Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A woman's place

I've noticed something interesting in the last 2 months. I've been involved in a number of 4x4 enthusiast forums online, and there's an oh-so-subtle undercurrent that I've picked up.

I seem to be one of the few women owners, and certainly the only one who gets her hands into the engine (apparently). The boys are more than happy to help out with info and such now and then - the boys on one forum that is. On another forum it's a different story. I could say something worthwhile - contribute to the conversation - and there's a few guys that will immediately dismiss my view, put me down and move on, or ignore me completely.

Seems a woman's place, in the offroad world, is not in the driver's seat! At least according to some.

I don't think they realize they're doing it. Maybe subconciously they feel I'm stepping on toes, infringing on the male world of outdoor rough and tumble, worming my way into that beer circle around the braai-grid - where male bonding happens, where men are the providers, the protectors, the Makers of Fire. And women are relegated to potato salad and kids duty in the background.

I thought it was my imagination at first. That I was reading things in to sentances, making moutains out of molehills. Granted, I'm still learning - I may get it wrong sometimes, and I do more reading than talking because of that. But it's happened nearly every time I've opened my virtual mouth, it can't be just in my head. So I've taken to saying little or nothing on that particular forum - just to be safe. I thought that kind of thing went out the window years ago. But maybe old habits die hard. Still trying to figure it out myself.

And this ain't a rant - just an observation. :) I'm not unsubbing in protest or any such weird stuff. I'm learning how the guys see things, and adapting so I don't step on any toes.

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