Tag Archives: quotations

Bicycles and Women’s Liberation.

Suck it, dudez! We're wearin' bloomers & ridin' bi-cycles!

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”

–Susan B. Anthony, 1896

For more on how the bicycle changed the way women moved and dressed in the transitional 1890s, the types of derision with which they were met (national anti-bloomer brigades?), and the somewhat hysteric concerns the bicycle raised in contemporary minds (“could riding a bicycle be damaging to a woman’s sexual organs? could she [gasp!] potentially become aroused from riding a bicycle???), click here. This essay is from a website dedicated Annie Londonderry, the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world. It looks as though the primary function of the website is to advertise Around the World on Two Wheels by Peter Zheutlin, a book about Annie Londonderry and her victorious adventure. It was just published this past fall and is now widely available, including on Amazon. The book seems to have received many positive reviews, including remarks on its careful research.

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On Chopin.

frederic_chopin_photo_sepia

“[If the Czar of Russia] knew what a dangerous enemy threatened him in Chopin’s works, in the simple tunes of his mazurkas, he would forbid this music. Chopin’s works are cannons buried in flowers.”

“These nocturnes are charming, and they contain the virtues and faults of this young and skillful composer. Why are ideas so fresh, so gracious often fettered, spoiled — we are obliged to say it — by intolerable harshness, and by a sort of affectation to write music almost as one should execute it — (we say almost because entirely is impossible) — to write in this wavering, languid, tentative fashion, this fashion that no arrangement of known note values can express well; Rubato in short, this Rubato the terror of girls, the Bogeyman of fumblers!”

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