Illustration: Ryan Perkins
Mad Men is on Netflix now, which means I finally got to see what everyone’s been talking about all these years. What they failed to mention was the scummy way women are treated in that show. I’ve realized it’s probably not the best pick for entertainment when you’re as angry at men as I am. Every time one of the women in that show does the puniest thing to stand up for herself against those chauvinist douche bags, my heart bursts with pride. However, when you think about how absolutely pathetic those little things are, my joy is actually a little demeaning towards my sex. I shouldn’t be impressed by a woman asking her boss for a raise when history contains women like Annie Kopchovsky.
I’ll be completely honest here and admit that I’d never heard of her until a few weeks ago when I found out Salt Lake’s second ever women-only alleycat was in the works and dubbed the “Kopchovsky Cat.” Guaranteed you’ve never heard of her either, and some of you are probably wondering what the fuck an alleycat is, too. I’ll get to that in a minute. According to Wikipedia, Kopchovsky was the first woman to bicycle around the world. She left her husband and three children in Boston, put on a pair of pants, swapped her cruiser for a faster whip and rode off into the sunrise to France, Egypt, Singapore, San Francisco and back to Boston—in the mid-1890s. A single action in that sentence would’ve been unheard of back then, let alone all of it. The best part is that she came home from her bike ride feeling like “a new woman … I believe I can do anything that any man can do,” she wrote in New York World, where she worked for several months after returning from her adventure. I bet her husband was thrilled.
Switch back to 2009, when the first women-only alleycat was put on by the generous men of the bicycle community after I used my feminine allure (aka complained) to convince them of its necessity. You see, an alleycat is kind of like a scavenger hunt on your bicycle, and, most of the time, speed and efficiency are key to winning. So, unless you’re Jessica Gilmore, the local speed demon who has managed to place in the top five overall at nearly every urban race, you may find it a tad difficult to physically compete with the boys in an alleycat. Which is why, if any women even show up, there’s usually a women’s division (with not-as-cool prizes). This first alleycat was dubbed the “Pussycat,” which you know is a name I thoroughly approved of due to its glorious triple entendre, and the fitting Team Cunt came in as winners (I came in DFL—Dead Fucking Last).
I’m much more in love with the Kopchovsky Cat, however—less titillating in the nether regions and more stimulating up top. Ladies, let Annie be your inspiration on this one and don’t fail her, don’t fail me, don’t fail yourself! Pick up your fucking bike and be at Memory Grove on Saturday, October 15 at 2 p.m. with a bag, $5 and some attitude. I promise you’ll come out of it a new woman.