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It's Hard being Right All The Time

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives

It's Hard being Right All The Time

Geoff Maxted
August 24, 2013

Men & Women
This is the dilemma that people of the male persuasion have to deal with. All men believe that they are in the right. If they are wrong it is always on a technicality and that, basically, their wrongness is actually based on a solid grounding of rightness - it ’s just that others are too dim to see it.

Take driving. We all believe that we are good drivers and if other’s think we are not, then they’re wrong and they are obviously of that pious, self-righteous, anti-car lobby of witless dullards who wouldn’t know driving skill if it jumped up and bit them. This sort of challenge to our inherent driving superiority is like a red rag to a bull. We’ll show them.

The fact that other people - sometimes called women - call us ‘boy racers’ is too miss the point. If you want to enrage a bull you wave a red flag at it and it all kicks off. It’s like that in marriages too. Traditionally and historically, men have done the driving and women the criticising; that’s the natural order of things. And this is the point. Over the last few decades more and more of the alternative gender have taken to the wheel and yet we, the blokes, are still the ones at fault. It just isn’t fair or right.

Or is it? It’s a hard truth to swallow, but perhaps - only perhaps mark you - the ‘boy racer’ tag has something to it. Car makers are at fault of course for making all those great motors over the decades. The rot really set in at the tail end of the 1950’s when the Mini first became available. Spotty adenoidal youths discovered the sheer chuck-ability of the tiny wonder and drove accordingly and it sort of stuck with them. The hot hatch was introduced and the rest is history.

These ‘boy racers’ of yesteryear have grown up and purchased Porsches and big BMW’s believing that road conditions have never changed and their own reflexes are as they always were and not in any way dulled by age or infirmity. This is why, when someone adjacent on the road drives badly we become incensed and determined to prove we can do it better. The rules say that we should turn the other cheek and report the miscreant to the authorities; but this is not the manly way.

You see, the problem for chaps is that they routinely suffer from an illness called Machismo. Characteristics of this terrible disease include a feeling of dominance, fierceness and bravado and really you should feel sorry for them when so afflicted, bless. It is a well known medical fact that driving fast cars actually does make men more virile and so it’s no wonder there’s trouble.

So men will continue to labour under the misnomer of ‘boy racer’ and this is likely to only be changed by something radical like death by old age. This is because it never leaves you. The great Stirling Moss himself is on record as saying that he got into motor racing because it was dangerous. It’s the buzz, it’s the charge - and there’s nothing we can do about it.

The final word lies in a famous expression: “ When I was a child I drove as a child. Now that I am a man I’ll drive how the hell I like.” From memory this may not be exactly correct, but I’m probably right.

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