Women are awful drivers!

May 25, 2014, 3:02 PM |

Why would I say that?!  What does it have to do with chess??

It is an example of a stereotype.  An unfair one.  The problem is, yes, some women are awful drivers.  Some men are too!  A singular example does not make the case for an entire group.

I learned to drive when I was 12 years old.  On my uncle's ranch.  If I was to be of any use, I had to know how to operate some of the equipment.  Tractors, field trucks, pick-ups.  Learned with a clutch and a stickshift.  And a starter pedal!  Also learned how to service these vehicles.  Today, I still own two four-wheel drive trucks/SUVs.  Gender or sex never entered into the equation.

I will confess that I got annoyed, at times, with some of the Asian females.  Very slow.  Very cautious.  In southern California, the car is king, and you have to know how to go with the flow.  I too fell for the stereotype trap, and I should have been aware of it!

But here is the thing.  These women coming over from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, etc, had never been introduced to having to drive.  In many of those areas, owning a personal car was prohibitively expensive, there was a high density population (making driving daunting), public transit was readily available, and women were not expected to drive.  So they never learned how.

It is not that women are "naturally" poor drivers (nor are men naturally good drivers).  If you learn how, and constantly practice, you can become better - despite your background and culture.  It also helps to have good role models.  Like Danica Patrick (but not for the surface streets!!).

Likewise, in chess, women will grow in strength, with the commensurate opportunity and experience.  Those who say, "Women should not play chess; men are solid," are just thick in the head.  It's not true, it's not respectful, and it is an unfair stereotype.

Perhaps my paleontologist friends were wrong.  Homo neanderthalensis still lives!!


I welcome your replies sweeties. ;^)