By Sarah Hallenbeck
Hallenbeck describes the masculine tradition of the “Ordinary” bicycle of the Eighties and the methods girls helped lead to adjustments during this tradition; asserts that ladies contributed to bicycle layout, aiding to provide the extra gender-neutral “Safety” bicycle according to discourse approximately their wishes; and analyzes girls writers’ makes use of of the recent venue of renowned magazines to form a “bicycle woman” ethos that caused new identities for ladies. the writer considers not just how technical files written by means of girls bicyclists inspired new riders to appreciate their task as reworking gender definitions but in addition how girls used bicycling as a rhetorical source to steer clinical discourse approximately their bodies.
creating a major contribution to reports of feminist rhetorical historiography, rhetorical company, and technical conversation, Claiming the Bicycle asserts the application of a disbursed version of rhetorical organisation and bills for the efforts of extensively dispersed actors to harness expertise in selling social change.
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Additional resources for Claiming the Bicycle: Women, Rhetoric, and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America
On the contrary, the difficulty and exertion of riding the Ordinary constituted its primary appeal. As historian Anthony Rotundo has noted, during the late nineteenth century, many middle-class young men found themselves settling increasingly into sedentary professions but yearning to regain contact with their “bestial” or “primal” impulses, which they saw as indicative of a lost manly character (143). ” Fearful of feminization and overcivilization, these young men sought opportunities to enact, through their physical performances, a strong and emphatic masculinity to strengthen their bodies, fortify their minds, and herald the spirit of the times (Haller and Haller 8).
In addition to its bulkier size, the tricycle had less acute steering capabilities than the Ordinary and was much heavier—a greater problem for female riders than for male tricyclists, who were generally stronger and more accustomed to physical exertion. In order for a mixed group of male Ordinary and female tricycle riders to remain together even on the best of roads, wheelmen aboard Ordinaries had to hold back and tricyclists 16 Introduction had to push hard to keep up. In Oudshoorn’s terms, this arrangement challenged the limits of the gender script of each machine.
Social location and opportunity into and out of which rhetors. . move” (133). In the case of the bicycle culture of the 1880s, women riders came to occupy such a location by attending to the opportunities present within the existing material network and then by expanding that network—and with it 3 Introduction their own agency. That is, as women rode their tricycles in greater numbers during the late 1880s, new material conditions emerged: improved roads lobbied for by the powerful League of American Wheelmen, for instance, to accommodate tours of ladies and gentlemen together; genteel bicycle clubhouses where riders of both sexes could enjoy social gatherings such as dances and performances; and a new array of alternative machines, such as marine bicycles, tandem bicycles, and Safeties.