Give me a car and I’ll show you what a woman can do

Reputations, stereotypes, they’re not always rightly deserved.

There are so many instances where someone or something has been branded with a tag – that sticks – and which doesn’t quite add up. 

Yesterday a friend sent a link to an article, which appeared in The Age, informing us of sexism hitting a new level in a German town – levels not seen since the ’90s hey-day of pink and blue for girls and boys.

The town has introduced car parks for female drivers. The parks are apparently “easy”, better lit, wider and are marked by a female symbol (probably an outline of an adrogynous shape, decked out in dress; maybe even painted on in pink).

The dear friend who sent this link forth , and a few others, made a joke or two about female drivers, the gist of which were females fail behind the wheel.

I don’t think this reputation is rightly deserved.

I’ve got a friend who can reverse parallel park with her eyes closed, while drinking a coffee. I’ve got another friend who completed a five-day defensive driving course after turning 18, to prepare her for the road. My own sister can hill start a manual. In gravel.

I often, in the course of life, am reminded of discrepancies between reputation, between stereotype, and actual fact – yes, as I experience it, but once shared with friends, as they too experience it.

There are the obvious sexual stereotypes which are gratingly and decidedly and steadfastly inaccurate. They usually relate to boys and their libido and women and their lack of libido coupled with a tendency towards emotional over-kill.

I remember once, a person (female), implying men can’t be blamed for the cheating act, because once the ball(s) is/are in motion, they can’t stop. They can’t help themselves. They can’t be blamed.

There I was, standing and listening to this waffle, blindsided into no-speak. I was completely unsure whether to hit her over the head with a tennis racquet, or nod and write a blog about it at some future point.

She is living proof of the existence of this stereotypical myth and scapegoat for men the world-over: Men can’t help themselves.

Here’s another: men are always up for sex. Not in my experience. I’d actually say the complete opposite is true. So too would more than a decent handful of my friends. Myth busted.

What about the men don’t like too communicate and aren’t emotional? No, nope, not true. I know plenty of men who relay the emotional, sometimes on probing, sometimes not. They will spill their deepest insecurities, fears, love trials and worries and do so with gusto. Whether warranted or not.

Of late I’ve had a few friends fall off the perch of single and hit the ground engaged. At dinner on Wednesday marriage was discussed. There were three of us at the table. Eating Thai. One engaged. Two not. Broken down, the ‘not’ category falls into a ‘never’ and a ‘probably never/maybe’ – but no to wearing a ring on that finger; but yes to being gifted a fabulous ring in turquoise and gold. Just saying.

I’ll shot-gun a few more from here on in:

Women don’t like beer: ridiculous. All women want children: no, nope, they don’t. Women aren’t good at maths: it was my best subject in year 12 and I did well across the subject board. Women aren’t funny: my female friends are hilarious and as funny as my GL considers himself to be, he’s not a side-slitter, wet the pants-erer. Women take longer to get ready than men: I am constantly waiting on the GL and my sister will vouch for this.

Myths, reputations, stereotypes busted. Now, if only someone will lend me a car, I’ll show them what a woman can do.

Pic: Myth busting in the style of TVs’ Myth Busters.

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