Can Women Handle a Tour de France?
It’s no great secret that I care about equality and get regularly wound up by the injustices women face in many aspects of our lives.
I’m a feminist.
But I make that statement as a privileged white woman living in the west who doesn’t have to deal with even close to the amount of grief many many less fortunate women face. Should I worry less about cycling and more about the bigger picture? Maybe.
But this is a cycling blog so let’s start with something close to home, something I have personal experience of – bike racing. I recently spent the day riding with a group of extraordinary women (Donnons des Elles Au Velo) who for four years have ridden the route of the Tour de France the day before the men to publicise the lack parity in competitive cycling. I was really inspired by their mission to draw attention to the shocking disparity female professionals face – the women’s version of the 3-week Tour de France is a ridiculous one day affair – so I’ve been singing their praises wherever possible since in a hope I can help amplify their voices.
I published a video from my day with them which received a huge number of positive comments but sadly, some really dumb, sexist ones too and just when I was feeling glum about some people’s attitudes I was directed to an article on the BBC about a women’s Tour de France. The article had garnered some truly obnoxious comments so after chatting with the editor of cycling magazine Casquette, I decided to write an article addressing the main arguments against women getting their own three week stage race.
Click here to check it out. I’d love it if you’d give it a read and let me know what you think!
All photos: Donnons des elles au Vélo J-1