There is a stigma (whether you want to admit it or not) surrounding car culture.
It’s always been a “guy thing.” When I was in high school, I was the only girl who drove a manual. My driver’s test was taken on my manual VW Jetta. The driving instructor was highly impressed that kids my age, especially a girl, still knew how to drive stick. To be honest, I think it makes driving more fun.
In 2001, The Fast and The Furious came out and I was absolutely smitten with Letty. The thought, “wow, cars can be for girls, too!” ran through my head. Being a female car enthusiast, it was a little intimidating knowing that I might not be accepted by the car community. That was, until The Fast and the Furious. Being afraid of not being taken seriously definitely hindered me a lot. But I’ve worked on my own car, and know more than most people when it comes to cars. It was thanks to Letty that I had the courage to start conversations about cars.
Overcoming the Car Culture Stigma
It was easier than I expected. Let’s face it, girls aren’t usually taken seriously when they talk cars or sports. I do consider myself girly but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk cars. But all I did was jump into a conversation my guy friends were having about cars. They joked about it a bit until they realized that I was actually serious and had a passion for cars. Then, things changed and they took me seriously. Racing, and beating the boys was definitely fun! Working on cars with friends became a regular thing. I’ve gone to so many car shows and shown my cars in them too- both in the U.S. and Europe. You can say, it’s one of my “things.”
I Got an Invitation…and it Wasn’t to Tea.
Several years ago, a friend invited me to a Facebook group that was specifically made for women who love cars. No matter what your level of car knowledge, you are allowed in. There are members who just got their first car and know nothing about the basics, to female mechanics who know cars inside out. It feels great to be a part of that kind of community. And it all started with one woman’s dream of creating a space for female car enthusiasts.
The Car Future is Female
Lately, we’ve seen more and more women working in the auto industry, racing cars, fixing cars and leading car companies. (And women creating online spaces to talk about cars–like A Girl’s Guide to Cars!). At car shows, I’ve met women who bring their cars for show and talk about them with so much pride. Seeing little girls stare at me as I drive by with my own car and mouth, “wow” and then get even more excited when I wave is the icing on the cake. That’s the next generation of female car enthusiasts. And it couldn’t make my heart happier.