Reining in my inner bitch

So Kazander has this friend.  And the first time I met him, he was nice enough, I guess.  I drove him home after the Super Bowl because he was breathtakingly drunk, and told him I’d disembowel him with a plastic spork if he puked in my car.

But then, the more time I spent around him, the less I liked him.  When he refused to let me join the fantasy football league he’d invited Kazander to join, citing “No Chicks” as the rule, my opinion of him plummeted.

Because the poor boys just can’t handle a woman doing better than them, apparently.

I was beyond annoyed, and immediately lost pretty much all respect for him.  But I was civil and polite.  He has a daughter around the spawn’s age, that the spawn actually likes (in small doses, the kid is a huge brat, and even the spawn would lean over and whisper in my ear, “She doesn’t have very good manners, does she, Mommy?”), and the spawn has a birthday coming up (she wants a haunted house theme for her birthday party, which is super easy to do in fucking August), and she doesn’t have a lot of friends her age (mostly because I can’t fucking stand kids her age), so I’m trying to be nice.

The other day though, and then today, it took every ounce of willpower I have to refrain from unleashing my inner psycho-Domme crazy bitch on him.

It started when he made a stupid mistake, and yet another sexist remark.

I was talking about my dream car, which, as all my longtime readers know, is a Dodge Charger Hellcat.  Which may be considered odd, given my penchant and passion for sports cars and muscle cars, as the Charger is neither.

Sorta.

It’s a sedan.  But it’s a sedan with 707 horsepower, a top speed of 204 mph, and can complete 1/4 mile in 11.0 seconds.

Yeah, it’s faster than its Challenger brother (all cars are boys in my head.  Not girls.  ‘Cuz I’m a rebel).  Because, as it turns out, and this was totally unexpected by the designers of the car, the longer body makes it more aerodynamic than the Challenger.

It only comes with an automatic transmission, which makes me sad, but I’m somewhat consoled by the degree to which you can customize how and when the gears shift by programming it.

AND…

Let’s compare it to some other cars, shall we?  We know that the Charger Hellcat has 707hp, 204mph top speed, and insanely enough, it costs about 65 grand.  It can also seat 5 people.

Conversely, the Lamborghini Aventador Pirelli has 691 hp (slightly lower), a top speed of 217 mph (slightly higher), sits 2 (slightly lower), has a V12 engine (even more of a gas guzzler than the Charger) and is a steal at $400,000 (just slightly higher).

And Ferrari, the Starbucks of supercars (I say that because, while Starbucks is indeed very good, it is undeniably overpriced and they seem to care more about merchandising and their logo than they care about the product.  There is a Ferrari watch, a Ferrari camera, and – and this is true – a fucking Ferrari Segway, for fuck’s sake.  Jesus Christ), struggles to keep up, too.  The cheapest one you can get, pretty much the only one someone who isn’t a millionaire would be likely to get, is the California T, which starts at $200,000.  And it seats 2, has a top speed of 196 mph, and 550 hp.

A fucking Charger sedan can hold its own against names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and MacLaren.  For under $70,000.

I mean, are you kidding me?

Of course, one must remember that the Ferrari, Lamborghini, and MacLaren are specifically designed not just to go fast with a shit ton of power, but to stay on the road when you take turns at high speeds.  The Charger has the power and the speed, but not the control and precision of the cars 5 times the price.

M’kay, cool.  But I don’t want a car that costs 3 grand a month to maintain and I can’t park in any parking lot, because I don’t have all that much faith in human beings.  The Charger Hellcat is very unassuming and doesn’t draw a lot of attention to itself (when it’s parked and turned off), because it’s a sedan, and it says Dodge Charger on it, and most people just assume it’s a regular family car.

I’m seriously rambling.  The point is I love that fucking car, and I was talking about all the things I love about it.  Sexist Douche heard me going on and on about it (I can occasionally ramble a bit) and got all super condescending and said, “Are you serious?  You couldn’t handle that car in daily life.  Do you know how horsepower works?”

Oh, you poor, silly little man.

Kazander sensed me getting ready to let loose, and let out a groan as soon as Sexist Douche uttered the words.  He knew I wasn’t going to let that go.

But first of all, what???  Do I know how horsepower works?  What the hell kind of question is that?  How do you even answer a question like that?  That’s like asking, “Do you know how counting works?”

Do I know what horsepower is?  Yeah, bro.  It’s a unit of measurement, invented by James Watt a long time ago (honestly, I don’t remember when, and don’t care enough to look it up.  The fact that I can name the inventor is usually enough to shut up the assholes who think boobs make it impossible to know about cars), defined as the amount of coal a single horse can lift out of a mine in one minute (or 33,000 foot-pounds).

