women drivers
September 13, 2004 02:05 PM

How come Helen Keller couldn't drive? Because she was female.
From Kerri's WHB post last week. Why do we have a persistent stereotype of women as crap drivers, particularly considering that men are statistically (at least by insurance companies) expected to be higher risks?

Vic posed an entertaining answer, advocating reverse sexism (sorta). I think she does have a point, that the joke is left over from a time period when women did less driving (whether that's universally true or just a stereotype of its own). It makes sense that this joke might be generational.

A sexist joke of this caliber never killed anyone, but I'm with Kerri - these annoy the hell outta me. They're not only offensive, they're not funny (even worse). I prefer humor of a drier, more sarcastic tone, things based on truth. The "women can't drive" joke is no more true than the "men can't handle household stuff" joke (which gets forwarded around madly as a "share this with all the women in your lives" chain letter waaaaaay too often). Maybe I'm humorless, because I don't find any of that class of jokes very funny; my usual response is "but that's not true!". Cause it's not.

So why do jokes like this stick around? Don't know. It's possible that they're partially results of resentment, or that they're simply representative of what some people think is true. It could just be, as Vic suggested, that stupid old jokes die hard.

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