Wednesday, June 4, 2008

An Ancedote

So, this is a little bit of a personal ancedote, but I think its worth mentioning.

Yesterday three of my friends were coming home from school for the summer. I was driving, and I felt the wheel jerking a little bit, so I pulled over on the highway. I had a flat tire. Now, I have no idea how to change a flat tire. I was never taught and never thought to learn. The two other girls in the car didn't know what to do either, but my male friend did. His stepfather had taught him. If he had not been there, we would have had to call the highway patrol or a tow truck.

I thought it was interesting that none of our family members had thought to teach us girls. We could just as easily (and did) get a flat tire. And we would have been kind of stranded.

I realize that this is a small sample group and a personal story, but it probably resonates among many women. Please, if you are a parent teach your children basic car maintence skills.

7 comments:

Black Thirteen said...

It might come off as mean, but no one ever showed me how, and the first time it came up, I found it rather self-explanatory.

Most cars have a jack, the manual shows you where it is, and where to put it when changing a tire.

It's actually pretty simple stuff.

Lindsay said...

My sister always used to change the oil in our various cars with my dad. I always wanted to learn (and I suppose I still have the opportunity), but I'm trying to be less dependent on cars now and in the future.

Black Thirteen said...

Changing oil is something I leave to professionals.

Though, considering I live in the United States, and not in a dense city, not relying on cars is not an option.

feministblogproject said...

Nobody ever taught me how to change a tire, either. And then I found myself in a situation where I had to. In theory, it was self-explanatory, but the hubcaps had these special anti-theft nuts that needed a special tool to be removed, and that tool had long-since disappeared. I had to get the thing towed and have the mechanics cut them with a tool.

I always wanted to learn more about cars, but my father insisted "we pay people to do that." It was a class thing more than a gender thing. And we weren't even rich! We were lower-middle class. I need to make learning more of a priority.

SisterCoyote said...

When I turned fifteen, before my father would even allow me behind the wheel, he taught me how to:

1) Change a tire,
2) Check the oil,
3) Add oil if it was low,
4) Check the transmission fluid, and
5) How to safely remove the radiator cap and check its fluid level.

We also leave changing the oil to professionals, but Dad was adamant that I know how to do those other things.

The only time I've ever had to change a tire? My mother and sister were in the car. And apparently my sister didn't get the same lesson from my father.

Kari said...

I learned how to change the oil in the car and do many other small maintenence duties from my dad. I really enjoyed spending time with him out in the garage.

I was always taught that it doesn't make any sense to pay people to do what we are perfectly capable of doing. ie: changing oil/tires and fixing things around the house.

I think I'm a lot more capable because of it.

Yet, even today, I know that if I had a flat tire I would call my dad and have him talk me through it.

feministblogproject said...

I was always taught that it doesn't make any sense to pay people to do what we are perfectly capable of doing.

Somehow, despite my parents telling me otherwise, I developed that attitude. I guess I'm lucky. Now I just need to stop being lazy and actually figure out how to do these things.