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Bicycle-riding ladies and other threats to manly order

Click on the pic to see it in its full-sized glory!

So I linked the other day to Kate Beaton’s awesome comic about the obstreperous velocipedrix (inspired by the cartoon I used to illustrate this post). But since then I’ve had bicycle-riding-ladies on the brain and I thought it was worth another post. Besides, it gives me an excuse to use the cartoon above, which Beaton linked to in her Hark, A Vagrant post.

The notion that bicycle- (or velocipede-) riding women are inherently hilarious (or inherently evil) may seem a tad quaint now, but back in the late 19thcentury, when bicycling really took off, these cartoons were every-fucking-where.

And what was so unsettling – even scary – about the specter of women on bicycles? As historian Clare S. Simpson explains:

The independent mobility of cyclists raised genuine alarm for their physical, if not moral, safety; simply put, the bicycle could easily take women to unsavoury places where they might be endangered physically (for example, by being attacked), or morally (for example, by being seduced into imprudent conduct with intemperate company).  . . . Drawing on previous knowledge of the kinds of women who deliberately made themselves conspicuous in public, that is, prostitutes, there would be a strong tendency to conclude that cycling women were far from respectable: not exactly prostitutes, perhaps, but possibly women of loose morals or with an undeveloped sense of propriety.

Now why does this sound oh-so-familiar? Because it is so scarily similar to many of the arguments I run across amongst Men’s Rightsers and Manospherians today. Change a few words here and there, and we could be talking about the Slutwalks, and the ludicrously overblown “criticism” of them we’ve seen from MRAs and misogynists generally, who insist again and again that women must be “held responsible” for their actions.

What actions? Going outside dressed in something more revealing than a nun’s habit. Going outside at night. Not reacting with gratitude when dudes patronizingly lecture them on the perils of being a woman in public. It’s the same old shit: the “independent mobility” of women is pissing off a lot of men even today.

That’s why so many MRAs got so angry about the case of Lara Logan, the CBS news correspondent who was sexually assaulted while covering the protests in Egypt last year — many in the MRA camp weren’t so much angry at those who assaulted Logan as they were at Logan herself, for daring to cover political unrest in another country … while being a woman.

That’s why it always strikes me as a little odd that MRAs routinely describe their movement, such as it is, as a new one. It’s not. Theirs is a reactive movement, and a reactionary one – and not just because some of them literally think women should be denied the right to vote. It’s because so much of what they obsess about is the same old shit that pops up whenever women have stepped up and challenged their traditional roles.

Of course, these guys aren’t simply angry at women doing traditionally masculine things – from going where they like, on bikes or foot, to covering world politics. They’re worried that newly “masculinized” women will turn men into a bunch of emasculated pussies.

While poking around to find more cartoons to illustrate this post with, I happened across several that show just how persistent this worry is. Take a look. The first couple are from the turn-of-the-twentieth century; the third is from the 1970s. Notice a theme here?

This same old theme is handled a bit more subtly today, as this bit of clip art shows. Note the pink apron, in case you didn’t get the point: a man washing dishes is an emasculated wussy.

Of course, in the Manosphere, things are not quite so subtle. It’s telling that amongst MRAs and other modern misogynists the insult of choice for feminist men is “mangina.”

Here’s how one little manifesto defines the term. (I’ve edited out a lot; it’s pretty fucking repetitive, though students of misogynist psychology may wish to read the whole thing here.)

Manginas are pseudo-men who fixate their lives on getting a sniff of the female genitalia (figure of speech) at the expensive of others and by betraying real men.

Manginas see women as an ultimate being, places them on a huge pedestal, mind focuses only on sex or the satisfaction of women all the while not giving two bits a damn about his fellow man. …

A mangina is not a man, and we wouldn’t dare honor them by gracing them with the title. …

A Mangina seeks continuous approval from females thereby becoming their servant.

Manginas support women’s issues which are against his fellow men. Someone who espouses feminism but is really being suckered into a form of chivalry in which women’s interests take precedence over men’s. Unaware that they are merely “useful idiots”, doing what women want in the vain/hope of getting laid. When his usefulness is over she tosses him out with the rest of the rubbish. …

A Mangina is a self-depreciating man who subconsciously hates himself and blindly believes women are superior to him. He has been raised to think masculinity is inherently wrong – perhaps even a genetic/evolutionary/social flaw – and must be corrected by embracing his “feminine side” to the point of losing the very qualities that make him male.

