Quick recap on the reason for this poll:
I questioned if we really need ‘ladies’ on the jersey… when we could have ‘women’.
I’ve been doing archival research into 'the bike, the bloomer and the female cyclist in late 19th century Britain'*. Basically to cut it short, it tells a pretty awesome story of the fight women had to escape the domestic sphere, ride safely (ie. bloomers etc) and challenge draconian Victorian ideals of femininity. Remember this was a time when exercise (as well as education) was viewed as compromising a woman’s health and her potential to reproduce!
Despite winning many of the freedoms we appreciate today, a number of social restrictions of the time transferred to women on bikes - ie. the construction of 'the lady cyclist’ - with much pressure to appear ‘graceful’, ‘becoming’, ‘neat’, ‘sensible’, ‘charming’, ‘dignified’, ‘modest’, (while a discourse of heroism linked men and cycling with ‘speed’, ‘agility’, ‘performance’, ‘champion’, ‘professional’ ‘skill’ etc).
My argument is that vestiges of ‘the lady cyclist’ continue today to shape (and limit) who women can be on bikes. How often do we growl about the broad marketing categories of Men’s bikes/cycling (serious, expensive) and Ladies’ bikes/cycling (bit flowery, lower end) etc etc.
So, my point is, sure, some of us are ladies (sometimes) but we are so much more : )
This is a chance (using scoot's awesome design) to represent amazing women who cycle.
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