by Bianca Brais
I think my most traumatizing car experience happened when I was 10 years old, sitting in the back seat of my friend’s car. Her mom was driving while applying her make-up. The car was going in zig-zags as she covered her face with foundation. The car came to a halt when she realized she almost ran a red light because she was too distracted putting on her mascara. After that day, I understood why girls are stereotypically considered worse drivers than guys. Especially when it comes to stick shift. When a girl confesses she drives a manual car, it’s like the end of the world.
My little grey Toyota Echo is stick shift. Sure I’ve had my fair share of scratches, bumps, accidents and blond moments while attempting to drive it. I backed into a brick building as well as a metal garbage can, I accidently run stop signs because I was un-attentive, I got lost countless times and I once turned left thinking it was a parking spot, when in reality it was a snow bank. The result: my car stuck in the snow. But still, put aside all these minor experiences, and I’m a damn good driver! My friends and driving teacher would disagree, seeing as I almost turned left on a red light. Back then, I was inexperienced. Now I know what I’m doing!
The most complicated thing about driving stick shift is going up hills. Unless you’re a pro at driving, it’s almost guaranteed that your car will make a weird squeaking sound as you press on the gas extra harder or you will stall. But the worst thing that could happen is rolling down the hill and crashing into the car behind you. That’s what happened to Julia, first semester Fine Arts student. “All I remember was being stalled on what seemed like a cliff to me, and I just started crying! I immediately got out of the car and made my dad drive all the way back home,” Julia said.
I think if a girl is able to apply eyeliner on the bus, she is also able to learn to drive stick-shift! If you’re able to hold your purse and compact mirror while putting eyeliner on, and not blink while you’re on a bumpy bus, you should be able to hold the gear shift, balance the clutch and not let go of the gas! It’s as simple as that! I don’t think the problem with girls driving is because they’re bad, I think they’re just distracted. I know that’s how I am. Singing along to “Tik Toc,” I don’t know where the hell I’m going. I can’t even follow a GPS. When I drive, my friend sitting next to me in the passenger seat always has to flip a coin, heads we turn left and tails we turn right. But orientation is a whole other topic. It has nothing to do with driving skills. The question still remains: who are better