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  • Anon N + 1

    Robin Layoff, “Language and a Woman’s Place” Harper Colophon Books (1975): “Conclusion. This . . . is finally the point for the reader to ponder: I have given reason to believe that the kinds of ‘politeness’ used by and of and to women do not arise by accident; that they are, indeed, stifling, exclusive, and oppressive. But I don’t feel we must maintain the kinds of social relationships we have always assumed. If we are aware of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and the effects our actions have on ourselves and everyone else, we have the power to change. I hope ;this book will be one small first step in the direction of a wider option of life styles, for men and women.”

    Unfortunately, this article suggests little progress in the language of empowerment has been made in the last 40 years.

    • wheel women

      thank you for supplying details of the book Robin – I will definitely be taking a look at this. Yes, I would agree the progress in some aspects has been slow, though I am no expert in the area. However, at least there is some dialogue when there may not have been before and by questioning this area I would like to think that perhaps this may spark continued conversation. The quote above ‘we have the power to change’…this is certainly what Bridie O’Donnell alludes to I think (in the full article referenced), and certainly what I prescribe to. But that then raises the dichotomy…why should we even have gendered ride group?

  • Denise Prince

    Hi Tina, thank you for a great article. I know I have succumbed to the apologetic statements when riding with both men and women. I follow you on Facebook and want to commend you on encouraging women of all levels to believe in themselves and their abilities and just to get out riding their bikes.

    • wheel women

      Thank you Denise! Next time you think you might succumb, don’t apologise, but let the others know what part of the ride you are brilliant at, or which part you love. Just ride…enjoy it, love it and tell everyone you know how GREAT it is.

  • Nicola – Women Who Cycle

    Good one Tina. Despite all the work I’ve done with women’s cycling I’m also guilty of putting myself down. I recently competed in a club race and had to ride up one grade. I announced to anyone who would listen that I would surely be dropped and guess what happened – I got dropped. I call it the self-fullfilling prophecy! It’s nice to discuss these sort of topics.

    • wheel women

      It’s such a common issue Nicola. After the article was published, we had someone on one of our rides apologise that she was going to be really slow…we all just turned and glared at her, but of course shared the laughter. No, she wouldn’t be slow, because we would all be riding together…she would be no slower than anyone else. We really need to stop making the apology because it not only becomes infectious, it also is very self fullfilling!


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