Bicycling Etiquette for Women — Circa 1895

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"Don’t scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run."

While there are still serious battles to wage when it comes to women’s rights, the good news is that riding a bicycle in public is no longer one of them. From Maria Popova at Brain Pickings (January 3, 2012) comes this amusing and insulting list of “don’ts” for women who ride bicycles, originally published in an 1895 edition of the New York World:

Bicycling Etiquette for Women: The Rules

• Don’t be a fright.
• Don’t faint on the road.
• Don’t cultivate a “bicycle face.”
• Don’t go to church in your bicycle costume.
• Don’t ask, “What do you think of my bloomers?”
• Don’t go out after dark without a male escort.
• Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit.
• 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 imagine everybody is looking at you.
• Don’t refuse assistance up a hill.
• Don’t chew gum. Exercise your jaws in private.
• Don’t criticize people’s “legs.”
• Don’t try to have every article of your attire “match.”
• Don’t contest the right of way with cable cars.
• Don’t use bicycle slang. Leave that to the boys.
• Don’t scratch a match on the seat of your bloomers.
• Don’t appear in public until you have learned to ride well.

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