WHY YOUR DEAD GRANNIE IS TWIRLING IN HER GRAVE

cycling

Who’s looking forward with frosty excitement to the 2nd annual Frigid Bitch ladies-only cycling event?

Um, me neither.

Apparently run by the House of Raging Women in Pittsburgh’s too-hip-for-its-history Lawrenceville neighborhood, this bike race segregates the gals from the men and promises a “short and sweet” alley-cat (whatever that is) that can be done in just 16 miles. Only the ladies can participate, and they’d better be at the starting line at 1:30 p.m. this Sunday, February 15th, or else.

Are you f@#&!*$ kidding me?

You’ve seriously named your event “The Frigid Bitch”? Really?

A ladies-only event, and you just had to reinforce a crippling stereotype we lady folk work tirelessly to dispel by naming it…that?

Excuse me while I puke in my pocketbook.

Okay, I’m back. And your great-grandmother just called to say you’ve single-handedly dismantled the past 40 years’ worth of progressive feminism.

Grrrr, there’s that awful word. Feminism. How’d it ever get to be such a horrible thing? GRANNIE

I know my grannie didn’t stave off degrading, sexist remarks her whole life to have her descendants toss around the “bitch” word so lightly.

And I’m certain my mother didn’t put up with sexual harassment in the workplace – for decades – to have the young women in her life come to this.

But creating a community whereby young, strong women can gather together in camaraderie to celebrate their obvious badassedness – doesn’t this warrant something a little (or a freakin’ lot) more respectful? Where is your couth, oh, Raging Women?

I’ve been a bicycling female for about the last dozen years (okay, with a little time off while I was breeding), and I would never – in a million years – attend your insulting event.

Allow me, once again, to gather myself (she said as she licked the seething saliva from her chops).

Clearly, we have, in the House of Raging Women, a group of somewhat intelligent, if not simply organized and presumably young, women who can reach an audience. How dare you, ladies? Truly, I have higher hopes for you.

Let’s travel back in time to an era when we birds really were referred to as bitches in the non-ironic, non-hipster, non-sarcastic sense. Let’s taste the word in our mouths. Let it roll around in there a while.

Now listen – really listen – to how it sounds.

Bitch.

Bitch.

You bitch. You frigid bitch.

How’s it sound to you? Pretty shitty.

Now I’d like to invite you to my own little ladies-only event. Come on in. Have a Tom Collins. Make yourself at home.

I’d like to introduce you to someone. Pauline Roland. French socialist. Writer. Open-marriage-proponent. Co-parenter. Teacher. She made her mark on the world in the 1840s by creating an organization to support the education of young women to enter the workforce. Her dedication to women’s equality landed her in jail. Twice. And then she died from disease upon her release before she could even see her children again.

And how about meeting Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim? 1940s-era Sudanese activist for women’s rights in education. She led the first-ever female protest in Sudan over science being removed from her school’s curriculum.

Yamakawa Kikue would like to introduce herself, too. This mid-20th-Century Japanese socialist fought for women and men to have equal pay. She worked tirelessly to end prostitution. And she advocated on behalf of mothers’ rights.

And, please, for the love of Mother Earth, shake hands with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. American Civil War-era abolitionist. Birth control advocate. Early suffragette. Susan B. Anthony’s BFF. Risk-taker. She fought for women to have the privilege of owning property. To enjoy the freedom to divorce, if need be. She even fearlessly voted against allowing black men to earn the right to vote – because the same constitutional amendment specifically excluded women from earning that same right. And the brazen Chiquita even dared theorize that Christianity is sexist!

And let us not forget about the mother of all badass feminists, Emily Wilding Davison. You’ll be star-struck to make her acquaintance. Early at the turn of the 20th Century, all in the name of voting rights, this English-born diva vaulted herself in front of a galloping horse and was trampled to death. So we could have the right to vote! Before giving up her life to women’s equality, she spent no fewer than nine stints in jail and starved herself repeatedly.

Now there’s a House of Raging Women for you.

So you go on now with your 16-mile alley-cat (whatever that is) race. You layer up in your Under Armour. Strap on your helmets and fill your water bottles. And from high atop your gel-cushioned saddles, you look one another in the eye and congratulate each other for having the right to vote. To buy condoms. To go to school. To get a job. To own a home. To raise your kids. To get a divorce. To respect yourself. To ride your bike.

And remember how you got there.

Then, perhaps next year, you could gather up all the raging women you know to get together and vote on a new name for your event.

Get the deets on the despicably named bike event here: http://heyevent.com/event/685595118226777/the-frigid-bitch

Many thanks to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_feminists for providing a wealth of info for this article.

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