Theory Queries!

Who said this?
"A Woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."
Fish and Bicycle
I was curious, so I Googled the U2 lyrics:  "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."  And, it turns out that Gloria Steinem brought the witticism to prominence but was only a conduit of its pithy-ness.  She borrowed it from an Australian scholar who coined the phrase back in 1970.  See the following blurbs:
Bono/U2 capitalized on the phrase in "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World" from their Achtung Baby album (1991).
In 2003, Brian Austin Green (yes, from 90210 fame) directed the movie, "Fish Without a Bicycle" (, a direct references to Steinem (and presumably U2's) reference to the phrase.

The discovery of the original perpetrator was brought about by the marriage of Gloria Steinem -- the quintessential feminist of the 1970s who disavowed a woman's need for a man (and hence the institution of marriage).


Last updated: 08/29/2005 11:36 PM
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