Today in Feminist History: Sutton Scolds Cyclists (June 14, 1895)

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Today in Feminist History is our daily recap of the major milestones and minor advancements that shaped women’s history in the U.S.—from suffrage to Shirley Chisholm and beyond. These posts were written by, and are presented in homage to, our late staff historian and archivist, David Dismore.


June 14, 1895: Difficult and inadvisable as it might be to simultaneously offend women, bicyclists, and teachers, William Sutton of College Point, Long Island, managed to pull off such a triple play earlier this evening.

His verbal and legal offensive was directed at three female teachers who have taken up what has become a wildly popular sport among women as well as men, that of bicycling. Two of the teachers pedal the four-mile trip from Flushing each day, and the other lives in College Point.

Since it is not illegal for women to ride, there was nothing Sutton could…

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