I don't feel I'm an extremist about this. There are some things that could be seen as "sexism" that I choose to interpret as "being polite" or "fair generalizations." An example of being polite? Holding a door open for me. It bugs me a bit when a guy holds a door for me, but won't let me hold a door for him. But, meh, he's trying to be polite, not insulting. I get that, and I appreciate it.
So what do I consider a "fair generalization"? When I'm sitting next to Nugget at a track event and people see he's driving a 911 and in yellow. They ask if I have my own car, if I'm in green or blue (green and blue are the less experienced groups. Yellow and red are more experienced). They assume I'm the less-interested wife or girlfriend. That's fair - most of the women who show up with boyfriends and husbands are less interested, have less experience, have less enthusiasm, are slower. They don't treat me like I'm less of a person for it, and they're pretty much universally pleased when Nugget tells them I'm faster than him.
So what examples of sexism do bother me? Here's an example. This was part of a thread on a Porsche forum. The original poster had just bought a 911 that was some distance away. He and his wife were going to pick up the car and drive it home. A commenter responds:
Great to hear that you took the various advice rendered and "did a deal", and since you mentioned your wife was going to go along for pick up, I can't resist giving you a little more "insightful and experienced" purchasing advice (since you haven't signed the papers)...switch to PDK and it will make future Porsche purchases a lot easier since, with PDK, your wife will buy into the whole experience a lot sooner (I have 3 speeds and one PDK..so I have nothing against 6 speed). Yes, there will be future cars, because one a 911 driver..always a 911 driver.The original poster had never made a comment, anywhere, that implied his wife as uncomfortable driving a manual or that she would prefer an automatically-shifting car. PDK is a "dual clutch" transmission, where the computer handles the clutches. The transmission can be in an automatic mode where it drives like any other automatic transmission, or it can be put into manual mode where it's essentially a paddle shifted manual.
Nugget, bothered by the commenter's apparent unfair generalization, comments, "Why would that be the case?" The response:
They don't have to go through the intimidation of learning "heel and toe" to balance the car and extract the performance. Just insights from my wife who has done the PSDS Masters program..and wanted a Carrera to practice on.So, what, learning heel-toe is too much for a woman, but a man can handle it? Women need men to buy the fancy PDK cars for them so that they don't have to be intimidated by those three scary pedals down there? What are we, children?
Yeah, I'm insulted and pissed. But I try to calm myself and reason with the guy. Maybe he just doesn't realize he's being so rude. I comment:
Well, how about some insights from an actual woman, first hand, in the thread? ;-)
Nugget will have a much easier time buying a new Porsche if it's a traditional manual, not a PDK car. I vastly prefer having a clutch on the street and I get a lot of enjoyment from working on heel-toe on the track.
Please don't assume all women are alike. Please don't generalize about us. Let the OP's wife have her own opinions, let me have my own opinions, and let your wife have her own opinions.
My main point? Stop assuming all women share the same opinions. We're all different! How does Mr. Sexist Pig respond?
I guess as a HPDE instructor you can generalize for all women.
Ok, so have at it.
I couldn't respond to that. He clearly just completely missed the point. Other women commented in the thread in support of me, but that was the end of the discussion with the sexist guy.
Time passes. I see another thread about PDK. PDK interests me. The thread contains a poll asking if you'd want PDK in your GT3 / GT3 RS if it were available. I vote my preference and post a quick comment explaining why. I keep reading the thread, looking for more discussion. What do I find? Here's Mr. Sexist again...
<snip> ...and your wife might like PDK (if you need an excuse!) for another Porsche.
At least there's a "might" this time? *sigh*