Is everyone familiar with the “mudflap girls,” those decals that some people put on the back of their vehicles? They look like this:
I find the stickers sexist, because they’re celebrating not the full package of a woman, but just her body—and only a stereotypically “beautiful” body at that.
Yesterday while I was out driving, I saw a car with this version of a mudflap girl decal:
I got an absolute kick out of it. I vowed I would find a way to tell the driver what an awesome sticker it was. I trailed him for a few blocks, then pulled up beside him. Fortunately, his window was rolled down. I rolled down my passenger side window and pointed to him. “I LOVE the sticker on the back of your car.”
“Oh, thanks,” he laughed.
“I’m so proud of you for having it.”
“I’m glad you like it. Yeah, I hate those other ones. They drive me crazy.”
He nodded. “Smart women rock.”
“Thank you!” (Meaning, “thank you for saying that,” not “thank you for complimenting me, a smart woman.”) “I agree!” (To demonstrate my own intelligence, I stumbled over my next words: “I wanted to tell you that…like…several stoplights ago.”)
We eventually parted ways, but I think we both felt a little lighter and brighter after the encounter.
* * *
My brothers often like to poke holes in whatever opinions/arguments I have, so I can just anticipate their argument on this one: “Are you saying that only women who score high on an I.Q. test are the ‘smart women’ who ‘rock’? Isn’t that objectifying women too, but now instead of for their physical appearance, you’re rating them based on their intelligence?” No, I’m not saying that. Nor, perhaps, is the driver of that other vehicle. But women who think for themselves, who educate themselves (like through reading), and who know they are more important than their physical bodies…those are the smart women who rock.