Sexism in Cars

By Jemaima Rae C. Porter |

Do gender-appropriate cars even exist?

As a young girl who is still learning the means of driving a manual ’92 model Toyota Corolla and as a pick-up car enthusiast, I want to be on the wheels of a four-by-four pick up, Isuzu D-Max, or any of its kind, maybe ten years from now.

But when a taxi driver told me that manual transmissions are for boys and automatic transmissions are for girls, I came to wonder: “Is there a female car and a male car?”

An article in Fast Times caught my attention a few days ago.  It was entitled, “Why Should Men Choose Pick-Up Trucks?”

According to the article, men look more muscular when they drive this kind of car, and it makes them appealing to girls – taking aside the fact that this is an all-around car and can be used in different conditions of travelling.

Another article by a Men’s Magazine wrote a list of twenty five “chick cars” that guys should never drive; including any Minivan, a Smart for two, Fiat 500, the Honda Insight, and the Geo Tracker, among others. Surprisingly, the Mazda Miata which I thought was ideal for those who want to drive at 120 km/h or more, with its stylistic exterior, is just right for anyone who wants to look cool, but apparently, according to the said magazine, it’s not.

On the other side of the coin, the website Live Life Drive posted the top ten cars that every girl should drive. It includes any mini cars, a Mini Cooper for example, and any Sedan, such as the Mazda 2, which give girls that “girl power” and elegance.

These articles intrigued me so much that I tried searching for reasons, stereotypical or factual, to conclude whether there really are cars that are specifically intended for men and for women.

On Urban Dictionary, which is the prime resource of stereotypical reasoning on almost everything, it is said that automatic transmission is the most pointless creation of man; it is slow, decreases one’s driving awareness, and increases the instance of people being lousy drivers.

“Automatic drivers can be spotted either both hands on the wheel or both hands on the children, or asleep,” an urbandictionary.com author named Flash wrote. “My brother got an automatic transmission so I disowned him from our family and requested that he be excommunicated from our church,” he added.

It is funny how they missed out on the fact that automatic transmissions give people the easiest way of driving. They reduce accidents because they provide accurate and safe gears and adjustments that suit any driving condition.

What they described as a “pointless creation” then goes to female drivers, the so-called soccer moms and the typical housewives – slow, fragile, and no challenge at all.

So I came to a conclusion; that this argument about transmission and its sexism, is just a case of gender stereotypes – on which gender mold this kind of transmission fits.

It also dictates that men should look more muscular, and that it is more challenging to them if they drive manual. It is an insult to women that they cannot drive a manual because they are perceived to be slow drivers and they are not suited for the challenges that a manual gives, especially during traffic.

All along, they are simply trying to say that girls can’t do what boys can do.

Unfortunately for them, just for the record and to prove this idea wrong, there are several women who have already broken from this stereotype. A lot of female drivers drive manual cars, and that’s not because they want to drive like men, but because they just want one.

Cars don’t choose their owners, their owners choose them, and it’s not about who drives what – there’s no record in all of history that proves there are cars created just for boys and just for girls. It should not exist.

2 thoughts on “Sexism in Cars

  1. No offense, I just want to put it out there to anyone who may be affected.

    I mean, no offense, but the writing is awkward, and expository sentences are just left unstrung and uncompelling. You put sexism in a dull, nonchalant perspective, as if it was perfectly normal. You asked questions, yeah, but where do those questions ever sound less naïve and more critical of the blatant, already obvious, out-there discrimination found between women and automotive transmissions?

    Albeit you did argue your point well (to say the most), the piece is filled with stereotypes and clichés about what women and men are perceived to be like. However, you failed in the sense that you were unable to provide the reader more… insightful reasons, backgrounds and argumentations.

    You ended with imperative sentences, declaring how this and that do not exist, etc. but where in this short, placid piece is the movement that we are all desperate to see? There is exhaustion, and we all are exhausted of sexism, but, come on. Move me, move the world. Nothing in this piece is compelling anyone to change.

    I apologize for anyone I may have offended, but we’re all in the same feminist boat here. You just sounded a little sycophantic preaching to the crowd, that’s all. Keep up the good work helping end sexism! 🙂


  2. Hello 🙂 It’s just now that I have read your comments 🙂 I am very delighted for such recommendations and good criticism. 🙂 I will try to write about what you’ve said. Thank you. I hope you will continue reading articles from us. 🙂
    God Bless!
    -Jemaima Porter, The Muralla


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