Women acting like men; men acting like women. These were the bugbears of the velocipedrix-hating, women’s-suffrage-opposing assholes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; they were the bugbears of the protoypical woman’s-lib-hating chauvinist pigs of the seventies; and they remain the bugbears of an astonishingly large number of those in the Men’s Rights movement today.

And that’s why it, too, will end as a joke, remembered as a quaint holdover from earlier times rather than the progressive civil rights movement it sometimes pretends to be.

In the meantime: Kate Beaton, fucking hilarious, right?

NOTE: I found a whole bunch of awesomely retrograde cartoons from bygone days while looking for the illustrations for this post. I’ll be posting some of my favorites soon.

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Anti-Moron's-Rights
Anti-Moron's-Rights
8 years ago

“Boy the way Keith Richards played,
Tunes that stoked the Woodstock blaze,
Guys like us, we all got laid,
Those were the days!

And you know where you were then,
Girls were tots, and bros were men,
Mister we could use a man like Ronald Reagan again!

A stronger corporate welfare state,
The working class pulled rich guys’ weight,
Gee, being a serf feels great –
Those were the days!”

Molly Ren
8 years ago

I am awaiting Meller’s and NWO’s tirades against modern women bicycling with great anticipation.

Niki M. Quirkypants
8 years ago

They can take my bike from my cold dead hands.

Actually, given that both the bike and the attempts to ride it around town are new experiences for me, that wouldn’t be difficult at all 🙂

Blue Jean
Blue Jean
8 years ago

@Anti-Moron’s Rights; Bravo!

Those guys remind me of the classic Simpsons quote:

HOMER: Marge! You acted like the man! Which makes me the woman! And I have no interest in THAT, except for the underwear thing, which is, (as we’ve agreed) strictly a comfort thing.

Jodi
Jodi
8 years ago

I love Kate Beaton. I love my bike, too (I have a recumbent…like riding a lawn chair instead of a bike!).

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

“That’s why it always strikes me as a little odd that MRAs routinely describe their movement, such as it is, as a new one. It’s not.”

Exacltly. They have this delusion that they’re revolutionaries struggling to have their voices heard when in reality they represent the same old ways and the same tired establishment people have been fighting for decades.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Meller will totally go nuts over this.

I can’t imagine living a life where you’re so constantly in fear for your position and privilege just because other groups are getting some rights that you’ve taken for granted.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

The term “mangina” reminds me of ‘”race traitor”.

Quackers
Quackers
8 years ago

LOL Blue Jean!!! I just watched that episode a few days ago.

Well, one can only hope that the rage directed at slutty slut sluts goes the way of the rage directed at women riding bicycles. Their arguments never really change do they? I was amazed, horrified, and amused at how similar Schopenhauer essay On Women sounds like your typical MRA rantings of today, but with fancier language, better spelling and less cussing. Misogyny truly is one of the oldest forms of discrimination.

Miki
Miki
8 years ago

So the message of those cartoons seems to be that it is absolutely awful to be given no other option than be confined at home to take care of the household and children.

You know, the exact thing men have done (and are still doing) to women for millenia. Whoops!

Reminds me John Stuart Mill’s point that if men truly believed women were incapable, they would have no reason to forbid them from anything, because hey, no point, they’d be incapable at it. It’s because they do know they’re capable that they place the restrictions in the first place.

pi male
pi male
8 years ago

I just read the “Manginas- Betrayers of Men” screed and two things stood out for me. First, re: The Worshipper- “These are the killers and sadists who kill people on their girlfriend’s whim.” This is a thing? I’m sure there has been a murder performed by a man at the instigation of a woman somewhere in history, but I would like to see some documentation that this has been anything other than an extreme outlier. I really can’t wrap my head around the idea that I’m supposed to believe that guys who show respect and even admiration for women are dangerous killers who are hiding in your closet.

The second thought I kept thinking after reading the article was, “For fuck’s sake, people! Good grammar costs nothing!”

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

“One who believes violence against women is more wide spread than violence against men.”

Oh, you mean someone who has an awareness of reality? Damn those manginas.

clairedammit
clairedammit
8 years ago

Meller will totally go nuts over this.

I can’t imagine living a life where you’re so constantly in fear for your position and privilege just because other groups are getting some rights that you’ve taken for granted.

