiliated with something notorious and known world-wide, like the Bandidos, Hell's Angels, Outlaws, etc.
There’s the cat and mouse game you play with every cop around. Every time a news story runs about law enforcement mobilizing in preparation for a visit from the club, you can’t help but feel like a movie star.
There’s the satisfaction of being either respected by citizens or feared by them. Both reactions are equally acceptable.
There’s knowing that so many people wish they were where you are, and never will be.
And most common attraction to the life –A bond almost stronger than that of blood, and a dedication to each other's lives that most people would never understand. Your problem is everyone’s problem, and theirs are yours.
There’s always a trade off in everything, and outlaw clubs are no exception. These clubs are not democratic organizations, ruled by the many for the good of the all.
They are run very firmly by men who usually clawed their way to the top of this primal food chain, and considering the general savagery of the ordinary member, that’s impressive. Private agendas and cut-throat politics are the typical motivations that see these men to the top, and what keep them in power.
Many men and women enter this lifestyle thinking that every member in it lives by the creed of love, loyalty and respect between every brother. The club is huge, and the every member and his family bring with it different values, different expectations, and invariably, people clash. A misunderstanding gets magnified by these impossible expectations, and the ensuing disappointment is almost crushing to so many of these people. It's rather common for a large percentage of patched men to be out of the lifestyle with 5 years’ time of their patching out.
The lifestyle is expensive, and time consuming. Depending on where your ole man is in the hierarchy, you can either find it somewhat of a steady sort of hobby, or your life can be immersed daily in club stuff. Hobby members never last long, so if you manage to stay in it long enough, it consumes every part of your life.
Outsiders, called Citizens, once close friends, will fade away. The secrecy of all things club-related often makes Citizens feel somewhat insulted by their exclusion.
It's a very specific kind of lifestyle that can only work for certain personality types. Men must be able to follow without question, trust without proof, and be someone people can depend on. It attracts a certain amount of men who genuinely dislike women, but those members rarely make it through the prospecting period. Should they manage to hide this fact long enough to get their patch, the patch-itis, (the arrogance a newly patched out member gets that irritates everyone within a mile of him), renders him unable to hide his mommy issues, and he is tossed out quickly. It’s complicated when it comes to the girls, but I’ve never witnessed men who hate women ever allowed to stay in. Women must be outwardly submissive, be thick-skinned about sexist attitudes, and be able to get along reasonably well with the other women. The women, thrown together regularly, bound by the same rules, and who share a common interest, have their own sort of club. It’s taboo to suggest this to any member of the club, but that is the very definition of a club. The women control of nothing about her club affiliations, though. You spend a great deal of time with other women you may or may not find interesting, gathering in places that the guys picked out, usually without considering any of the female’s thoughts on the matter. Strip clubs and dive bars were common watering holes. PBOL’s have basic rules they must live by to get by. She never disrespects a patch holder in public, including her own ole man. She’s the eyes and ears for the club, and lives in a precarious place between what she should know about and what she shouldn’t know about.
It really isn't all that hard to understand the attraction for most men.
After all, boys will be boys. The women, however, are far more complicated and interesting, in my opinion. Very few of them actually resemble the media’s stereotypical outlaw biker chick. On the surface, they seem to hold no sway over their own lives. Yet they also tend to be most common reason for the male members ending up in jail. While it can be frightening to break up with a member of the Bandidos, the statistics show, it should be equally scary for a Bandido to break up with a PBOL. Scorching the earth and poisoning the wells is a very woman thing to do, and PBOL’s are still very much women. PBOL’s can stir up strife between members, chase off girlfriends/wives of other brothers, and quietly impact the club in ways only the most observant will notice. Every woman going in knows that every part of her club affiliation is on loan to her by her Bandido, PBOL patches and clothes included, and he can take it all away whenever he pleases. But knowing this, and actually experiencing it, are much different, as so many of us would find out. There’s really no good way to explain how much harder it is to break up with a club than it is to lose just one man. In a split second, everything and everyone is simply gone. Friendships that once felt so loyal, strong, and enduring, are simply over, and the silence is deafening. Some of these women will find another member of the club to hook up with, choosing to find a way back into the culture they love. Others walk away bitter and angry at the betrayal of not only her old man, but an ocean of people you thought were your friends. I loved my husband, and he loved being a Bandido. I set aside my natural instinct to demand respect and compromised with myself in order to make him look good. I carved out my own niche, and for the most part, was able to preserve some of my self-respect. But when he was gone, so were my reasons to conform to things I found ridiculous.
