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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Why Don't Men Like Women at the Wheel?

I think that on all the world's roads, the attitudes toward women behind the wheel are similar. Similarly skeptical.

But on some roads, this skepticism borders on savage hostility. The male driver is capable of fluttering like a butterfly between lanes at 120 kilometers per hour without arousing the least fit of anger of those around.

A woman, even if her name is Schumacher or Senna, is not forgiven a single mistake. It doesn't matter whether she's been driving since yesterday or for decades: One look at the head of a woman is enough for the strong half of humanity to go into spasms. And if in a thick flow of traffic an engine dies out, this evokes sympathy if the owner is a man, but if it turns out to be a woman ...

My girlfriend and I were in a hopeless traffic jam in the center of town in the middle of the work day. Around us were furious men and their stinking cars. The luckier ones were calling on their cellular phones; the less fortunate were making up new curses. And both periodically laid on their horns and got out of their cars and looked in vain to see what the problem was.

Since I had nothing better to do, I lazily exchanged glances with the driver in the neighboring car. The poor thing -- right in front of his Mercedes, an enormous, filthy truck was puffing exhaust from a large pipe. We showed our mutual sympathy and understanding by putting our hands to our hearts. But this did not last long.

Unexpectedly, our own car made several convulsive movements for about 10 centimeters and died. And immediately, something inside me and my friend died with it. Something also changed in the eyes of my "collocator." He understood everything even before my friend had a chance to put on the hazard signal. His physical appearance changed, and his faced expressed the entire range of human emotion -- except sympathy and mutual understanding.

There are no words to express the next half hour of being stuck there. The thing that gets me most, though, is that the guy in the foreign car forgot all about our kind exchanges and turned truly nasty. In general, it was a horror.

But that's not what's most interesting. We managed, of course, to start the car again. And at the next light, we stopped right next to none other than our "comrade-in-misfortune," who this time was waving to us and smiling.

I don't know why, but the expression on my face made him roll up the window tighter. My friend then stepped on the gas pedal, leaving everyone far behind.

I'll never understand why women behind the wheel are so unloved.