A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle


      • independence and self-sufficiency
        Emphasize that women do not need a man to thrive or be successful in life, highlighting the strength and capability of women on their own

      • uselessness and irrelevance
        Highlight the pointlessness of a man in a woman's life, implying that a woman can do everything a man can do and more without needing their help or presence

    Examples of A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle

    • Sarah has always been fiercely independent and self-sufficient. She doesn't need a man to complete her, just like a fish doesn't need a bicycle to swim in the water.

      This idiom is used to describe a situation where something is not necessary or useful. In this case, it implies that Sarah can thrive and succeed on her own without the need for a romantic partner. The comparison to a fish and a bicycle highlights the absurdity and impracticality of the idea that a woman needs a man to be happy or fulfilled.


    This idiom is typically used to empower and celebrate the independence of women. It conveys the idea that women are strong and capable on their own, and do not need a man in their lives to be successful or fulfilled. It also implies that men are not essential to a woman's happiness or well-being.

    Origin of "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle"

    The origins of this idiom can be traced back to the 1970s feminist movement. It was popularized by Australian author and activist, Irina Dunn, who first used it in her book "A Step Away from Paradise" in 1970. The phrase gained widespread attention and became a rallying cry for the feminist movement, emphasizing the idea of gender equality and women's independence.

    The idiom is a play on the saying "a fish needs a bicycle," which was coined by American cartoonist and activist, Gloria Steinem, in the late 1960s. Steinem used the phrase to challenge traditional gender roles and highlight the absurdity of women being dependent on men. The full phrase, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle," was later popularized by Dunn and has since become a well-known feminist slogan.

    In modern times, the idiom is still used to promote gender equality and challenge societal norms. It has also been adapted into various forms, such as "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle," to further emphasize the message of female independence. Overall, the origin of this idiom showcases the power of language in advocating for social change and promoting important values such as independence and equality.