Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

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Car Protocol followup

personal 2 min read

posted <a href="">a followup</a> 
to <a href="">Erik's response</a> to my earlier 
<a href="">Car Protocol post</a>. Got that? ;)
In "<em>Castration, or The Right To Drive</em>", she said:
Matt insists on driving for the simple reason that it is a knock to his "manliness" for him to be anywhere but behind the wheel (and God forbid he sits "bitch" in the middle of the back seat!)
I said that? I thought that my post basically said:
  1. Men prefer to be driving if they're in a car. I didn't mention women drivers at all, other than to say that, if a woman is driving, her male partner should get the front passenger seat.
  2. Men tend to feel uncomfortable with sitting in the back seat as passengers. We'd prefer to get the front passenger seat, if we're not driving.
My main point was really about a feeling of <em>usefulness</em>, which is lacking when you're a back-seat passenger. 
I've just re-read my post (it's <a href="">here</a>), 
and I'm still sure I didn't stray into the old, hackneyed, feminist-riling 
"men are better drivers" debate.

Is it possible to write something about men and cars without women then writing 
something including the words "manliness", "penis" and "castration"? Seems not! 
Which of us has a chip on our shoulder, again?


She also says:
Alpha Male ... castrated ... maintain the image of control ... subordinate position ... implicit power structure ... men and women ... castration of power ...
Heard it.


One bit puzzled me, though. She says, in response to part of Erik's post:
You have been conditioned to be uncomfortable with a woman driving because you think that she will be uncomfortable (correct me if I'm wrong) and assume that you are disrespecting her or questioning her femininity somehow.
I'm not uncomfortable with a woman driving. Indeed, since my parents divorced when I was young, throughout my primary and 
high school career, I was driven around everywhere by my <em>mother</em>, almost exclusively. Women drivers were pretty much 
the norm for me as I grew up.

Even so, I can't imagine that the reason for a man being uncomfortable with a woman driver would be that he thought 
<em>she</em> would be uncomfortable, or (even more bizarre) that she'd think you were "questioning her femininity". That kind of 
reinforces the old concept that driving is a male domain, doesn't it? Surely if a woman, when asked to drive by a man, feels that he's 
"questioning her femininity", then she's being sexist herself?

Similarly, Jamie also mentions that "it wouldn't feel like a date" if the girl was to drive. That sounds bizarre to me too, and indeed 
a little bit sexist. The joys of Selective Equality; the great logical flaw in the standpoint of most "feminists". Ah well.


So put your knickers on, woman! :)