Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: February 19th, 2013
Nothing wrong with being a female driver

I remember that being the height of insult from my dad. He’d yell out the driver’s side window at anyone who cut us off, “Damn female driver!” regardless of the person’s sex.

Now in light of Danica Patrick winning the Daytona pole, I guess that takes on new meaning. My favorite was her quote: “I was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl.”

I know what she means. My father’s sexist insult was quite out of character, since the man was an unabashed feminist. I guess except when it came to driving. He was outspoken when telling us that he never wanted us to marry. His goal was to raise girls who would not be looking for “meal tickets” or trying to find their self identities through a husband. It was drilled into me and my two sisters that we were expected not to have jobs, but to have careers, using our God-given talents and finding happiness in supporting ourselves and living an independent lifestyle.

It worked. None of us married meal tickets. All of us work with our talents, God-given or otherwise. And each one of us finds great joy in earning our keep, so to speak. What did backfire was that none of us married young. And while grandchildren were not on his radar–but they were on my mother’s. Sadly, she died never even meeting any of her grandchildren.

After my mother died, I drove my dad over to the funeral home. He turned to me and said, “You know what? You’re a damned good driver.”

Of course, I had to ask him. “As good as a man?”

His face twisted. “Who ever said men were better drivers than women? That’s asinine.”

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