Thursday, July 24, 2014

Move it, Ladies!

Listen, I don't want to sound like a traitor to my own gender, but ladies...for the love of God...we have GOT to get it together behind the wheel.

In a very unscientific research project lasting approx 3 weeks, I have been mentally tracking the number of moron drivers who turn out to be female. Results? 99%. Every time I'm behind a driver who slams on the brakes for no discernible reason or fails to Go on Green, it's a woman. Every person who drifts over into my lane on the highway? It's a woman. Every 50-mph driver in the left lane is a woman; and the driver pulling out in front of me nearly clipping 6 or 7 cars in the process? Driver with a vagina.

It's so very depressing. I get this tight knot in my stomach every time I have to slam on my brakes, honk my horn or swerve to avoid crashing into a person who has inexplicably stopped in the middle of the road, and I think - nay, I PRAY - "Don't be a woman, don't be a woman." But it ALWAYS IS.

I've tried to reason my way through this by supporting my sex. I'll think "Clearly, women are bad drivers because we are SO busy defying gender norms, smashing our way through the glass ceiling and maintaining the delicate balance of being a caretaker and go-getter." But that argument simply cannot hold up every single time.

Of the SIX drivers I yelled at and/or made less-than-ladylike-gestures to today, all were women and none of them seemed to be on the brink of excellence. In fact, they seemed to be all but unaware of the fact that they were in control of a massive vehicle.

Now, I'm not perfect. I'm a very aggressive driver. I tailgate, speed and have zero patience for other drivers in general. But I am very conscious of the drivers around me. I know if there's someone in my blind spot; I get out of the way if a driver is coming up behind me in the left lane and I can move over; I give a very adorable shrug/smile and "Sorry!!!" gesture if and when I make a mistake. I command my vehicle, I don't just let it float around doing whatever it wants on the road.

So what gives, ladies? What's the defect here?I know we are equal to or superior to men in a multitude of other environments (classrooms, board rooms, bathrooms, hospital rooms - what with the whole havin' babies thing - and any room in which we are engaged in a battle of passive aggressiveness), so why not on the road? Why can we just seriously not get it together while driving?

I can't be the only person who has noticed this, can I? Am I just hyper-sensitive to the issue or something? Is it possible that I am the problem?

No. No, I'm NOT the problem.

I don't yak on my phone; I set cruise control when appropriate; I don't spend 45 minutes waiting to turn right from the left lane; there is just no way these bad drivers have anything to do with me.

I hate to say it ladies, but it's you; not me.

Listen, if we're ever going to be taken seriously, the first step is to learn how to drive with authority and awareness. If we keep la-di-da'ing our way through the roads, we are going to do nothing but reinforce the stereotypes against us. So, let's put down the phone, pay attention, remind ourselves about spacial awareness, stop yelling at the kids and just really pay attention. If we don't, we are destined to be categorized as "lesser" for forever.

Maybe men are just dumber better at, like, focusing on only one task at a time. Maybe (for sure) they are better at just kind of zoning out and doing things that make them feel powerful. Or, to be honest, maybe they are just better at driving confidently. Whatever it is, men are not inherently bad drivers.

But sadly, I am inclined to keep it real. And there are too many women who are terrible drivers. Are we too powerful and busy to worry about getting from Point A to Point B or something? Well, reality check: We can't change the world if we are too busy pissing everyone off on our ride to revolution. So's not going to do us any good to be super amazing, powerful people if we kill or anger 73 motorists on the way to rule the world. So, let's go ahead and just get it together, shall we?

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