Women Drivers!: The Emergence of Folklore and Sterotypic Opinions Concerning Feminine Automotive Behavior

This article describes how, although often presented in a humorous context, folklore concerning the behavior of women automobile drivers, and the development of a stereotype concerning them, emerged for very serious social reasons. These reasons were attempts to both ‘keep women in their place’ and to protect them against what were believed to be corrupting influences for women in society. In the male-dominated America of the early twentieth century, women at the wheel posed a serious threat to long-established ideas and practices. The automobile threatened to restructure the social status of women and the meaning of family life in America. As a result, defenders of the status quo sought a means by which female use of the motor car might be limited. The emergence of folklore that concerned the alleged disabilities of feminine motorists, and the eventual development of a full-blown, negative ‘woman driver’ stereotype came to life.

  • Authors:
    • Berger, Michael L
  • Publication Date: 1986


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01144220
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 5 2009 2:31PM