Small victories

I’m glad Saudi women will soon be able to drive, a right no one should ever be denied. They have to wait till June next year but hey, at least they’ll eventually get to drive. I wonder how women who don’t have male relatives have coped all these years.

I’m glad Saudi women will soon be able to drive, a right no one should ever be denied. They have to wait till June next year but hey, at least they’ll eventually get to drive. I wonder how women who don’t have male relatives have coped all these years.

What if you’d lost your father or husband and didn’t have any brothers or male relatives to drive you around? Stay in the house your entire life? What happens in case of an emergency? What if the baby needs to be rushed to hospital or the man of the house is incapacitated? I don’t know how anyone could ever think that the idea of women driving is so terrible.

I can’t say I’m really surprised by all the negativity and crude jokes by those who claim women all over the world are stupid and therefore bad drivers. Until they offer statistics to back that, I’ll stick with my own opinion that we’re actually better drivers than men. I urge you all to think back to the last accident you witnessed or read about. Were the vehicles involved driven by women?

How about the many times you’ve been stuck in traffic because a car broke down on a Highway or run out of fuel? Who was at the wheel? Who’s more likely to run a red light, breach the speed limit, drink and drive or be involved in road rage incidents? Who’s most likely to get distracted by a group of teens in short skirts? Not women, that I can tell you.

I’m not saying we’re perfect and don’t ever mess up. I just don’t appreciate how dismissive society generally is of what women are capable of. You just have to listen to the unsolicited tips female drivers receive even from strangers, yet men are rarely critiqued. Everyone always wants you to go faster or park better. Sometimes, it may all be in good faith but guys don’t get the same attitude, however inexperienced someone may be.

People make fun of the model or colour a woman settles for or the accessories she chooses when many times, it simply comes down to personal taste and preference. Others make fun of how we get into or exit cars forgetting that our shoes or clothes often have something to do with it.

I remember a colleague I used to work with whose husband wouldn’t even let her drive his car with or without him in it because he just assumed she’d crash it. I also know women who have their partners take their cars to be serviced just so the mechanics won’t take advantage and charge them extra for non-existent issues.

I understand that not every woman can change a tire or knows the inner workings of every car model ever manufactured but when it comes down to just driving, there are good and bad drivers on both sides of the gender divide and we’re better off getting with the times and ditching the stereotypes.

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