"Fish without bicycle"(1973); Gandhi's "eye for eye"(1982); Eyes/England(1943)
bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Jan 20 07:48:10 UTC 2005
On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 01:31:13 EST, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>FISH WITHOUT A BICYCLE
>I don't know if this helps. Is it earlier or later than the feminist
> _ Stevens Point Daily Journal _
>Saturday, July 21, 1973 _Stevens Point,_
>...mAn WITHOUT A God is like A FISH WITHOUT A BICYCLE. is the
>periodic.....been Able to roll out A pie crust WITHOUT the edges
crAcking All the wAy..
>Pg. 6, col. 7:
>The term graffiti no longer has a derogatory meaning at the University pf
>Wisconsin-Stevens Point. (...)
>"A man without a God is like a fish without a bicycle."
>"War is the periodic failure of politics."
This has come up on the alt.usage.english newsgroup. Quoting what I wrote:
There's also "A man without *God* is like a fish without a bicycle."
This version is remembered by a contributor to the Phrase Finder forum
as a graffito c. 1961:
A New York Times article from Aug 20, 1975 ("Quick Time of Modern Life
Takes Hold In a Village Isolated in Alaskan Tundra") mentions the same
version on a wall of graffiti in Bethel, Alaska.
(And see below.)
> A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle OR
> A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle
> Sighted by a.u.e. participant on a T-shirt in 1973; as graffiti in 1976.
> Attributed by some references to Gloria Steinem.
> But believed by many feminists to be by civil rights lawyer Florynce R.
> Kennedy. Steinem wrote a March 1973 article in MS Magazine about her
> witticisms, "The Verbal Karate of Florynce R. Kennedy, Esq."
Gloria Steinem gave credit to Irina Dunn in a letter to Time Magazine,
according to a posting on the AWAD forum in October 2000:
This news just in from last week's Time magazine:
"In your note on my new and happy marital partnership with
David Bale, you credit me with the witticism 'A woman needs
a man like a fish needs a bicycle.' In fact, Irina Dunn, a
distinguished Australian educator, journalist and politician,
coined the phrase back in 1970 when she was a student at the
University of Sydney. She paraphrased the philosopher who
said, "Man needs God like fish needs a bicycle." Dunn
deserves credit for creating such a popular and durable spoof
of the old idea that women need men more than vice versa."
More corroboration here:
Irina Dunn has confirmed this story, in an e-mail of January
Yes, indeed, I am the one Gloria referred to. I was
paraphrasing from a phrase I read in a philosophical text
I was reading for my Honours year in English Literature and
Language in 1970. It was "A man needs God like a fish needs
a bicycle". My inspiration arose from being involved in the
renascent women's movement at the time, and from being a bit
of a smart-arse. I scribbled the phrase on the backs of two
toilet doors, would you believe, one at Sydney University
where I was a student, and the other at Soren's Wine Bar at
Woolloomooloo, a seedy suburb in south Sydney. The doors, I
have to add, were already favoured graffiti sites.
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