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Women on Wheels: How Women Found Freedom Through Bicycling

Funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Is it surprising that in the 1890s conservatives panicked at visions of women riding alone, with other women, or with unsuitable men, and campaigned to stop them?

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in America.

Some claimed that women would damage themselves by acquiring a “bicycle face,” or would get sexual pleasure from bicycling — and thus ruin their reproductive capacities. When women and girls first rode bicycles in large numbers, they celebrated their new freedom to move around in the world. Susan B. Anthony thought bicycling had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” Other suffragists praised bicycling as a road to fuller citizenship for women: women would travel more widely on their own, and would learn a larger sense of responsibility to their fellow travelers.

This program will ask audiences to consider how bicycling and other means of mobility have affected history and our own levels of physical activity.

Presented by Ellen Gruber Garvey. Ellen is the author of two prize-winning books, "The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture" (Oxford U P), and "Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance" (Oxford UP, 2013). She has written for CNN, The Washington Post, New York Times Disunion blog, Slate, The Forward, and The Root. She recently retired as Professor of English at New Jersey City University. She talks about women and bicycling on Facebook, and blogs about scrapbooks.

TAGS: | Live Performance |

Hillsborough branch
Phone: 908-458-8420
Branch manager
Karen Pifher

We're closed Saturday July 04 due to Independence Day
We're closed Sunday July 05
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We're closed Saturday July 11 due to Reduced hours per Hillsborough Township
Mon, Jun 29 Closed
Tue, Jun 30 Closed
Wed, Jul 01 Closed
Thu, Jul 02 Closed
Fri, Jul 03 Closed
(Independence Day (observed))
Sat, Jul 04 Closed
(Independence Day)
Sun, Jul 05 Closed

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