Do I know what horsepower measures?  Yeah, bro.  It measures the total power and acceleration of an operating car.  As opposed to brake horsepower, which measures the total output of the engine, without all the shit that an operating car has attached to the engine that slow it down.

So I mean, no one can match me at getting condescending.  I’m a master of it.  And I took great, childlike joy in utterly humiliating him.

And for the record, no, I’ve never driven a car with 707 hp.  I did, however, handle a 562 hp Lamborghini Gallardo pretty well, with a very respectable lap time, above average for the day (and one of the employees told me I and the woman with me were the only females there that day).

Also, just by the way, I made my goddamn living handling a 600 hp diesel Cummings 18-speed engine pretty fucking well.

He thinks he’s special?

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No, ladies and gentleman.  That is not an 8-speed.  I know there are 8 numbers there, but you see those little H’s and L’s?

Um…  Yeah…

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Can he figure out what range and what gear he needs to be in, hauling 80,000 pounds, on a 6% incline?  Or worse, a 6% downgrade?  Engine brakes won’t do shit for you at that point.  And it won’t take much to burn out your brakes and lose them completely.  With the company I worked for, if you ever lose control and need to use one of those truck runaway ramps, you immediately get fired.

Because it does a lot of damage to a truck they’re still likely making $900 per week (no, that’s not a typo.  $900 per week) payments on, and it’s a completely preventable disaster.  If you ever need a runaway truck ramp, you fucked up pretty spectacularly.

When you’re that heavy, with all the fucking roaches (roaches are 4-wheeled cars, and to all my readers, please know that I say this as lovingly as possible: you all piss us the fuck off, literally every time you drive.  Stop being a dick to truck drivers.  They work 11-14 hour shifts, they get paid pennies per mile, and the entire country would literally lose its fucking shit if truck drivers ever go on strike.  Vegas would be dead in days.  We rely on trucks for pretty much everything.  And you cannot demand a service while simultaneously being a dick to those who provide that service, m’kay.  You like living in literally any city in the country?  Want to continue being able to buy food in that city on a somewhat regular basis?  Don’t be a dick to truck drivers.  Unless you live on a farm or across the street from a cattle ranch, you will literally starve without them), it’s hard to maintain a slow enough speed.  Going fast is bad for semis on downgrades.  The brakes will literally catch fire.

I have no idea what I was originally talking about.

Oh yeah…

So I cheerfully humiliated the Sexist Douche.  And, naturally, as most Sexist Douches do, he backed off and crawled away with his tail between his legs when he realized I knew more about cars than he does.  End of story.

Until today.

I had to play Designated Driver today, and we had actually seen a Challenger Hellcat on the way there, so I was totally gushing about it. I was talking to the FIL about it when none other than Sexist Douche walked up.

He inserted himself into the conversation, but he was decidedly less douche-y, so I engaged with him.  We got on the topic of Mustangs, the Harley Davidson of sports cars (I say that because people who don’t know anything about motorcycles – of which I am one – think that Harleys are extremely powerful and fast, the elite of the elite.  But they’re not.  They just have the iconic name and the iconic shape.  Much like the Mustang.  But don’t get me wrong, there’s this attitude that you’re not allowed to like what you like if it’s not the absolute best in the world, and that’s stupid.  You like the Mustang?  Awesome.  It’s popular for a reason.  Harley is popular for a reason.  Cool.  Drive the hell out of it.  Enjoy it.  Just don’t pretend it’s something it’s not.  Same with the Ferrari.  Lots of people like it.  It’s popular for a reason.  Starbucks is popular for a reason.  Cool.  Drive the hell out of it.  Enjoy it.  Just don’t pretend it’s something it’s not).

And for awhile, it was going fine.  Until

“Well, Mustang’s biggest problem is that it became a bitch car.”

“A what?”

“A bitch car.”

I assumed he meant that the car was wimpy, or it didn’t have a lot of power.

Oh, but he wasn’t done.

“No offense.  But it’s just that a lot of women started driving them.  So, like, real gearheads lost interest, and ever since then, Mustangs in general have just gone downhill.”

Wait, what?

What the actual fuck, you unbelievable misogynist asshole?

I honestly didn’t even know what to say to that.  I was basically just done with him as a human being.  I was over it.

I realized that nothing I, or any woman, could ever say would change his perception of us.  He sees us as an intrusion on the car enthusiast world.  Something to be tolerated, at best.  He will never take me, or any other woman, seriously.  Girls stick to girl stuff, while boys stick to boy stuff.

thought I had opened his eyes a few days ago, when I revealed that I knew more about horsepower than he did.

