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Geneva Historical Society's Spring Lecture Series

Geneva Historical Society's Spring Lecture Series
“Women on Wheels: How Gilded Age Women Found Freedom through Bicycling, Fought Against People Who Tried to Stop Them, and Why It Matters Today” by Ellen Gruber Garvey
Friday, April 7, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Geneva History Museum
543 South Main Street, Geneva, NY 14456

When women and girls first rode bicycles in large numbers in the 1890s, they celebrated their new freedom to move around in the world. Susan B. Anthony thought bicycling had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” Is it surprising that conservatives panicked at visions of women riding alone, with other women, or with unsuitable men, and campaigned to stop them? Bicycling women did not want to give up their new mobility though critics tried to stop them. Although this controversy seems like something from the distant past, women are often still discouraged from physical activity and mobility in the US and in other countries. During this talk, Ellen Gruber Garvey will invite the audience to discuss ways they were encouraged to participate in physical activity or discouraged from it, and how they responded. We will consider how the automobile, which followed the bicycle as an agent of individual mobility, has reduced Americans’ physical activity.

This program, which is free and open to the public, is made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities’ Public Scholars program.

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