Ferguson: Women drivers (2-9-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (February 9, 1944)


Ferguson: Women drivers

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

I remember when I first learned to drive an auto. My third baby had just arrived. Dad was at the office all day and big brother was in school. In order to get places and back soon enough to provide the necessary sustenance for the newcomer, I simply had to master the danged thing.

“You’ll never be able to do it, Mom,” said the first-born. His father was equally pessimistic. He said:

You’ll probably break your neck and be maimed for life.

When I plucked up courage to get behind the steering wheel, the two yelled conflicting commands, making side remarks about woman’s place being in the home and general feminine ignorance of machinery. I didn’t learn to drive that day.

But one day I got mad at both and flounced into the house. After soothing my ruffled feelings, they considered the matter closed. Mom realized her limitations and had given up.

But Mom called in a sister who was a more tactful teacher, and a week later the male Fergusons were stricken dumb at the sight of unteachable but intractable Mom honking up the driveway.

“Where have you been?” they screamed.

“Oh, everywhere,” I replied in scorn.

I am moved to these reminiscences by a little newspaper item which said that:

According to a company executive, buses driven by women require 20% less gasoline and 40% fewer repairs than those driven by men.