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Shiftless Females

To: MG List <>
Subject: Shiftless Females
From: Robert Allen <>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 21:27:11 -0600
Although I have no first-hand knowledge of the French physic, I have
heard their mannerisms may seem somewhat abrupt to the tender American
sensibility. This in no way sanctions boorish behavior but may,
somewhat, temper first impressions and leaves some area of doubt.
Setting aside emotionalism, I feel obligated to contribute the following
hypothesis that does, in fact, support the notion that females are
inappropriate operators of the manual transmission.

1.) Women have a greater propensity to rest their left foot on the
clutch. More specifically, men are anatomically inclined not to ride the
clutch. It has to do with possible interference at the leg/man interface
that can cause unexpected and acute discomfort if mispositioned
equipment becomes encumbered during the clutch actuation process. In
essence, a man learns at an early age to avoid unnecessary clutch
actuation. In technical terms, this is known as the slip angle.

2.) The gear selection mechanism of a British car is a delicate
mechanism requiring a firm and positive up and over or down and across
movement. Gears are not properly selected by taking a diagonal slice at
the lever, fore and aft. This causes undue wear on the mechanism. Men
understand this and, through adolescent self-indulgence, have mastered
the movement of the up and out, down and back movement with some degree
of finesse. It is not uncommon for males to have acutely developed
muscle groups particularly suited to this task by the time they become
of driving age. Furthermore, women not only lack the motor skills, but
also have distinct frontal distractions that make acquiring the skill
problemsome. The correct gear movement, when initiated by the slender
female arm muscles, can set off a resonance across the chest area that
results in an annoying pendulum effect. Thus females are more likely not
to shift a British car properly due to physical attributes. This is
known as the popular moment of inertia.

Again, without condoning the original post, I thought I might provide
this enlightened opinion of proper shift operation.

Bob Allen, Kansas City

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