Cycling as Resistance: Women living under Islamic Authoritarianism


  • Nóra White Trinity College Dublin


Gender and Mobility, Gender and Cycling, Grassroots Activism, Authoritarianism and Resistance, Women and Shari'a Law


The regulation of women’s bodies under the Iranian and Saudi Arabian regimes has been the subject of much research. However, the majority of this research has fo- cused on restrictions on women’s clothing, access to the public sphere, and/or sport. This paper builds on these theories and suggests that the act of women cycling embodies resistance to the projection of the authoritarian regime’s power onto women’s bodies. Further, it argues that in rejecting the Iranian and Saudi Arabian regimes’ restrictions on mobility, women who cycle can participate in the reconstruction of gender from below.


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