I want to ride my bicycle!
I fucking love my bicycle! FUCKING LOVE IT! I know, not that shocking. But bear with me while I jizz all over the internet in favor of bicycles. It's something I think about a lot. It's something we're talking about with regards to our All Sparkles, No Heart dance, and I need to articulate what it is that makes me want to cover the stage in bicycles, since Monica and Tara are enthusiastic cyclists, but are not necessarily in favor of a giant bike race in the middle of our show. (Maybe if we could convince our dancers to be naked whilst biking, they would get fully on board.)
Let's face it, bicycles are sexy, even without naked people riding them. The bicycle appeals to both my sense of individualism (blame my 'Wild West' upbringing? or my early exposure to Ayn Rand?) and my value of sustainability. If the automobile is the symbol of the American dream, then the bicycle is MY ultimate American dream, without all the imperialist patriarchal bullshit. It makes me feel like I'm the master of my own destiny.
See now, my bicycle makes me giddy! It makes me use words like "destiny"! I start to worship my golden calf. But the golden calf here is not an idol- it's a means to a greater realization of a greater god- ourselves.
My bicycle makes me feel like I own my body. Like I am whole. Like I am in control. Like I am a god. My bicycle makes me feel beautiful. My bicycle makes me feel happy to have the body I have, to be the person I am, to live the life I'm living. My bicycle brings me joy, even when I'm not totally enjoying it.
This is why my bicycle is a peaen to my feminism. In a world where women's bodies are commodities, historicallyproperty, in a world of constant objectifying, where agency is undermined, in a world where discontent with body is fed to us in lieu of bread, in a world where anorexia is the new way to be in control, in a world where women are silenced, told to be quiet, take up less space, stay inside, the bicycle is a FUCKING CALL TO ARMS. This is a revolutionary tool.
I think this is part of why I'm interested in the suffragists as well- the way the bicycle was such a revolutionary element of that movement. Suddenly these women could transport themselves, did not have to rely on husbands or carriages to organize. And the bicycle not only allowed women to be self-sufficient, it also asks a certain self-sufficiency. In the age of corsets and smelling salts, bicycles require physical stamina.
I love that about my bicycle. It puts me on my own schedule, with my own responsibility and makes me rely on myself. My bicycle asks me to be self-sufficient and provides the tool to do it. It may sound over-the-top, but it's a truth when I say: my bicycle transformed my life. The sense of agency it gives me permeates everything. It's more than just a feeling, and it works in tandem with my other efforts to reclaim myself, to own myself. What a Western concept, I know, this owning of self, but the more I own myself, the more I love myself. And I love that my bicycle makes me love me.