We’re Too Broke to Bike

I’ll read just about anything if it has “bicycle” somewhere in its headline. While I’m not so sure all the logic in this Grist piece stands up, I think the general point is right: Women bike less, not because they’re women, but because women as a group experience more of the barriers that keep people off bikes. Like she says:

“Bicycling is, in much of the car-centric U.S., either a privilege or a punishment. That’s why more women aren’t bicycling. It isn’t because we’re fearful and vain; it’s because we’re busy and broke and our transportation system isn’t set up for us to do anything but drive.”

“Busy and broke” and a “transportation system [that] isn’t set up for us to do anything but drive” are reasons that apply to a lot of people, not just women.

2 responses to “We’re Too Broke to Bike”

  1. This is an interesting article and makes a very valid point, so apologies in advance that this comment doesn’t address the important take-away. BUT I counted at least three times in this article when the author conflated the perceived necessity to “conform to professional norms in clothing, makeup, and hairstyles” with vanity and interest in fashion. When I show up to work without makeup on, for instance, I am asked by many coworkers if I’m tired, which is not something I want to inadvertently convey. I know the author knows the difference, but by repeatedly mixing them up to make her own point, she kind of just perpetuated the myth.

    1. Celeste LeCompte Avatar
      Celeste LeCompte

      I agree. I think she makes a similar mistake in terms of looking at economic impacts and gender. Yes, women are more likely to be poor. But the supporting statistics she uses are about whole households, not just the women in them — and her supporting scenarios for her supporting statistics are about two-parent, dual-gender households. So, yeah, I agree. Her overall point is valid, but poorly supported. It’s the kind of commentary my more conservative friends and colleagues turn up their noses at when you try to discuss sustainability and/or class and/or gender or whatever.

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