The bicycle…has been responsible for more movement in manners and morals than anything since Charles the Second. Under its influence, wholly or in part, have wilted chaperones, long and narrow skirts, tight corsets, hair that would come down, black stockings, thick ankles, large hats, prudery and fear of the dark; under its influence, wholly or in part, have blossomed weekends, strong nerves, strong legs, strong language, knickers, knowledge of make and shape, knowledge of woods and pastures, equality of sex, good digestion and professional occupation—in four words, the emancipation of women.
I am going to ride my bike today. Not far – but I will ride in the rain on the seafront, in my jeans and trainers. I will ride to say thank you to my sisters who fought for my equality, and to celebrate that I can wear trousers. Little things, we might be tempted to think, but things which are a reminder of how far we have come.
Let’s keep pedalling until every woman and girl has the equal rights she deserves.
Today is International Women’s Day.