After all, it was the bicycle that fueled the “rational dress movement” associated with early North American feminism.
Women said goodbye to restrictive skirts, corsets and crinolines and hello to bloomers.
Here’s Elizabeth Cady Stanton on women’s clothing and bicycling:
“Men found that flying coat tails were ungainly and that baggy trousers were in the way [when cycling] so they changed their dress to suit themselves and we didn’t interfere,” Stanton told a reporter in 1895. “They have taken in every reef and sail and appear in skin tight garments. We did not bother our heads about their cycling clothes, and why should they meddle with what we want to wear? We ask nothing more of them than did the devils in Scripture – ‘Let us alone.’” http://www.annielondonderry.com/womenWheels.html
The comic above is from Punch magazine. It’s titled “The Supremacy of the Skirt.”
Will the same thing happen in Saudi Arabi now that women are allowed to ride bikes?
“The first feature-length film directed and shot by a female in Saudi Arabia is making its rounds on the festival circuit. Wadjda, a 2012 movie by Haifaa al-Mansour, follows a young girl living in the capital city of Riyadh who dreams of owning a green bicycle she sees everyday in a shop window. Bike riding by females is outlawed in Saudi Arabia (or was at the time the film was shot), so the girl’s mother refuses to buy her the bike, prompting her to hatch a plan of her own to purchase it.
But in April of this year, around the time Wadjda was being screened at the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai (Saudi Arabia has no movie theaters), Arabic newspaper al-Yaum announced that the religious police of Saudi Arabia had lifted the ban prohibiting women from riding bicycles and motorbikes in public. The country’s interpretation of Islam still prevents females from driving cars, but they’re now allowed to cycle in designated areas, such as parks — not as a mode of transportation or in a competitive capacity — and only if they’re accompanied by a male and dressed in their full-body abaya.”