29 October 2012

Don’ts for Women Riders- A List We've Never Known

Though this has little to do with motorcycling... I found this article not only incredibly amusing but rather parallel to the issues women have faced with regard to motorcycling.

The article appeared on June 21st of 1895. The "Newark Sunday Advocate" ran this alarming story —syndicated from New York World —about a recent gathering of the Unique Cycling Club of Chicago; an event that saw two lady riders publicly punished/shamed for having the nerve to turn up wearing short skirts- over their bloomers.
Many of the don'ts are outrageous. You’ll certainly laugh aloud as did I! It's astonishing how women of that era were to behave.

Thank goodness, truly, times have changed. But sadly, in far too many countries we're still peddling up hill- so to speak on women's issues for equality and freedom.


Don’t be a fright.
Don’t faint on the road.
Don’t wear a man’s cap.
Don’t wear tight garters.
Don’t forget your tool bag
Don’t attempt a “century.”
Don’t coast. it is dangerous.
Don’t boast of your long rides.
Don’t criticize people’s “legs.”
Don’t wear loud hued leggings.
Don’t cultivate a “bicycle face.”
Don’t refuse assistance up a hill.
Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit.
Don’t neglect a “light’s out” cry.
Don’t wear jewellery while on a tour.
Don’t race. Leave that to the scorchers.
Don’t wear laced boots. They are tiresome.
Don’t imagine everybody is looking at you.
Don’t go to church in your bicycle costume.
Don’t wear a garden party hat with bloomers.
Don’t contest the right of way with cable cars.
Don’t chew gum. Exercise your jaws in private.
Don’t wear white kid gloves. Silk is the thing.
Don’t ask, “What do you think of my bloomers?”
Don’t use bicycle slang. Leave that to the boys.
Don’t go out after dark without a male escort.
Don’t without a needle, thread and thimble.
Don’t try to have every article of your attire “match.”
Don’t let your golden hair be hanging down your back.
Don’t allow dear little Fido to accompany you.
Don’t scratch a match on the seat of your bloomers.
Don’t discuss bloomers with every man you know.
Don’t appear in public until you have learned to ride well.
Don’t overdo things. Let cycling be a recreation, not a labour.
Don’t ignore the laws of the road because you are a woman.
Don’t try to ride in your brother’s clothes “to see how it feels.”
Don’t scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run.
Don’t cultivate everything that is up to date because you ride a wheel.
Don’t emulate your brother’s attitude if he rides parallel with the ground.
Don’t undertake a long ride if you are not confident of performing it easily.
Don’t appear to be up on “records” and “record smashing.” That is sporty.

View the original newspaper article here.

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