June 16, 2024
Stop Sign

Photo by Joshua Hoehne, unsplash.com/@mrthetrain

BOZEMAN, MONTANA — Local driver, Madelyn Grace, was recently the victim of a particularly aggravating experience at a stop sign on Blackwood Road. While coming to a stop at a stop sign, a man in the car across the road from her began to gesture wildly towards her and the sign, as if explaining its meaning to her.

“At first I thought he was just being friendly,” said Grace, “but then he started pointing and making these exaggerated wavey-wavey, drivey-drivey hand motions. It was like he thought I didn’t understand what to do after coming to a stop or even if I had no idea what a stop sign even meant.”

Grace, a lifelong Bozeman resident, has been driving for over 23 years and is no stranger to the local traffic laws or common sense. Despite this, the man continued to gesticulate towards the sign until she eventually drove off from the stopped position in frustration.

“It was like he was mansplaining the stop sign to me,” said Grace. “As if I had never encountered one before in my life. It was really condescending and unnecessary.”

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident in Bozeman. Many women drivers report similar experiences of men attempting to explain traffic laws and driving etiquette to them, often without cause or provocation.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Grace. “We don’t need men mansplaining how to drive to us. We know what we’re doing.”

The incident has prompted calls for greater awareness and education around the issue of mansplaining in Bozeman, particularly as it relates to driving and traffic laws. In the meantime, Grace is encouraging other drivers to stand up for themselves and not let others make them feel inferior or ignorant.

“I think all women drivers would agree when I say we don’t need a stop sign interpreter,” she said. “We’ve been reading and obeying these things for decades without needing a know-it-all to mansplain them to us.”