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Women can drive cars

I parked my car and went off to a meeting this afternoon. After about 3 hours, I came back and found two other cars parked close to the front of mine. The owners of these cars were not in sight, and had not left the keys to the cars with the "keymaster'. There was a small space between the two cars, and I decided to squeeze through them.

One of the parking attendants - a young man of about 26 - walked up to me and said, "Driving between these cars is not a task for women. Get out and let me drive the car." Aaahhhh? I was already seeing red. It sounds petty, doesn't it, that I would see red at such a statement? The fact is that I get comments about what women cannot do too often. Something as simple as driving in between two parked cars requires a man to do? I cannot accept this. Besides, if I needed help, I would have asked for it.

I defiantly started moving my car. The young man said, "If you scratch the car, your husband will be very angry with you." What? This is MY car! Why should this young man even think that the car belongs to my husband? It might be that women generally cannot afford to buy cars, but not every car belongs to a man. I was now getting enraged, but I kept calm. I pulled out and slowly drove in between the two cars without a scratch. Now, the young man was amazed - amazed that a woman could drive in such a way. His praise was this, "Wow, Madam, if you were not married, I would propose to you for driving like this."

This was my chance to educate him. We had a 3-minute lecture on what women can and cannot do, and why he should allow a woman to do her own thing. His final comment, "Madam, you are right o. I think women really can do a lot of things, but we just haven't given them the chance. All the same, if you were not married, I would propose to you right away." I pulled away slowly, and said almost inaudibly, "I am not married." I smiled in fulfilment all the way to my next appointment.


JaniceW's picture

Love this!

I was laughing so much as I read this. How wonderful that you taught him a powerful lesson by the simple gesture of driving out of the space yourself. He'll think twice before speaking when the next woman drives up. Hooray for you. You just took a giant step forward for women in Ghana.

Katie McDonald's picture


That is brilliant. Good for you Patti. I only wish I was half the driver you are - and as good at standing up for myself!

jodelight's picture


I couldn't agree with you more. Of course women can do a world of things as well as men, some things many times better than men. I love that you took this opportunity to show the power of yourself as a woman. In the US we have an age old expression that I love to shout out to my sisters when I'm proud of them, and I'm giving you the shout out as well: You go Girl! way to make a statement with power and purpose.
Keep it up!

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Khushbu's picture


Hi Patti

Was reading through new entries, and came across yours...i am imagining the situation, and laughing out loud...i drive a Scooty myself, and since it has not been long, i do get nervous at times...i have faced situation like yours, but just to prove that i can do what a guy can do, i generally take up the courage....

Its funny how we are questioned on our abilities for simple things like driving..and i am in awe of you for having taught him an important lesson without any harm with your words...

Go on!

Khushbu Agrawal


I too found this as i was going along and also discovered my highlight! Yours is amazing!

Congrats! I love it and let me tell you what, that has probably happened in Nairobi today thousands of times... This is how they see us. This is it, the patriarchy that must be defaced! In your expression it comes out so well, really so wonderfully.. and i tell you, I could see every bit of it happening. It has happened to me many times. Our public van drivers ( matatu drivers) also have a thing about asking women to get out of the way or to let them overtake using words to you in your driving seat when ordinarily they would just push through or are already pushing through and that is why they are close enough to speak to one. There is always that moment that you want to seize and explain and you have to play it so well so that you get your lesson there like you did! I get very disturbed by women who do not take the time to do the lesson thing and clearly and underlined....I admire the energy you put in this to the end therefore.. and once again congratulate you. Your writing is so powerful!

"Communication is the real work of leadership" Nitin Nohria

aliĝngix's picture

Challenging Stereotypes

Way to go! A victory for woman everywhere! I'm glad for you, and how you managed to change one assuming one's prospective.

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