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A familiar fear: Why cycling is sometimes like existing as a woman* in a misogynist culture

A SYTYCB entry

Every time I ride my bike legally centerlane through south Seattle I find myself, without fail, afraid.

This fear strikes my body in a familiar places and ways. My stomach flinches with recognition. “I know this feeling.” I think in conjunction with gripping the brakelevers a little too tightly. My wrists and elbows harvest the the all-too-familiar tension of travelling through space that was not designed for my existence. At best these roads accommodate my journey with retrofits. These artificial additions  sometimes even add to the rage many drivers feel toward cyclists in general and me in particular.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely thankful when a roadway opens up with a bike lane or announces me and my simple machine with signs or white symbols. But it is not enough.

If it isn’t apparent already, that fearful correlation I feel in my belly– the one I am attempting to draw out here– is a parallel between the twisted visibility & ever-apparent danger of biking in spaces designed for cars, and the problems and challenges presented by navigating a misogynist culture as a female-perceived person.

Is professional success the new vogue for compromising on feminism?

A SYTYCB entry

“it’s our job (for now) to be easily integrated into an all-male team, nonthreatening, and hyperskilled”

This quotes from an outline for session offered by Lady Coders previously titled “Men Are Not the Enemy.” Since the following concerns have been raised the session’s title has changed. Unfortunately much of the original copy still remains with an added aftertaste of the assumption that all interview panels will be all male all the time.

Lady Coders bills itself as a project that “want[s] to help women get into technology careers”. The problem of course is that the talks projected and advice given by Lady Coders enforces gendered stereotypes. It does next to nothing for women as a whole and nothing at all ...