And for anyone who’s never experienced that, it really is just such a shitty feeling.  It’s the same feeling I get whenever I take my car to the shop by myself and the mechanic scoffs and laughs when I tell him I replaced the O2 sensor.  When he says, “You replaced it?  You?”

It just makes you feel so invalidated, and helpless, because there’s nothing you can ever do about it.  You can’t just stop being a woman.

And it’s just another reminder that you’re going to have to deal with this for the rest of your life.  You can’t win.  If you “stick to girl stuff,” you’ll be belittled because you’re “just a woman,” of course you don’t know things like how to change a tire.

But if you take an interest in “boy stuff,” you’ll be belittled because the boys will never take you seriously.  You’ve got to know more, you’ve got to work harder, you’ve got to hold yourself to higher standards than a guy in that field.

Most men don’t know the difference between horsepower and brake horsepower, for example.  It’s just not something that’s super important, in the big scheme of things, because it’s more a theoretical measurement, than anything else.

But if I were to be talking to a gearhead, and he mentioned brake horsepower, and I didn’t know the difference, it would be “just another reason why girls just don’t know anything about cars.”

When I was dealing with the shit with the leukemia, my doctor, who is actually really good, I like him a lot, at one point tried to tell me my symptoms were because of “stress.”

Which, let’s be honest, is just this century’s version of female hysteria.

I asked him how many men he’s said that to, how many men have come into his office with any number of symptoms, and were told the cause was “stress.”

And you could watch him realize just how many women he’s said that to, and how few men he’s said it to.

And to be fair, he immediately retracted the comment and started taking me seriously.  Four-ish months later, I had a leukemia diagnosis.

It’s everywhere, it really is.  Thankfully, the majority of men, when they realize they’re doing it, immediately stop and correct.  Because it’s not something they do with any kind of malicious intent or because they don’t respect me.  It’s simply because society has ingrained certain attitudes and mindsets into the heads of everyone, men and women, and it’s not always easy to recognize it.

So most of the time, it’s not a problem.  Most people are generally decent and good human beings, and most people, when they realize that they are belittling another human being because that human being has boobs, they are quick to correct.

But then you have the Sexist Douches, who are either too stupid to understand, or too pathetic and small-minded to care about the fact that they are belittling another human being.

As is obviously the case with this Sexist Douche.  I mean, really, what’s the point of continuing that conversation?  What’s the point of giving him any of my time?  If he still belittles women, even after I showed that I have an extensive knowledge of both supercars and American muscle cars, when I could meet him as an equal as we debated whether a Shelby GT500 is better than a Charger Hellcat, even after I established myself as his equal on the subject of supercars (we were talking about horsepower, and he mentioned the Bugatti Veyron.  I rolled my eyes and said, “Sure, if we’re looking at that kind of car, we might as well just go with the Pagani Huayra.”  He said, “Yeah, but the emission system isn’t street legal.  You’d have to modify it.  And that’s like ten grand.”  I laughed and said, “Yeah, so if you have the kind of income that warrants spending 1.5 million dollars on a car, ten thousand dollars to modify the exhaust is just too far out of budget.  But why stop there?  The Huayra BC is street legal, and only about double the price.”), even after all that, he still sees me as beneath him, then there’s just nothing I can do or say.

I could build him a fucking MacLaren P1, from the ground up, using parts from a Bugatti Chiron and a Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio, because why the hell not, by myself, in 12 hours, and he’d still look at me as less than him.

Those are some of the most expensive cars in the world, by the way.  And I want to think only like 10 of the Ferrari were ever made.  Kinda hard to find, even if you happen to have 3-ish million dollars lying around.  And that MacLaren is fucking sexy.

But the point is, it just doesn’t matter what you do or say.  People like that will never change.

Jesus fucking Christ, and this guy has a daughter.

I kind of understand why the kid is such an obnoxious little shit, now.

No, but in all seriousness, I actually, legitimately, genuinely am heartbroken for her.  Because she’s going to grow up with a man who constantly belittles and demeans her.  She’s going to grow up thinking that she’s not good enough, she’ll never be good enough.

And what’s more, she’s going to grow up thinking that’s what a man is supposed to be.  So she’s going to end up with a stupid, pathetic, small-minded misogynist loser just like him.  And the saddest part is that, because she won’t know any better, she’ll let that stupid, pathetic, small-minded misogynist loser treat her like shit.

I’m a grown ass woman.  I can handle the misogynist douchebags.  But to be brought up like that?  It just sucks.  It really just fucking sucks.