SOLUTION: MCPHS Wk 6 Muscular Christianity YMCA Spectator Sports & Manly Art Discussion

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SOLUTION: MCPHS Wk 6 Muscular Christianity YMCA Spectator Sports & Manly Art Discussion 1

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Required Reading:
Peter Zheutlin, “Women on Wheels: The Bicycle and the Women’s Movement of the 1890s,”
In the late 19th and early 20th years, bicycles were a cultural and societal phenomena in the
United States and the subject of a divisive cultural dispute over women’s bodies and women’s
rights. The first wave of the women’s rights movement was well underway at the height of the
American bicycle craziness in the 1890s. The bicycle, in many respects, has come to
represent the spirit of transformation and progress that the women’s rights movement has
tried to evoke. Women quickly discovered that the conventional dress of corsets, bustles, and
long, dense skirts hampered the supposed ease of bicycle riding. This led to a revolution in
women’s wear, including lighter tops, bloomers, or even jeans, to make for a less bulky
journey. Bicycle riding came to represent the uniqueness of women moving towards the
women’s liberation movement. It also provided women with a mode of transport and clothing
that permitted them freedom of mobility and travel.
Bicycles also helped women to avoid sexual abuse that is so frequently faced in public
transport and offer cheap means of transportation in countries where access to cars and public
transport is restricted. Donating bicycles to women is a way of liberation is what I feel. That
is why even after 200 years of its introduction, bicycles continue to have a positive influence
on women’s lives.

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Week 6
Required Reading

Elliott Gorn, The Manly Art, Chapters 2-7.
1. Muscular Christianity
During the 19th century, Americans stressed the word “Muscular Christianity,” the
purpose of which was to make men stronger so that their confidence in Christianity
would also be greater. Muscular Christianity appeared first in private schools in the
United States, later in the YMCA and in the teaching of the evangelists. The central
organization that supervised and advanced athletics and sportsmanship was the
American society in the 19th century truly believed that sports, produced particular
morals and improved certain characteristics for individuals. Sports has given way to a
new age, a new way of turning point for America into what they felt was safe and
The Young Men ‘s Christian Association was the most notable social incarnation of
Muscular Christianity. The YMCA, which was established in England about the
middle of the century, YMCA was the organization which supervised and advanced
athletics and sportsmanship during 19th c…

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