Rights are a finite, non-renewable resource and the supply of unmined rights is dwindling fast. As second-sex citizens’ thirst for rights grow, the innovative sex who has earned their rights by hard work and fortitude must work to ensure that rights are conserved and available to those who truly deserve them. OTHERWISE THE WORLD WILL RUN OUT OF RIGHTS.

clairedammit
clairedammit
8 years ago

By the way, David, did you see these? I found them when I was trying to figure out where the whole “the awful effects of velocipeding” thing came from. I suspect you’ve already seen them but if not, I wanted to share.

Valerie
Valerie
8 years ago

His rant on manginas makes me think he tried this before and didn’t get laid as the BRO-chure promised and is now all mad and stuff.
It always comes down to that- other men are getting laid and they aren’t.
Pissy pissy stomp stomp. It’s like my parents always said when I threw a fit- Don’t forget to slam your door!

cynickal
cynickal
8 years ago

I don’t have any women on bicycles, but I have some videos my friend, Wendy took of her final race day…

Explore Nature
8 years ago

A scene of a woman riding a bicycle is unpleasant in most of cultures. I know this well. Most of women who are trying to do masculine gender specific things, especially male clothing are female transsexuals. But psychologically emasculated men are not sensitive to understand these things.
Second thing is that some fathers who have daughters are rising their daughters up in a masculine way without femininity from younger ages. They are the responsible people for this. They are great hypocrites too.

clairedammit
clairedammit
8 years ago

I don’t know a single woman who would find the sight of another woman on a bicycle unpleasant. So what culture are you talking about?

Also, Explore Nature, this is the definition of a hypocrite:
1.a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2.a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

A hypocrite is someone who acts against their beliefs, not someone who acts against yours.

Crumbelievable
Crumbelievable
8 years ago

Explore Nature is one of our least coherent trolls (that’s saying something). Leave him be.

Bee
Bee
8 years ago

He’s actually quickly becoming my favorite troll! You go, Explore Nature! Tell the bicycling ladies and their fathers how monstrous they are!

clairedammit
clairedammit
8 years ago

Noted. That hypocrite thing is one of my pet peeves, though. Words have meanings!

Quackers
Quackers
8 years ago

To be fair, Explore Nature is from Sri Lanka so English is probably not his first language (though he’s still an ass) Also again to be fair, most violence is male on male, not male on female. However it doesn’t excuse or diminish male on female violence although MRAs usually do this when they write. I don’t know why we can’t just focus on stopping both.

Long live manginas! also known as men with common sense, logic and empathy!

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

Dude, you’re in Lanka!! You want to keep women off bicycles in Lanka?!!!! I can’t even begin to comprehend that kind of stupidity!

Shadow
Shadow
8 years ago

And as for his English, I don’t want to make any comments because there are people that don’t have access to education. However, anyone who IS educated in Sri Lanka gets a pretty damn good education in English and THAT level of butchering would be unacceptable.

Jill the Spinster
Jill the Spinster
8 years ago

I shall put on some pantaloons and ride my bicycle this evening.

Noadi
8 years ago

He has been raised to think masculinity is inherently wrong – perhaps even a genetic/evolutionary/social flaw – and must be corrected by embracing his “feminine side” to the point of losing the very qualities that make him male.

MRA Masculinity: noun. Fear of women and sense of being threatened by the concept that women are people.

Linds
Linds
8 years ago

This makes me wish I knew how to ride a bike.

Fuck MRAs
Fuck MRAs
8 years ago

I haven’t been in the comment section much, and I see we’ve really reached a low with “Explore Nature” here. Wowzas.

I think the funniest part of the bicycle poster is that none of the images show anything….bad. Oh noes, the laundry lady will be able to move her laundry on a bike if she wants! And widows will visit grave sites… Oh the humanity!!!111!! And what’s with the “servant girl?” I guess just being on the bike in the first place was too much for them!

pxt
pxt
8 years ago

“He has been raised to think masculinity is inherently wrong – perhaps even a genetic/evolutionary/social flaw – and must be corrected by embracing his “feminine side” to the point of losing the very qualities that make him male.”

This reminds me of something Dan Savage said about how he conceptualizes “gay” sex acts versus “straight” sex acts, versus how homophobes do. He argued that, in the minds of homophobic people, because “straight sex” only exists in a binary versus “gay sex”, the only thing that makes something “straight” is that it is not “gay”. Which leads to straight men being terrified of things like assplay, because their sexual self-identification only exists as a negative of what they view as homosexual.

