a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle
A famous feminist slogan. The earliest published instance appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald in January 1975: "We found this anonymous contribution to International Women's Year on a wall at Forest Lodge: A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."
- (figuratively, humorous) A woman is capable of living a complete and independent life without a man.
- 2001, Jane Adams, Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty, page 107:
- No matter how hip or how liberated I got to be, I could never really convince my deepest self that a woman without a man, at least when the music started, was like a fish without a bicycle.
- 2009, Wesley L. Ford, How to Pick a Lover: For Women Who Want to Win at Love, page 359:
- Women who are ideologically opposed to marriage would go along with Gloria Steinem's commonly quoted maxim: “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”
- 2012, Hanne Blank, Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality:
- By 1962, well before the so-called “sexual revolution” or even the feminist slogan “a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle,” Helen Gurley Brown could write in Sex and the Single Girl, “I think marriage is insurance for the worst years of your life.
- 2014, Mary McHugh, Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses:
- “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle,” I said. “One of these days you're going to want another bicycle,” she said, laughing.