This is an official insult for the men when they violate traffic rules while stereotyping how women are perceived to be terrible drivers and often consider them as an unsafe driver.
According to the statistics of the National Highway Safety Administration, 6.1 million accidents per year are caused by men while 4.4 million accidents per year are caused by women. Men are impetuous, hasty, and rough drivers than women are. While the testaments of irrational driving are the tickets and fines paid by men, overall, for traffic rules violation, which are considerably high in percentage as compared to women drivers.
And even a slight mistake done by a woman is not tolerated and she is sneered at with remarks like “Dekha na”, “tumsay nahi hoga”, “gari chalana tou seekhlo pehlay” and “Tumnay thok dena hai” etc. But, if a man commits a similar error, he moves away in light of the fact that it’s normal and okay. Some even take pride in the name of freedom and being macho about it.
One fine evening I had to take a left turn on the main road. The traffic was flowing to the left. Just as I was about to make a turn, a biker heading down the wrong path almost smashed into my car. He lashed out with scornful remarks, “gari chalana ati nahi”. I could not fathom the reason for misconduct and attitude. I followed the rules and was careful yet I was made to feel wrong, only because I am a woman driver?
His comment made me doubt on my own capability, and I did lose my confidence for a moment. However, I took a deep breath and thought that if I were a man, that person would have fled because he knew he was in the wrong.
By making such awful remarks, women are looked down upon and are purposefully made to feel intimated and discouraged. ‘Ghar tou pouncha dogi na?’, ‘Dekh Aunty chala rahi hain,’ Gari maardi, yaqeenan koi larki hi hogi’, ‘tum larki ho, police nahin rokti larkiyun ko’, and similar comments are made to every other female driver. She as a driver is given a judgmental look, bullied, harassed and even made fun of by random men on the roads and streets. Even if she gains a handful year of experience, her capability to drive well is still doubted because of her gender.
On that account the cliché, ‘women are bad drivers’, needs to end. It’s absurd when people say ‘You drive like a girl’. Slowly, women have started breaking stereotypes by taking chances which they have been told to avoid – riding bikes and scooties to mention the least. ‘You drive like a girl’ is purely based on the gender assumption that women cannot be smart or do things only men are ‘supposed’ to do – and not on their abilities. I love this quote by Surekha Yadav who’s the first Indian female train driver, that, ‘When the output is same how does the gender matter’.