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People, Good Culture

Is There Such Thing as a “Girl Car”?

thatgirltaj contributor

Buckle up for a joyride through the land of gendered car stereotypes. Continuing with the politics of gender wars, we’ll be exploring the notion of a “girl car”. What is a “girl car”, you might ask? Well, I’m sure you’ve probably heard a man utter something like “That’s not a man’s car” when confronted with certain vehicles. But does this same phenomenon ring true when it comes to a woman’s choice of wheels? Let’s take a quick dive into the world of automotive gender bias and see if there’s even a need to debunk the myth of a “girly car”.

To truly grasp the idea of a “girl car”, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Remember those bright pink Barbie convertibles that matched perfectly with the Barbie Dreamhouse? What about the colorful pedal cars or princess-themed electric cars we got as tots? One might argue that they were undeniably feminine, but we must separate childhood playthings from adult preferences. Let’s face it, adults don’t usually hit the road in plastic, battery-operated vehicles (Tesla enters the chat), but why do we perpetuate the notion of gendered cars?

So, it’s no secret that many men associate their masculinity with makes and models; often opting for sports cars, massive trucks, and beefy SUVs. They’re seeking speed, strength, and power. (Could they be trying to compensate for something? That’s a conversation for another day.) Although there’s nothing wrong with such preferences, especially when you’re spending your hard-earned money, it needs to be understood that these associations aren’t inherent to the vehicles themselves because… CARS DON’T HAVE A GENDER.

So, what about women and their car choices? Well, the girls are gonna do what the girls do best, and that’s free themselves from societal constraints. This looks like embracing all types of vehicles, regardless of gendered expectations. Gone are the days when women were confined to compact cars and minivans. Today, we’re seeing them in big-bodied luxury sedans, Jeeps with the works, and my favorite, “muscle” cars. Slightly off-topic, but we’re even seeing more women in truck driving careers, taking on those 18-wheelers. There are no gender boundaries on the road!

Cars are no longer just a means of transportation; they’re an extension of our personalities and lifestyles. No different than the fashion we choose, our cars reflect us; where we’re at in life, our taste, our values. There’s a vehicle out there for everyone’s personal style so it’s time to celebrate diversity in our vehicle preferences, irrespective of gender.

It never ceases to amaze me how society continues to impose different standards for men and women, and the world of cars is no different. While men may experience scrutiny for driving a car deemed “not manly enough” because let’s face it, you might do a double take at a man driving around in a 2014 Volkswagen Beetle, women are more likely to be subjected to condescension for driving something “too masculine”. Let’s work towards pumping the brakes on reinforcing stereotypes and limiting individual freedoms. The concept of “girl cars” is a fallacy and it's time we let go of these outdated notions. So regardless of gender, enjoy the freedom of being behind the wheel in a car you love and happy driving!

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