Seems kinda similar: if you can only conceptualize masculinity as a binary negative of femininity, then you have to denounce the feminine as a threat to your own sense of self-articulation. Sad.

evilwhitemalempire
evilwhitemalempire
8 years ago

And that’s why it, too, will end as a joke, remembered as a quant holdover from earlier times rather than the progressive civil rights movement it sometimes pretends to be.

************

I wouldn’t count on that. You mispelled quaint.

There!

Looks like feminists aren’t the only folks who can refute arguments by pointing out minor spelling or punctuation errors.

Xanthe
Xanthe
8 years ago

And what is an evil white mal empire when it’s at home?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

“A scene of a woman riding a bicycle is unpleasant in most of cultures. I know this well. Most of women who are trying to do masculine gender specific things, especially male clothing are female transsexuals. But psychologically emasculated men are not sensitive to understand these things.”

Indeed, most cultures find images of women on bikes very unpleasant! Here we have an example from England.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/03/28/article-0-00955B4800000259-135_468x329.jpg

Horrible, it is. Indeed all the non psychologically emasculated men who saw it in movie theaters were most disgusted – in fact many of them asked for their money back.

Leni
Leni
8 years ago

Wow, cynickal, that was really super fun to watch.

All I can say is that the kevlar kneepad jokes just aren’t going to be the same anymore XD

(I’m only half joking, had no idea cyclists did that with their knees o.0 holy crap!)

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

Explore nature: you’re so right! Don’t click on the links, this woman, this one, this other one and especially this woman are so masculine! Oh, the horror!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I think we’ve finally located the modern woman that lives in Meller’s head – she’s the stern-faced lady with the bloomers in the middle of the photo.

He’s convinced that she’s wearing those just to spite him.

Xanthe
Xanthe
8 years ago

Cassandra, the subtitle says: The “New Woman”… the scare quotes are quite Melleresque, all it would have needed in addition was the characteristic (?) or multiple exclamation marks.

The three mice at velocipedrix’s feet are a cute feature, too.

Happy anti-MRA
Happy anti-MRA
8 years ago

What MRAs are totally and absolutely unable and/or unwilling to accept is that males who question societal gender roles often come into contact with young women who have done the same thing. The women who have questioned societal gender roles often come to realize that following their sexual desires unimpeded by societal pressure can be a very enjoyable thing. The men they choose to partner with for this? Well, let’s just say that they definitely aren’t MRAs/PUAs!

Another massively uncomrtable fact for MRAs to consider is that feminists are against marriage and also against machismo/chivalry. MRAs invent the notion that feminists/women/”big daddy Govt” demand that they marry and macho – but it’s nonsense. Some men (and some women) set and judge men (and women) by stupid and outdated standards. Some people who are able to critically think reject these foolish notions. Other people, with less critical thinking ability, deduct that “some men are expected to act in a certaint way. Women aren’t expected to act in this way. Women force the men to act in this way. Men have to do what they are told by the women. The women are evil. The men are victimized. We need to invent a “social movement” to fight this”.

“We are soliders in a gender war. We are MRAs. Our lives have meaning. Our sexual frustration and rejection are the result of an evil conspiracy. Look at the evidence everywhere. We live under the jackboot of a feminist governance. We are soliders in a gender war. We are MRAs. Our lives have meaning. These evil women taunt us – they look alluring in their clothing. They mock us because we want them but can’t have them. They Lord(Lady?) it over us. They are the enemy in the gender war. They are committing genocide because they won’t reproduce with us and, instead, mate with the mythical “Alphas”. We are soliders in a gender war. Our lives now have meaning for we are not alone. Our brothers in arms are also rejected, sexually and socially, by women.”

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

“Another massively uncomrtable fact for MRAs to consider is that feminists are against marriage and also against machismo/chivalry.”
I don’t know about that. I’ll agree for machismo and chivalry annoy me but I’m not against in general (i.e. when I’m not concerned) as long as nobody think anybody else owe they anything as a result. (eg: a woman who feel entitled to it or a man who feels entitled to a woman’s attention, affection or sex because of it).
Marriage, unless “against marriage” means “not pro marriage” as in “people should not have to be married but can, if they want” I disagree. I know some feminists are completely against marriage, but not all of them.

