Before the feminization, many doctors thought the female body was not suitable for sports activities. Cycling became a milestone in the fight for women’s empowerment and a new place of women in sport and society.
In the 19th century, western women who wanted to ride a bike had to overcome prejudice, unacceptance and even harassment. Lack of suitable clothes made things harder. At that moment the models of female bikes were not safe for riding in long dresses, which in general restricted women’s movement. Thankfully, in 1851 Amelia Bloomer created pants that could fit under a dress. Besides cycling, bloomers pants helped women to be engaged in horseback riding, gymnastics, and skating.
Nevertheless, acceptance of these clothes came up not in one day. Even in the 1890s, some New York male citizens joint the society of men who pledged never to talk to bloomer-wearing women and in Newport, only one woman dared to wear it at night. On the contrary Parisian women rapidly put on new cycling clothes.
But despite all the myths about female cycling and sport, after long decades of protests and female bikes’ evolution the western women gained the right to be physically active. Now they enjoy a sport and a healthy lifestyle.
And what’s going in the Middle East and North Africa?
Women from our part of the world are rare participants in the Olympic games, but they are engaged in females-only competitions. It is disappointing, in everyday life, many of us are quite unsporty. Meanwhile, 75% of Egyptian women are suffering from obesity and overweight that caused by an unbalanced diet and lack of physical activities. Cycling is a great solution to this problem because it has so many benefits for women’s health and for the lifestyle. That’s why women empowerment bike rides so often occur in Egypt despite the fact that unfortunately in some countries of our region, cycling is not allowed or unaccepted.Yet, some girls like Hamsa Mansour have the courage even to take solo trips around Egypt.
We can’t ignore the fact that female cycling is getting even more popular and prejudices will be eradicated step by step. However, if you want to take benefits of cycling, but you are still afraid of riding a bike because of the society, we recommend you to participate in any other sports activity. Just take care of your health and stay positive.