I resented the assumption that my vagina automatically rendered my intellect inferior to a person with a penis and a three piece patch. I hated the lip-service to brotherhood when the reality was, when the hard time came, the bonds never held. Friends had turned their backs on me when I needed a friend most of all, and their welcomes when I returned only made me despise all of this even more. How can this be a brotherhood when there is no real friendship? I stopped allowing a patch to dictate how I was treated by a person. If you wanted my respect, then you needed more than a patch to earn it, Finally, I decided to leave all of it behind. Too much about me had changed, and I was never going to fit in again. Better to part ways now. I'm a writer, and it is often rumored I will someday write a tell-all book about the my time with the Bandidos. I won’t. If I were to write on this subject, I would write about the women instead.
They surprised me so many times, with their resilience, patience, and sacrifice. They are assumed to be morally bankrupt and unintelligent, selling themselves into a life of slavery to a club. Frankly, I never met a single woman that fit this stereotype in the decade I was in. Instead, I saw many a PBOL wield her own sort power by simply influencing her own old man. Some aided political agendas; others mediated potential problems for the club; and all of them had sway over the club in some small way. The women are the ones who show what true brotherhood should look like, and they sacrifice for those they love all the time. The endure a lot in the outlaw culture, and their men reap the reward.If you ask me, it is the PBOLs are the real outlaw bikers.
~AHHHH SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE FEMINIST NOW A MAN'S PRESPECTIVE
1st and foremost, never make the mistake of referring to a 1% or outlaw motorcycle club as a biker gang.Gangs ride the subway and rob little old ladies. Bikers live a lifestyle centered around riding motorcycles and the culture that has evolved since the 1950’s when many clubs were formed after WWII.
Your question is about the extreme side of the Biker scene. The 1% label still fits after all these years.These are the guys who have, and did what it takes, to earn the right to fly a 1% patch.
Whats it like? I’ve never seen a new member not sit down at his first meeting without a big smile on his face. All of his hard work has finally paid off and he officially has the respect of his new family,a sense of belonging to something greater than most can imagine.” I am the real deal!”.
Congratulations! you are now at the bottom of the top 1%…Still feels great though. By now you know the clubs rules, laws, and customs, so well they are no longer rules and laws, they are your attitude and line of reason. By now, you may have noticed that with very few exceptions, your respect for others not in your club, will never be quite as high as for members of your club.
Your life now consists of club issues, club functions, other club members.Keeping your bike running.You also inherited a steady stream of paranoia, constantly on the lookout for threats from ex- members in “bad standing”, other clubs,outright plain harassment from the local police, up to serious surveillance from the FBI and DEA etc.
People not familiar with the biker lifestyle most likely view your anti social behavior with contempt, but they are also scared shitless of you,so fuck them… Did I mention there seems to be a certain type of woman from out side the biker scene attracted to the bad boy image? Your success may vary here, but I guarantee they are out there.
What about the drugs,prostitution, gun running, and racketeering? All clubs, from 1% down to weekend warrior clubs are into some kind of business to raise money.It’s important to notice that all clubs use their club structure to raise money.How money is raised and where it goes I can’t answer, there are too many possibilities. I can say that I have never gone to church(meeting) and received a envelope full of money as was so often shown in the S.O.A.
FACT OF LIFE!
Lots of bikers(not all) do drugs of all types, have multiple sex partners, believe in, and have a need to defend themselves with deadly force. These things and a lot more are no where near as taboo in the biker lifestyle as in the “civilian” world.
FACT OF LIFE!
Most 1% do not make a living through criminal enterprise. Many have regular day jobs just like you and me.Quite a few are small business owners or self employed with specialty skills.
Please keep in mind that no two motorcycle clubs are the same. No two bikers are the same. Attitude, image, and intentions of all Motorcycle clubs shift over time.The desire for Brotherhood,trust, and security, never changes.