Road Rage

Most of us have experienced road rage in some form or another. If we’re totally honest most of us have felt it more than once. I myself have had one or two screaming matches in my time. I even followed a lorry driver I believed had nearly taken me off the bike, punched his cab door and shrieked at him for 5 minutes solid. I lost my voice. But I have NEVER deliberately run into someone, nor physically attacked a person, particularly not someone on a motorbike.

This unpleasant little story popped up on my Facebook feed just now. Basically, (male) biker tells off (female) car driver for texting and driving. She chases after him and knocks him off at the next lights, slaps him and chucks his helmet into the road. He gets his bike and helmet written off, she gets a 12 week suspended prison sentence, and pays £1,290 in fines and compo. Nowhere near the value of the bike and gear, I’m guessing…

Her solicitor claimed she had previously experienced domestic violence, and that the (male) biker “must have said something significant for her to respond in this way”. Sound familiar? Maybe he was Asking For It? Maybe he Shouldn’t Have Been There?…

I am a feminist, I believe it’s a necessary thing to be even now, but more importantly I am an Equalist. Had the genders been reversed, and a male car driver deliberately ran a female biker off the road I imagine the response would have been much harsher, particularly after the additional physical assault, and such a response would be entirely justified. It’s the softly softly response that is unjustified here.

I have experienced relationship violence, both mental and physical, I also have well-documented mental health issues. If I ever lose control of my mental state to the point of physically attacking strangers and attempting to kill them just for criticising me then I will need serious psychiatric help. It may be a reason for my behaviour but I do not see it as an excuse. If this woman really has such deep-rooted problems then she too needs to get some help. If he’d physically threatened her it might be different but it seems that wasn’t the case. This kind of argument actually weakens us all – it feeds into existing prejudices and hardens attitudes without offering any real solution.

TL:DR Don’t try to kill each other on the road, there’s no excuse for it no matter what gender (or none) you are.

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