1 ~~~ For Women, Riding a Bike Is Still a Revolutionary Act ~ Conde Nast ~~~
More than a century ago, the bicycle helped spur women’s suffrage—and continues to facilitate activism today.
This year, we commemorate 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which technically granted women the right to vote. The achievement was the result of decades of campaigning, a story of women and freedom, politics and movement—one that was, in part, powered by the bicycle.
“Bicycles have done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world,” wrote Susan B. Anthony in 1896. It may sound surprising, but her statement reflected a new reality. A bicycle craze was sweeping across the U.S. and elsewhere, thanks to the launch of the Safety Bicycle, the diamond-frame model from which today’s bikes descend. And unlike its vertiginous and risky predecessor, the High Wheel, it was far easier to ride, in turn offering a new freedom to women who had little autonomy over their lives, and few legal rights.