Quackers
Quackers
8 years ago

Since this post has a lot of cartoon strips, I figured this was appropriate xD http://www.cartoonlabs.com/comics/index.php?date=2012-01-05&show=sinfest

Dunno if anyone reads Sinfest but it has a whole feminist ark going on right now which I don’t think the cartoonist is actually intending to mock in a mean way. Either way it’s funny because the little feminist is never seen not riding her tricycle so it relates to this post in that aspect as well.

hyperdeath
8 years ago

I remember once seeing a cat kill a mouse. A few seconds later, the cat looked towards me, hid the mouse beneath its paws, and adopted a defensive posture. It obviously assumed that I enjoyed eating dead rodents as much as it did, and that I was after its prey. Its mind had no concept of differing motives and differing wants.

MRA psychology seems to work in a similar way. They have no real concept of a mind operating without frenzied sexual frustration. That leads to statements such as:

Manginas are pseudo-men who fixate their lives on getting a sniff of the female genitalia (figure of speech) at the expensive of others and by betraying real men.

Concepts such as women being more than walking sex-dolls, and of men having motives unrelated to sex just don’t occur to them. The fact that most sex comes as a bonus to a functioning relationship, and is not aimed towards at all, seems to elude them entirely.

Happy Anti-MRA
Happy Anti-MRA
8 years ago

@ Kyrie

I’ll re-phrase;

“Most feminists are against societal pressure to marry. Equally, most feminists regard males feeling societal pressure to conform to heteronormative, chivalrous, macho norms.”

MRAs claim to be against all of these things, too. They aren’t, of course, they still want women to be married, but they want those women to have no legal rights. And most MRAs seem to measure their own masculinity by how bitter, angry, resentful and un-needing of women they are.

Quackers
Quackers
8 years ago

@hyperdeath

I went to your website and did the Kookometer Scale test on one of our regular trolls NWOslave…the result came out as Off Scale lol. Though I can’t say I’m surprised.

and yep, MRAs do tend to project a lot of their beliefs onto everyone else. I can forgive projecting every so often, we’re only human afterall…but they take it on a whole other level.

Little Mousling (@LittleMousling)

It’s not precisely the same style of freakout, but my favorite has to be the horror over the invention of the baby carriage. The fear was that it would allow women to take long walks or to otherwise exercise–and that exercise would render them sterile. Ah, ridiculous “medical” theories of yore …

Tabby Lavalamp
8 years ago

The same argument is playing out in Saudi Arabia right now over women driving. If allowed, it will be the “end of virginity”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16011926
It appears there are no new arguments in trying to enforce oppressive patriarchies. I wonder how many people who laughed at the Saudis for such a ridiculous argument know the same shit has been talked about here in the post-Enlightenment west.

hyperdeath
8 years ago

I went to your website and did the Kookometer Scale test on one of our regular trolls NWOslave…the result came out as Off Scale lol. Though I can’t say I’m surprised.

Do you have a link to the kookanalysis? The site doesn’t store the results. All the information is encoded in the URL, and the page is generated whenever someone visits.

johnnykaje
8 years ago

I have a book called Funny Girls that’s full of cartoons like this, complete with the ubiquitous apron-wearing mangina. It’s by Diane Atkinson.

If you think women on bikes can’t be sexy, you’ve never seen this Queen video.

(Not me alas. I will never ride a bike or bike-like object again after I wiped out and messed up my L5 disc and also my collarbone. But I envy those who can do it!)

Pecunium
8 years ago

pi male: I’m sure there has been a murder performed by a man at the instigation of a woman somewhere in history, but I would like to see some documentation that this has been anything other than an extreme outlier.

I don’t know that we need to say, “extreme outlier”, as people will do any manner of things for people they love/are obsessed over. Furthermore, life was a lot cheaper in the past, and killing has not always been murder (the difference in Anglo-Saxon England, from Germanic traditions, was that a murder was secret, whereas admitting that one had killed someone kept it a civil matter, not a criminal one).

But look to our very own NWO, who has said that creating eunuchs was done at the instigation of women; for no other reason than it amused them. They didn’t do it themselves though… they are too, “genteel” for that. They got men to do it.

Pecunium
8 years ago

cynickal: Thanks for the vid. I think she’s entering her turns a little early. 🙂

Leni: “Dropping a knee” actually stabilises the bike, by moving the CG to a much lower point, which allows the bike to turn more tightly without leaning over as much. If the knee is kept up then one can’t take as, “deep” a line, because the speed needed to enter the turn is more than will allow one to say inside it. You have traded body position for bike drop.

“Pucks” are pretty much only good for one, or at most, two races.

Here are some diagrams of how it works

Pecunium
8 years ago

I tried the kookometer on NWO. This is what I got.