New “Chariot For Women” is for women — and why men need to support it rather than fight it

In case you haven’t heard, it was announced that Chariot For Women would be launching in Boston to compete in a similar market as Uber. And in case you’ve been living under a rock, you may have heard of the problems that Uber is having, such as male drivers hitting on and/or raping female customers, fake Uber drivers picking up female customers and doing bad things, guys being picked up by female Uber drivers and then hitting on them, and I’m sure the numbers of different kinds of gender problem-related incidents probably wouldn’t surprise you.

So, Chariot for Women seeks to hire just female drivers and pick up only female passengers (and children, as well). So, the questions the media is asking aren’t “Hey, why didn’t we think of this first?” but “Is it legal?” meaning that when something good comes along, a lawyer is probably in the wings just waiting to pounce.

And this is one of those places where they shouldn’t. Let’s face it. Gender relations in this country (and the world) are horrible, no matter how we try to pretty it up and pretend that everything’s all right. Things aren’t all right. If things were all right, we wouldn’t have school assemblies in grammar school where teachers tell girls that it’s not safe to walk home alone, that police don’t question rape victims with “what clothing were you wearing that might have caused him to want to rape you?”, female presidential candidates aren’t questioned for “speaking out loudly” in the same venue where several male candidates shouted down each other during their own answers, and all sorts of other shenanigans, including college sports teams being disqualified for sexual assaults and fraternities closed or suspended for being known as rape houses. So, when a taxi service emerges that attempts to link female drivers with female passengers, I say this is a good thing, only because we’ve become a society that’s just not mature enough to get to play with the toys we already have.

I don’t feel threatened because women have a taxi service that’s not available to me. Instead, I feel better because it might mean that some woman out there isn’t going to be assaulted by some 18th century reject who thinks someone’s attractive looks is justification for whatever actions he takes based on sexual imagery that exists in only his mind. My only regret is that that woman’s trip is probably going to be a bit more expensive than it would have been through uber or whatever other service is available to everyone else. Sometimes, to avoid the Neanderthals, you might have to pay a bit more.

The argument that is already starting is that this is unfair to men because they don’t get to have the same access. To that, I say “Boohoo!” Live with it. We’ve already made things so clunky for women to have to choose this option that we should probably just suck it up and be thankful that some entrepreneur solved the problem for us. Instead, I suspect a lawsuit from some knuckle-dragging guy who got upset because he couldn’t call his own chariot, or because he couldn’t work for them.

To the women who have found themselves in a situation where they feel they have to take one of these chariots, I wish I could apologize for all of the men of my gender, but to do so would absolve these same men for all of the crappy, misogynist things they’ve done (and will do), so I won’t. Instead, I’ll hail an uber cab and smile to myself as the driver fumes as he thinks “another guy?” while looking at the rear view mirror and seeing me instead of the woman he’s rather sexually harass. Or maybe he’s a great guy. Who knows? Unfortunately, the actions of his fellow uber and uber-like drivers brought us to where another guy may be all he ever sees again.

Author of Innocent Until Proven Guilty and 15 other novels. Writer, college professor and computer game designer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store