A rant from the second wave (but seriously folks, we have a gender problem)

I looked at my blogroll yesterday and realized that all the blogs I regularly read for the most part, written and edited by men. Being a former feminist studies major, I�ve decided to try to remedy this situation. Maris is a regular reader of CopenhagenCycleChic, so I�ve added that blog to my regulars. But while I think it�s important to make biking look sexy, I�d prefer to read blogs that actually dig a little into transportation policy and politics.
Maybe the problem stems from the perception that transportation policy belongs under the purview of road construction and engineering (scary math eek!), and as more people like myself get excited about the changes that progressive transportation policy can bring to our communities, the gender divide will disappear.
But it�s not just the progressive transportation blogosphere that�s male dominated. From my experience commuting to work on my bike in New York, there are far fewer female bike commuters than men, and I�ve yet to encounter a female bike messenger or take-out delivery rider.
I�m still trying to find the stats for New York City, but I recently came across the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency�s "2008 State of Cycling" report, which found that women make up 49 percent of San Franciscans, but only 23 percent of frequent cyclists* in the city.
*Bicycling on average two or more days per week.
The fact that women made up less than a quarter of frequent cyclists in a city as athletic and progressive as San Francisco was shocking. It really doesn�t make sense to me why so few women are on bikes. Is it a fashion issue? Are women more scared than men of riding in urban traffic? It would be interesting to see if women cyclists tend to use protected bike lanes more frequently than men.
Stay tuned � you�ll be hearing more from me on this topic.
Photo: Vogue fashion spread. (Sexy, but from personal experience I've discovered it's pretty much impossible to bike in form-fitting knee length skirts without effecting severe material damages.)

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