Dear Saudi Women,
This is not a political blog.
I am not writing this to make a statement.
I am writing this because, well, I honestly just can’t stop thinking about you.
I know I don’t really know you. I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia. But I do know some Saudi women here in the US. They love their country. They are proud of their heritage and hopeful for their future. They are deeply patriotic, even if they don’t always agree with some issues in their nation. I may not be Saudi, but I can sure relate to that feeling! But it is the latest news out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that makes me think of you so often.
Last month, King Salman announced that he approved a royal decree allowing Saudi women to get driver’s licenses starting in June of 2018. This just about sent me through the roof. Although I don’t know much about being a Saudi woman, I do know what it’s like to be female and to finally get your driver’s license. So here, my beautiful, abaya-clad sisters, are some words of advice from an exceptionally outspoken American auto enthusiast. Please keep in mind, I’m probably not your ideal role model but I do know a little something about cars and love driving more than anything, so here goes nothing:
*Don’t Be Scared:
One of the biggest driving myths that many women believe is that to drive safely, one must be cautious. But this is a myth. In fact, it is a proven fact that driving 5 mph under the speed limit is more dangerous than driving 5 mph above. Indecision is just as dangerous as aggression and being passive will absolutely wind your ass up in a wreck. So if you want to be safe, strong and a good driver, put on your big girl panties and embrace that accelerator.
*Fast Is Female:
Of course, women of all cultures are told that to be a great driver, one must be a man. Popular culture reflects this: Steve McQueen, Jason Statham, Paul Newman, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker probably all come to mind. But lest us not forgive the famous female characters who have made driving a fabulous feminine experience: Susan Sarandon (car cliff diving not recommended), Kristin Wiig in Bridesmaids, Mila Kunis in Bad Moms. And then there are real people like well, me, that believe that driving can be female.
*Embracing Your Feminity Will Make You A Better Driver
I was a track event with BMW a few years ago when I was unexpectedly placed in drag racing competition. I had never (officially) drag raced before & was terrified. But much to my surprise, I won every single time. Not because I’ve got better reflexes or drove a better car than the others. The real reason for my winning streak was that the rules stated that we had to stop the car in a specific area or else we were disqualified. All of the other racers (who were all male) were so determined to win that they just couldn’t help but overshoot the line every time. I took my time and made sure that I landed in that box. And I won! It made everyone else furious and me..well, I was deliriously happy. So don’t try to keep up with the boys, be the best smartest driver you can be and you will beat them all (just ask Danica Patrick).
*Pack An Emergency Kit:
Men will tell you that you need flares, a spare tire and a manual. And sure, those items are great. But you also need a pressure gauge, a candy bar, Kleenex, makeup and feminine products. It’s actually the real, secret purpose of the glove box. I mean, how many people do you know that wear gloves? Exactly. You may dash out of the house without your purse sometimes but you know who doesn’t stop? Your Aunt Flow. Just sayin…
*Loving It Is OK:
Some of the greatest memories in my life have been behind the wheel. Driving with my mother laughing hysterically, learning to drive with my dad, driving across the USA by myself, getting to know my future husband during a road trip, or playing with my kids while shuttling them around town. Right now, you may be excited about the freedom that driving will provide you, but what it harder to anticipate is the fun you’re going to have while driving. I’ve had moments driving here in California with the windows down, listening to a great song when I think of the people, like you, who have never enjoyed that sensation. But now you can. This gives me indescribable joy. Maybe that sounds corny or political, but it’s not. It’s simple. Driving is awesome and I hope that many of you love it as much as I do!
So as June 2018 gets closer and closer, I too will be counting down with anticipation. I would love to hear from you as you begin your journeys car shopping, learning to drive and finally behind the wheel. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
With love, respect and burning rubber,
Your American automotive sister