October 28, 2012

Women In Cars? THAT IS NOT NEWS.

So yesterday the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald screamed some alarming new information.

Commuting Puts Women's Heath At Risk!!!

Apparently a) the more hours you spend in your car the more your health suffers, and b) women are now more at risk because their increasing representation in the work force means that they too are commuting to work. The main result of their long hours in the car is, apparently, obesity, because they are more likely to eat fast food that cook a healthy meal (not surprisingly, since it is impractical to whip out a wok in a vehicle).

Now, I totally concur with point a). Spending long hours in the car (as opposed to, you know, 'short hours') does have a significant, negative impact on your health. But obesity is not the only issue to be concerned about.
Commuting is DANGEROUS for women
Spending long hours in the car puts women at risk of:
  • Snot-on-sleeve syndrome (because you can NEVER find tissues in the car when you need them); 
  • Light bladder leakage (if you are listening to something funny on the radio, or just have a spat of demented laughter for no reason at all);
  • Heavy bladder leakage (if you drink too much coffee before leaving the house and can't find a toilet on the F3 (which you won't, because there is none);
  • Extreme thirst (because you will have forgotten a bottle of water); 
  • Extreme hunger (because you will have forgotten a snack);
  • Extreme nausea (because you will be overcome by hunger and thirst and stop at Maccas for a meal - and they are everywhere, even on the F3);
  • Extreme nasal itching (because inevitably if you are in bumper to bumper traffic, and people are looking down at you in your car, your nostril will become itchy out of fear that you will have to scratch your nostril and people will think you are picking your nose); 
  • Extreme boredom (because driving is boring); 
  • Extreme road-rage (because people are idiots);
  • Extreme poverty (because petrol is ferociously expensive);
  • Even more extreme poverty (because you will eventually pick up a fine for speeding / driving in a bus lane / driving in a T2 lane without passengers / running a red light (EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ORANGE) / talking on your mobile while driving (BECAUSE YOUR STUPID BLUE TOOTH FAILED TO WORK THE ONE TIME THE POLICE WERE WATCHING) / just being on the roads when clearly you are not fit to have a license. 
But seriously, SMH, this has nothing to do with women joining the workforce. We women have always been on the roads for (long) hours and (long) hours a day. Because we spend half our bloody lives schlepping around our children from school to sport to dance class to music class to therapy (oh hang on, that's just me?) to play dates to swimming to chess tournaments (chess is a sport, OKAY?) and back again. We are in the car ALL DAY LONG. This is NOT NEWS.

What would be news, on the other hand, is a child who sits happily in the car for long hours, without asking for a snack, needing to do a wee, or hitting his younger sister on the head. That, SMH, would be worthy of a headline.

But until the laws of everything change, that, sadly, is never, ever going to happen.


  1. Ha - I suffer from extreme "looking like an idiot in the car" syndrome as I can often be seen cackling hysterically at something that James Valentine has said on the radio. God bless that man.

  2. Post good of course but that picture is just hilarious!

  3. Maybe it is April Fools and we didn't get the memo?
    I agree though - a headline would be a child sitting calmly in the car not wanting a snack, or a wee. I clearly wasn't interviewed for this article, I have driven to work for the past 18 years - sadly not news.

  4. Can't tell you how excited I was to find it!!!!!!

  5. Oh he's FABULOUS. I met him once. Became completely stupid with awe.

  6. Poverty, women's rights, freak weather, not enough NEWS that they have to produce this crap? I too would have preferred an article on keeping kids, intent on murdering each other, entertained on a long car journey x

  7. There are some in our society (I won't say who or of what gender) who would argue with that headline should say: "Women Commuting in Cars Put Others at Risk"!

    Perhaps the speed limit should be increased, and then commuting hours would lessen. No? Okay.

    I think the answer is to put these people who do these kinds of studies into cars and drive them off into the centre of Australia...and leave them there!

  8. Don't you love how the main issue of concern here is - yet again - the size of our arses? If they proved that long hours commuting put women at risk of deep-vein thrombosis, but made them thin, what's the bet that the paper would be advocating it as THE hot new way to lose weight? I'm just a teeny bit over the notion that health and thinness are the same thing and that thinness, in women, anyway, is a responsibility. I thought we had got past being 'Damned whores and God's Police', but it appears instead we've just added 'and either way, you must be HOT, bitch' to the equation.

    But perhaps I am veering from the point a little? Too much stupid encountered over the weekend makes Monday me a little ranty, apparently. So, what were we talking about? Commuting? Right.

    Long hours commuting are shit for whoever has to do them. But heaven forbid that we talk about sensible work-arounds like flexible work hours, job-sharing and working from home. No, instead we make it about women joining the workforce. Or women driving cars. Like that's something new. What year is this now?

    We should be worried about more important things. Such as creating a way for internet comment boxest to blow loud raspberries at silly newspaper articles. That would do wonders for my stress levels!

  9. Or they could just provide the sedatives...


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