Women and Bicycles

While writing on a totally unrelated topic I fell down a different rabbit hole about the role of the bicycle in the liberation of women. I vaguely remember an example of how the bicycle enabled women to take their own letters to the post office and therefore not be under the control of men. But I have been unable to find a good source for this. There are several other examples and quotes about the ways in which the bicycle enabled changes in fashion and social order.

There is a new dawn … of emancipation, and it is brought about by the cycle. Free to wheel, free to spin out in the glorious country, unhampered by chaperones … the young girl of today can feel the real independence of herself and, while she is building up her better constitution, she is developing her better mind.

Louise Jeye (1895)

No girl over the age of 39 should be allowed to wheel. It is immoral. Unfortunately, it is older girls who are ardent wheelers. They love to cavort and careen above the spokes, twirling and twisting in a manner that must remind them of long-dead dancing days.

Kit Coleman (1889)

Then there is this anti-women on bicycles rant that states that “the bicycle is the devil’s advance agent”

Or this one from The Sunday Herald 1891 “I had thought that cigarette smoking was the worst thing a woman could do, but I have changed my mind.” now its riding a bicycle.

But Susan B. Anthony was a fan of the new mode of transportation and credited it with playing a large part in the emancipation of women.

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood



Here is a Vox video on How Bicycles boosted the woman’s rights movement.

Tastless product

A business selling high heels for children under 6 months? This is the kind of thing that makes you sit up and pay attention. What were they thinking about when they designed it? How did the financiers motivate their investment? What do the customers think they are doing when they buy this “cute” thing? Buying high heel shoes – even toy shoes for children is terrible.

Extremely funny, completely soft shoes for babies
0-6 months designed to look like high heels
Not intended for walking (heel will collapse with weight).
Not intended to harm children in any way.

Not harm the children? I don’t think so. This is truely a tastless product…

Indecent Exposure

Tired of seeing too much underwear? Well via Battleangel I came across this great news story, the residents of Flint can now be fined large amounts if their trousers hang too low! Or as the article states: “Flint residents now have to watch their butts because Police Chief David Dicks is on the lookout.”

The fashion commons

Intellectual property and fashion – now there is a minefield. To those who are fashion oriented the look and feel of favorite labels goes beyond the property debate and enters into the realm of defining personality. People who wear Nike are…, Paul Smith is…, Billabong shorts are…

You get the idea. Never really thought too much about the connection between Creative Commons and fashion copyright but I read on the CC blog that the Berlin-based fashion label Pamoyo have decided to release the designs for their clothes under a CC BY-NC-SA license, allowing people to recreate Pamoyo’s styles at home as long as they don’t sell their creations. Similarly, someone can build upon one of Pamoyo’s existing designs – if they release the new design publicly they must do so under the same license, continuing the process of reuse and creativity.

What is the correct attribution on a swimsuit?