feminism, bicycles and politics or — the freedom of movement

I read something

That compared cars to men
And bicycles to women

To be sure, it is a binary, simple comparison
And gender is more difficult —
But it went something like this:

Cars are allowed to take up space
Whereas bikes are “invisible”

Being honked at by a car
Feels also like
Street harassment


The road traffic act
Is made FOR CARS

Because the ones who made the rules

To have a car

“I can afford it
Because I am not depending on
Minimum wage to feed my children as a single parent”


“I can afford it
Because I get paid more than my colleague”

By the way, to car owners –
Does saying this offend you?

Although these topics are more complicated
There is a germ of truth in thoughts like these

As feminist bike activists
We not only want less cars in the streets
Nor any person to feel unsafe moving through our city

We want to create this city
By our own rules

We do not want to be ruled
Either by patriarchy, capitalism
Or by this government!

But still —
We are able to move
And it is perverse that this is a privilege
Rather than a basic human right —
To be able to move

In the streets
In this city
In this country
In Europe
In the world?!

It is not possible for those
Who are stuck behind borders
Who have no right to move at all
As if they are no persons

Or they are locked up for trying to carry out
What we think is
A basic human right:
The freedom of movement

This government
Is the reason we are here today
And every Thursday

We are not just
Demonstrating that cyclists are also traffic
And that there are too many cars in town

This government
Any government really
Is the reason for so much anger —

Restricting reproductive rights and social achievements
Unsafe passages

Which means
Thousands drowning in the Mediterranean Sea

The fairy tale monsters are not the poor and not the migrants,
Looking for a better life in a different land;
True monsters are those who take all the resources
And claim them for themselves,
And say it has always been so

But we say no,
It has not always been so!
It is only for now
And we’ll change it

It may not be as easy as putting a bike lane
Where there was once a row of cars
But it’s a start