Picture this: You’re driving your car with your boyfriend when you turn the corner and just barely graze the curb the littlest bit with your back tire. You laugh a little, it’s no big deal. It happens all the time. But your boyfriend says that hitting the curb could “damage your tires”.
This is the ultimate betrayal. All this time you thought that you were dating a cool, feminist guy and now here he is making a big deal about a “curb”? What gives? If you fear the worst, I’m afraid I don’t have good news. Running over the curb a little is actually one of the most feminist acts you can do, and he’s a misogynist. Sorry!
Sure, it may not seem the biggest deal that your guy is criticizing your driving, but telling women they can’t run over the curb is often a warning sign of a larger problem. Next, he’ll be telling you that he thinks hand towels are stupid or that your friend Kristen is judgmental or that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. He doesn’t understand that pretending to care about “tires” is a luxury few women can afford. We have places to go! We have businesses to run (#Girlboss!) and kids to pick up from daycare (#MomBoss!). Men may have the luxury to say “It’s not a big deal baby I just said to watch out,” but we know that the personal is political! We have to be absolutely fearless when it comes to roads designed for men, by men.
So sisters, next time you’re in your sports utility vehicle and your boyfriend starts berating you about the “speed limit” in a “school zone”, ask him why he has such a problem with feminized modes of driving. Why does he think that a gruff, male touch is always the right one?
Gently explain that you run over curbs all the time and barely ever pop a tire. He’ll likely be shocked, and that’s ok. Male privilege and blind spots persist even where we least expect them. Just know that we will win this fight eventually, and everyone will know that it is ok, even feminist to run over the curb a little.