Lowriders, car clubs, and car shows have always been a man’s game. Things changed when a couple of lowrider enthusiasts formed The Unique Ladies, San Diego’s only all-women’s lowrider car club. Sherry, the founder, was looking for a club to join but as a female she was kept out, “When we first wanted to get in, the men would say: no, we don’t allow women in our clubs.” At car shows Sherry noticed that the few women there were prancing around in bikinis. She realized that the male lowriders felt, “the only females involved should be half-naked, showing everything out there.” So, instead of fighting for a way in to the male-dominated car clubs, she started her own club with her friend Pat.
They have definitely met resistance along the way. Despite having won loads of trophies, men often assume that the Unique Ladies need help fixing their cars. “Being a female lowrider everyone wants to tell you what’s wrong with your car, like you don’t know about cars, but I know enough about cars,” says Pat. The women of the Unique Ladies have been insulted, mocked, trivialized, and ignored only because they refute gender norms and refuse to let society tell them who they should be. At car shows, if they go around looking at other cars, they might get stopped and asked to pose in front of some guy’s car. Even winning a prize can be contentious. A female lowrider told a San Diego newspaper that while accepting a trophy at a car show, a man sneered at her, saying, “It must’ve been because you slept with the judge.”
Whether it be at a car show, in the office, or behind a camera–women are always struggling for equality, even on the most basic level. It really is crazy that women like Pat and Sherry have to fight even for the chance to enjoy their favorite past time, lowriding.
Filmmaker Gloria Morán has documented their attempts to keep their car club alive. She explains, “This is the first documentary of it's kind on the subject matter. Other documentaries on lowrider culture have focused on the sport through a male perspective. We have a chance to share lowrider culture through a wonderful character driven story.”
The short documentary is close to being finished and is looking for funding for a sound mix, music licensing, marketing, and other post-production needs. She has created a kickstarter campaign that ends Monday, November 5. The clock is ticking and the project will only be funded if they reach their $20,000 goal.
Donate to ‘The Unique Ladies’ Documentary on Kickstarter
Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights emerging and established Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on twitter.