Many women experience treatment by men that stems from the sexist belief that women are bad drivers. I feel for these ladies, and have often listened attentively and with angry commiseration to tales of women having men give unsolicited advice while parallel parking. That’s why my world was turned upside-down yesterday when I was attempting to fit into a tiny spot on a busy street and I realized: I actually do want unsolicited parallel parking advice.
Can I even call myself a feminist anymore?
Unsolicited advice can be presumptuous, stressful, and condescending. Men everywhere should understand this. But all people should also understand that my car does not have a backup camera, so a random pedestrian stopping by my vehicle and indicating with their hands how much space I have from the car behind me can actually be an immense and welcome help.
Is there room in our broader cultural narrative for my story?
Plenty of women are excellent at parallel parking and don’t need some paternalistic a-hole to let them know they’re “good to come back a few more inches” or to say things like “cut the wheel left — other left.” But guess what? I do need that a-hole, and it’s not because I’m a woman; it’s because I’m super anxious and a little bit dumb.
Perhaps, in a way, hoping a middle aged white man with an unfounded sense of authority will hop in with all the confidence of a drunk little league coach and become the unofficial director of my parallel parking job actually is feminist. I don’t have any reason to believe so, I’m just saying perhaps!
Can’t the world just let me be bad at this one thing, specifically?!
While it is shameful, I share my story in the hopes that others like me will feel less alone when they actually want the pompous dork walking down the street to guide them through the hardest kind of parking.
Of course, it would be ideal if a woman would give me inappropriately unsolicited advice, but let’s face it: a woman would never!