Walking through the Frankfurt motor show it’s tempting to shield your eyes from the sparkle that is coming off the hourly cleaned cars, but for some reason it is not possible to divert your gaze away from the immaculately presented cars that each manufacturer has to show off. In every direction a new car is being exhibited, bonnets raised whilst keen car fanatics look at the engines, designs and any other new or differing features these cars have to offer.
I said car fanatic there – but what was the first thing you thought of? A man, perhaps in a suit or maybe dressed down in jeans, the mechanic-type perhaps. Glasses – if we’re really hammering home stereotypes. A little geeky? Probably not really interested in the barbie dolls who stand next to the cars looking as preemed and spotless as the motors themselves, but more fascinated as to whether this is a 1.6 or 2 litre engine. A rather specific stereotype, but is it possible to disagree? Are cars really only part of a man’s world?
It’s hard to imagine a woman being as intrigued in such car specifics. I, for one, would not know what questions to ask at these shows without disclosing myself as a car fanatic fake, another girl today asked whether a Mustang was made by Ford, a question that would have car fanatics mortified and perhaps be cause for some dramatic fainting. Point made then? Perhaps women are only meant to be the dolls presenting the cars and the actual knowledge and mechanics should be left to the men.
After four days at this world famous motor show I disagree. Saying car fanatics are only men is as bad as saying there is no such thing as a female football fan or that women do not study mechanical or engineering subjects – it is simply not the case. No, this is not me being incredibly feminist and wanting to highlight equality between the sexes, it is a fact. Are there more hardcore car fanatics that are men than women? At this show, and probably in general, yes. However, there are women out there that are just as interested and intrigued by the working mechanics of a car as by the new car smell and colours it comes in.
Cars may still be perceived as a man’s world but, regardless of whether the woman is the fountain of car knowledge or simply knows that a maroon coloured car is better than a turquoise one, it would be nothing without a woman or a girl!