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What men say of women behind wheels

“I can drive any kind of automobile,” Toyin Olatunde boasts. Whether a heavy duty truck or a tipper. “Anything,” he insists. So he was appalled…

“I can drive any kind of automobile,” Toyin Olatunde boasts. Whether a heavy duty truck or a tipper. “Anything,” he insists. So he was appalled the day he saw a woman manoeuvre a pick-up truck. And she was his neighbour. “When she moves the car, you will mistake her for a man,” he says.
Olatunde who learned to drive with a manual vehicle fancies himself a professional, so when he sees a woman that can drive confidently, it attracts him. “They don’t do badly,” he offers when asked how he views female drivers. He describes them as stubborn and points out that not every woman can handle a car with a clutch.
Recently, when Olatunde was driving, a female driver almost ‘brushed’ his car. “I had to apply the brakes,” he narrates, adding that if he were to manoeuvre the way he knows how, bystanders will chide him, and probably say the other driver was a woman.
Within the premises of a mall in Utako, Abuja, Richard Raymond watches a mechanic work on his car. An admirer of female commercial drivers, he describes them as ‘husslers’ who even work harder than men, posing stiff competition. “The female commercial drivers do their things differently,” he says, adding that the reverse is the case with female private car owners. “They are always distracted, either pinging, trying to answer a call or attend to their baby in the car and so on. Their headache is much.”
But, “I don’t think the men are as serious as those ones I see in Wuse, which is a welcome development,” Raymond says about commercial female drivers. “You see a lot of them in Lagos, even those that drive molue.”
Some men dread driving behind a female’s vehicle, have an argument about the right of way, or worse, a crash. Unlike some, Raymond is yet to have that experience. He describes some female drivers as “stable and focused,” but hates it when some slam on the breaks at the wrong time, now and again. This was his plight when he boarded a commercial vehicle recently. “You keep jerking in the car,” he explains.
What Raymond particularly hates is when a female driver sees a car going on the right lane and start horning. There was a time he boarded a bus in Nyanya and the driver refused to go because there was still a passenger to fill a seat. “At the end of the day her driving was so annoying,” he narrates. “She had on driving ethics. I think she was just privileged to be driving an automatic vehicle. The introduction of automatic vehicles into the hands of able-bodied people is a problem. I think it should be for the physically challenged.”
But not every experience beside a female driver is the same. Doghor Boyo is a privileged man. He has been chauffeured by women, whom he says are very good drivers who have driven outside the country. “They are patient,” he says, adding that he respects ladies because in whatever they are doing, they put in their best.
However, Boyo adds that some female drivers are very impatient and aggressive on the road. “But you find those that are very cool headed too,” he says.   
Women have been accused of always wanting to compete with men. In this case, it’s behind the wheels, Mr Kunle explains. He argues that they always feel they have the right of way while driving. And then the ‘accusations’: “They are impatient, arrogant…”
Mr Kunle gives a practical example: “If there’s room for you to drive through, they like to claim they should go first. Probably because they feel an average man in Nigeria likes to suppress a woman’s right,” he says, which makes them come off as superior and impatient.
But the road is for everyone. And male or female, drivers will drive.

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