Gender and Sexuality Studies
Katie Monroe '12, an anthropology major with a concentration in gender and sexuality Studies, brings her personal and academic passions to the Women Bike PHL program at the Bicycle Coalition along with her work as a Bike Share Outreach Coordinator at Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
Bicycle Coalition is a nonprofit that works to make bicycling a safe and fun way to get around for anyone in Greater Philadelphia. Katie also manages the Better Bike Share Partnership Outreach program, working to connect underserved communities with the new bike share system, Indego, that launched in Philadelphia this spring.
Katie’s interests in bicycles related to issues of gender and sexuality can be directly traced back to her senior thesis, in which she wrote about the role of gender in the bike world, touching on the history—and drawing some conclusions about—the modern day "gender gap" in cycling. “While the logistics of operating in the ‘real world’ are very different than the academic space, the critical thinking I developed as an anthropology major at Haverford continues to be essential to my everyday work,” She says about the connection between her work and her Haverford experience.
After graduation, she first worked at Gearing Up, a nonprofit that provides the opportunity to ride a bike to women in transition from addiction, incarceration, and abuse. Her experience at Gearing Up as well as her thesis inspired her to found the Women Bike PHL program. Women Bike PHL now is a thriving community with a Facebook group of more than 1500 members as well as meet-ups, classes, bike rides, and more. This community has empowered, supported, and provided networking opportunities for numerous women in the Greater Philadelphia area.
When asked what advice would Katie give to current anthropology majors, she says, “to upset our comfort levels with our own culture, to allow us to see our own world views as situated and particular just like everyone else's. My advice is to not be afraid to turn the lens back on yourself and your own culture(s). For me, that's where it really got interesting.”