in a name? If the name is “Dyke,” the answer could be confusing.
Especially in San Francisco.
Francisco Women’s Motorcycle Contingent was granted a trademark for
the name “Dykes on Bikes” in 2006 – but not without a
Back in 2003, the trademark office claimed
the term “dyke” to be offensive and refused the application. But
lawyers for the women successfully argued that the word is actually a term of pride
for lesbians, and the trademark application was subsequently granted.
But just when everyone was feeling warm and cuddly about the Dykes on Bikes, a
men’s rights advocate and lawyer, Michael McDermott of Dublin, Cal.,
objected, and took the matter to court.
Trademarking “Dykes on
Bikes” contradicts the “widespread documented understanding of
the term ‘dyke’ as describing hyper-militant radicals hateful toward
men,” he told the court.
Finally, earlier this week, the court came back with their judgement and told him to butt out, on the grounds that he could not show that the
trademark would cause him any harm.
So Dykes on Bikes it is, and
from now on if you use that word, remember to say it with pride.