In the United States, women account for only a quarter of bike trips. There are many possible factors for the discrepancy: the lack of bike infrastructure, social pressures during adolescence, and complex trip patterns play a role. But one of the big things keeping women out of the saddle is that when they bike they're harassed. All the time.
Cat calls, patronizing enjoinders to "smile," and more aggressive forms of harassment can make walking or biking uncomfortable or threatening. Katie Matchett, an urban planner who writes about pedestrian issues at Where the Sidewalk Starts, still recalls getting harassed on the streets of San Diego as she was beginning her career 20 years ago. She says it's up to everyone -- men and women -- to combat it.
Jennifer Dill at Portland State University is taking a close look at why girls' attitudes about biking change over time. In a study of 300 Portland-area families, she observed that a gender gap in attitudes toward cycling isn't apparent in younger kids, but when girls reach adolescence, they don't view cycling as positively as boys do.
Why don’t women bike as much as men? It’s a question that’s been getting a lot of press for the last three years or so since the explosion of Women Bike onto the national advocacy scene. Only about 24 percent of bikes on the street have women’s butts on them. What’s going on? The conventional […]
Arizona earned its reputation for police excess yet again recently when an officer demanded identification of an African-American pedestrian — for the crime of walking in a campus street to avoid construction on the sidewalk — and got violent when she refused to produce it. Arizona State University professor Ersula Ore was walking around some […]