Yesterday was an extremely frustrating reminder that I am a woman.
I don’t mind being a woman, but I do mind not being heard or believed. I do mind that my words carry no weight because what would a woman know about cars?
How could a woman know anything about anything?
Yesterday I was told that I needed to continue driving my car that felt unsafe because there were no appointments available to fit me in and no loaner cars to put me in until my car was ready.
I was told that there was nothing wrong with my car before anyone even sat in it.
I was told that “newer cars have a different ABS than older cars” and “maybe I wasn’t used to it.” I then had to sit through an explanation of what ABS meant because it was assumed I didn’t know.
I know what ABS means.
I’ve changed my own oil and spark plugs since my early 20s because it was important to my ex-husband that I understand cars and could take care of things myself when he deployed.
I’m the one in my house that changes brake lights, checks pads and rotors, and knows how to read OBD codes.
Yet, I sat as someone explained ABS to me and told me I just wasn’t used to driving a new car.
It didn’t matter that my last car was a 2018 and had the same brake system.
It didn’t matter that I verbalized the issue and demanded someone look at my car before late next week.
It didn’t matter that I am driving four kids around and I’m telling them that my car isn’t stopping properly.
None of that mattered.
What mattered was that my dad is a general manager of a dealership in another state.
What mattered is that my ex-husband is a mechanic and told me to come in.
What mattered is that men who weren’t even in the same state said that something was wrong.
What mattered is after I mentioned these people; suddenly they had an opening in their schedule and it was absolutely not safe for me to drive if I didn’t feel safe.
Suddenly the authority of men that weren’t even in the room with me held more weight than my own.
This has to change.
Women need to be believed.
Women need to be able to walk into a shop of any kind and not be worried about being taken advantage of.
Women have their own voices and they shouldn’t have to rely on a man to speak for them because their voices aren’t heard or their words aren’t believed.
Today I am sitting in the dealership waiting as my car is being looked at, not because I said it needed it, but because my dad and ex-husband said it needed it.
Today I’m thankful it will be fixed, but I’m sad it took someone else speaking for me for it to happen.