Friday, 13 June 2014

Big Car, Little Woman - why is it so?

I just finished reading 'GIT: Big Car, Little Women Syndrome', by Marc Corn. It got me thinking.

My kneejerk reaction as I started reading this article was that it was sexist, but as I read on I realised that's really not the case; Corn's observations, as always, are quite accurate, and it is, in fact, almost always women who do this kind of thing (I recommend everyone to download Corn's entertaining article, but for those who haven't, it deals with the kind of women who drive big expensive cars and do things like double park, cut people off, and generally drive like no one's watching.)

I don't believe it is only women who drive like this, but I have to admit that almost all of the ones I have seen, were. But I don't think it is as simple as a gender thing. For one thing, as Corn rightly points out, this type of behaviour is generally limited to people driving big, expensive cars. So, not all women, but well-to-do women. 

Now I'm purely speculating here, but it's my guess that these women (let's not dignify them with the name of bitches, for I reserve that holy and sacred title to myself) - these, let's call them, for want of a better term, Carlots, are nearly always not gainfully employed. The prevalence of them at school gates at what Mr Corn so aptly calls 'kicking-out time' (seriously, you have to read this guy, you're missing out on a real treat if you don't) tends to support such an assumption. Busy working people's children catch the bus home, or ride their bikes, or walk. Thereby helping themselves not to grow up into a future generation of Carlots. So, these Carlots don't have jobs. 

So they're housewives? I hear you ask. Well, yes and no. A real housewife is busy and hard-working. A real housewife has to clean everything and cook nutritious meals, wash, iron and mend everyone's clothes, help the kids with their homework in the evening, pick up everyone's dry cleaning, keep an eye on the household expenditure, organise repairs, be there to let in the tradesmen.... in short, it's a job like any other. When I did it, I was on the go from morning till night. I didn't have time to be swanning about in an expensive four wheel drive getting on other drivers' wicks.

These Carlots, I speculate, are housewives who don't have to do much. They have cleaners, probably an ironing lady, and they can afford to buy the very best cuts of meat, so dinner is easily sorted - no messing around finding a creative way to use cheap mince for the fifth time that week, or inventing a new recipe using only what is already in the cupboard. They don't have mending to do - holey socks get tossed out and replaced, not darned. Fallen hems, lost buttons etc are either attended to by the premium dry cleaners, or the garment is likewise replaced. A 'little woman' comes each week to fetch away and deliver the ironing. A 'little man' comes to do the garden.

All of this luxury and free time could be used to benefit humanity by volunteer work, or to pursue a consuming passion, such as writing, philosophy, or birdwatching. However, it is not, because the people who fill their days with these things also don't have time to swan around in late-model Mercedes convertibles clogging up the disabled parking spaces; they're busy saving the planet, or writing the novel of the year, or devising an unbreakable ontological argument. No; these Carlot types are idle. That, along with a comfortable level of disposable income, is their defining characteristic. And it leads to a sense of entitlement.

It is the presence of a sense of entitlement that drives nearly every really annoying and second-rate person. I'll park in the disabled spot, because I'm entitled to convenience. I'll queue-jump, because I'm entitled to speedy service. I'll cheat on my tax (thereby causing others, most of whom are less able to afford it, to have to pay more) because I'm entitled to keep my money. I'll grab anything and everything, never caring who is hurt, because I'm entitled to have what I want. It starts in early childhood, when people run round after their toddlers as if they were some kind of little tin god, shoving a dummy in their mouths the second they start to cry, dropping their adult conversations the instant a sticky little hand tugs on their clothing, getting a second mortgage to pay for all the useless junk that's being pushed on television that week. We've raised a generation of people with the attitude to life of a toddler. Me, me, me, now, now, now. No wonder divorce rates are through the roof. It takes two adults to make marriage work. No wonder people have started dumping elderly dogs at shelters and buying a new, young dog. It takes a grown-up to nurse a geriatric animal through his golden years, and to have, or even to understand, the commitment that makes it necessary.

It's my own belief that the female gender of these types is an accident of society; in gay couples, at least all the ones that I know, both people work, and I suspect that as same-sex marriage becomes more prevalent we will see some male Carlots arriving on the scene, driving the same expensive cars and flashing the same expensive blonde hair and the same expensive manicures. Only time will tell.

You can find the article that started my thinking along these lines HERE.

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