Posted by: emilywmurphy | December 11, 2012


I accidentally posted this somewhere else that was not here. But here it is again.

I was talking to someone about bicycling, and I referenced this picture, which I think is absolutely hilarious:


There are a lot of things that I like about this picture: his hat is attached to him by a string; the guy smiling in the corner; the woman’s expression, headdress, and cigarette combo. There seem to be a lot of pictures like this one, trying to discourage women from riding bicycles.

It seems there was a widespread concern about protecting female modesty when she participated in physical activities. The woman in the image also presents an interesting contrast with the “angel of the house” that Loeb talks about. I found this thing on how ladies should ride bicycles for maximum modesty:

“The idea has been conceived from seeing experts ride side-saddle fashion, and drive the machine with one foot, that ladies might begin by learning the art in that way. This would be well nigh impossible, though it is easy enough after one is proficient. But with a proper teacher of their own sex, and with suitable dresses for preliminary practice, ladies can soon obtain such a command over the vehicle…”

“A lady must begin with great moderation, and train her muscles to the work of propulsion, or they will cry out vehemently at first. Above all, she must avoid getting cold, rheumatism, and neuralgia, after being heated by the exercise.”

This last quote raises the ever-present concept of female frailty, of course, but would have also encouraged women’s anxiety about their own health. Loeb also talks about this anxiety in terms of women in advertising – preying on women’s fears seems to have been a good way to get them to do things (even today, if you look at advertisements aimed at women).


  1. *reads and casually leaves the following:*

    (This is the comic I mentioned way back when we were talking about Sherlock Holmes, but someone from one of the previous classes had already posted the Sherlock comics… But if you care to see those: )

  2. Oh shoot I forgot to link that thanks Lara. This is, in fact, where I got these links from.

  3. That’s hilarious! I definitely see how this image could serve to discourage women from riding bicycles. I hate when I ‘m out cycling in my turban and am accosted by Russian dancers in plaid pants.

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