20 May 2008

Of course I'm a feminist!

CNN has just published an article on how women's liberation arrived on bicycles.

Much of the content I'd already learned - that "proper" women finally got to leave the house, that Bloomers were created for bicycle riding. I didn't know that Victorians wore more than seven pounds of underwear! The residual terms in our language were also new to me:

"This attire was not only intended to restrict women physically, but morally, too. In a society where the accidental exposure of an ankle took on the pornographic stature of a lap dance, such dress was required to protect a lady's virtue. In fact, the term "loose" originated to describe a woman who went uncorseted, while "straight-laced" women obeyed societal dictates."


I was also amused by "The Cyclist's Chaperon Association". It is a good article and worth a read, ladies. Then go enjoy your bike! You've come a long way baby.

"As the bicycle continues to lend itself to causes of all kinds, it is important to remember its first battle. Liberating is a word easily associated with cycling. Flying down a tree-lined road with the wind in your face is certainly a liberating experience, but for early female cyclists, a simple bike ride was liberating in a much more significant way."

2 comments:

miss sarah said...

I totally just read this today! For a final project in one of my master's courses I made a zine all about the history of women and bicycles and why not nearly enough of us are riding presently. Girls and bikes, it was causing a riot just over a century ago but our work has yet to be done:)

nbt said...

It's been more than 100 years since Susan B. Anthony said the bicycle "has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world." So why aren't there more of us riding them?