The analogy between cycling and gender discrimination continues today, with a look at one of the other similarities between cycling and feminism. I mentioned the number of people who view infrastructure changes to make roads safer for cyclists as Just Too Difficult, and I also mentioned those who say that such changes are No Fair on them and They Don’t Wanna*! And, oh boy, can some of these people get narky.
It’s incredible how unpleasant car drivers can get around cyclists and cycling. From drivers who campaign against changes to road layouts to make cyclists’ lives better, through drivers who don’t adapt their driving habits to the increased numbers of cyclists around, to the kind of dangerous entitled numbskull who actively drives dangerously around cyclists, a phenomenon so sadly common that some cyclists have taken to wearing a Go Pro camera on their helmets to record such incidents, there are a large number of drivers out there who Don’t Wanna and think it’s No Fair.
The word that seem to me to be most important in that last paragraph is “entitled”, which has moved over the last few years from meaning “someone who has a legal right or just claim to something” to “someone who thinks they have a legal right or just claim to something to which they do not in fact have a legal right or just claim”. The online dictionary Dictionary.com (now there’s a company that admirably does what it says on the tin) defines entitled as “believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment”. It basically means believing that you have more rights than you do and acting accordingly.
*My lovely friend Alice Gartland, of A Lotus Rises, reminded me over the weekend of another excuse frequently used as a reason for not promoting women or otherwise taking action to ensure gender equality, We Couldn’t Find One. Of which more later….