A Little List of Dos and Don’ts for the Ladies

 This started as a post in earnest. It was supposed to be a photo essay of women for Women’s History Month that I was writing for a different blog. Then I saw this.

The photo is fine. Love her boots. I have a similar pair. Can’t imagine biking in that outfit, but what really caught my eye is the fabulous list of dos and don’ts in the text below. This is how you should act if you’re a proper lady in the late 19th century.

The full list has appeared all over the place from Brain Pickings to Lost at E Minor (two favorite websites with always interesting art and literary content), but I have to share a couple of my own best from the list.

Don’t cultivate a bicycle face.

I have been experimenting in front of the mirro all afternoon and have yet to find what I’d call a bicycle face. Devil face? Check. Hairy eyeball? Yep. Look you up and down because I don’t like your clothes? Sure. No bicycle face.

Don’t chew gum. You should instead exercise your jaws in private.

This one, of course, leads me to a number of jaw moving snarky comments that I’ll leave to your imagination.

Don’t let dear little Fido accompany you.

In my world, dear little Fido is dear but he’s not little. In fact, Fido for me is two dogs, very large and boisterous. They romp down the street, completely unaware of cars, because they’re completely engrossed in barking at other dogs. Every single other dog. It’s nerve wracking, actually. After two hours of biking, I’m ready to be locked away in a sanitarium of sorts.

Ok, so maybe the Fido things makes sense.

Don’t talk about your bloomers with every man you know.

Was that really a problem among women in the late 19th century? Is that something a lot of women do now? I don’t know many who do. Maybe I’m just hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Meanwhile, this song below has been going through my head ever since seeing The Rules. (Sorry.)


Really, though,were I to come up with a list of rules for women in 2013, particularly when writing an article about women for Women’s History Month, this video might spark a few of its own Dos and Don’ts.

Like don’t worry about the ring? Or don’t make faces while you’re dancing or you’ll end up as your own section on the Know Your Meme website.  Then again, while not the most flattering image,  she certainly is fierce. No man will ask you about your bloomers if you go out biking like this.

Hulk Beyonce

Want to see some of the other images that made their way into what I originally envisioned for the Women Around the World photo essay?

Woman smoking

Photo by Twicepix

Women boxing

Photo by Stegsie

They’re kind of awesome, aren’t they?

I just went to Flickr and did a Creative Commons search for “women.” There were literally thousands of fantastic photos. It was tough to narrow it down to only twelve. You can see the rest on a photo essay of women around the world on Cloudhead.

What strikes me most about the photos is the great diversity of women. We cannot be encapsulated. We cannot be controlled, and quite frankly, no list of rules will ever fit us.

So there I leave it, this, my last post for Women’s History Month. Yes, it’s the end of the month but only the beginning of the conversation.

See you in April!

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