What is the biggest stereotype I am dealing with in today’s day and age? No, it’s not that women should not go out alone in the night or should not wear short skirts, or that she should get married as soon as she finishes her basic education. And no, it’s not even that women should not drink or should know how to cook.
It happens to be: “Women can’t drive.”
This is one stereotype that bothers and frustrates me. If you are a girl who drives or is keen on developing this life skill that can probably make you independent, you would have heard this illogical yet insulting phrase more than once. “Oh, you are a girl, how can you drive?” or “Girl, if you can’t drive, then why are you sitting in this car?”
Seriously? It’s 2017 and we haven’t gotten any better in getting rid of our prejudices.
And for a moment, let’s talk about all those terrible men drivers who don’t even use an indicator before switching lanes. Let’s talk about lane driving in India. How many people actually follow that? It’s infuriating to see men react to just one mistake a girl makes on the road while driving, and totally ignore the fact that men make these mistakes too, so much so that it makes me want to question whether these men ever learnt driving in the first place.
And yes, women do make mistakes on the road while driving, but it has nothing to do with their gender. It’s because of the fact that they are human and human beings are not perfect, they make mistakes. But a man making the same mistake on the road easily gets away with it.
There are various issues our country is battling, but let me tell you if we want to be at par with other nations of the world, we need to get rid of this silly and hypocritical notion of ours that women can’t drive.
From where I see it, this belief is a major hindrance in achieving gender equality in our country. And what are we teaching the forthcoming generations who are being raised around this belief? The boys will grow up taking this misinformed belief to be an established fact and judge every girl driving on the road, and girls may start believing it too, even before they get their hands on the steering wheels of their cars.
I have a word of advice for all those girls wanting to learn driving – do not listen to anyone who says women can’t drive. Just go for it, be confident and learn the damn thing.
There will be people out there who will try to teach you that you are not going to be a good driver because you are a girl. Ask them to teach you how to drive instead of giving you this piece of their minds that you do not intend to learn anything from.