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Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum

Posted on: September 19, 2023

What do the Women's Rights Movement and Bicycles Have in Common?

The rise of the “cycling craze” in the late nineteenth century transformed not only women’s leisure and mobility but also their fashions. The cycling woman represented the new demand for political rights as well as women's new status in the public sphere. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox will present virtually; audience members are invited to a watch party at the Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum (164 Hawley St Grayslake IL 60030).

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”

― Susan B. Anthony

"If women ride they must, when riding, dress more rationally than they have been wont to do."

― Frances Willard

Bio: Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox teaches U.S and women’s and gender history at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Her research examines the connections between fashion, politics, and modernity, particularly how visual and material culture have shaped and reflected class, gender, and racial identities. Her writing appeared both in scholarly journals and books as well as popular media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, PBS, and The Conversation. Her book, Dressed for Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism explores how women used fashion to challenge race and gender identities and to promote feminist agendas in the long 20th century.

This event coincides with our newest exhibit, "Biking Through The Years: Cycling In Grayslake" now open at the Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum. Come visit our 1890s women's cycling suit replica!

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Posted on: September 19, 2023