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.