Apr 19, 2011

Driving Stereotypes !

The lane leading up to my house is really narrow and there is no way two cars can pass side by side specially if there are cars already parked on both sides of the lane.
So I was driving up this lane when another car with a woman driver turned the corner and started coming straight towards me. She realized too late that  she would not be able to pass me so she stopped. I rolled down my window and told her to back her car – there was a lot of space to reverse on her side and none on mine. She tried backing, but instead of going back straight she almost hit the car parked on the right side of the lane and then reversed too much on the left and almost hit the car parked there. She kept doing this for about 4-5 minutes. I could see she was novice and was getting really nervous. It was also raining really hard and that made matters worse. By this time there were at least four cars behind me all honking.
Finally I got down, politely asked her if she needed help. She said she was new to driving and was not confident enough about reversing her car in a crowded lane. I got in her car, reversed it, walked back to my car and drove home.
All’s well that ends well. So why am I telling you this story? Because while I was out there trying to help her in the pouring rain, the male drivers in the cars behind me had all got together and were laughing and passing comments on the stupidity of women drivers.
Perhaps the esteemed gentlemen in our housing society were born with perfect driving skills? Or perhaps they think it’s good manners to laugh at someone in distress rather than help him/her ?

12 comments:

  1. Feeling angry .
    They will actually hit any of the cars and not even feel sorry and they will not admit that they are new to driving ever..if one of those guys were in place of that woman.

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  2. I think this goes beyond car-driving. Men just don't take the trouble to help women! Gone are the days of chivalry. When I used to push my baby in a buggy, at times we would get stuck at a flight of stairs, and often, men would stop to give a hand. But equally so, it would always be a woman (also with a buggy of her own)to lend a helping hand! Strange, no? I would have thought that trying to help someone was a natural instinct. Apparently, it isn't always so!

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  3. @Sangeeta - yeah I wonder why so much ego about helping a woman in trouble !

    @writerzblock - I think the days of chivalry are long past!

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  4. I read another one, where these guys were watching from their office window, this new driver back into another car and they all laughed at the driver nervously hanging her 'glossy but dumb' head out of the car, trying to see where the car had hit. And then the driver steps out - a man with longish hair, not a woman.

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  5. I don't think we should expect men to help women, that makes us weaker. Why take favors based on your sex? Common courtesy towards a fellow human should be displayed and accepted gracefully if offered. Women will help, but men in north india won't. It is a fact. They will stand and watch tamasha

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  6. But once in Pune, I needed to back to get out of roadside parking, on the crowded road opposite Dorabjee's, and I was nervous, and then this guy who I expected to see irritated, politely nodded his head to convey that it was okay, he was waiting, and I was doing fine!
    Some people just refuse to fit into stereotypes :)

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  7. @ Agree with Phoenixritu here, I too expect (and give) common courtesy, not help.

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  8. @PhoenixRitu –Frankly I did not expect or want these guys to help. I was already out there helping the lady and I didn’t want them to come over and treat us like damsels in distress !!
    I was just so angry because of the kind of comments they were passing!

    @IHM – Yeah not all guys are like this ! I’d rather like to think that these men were exceptions !
    I have been helped out of tight parking spots by men and many times I have helped them too ! They just seem a bit surprised when they see a woman guiding them 

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  9. hmmm two words for these men Idiots and ________ , I wud not type that here.

    you did the right thing, In the end if I was you I would have gone up to these men and said THANK YOU GENTLEMEN. and walked off ot the car and driven off...

    I mean how stupid does one need to be ... Persoanlly i hate such people .. and well done you for helping someone in distress not many would have done that ...

    Bikram's

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  10. This is typical behavior. Laughing at women drivers, criticizing them, trying to intimidate them. I have filled up a whole blog-post with my own experiences. Of course there are the other types too. Individually, one to one the men are helpful most times. If they are in the company of others, their juvenile nature comes to the fore. They do that by lapsing to juvenile-hood for the occasion.
    Actually they should be ashamed of themselves. I hope they learned something from you, about helping someone in distress, if their gray cells permit the acceptance of the lesson, that is.

    Why should helping someone in need be called 'chivalry'?? It is just help whether that help be given by man/woman to another man/woman.

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  11. @Bkramjit – yeah I should have said that ! When will people learn !!
    @Shail – yes, It was more about helping another person and not about chivalry at all.
    And you are right, when a guy is alone he might just help you, but if he is in a group it’s like he is ashamed to be seen helping someone !!
    But then I know some really nice and helpful guys so I guess it takes all kinds to make this world !

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  12. This is typical behaviour. Whenever there's a bad driver on the road, men will first inspect if its a man or a women. If it's aman, the question is "who taught him to drive?" and if it's a women "No wonder. it's a female." I find that extremely derogatory.

    Great that you helped them. And like Bik said, you should've "thanked" them for being so humourous!

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