by Sue Macy (Author), Danica Patrick (Foreword)
How Women took the wheel and drove boldly into the 20th Century
Motor Girls is an thoroughly researched book about the history of women and automobiles. Author Sue Macy’s earlier book “Wheels of Change” recounts the history of how women took to the bicycle. Curious about what happened after women took to riding the bike, Sue Macy digs into the past and brings to us this brilliantly researched book on Motor Girls.
Motor Girls chronicles the journey of how women came to be behind the wheel and the challenges they faced in getting there. The author opens with a lovely foreword by Danica Patrick who recounts her own challenges in becoming the “fastest driver” and not just the “fastest woman” of the 20th century. An introduction by Sue Macy details her own motivation into digging into the past on Motor Girls and what road the women of the early 1900’s had to undertake to become women drivers of the 20th century.
Motor Girls early chapters introduces the reader to a brief but engaging history of the motor car. Following which, Sue Macy dives into perception issues around women drivers in the early 1900’s to role of women during WWII. Women were believed to “not trained to think of two things at once”, a skill clearly required to drive motor cars. Other believed that driving would undermine women’s femininity, having to deal with all the dirt and dust from driving on mud ridden roads. Finally, more people believed that the independence that women might get due to driving would upset the social structure existing at the time.
Objections to driving were made from not just men but also other women. However, as Sue Macy narrates, there were enough women to take up the challenge, enough women wanting to feel the freedom of being behind the wheel and enough women who wanted to prove themselves over and over again.
And as more women drivers hit the road, women mobilized in many more ways, ultimately giving up their traditional roles and taking up newer and better opportunities to employment.
Through simple but engaging narration, Sue Macy writes about Motor Girls with lovely period photography and snippets of historical factoids sprinkled through the book. A wonderful and important read for everyone!
FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the above books from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!