Leather & Lace ~ Bubbles and her Harley  PART TWO

Leather & Lace ~ Bubbles and her Harley PART TWO

by July 5, 2015

Bubbles and her Harley  PART TWO
Story & photos by: Susan Udero
Mescalero, New Mexico

Working in the mine, I was sexually harassed, and my response to the harassment was to retaliate physically to the men who touched me inappropriately. This was a learned behavior I will say at this point. There was a lesbian couple at the mine that wanted to kick my ass. I confronted both of them but they were just all talk and no action. I was really confused, the men were not nice and neither were the women. I was transferred to the open mine pit as a laborer. I was again sexually harassed and had to fight to survive. During this time I realized a man might be stronger than me but I would use my forceful tactics to defend myself. I swore that no man was going to ever hit or touch me. Women were only after one thing. “You’re on your own” I often said to myself. I would treat those women with respect simply because we were all working in a man’s environment. I couldn’t understand why the women were so jealous.

I was later laid off and moved to Texas.  I was then hired in Phelps Dodge Mining Company as a laborer. I became the first woman in my department to be a repairperson. I will say sexual harassment continued and I had to do what I knew best; to work double and prove myself as a worker not a woman.   I was recognized as a hard working woman and only had one thing in mind; to be the first superintendent woman of the mine. Unfortunately, I was laid off and moved to Arizona to work with a construction company. It being the order of the day, sexual harassment still continued in my work environment. I had to prove myself again as a hard working woman and also had to do all I could to protect myself. In the end I was called back to work at Phelps Dodge Mining Company. There, I would see my fellow workers ride to work on their motorcycles and I soon became a bike watcher. I asked two different guys to teach me how to ride but they declined saying, “No, my wife will get mad.” My passion to ride still grew stronger. Contrary to my expectation, my dream was one day shattered due to negligence in my working environment. I was involved in a very bad accident on August 30th, 1991. I had to retire.

Read the rest of Bubbles story in the next issue of Southern Steel!