The TV show Sons of Anarchy puts the lives of motorcycle club members on full display. This gritty, realistic look at the inner workings of a motorcycle club shows the important role of women - or "old ladies," as they're known to the men they live with and ride behind. What do old ladies do? As you'll see, their duties are somewhat nebulous, but their lives revolve around keeping their partners and the rest of the club happy - regardless of what they have to do.
The following facts about the duties of a biker's old lady come straight from the source: Reddit AMAs, blogs, and other sites that feature these women's stories. Their anecdotes are a fascinating look into a subculture native to America that remains a mystery to everyone who doesn't ride.
They Can't Have Their Own Bikes
The most important thing to every motorcycle club member - whether they're at the top of the food chain or merely around - is their bike. While it might make sense to outsiders for a woman to ride a bike, in the codified world of motorcycle clubs, it's prohibited.
Redditor /u/FormerOldLady said she never had her own bike "and was never allowed to ride." She admits her husband let her ride his bike around a parking lot one day, but he "would have been in deep sh*t if anyone saw."
Another old lady wrote that when a woman is near a man's bike, "Don't touch it, don't lean on it, don't sit on it without his permission. Doing so is a sign of disrespect towards him and his club."
They Can't Mess With Anyone's Vest
A biker's club vest is as significant to them as their bike. Not only do vests and patches give them an identity, but strict rules surround the piece of outerwear. The most important rule: No one - not even a spouse - touches a club member's vest except for the owner.
One old lady laid out the vest rule very bluntly:
Do not touch your man's vest! It is sacred to them, therefore offensive for anyone to put their hands on them. If you are cleaning and it's in the way, simply ask him to move it... He will appreciate the fact that you asked and respected it instead of doing it yourself.
They Prepare Meals To Make Their Men Look Good
One of the ways old ladies ingratiate themselves with the club community is by helping out and preparing meals for the rest of the crew. One old lady explained how she made sure to cook something memorable at a gathering to appear friendly and support her old man:
A great meal always brings people together and entertains great conversation. Making a great meal also brings others to be curious about you and who your Ol' Man is...
[Elders] are the ones that can see through a lot of bullsh*t and know who is genuine and who is not. So, having said that, making a great meal for everyone to talk and enjoy is a perfect way to create an impression that you are giving and supportive.
They Respect The Other Old Ladies
Regardless of the old ladies' frequent catfights or incompatibilities among themselves, they have to remember respect is not an entitlement - others have to give it. It's a good idea for old ladies to follow the Golden Rule, especially because their actions affect the group's view of their old man. One old lady advised to not "start any drama with any of the other ol' ladies."
She hinted that women who don't show respect to each other could face repercussions, such as being "forbidden from... coming around."