Lynn would like to remind the men reading this: Do not assume that all women know zilch about cars. enjoyed driving.
Being a (freelance) motoring journalist entails collecting cars for test-drives. My go-to people are usually the public relations or marketing folks from the respective brands, many of whom have become dear friends over the years. So when we meet for a test-car handover, we also take the opportunity to have a quick chat, sometimes over tea – not just about work or the vehicle that I’ll be testing, but also about family and other stuff that friends talk about. Occasionally, when that familiar person is away, I have to collect the test car from the reception or the salesperson on duty.
Some women know and love cars as much as clothes, shoes and colour coordination.
I always appreciate their sharing information about the car, such as technical details and what is new vis-a-vis the previous model. Even if I already know the info beforehand, it doesn’t matter because the exchange can be rather enjoyable, especially if it’s conveyed with a fiery passion for the brand and a sense of genuine excitement over a new model. It feels as if they’re proud parents introducing me to a new member of the family.
But every now and then, I get a random sales guy asking me questions such as “Have you driven any of our cars before?” or “Are you familiar with how this works?”, or trying to show me basic things such as the gearlever, ignition button and keyless entry. Call me over-sensitive (a female trait perhaps), but I tend to assume that my male colleagues probably never get asked such condescending questions. Maybe the issue lies not with what they ask, but how they ask it. I do not proclaim myself to be a car expert, neither am I some pro driver.
Nevertheless, it’s still annoying when a guy automatically assumes that women are clueless when it comes to cars. I suppose it’s like me asking a guy whether he has ever used an oven, then proceeding to show him how the knobs work, after which I’ll give a demo with the food processor and explain the various compartments of a fridge. We women automatically assume that men are clueless in the kitchen because it’s the woman’s domain. But there are more male chefs than there are female motoring journalists.