It’s women love

What is it about boys and bragging about their big cars?
Catherine Bennett

If women, in general, did not react to displays of social success from men – with wet gussets and knicker removal – then men would not make displays of social success.

To put it another way, men have big cars the same way that your first husband had a big house.

50 thoughts on “It’s women love”

  1. Public servants? Maybe. But the services they administer make money don’t they? Or at least they don’t cost as much as they would do if they didn’t get in the foreign fee payers. Not convinced either way but at least there’s some scope for it not all being tidy sinecures.

  2. First line of article:

    “Why study at the University of Bolton? There are many reasons, not least its excellent showing in a recent student satisfaction survey: 36th out of 129 in the UK.”

    That ranking indicates either an upper quartile academic institute, or a body that takes kids so thick that they don’t know what an upper quartile academic institute looks like.

    Further down the article:
    “its overall league table position (125th out of 129)”

    Ah.

    Aside from that, typical guardian fare- some unattractive lefty woman complaining teh menz has taken all the monies, and spent it on things that men like but she doesn’t.

  3. Erratum:
    “That ranking indicates either an *almost upper quartile academic institution”

    Blame the hangover, and the cat- it’s bitten me awake early.

  4. @Interested-

    It’s because she drives a shit car.

    (Citroen Berlingo. It has a ‘full service record’, though)

  5. Thing is there’s two sorts of male car enthusiasts – there’s the people who own expensive shiny ones that go exceedingly fast, and there’s the people who own very old ones that often don’t go at all, and who (the people) are often found underneath them covered in oil.

    The former type of cars tend to be more gusset moistening than the latter, although the owners of the former tend to be arseholes and the owners of the latter rather decent sorts of people.

    Thats women and their superior judgement of character for you……………….

  6. There is nothing wrong with women’s judgement of character Jim. They are quite good at same.

    It is simply that they find arseholic men gusset-wetting esp if there is cash in the picture. Nice guys with ordinary incomes–not so much.

  7. I’m not sure that a Bentley sends that kind of signal. For proper gusset-moistening, you need a car with a low-pitched ground-shaking engine, loud enough to be described as anti-social. Those cars send a direct signal that you don’t care about others because you’re supremely confident in your own status. It helps that lesser men will crowd around the car to get a look; something they won’t be so likely to do with a Bentley.

    That and today’s Bentleys are just tatted up Volkswagens.

  8. “If women, in general, did not react to displays of social success from men – with wet gussets and knicker removal – then men would not make displays of social success.”

    True up to a point, but a simplification.

    Not all displays of success and status are about sexual attraction. Both men and women compete with their own sex to be the alpha male or female. Some of this competition appeals to the opposite sex, some doesn’t.

    Men compete with other men about cars, technology, knowledge of same, sport and games, ability to hold drink, etc.

    Women compete with other women over fashion, shoes, handbags, kitchens, cosmetics, cleavage, their children, etc. (In Guardianland, women, of course, are sisters, not competitors, and only the e evil patriarchy divides them.)

    In both sexes, some of those competitive behaviours turn off the opposite sex, while otbers attract.

  9. Philip Scott Thomas

    What is it about boys and bragging about their big cars? – Catherine Bennett

    I strongly that is wrongly attributed. I seriously cannot see Jane Austen writing anything like that. For one thing, cars didn’t exist in Georgian England.

  10. Jim: …and the owners of [very old cars are] rather decent sorts of people.

    I hope you’re right – my car was seventeen years old when I bought it and that was in 1974. We only go out when it’s nice!

  11. Somebody get Catherine some sandwiches, before she collapses.

    This isn’t her not getting the instinctive attraction of best genes and best nest. This is her saying that things don’t matter. A Berlingo is just as good as a Bentley. And it doesn’t matter if the second hand on your Rolex sweeps or jumps.

    I think communism appeals to her. Misery for everyone. She’s living the grey life.

  12. An interesting cultural comparison was made by Paul Hollywood (one of many TV chefs)in his otherwise boring TV programme about cars across Europe. He pondered in some detail why French men don’t go in for “performance” cars and talked it through with a very rich Frenchman who lived in a gigantic house -in fact a chateau. I turned out that this man drove a bog standard old tin box on wheels which he had taken over when his mother finished with it. I do not suppose he lacked for success with women. Meanwhile Hollywood, the dick, finished the show driving on his own round a wet, deserted, Grand Prix track , going quite slowly and shouting way-HAY!!! , beside himself with solitary excitement.

  13. There’s a picture of George and his Roller (not Bentley, unless he keeps that for weekends) in The Times (behind paywall). It’s an H plate (so circa 1970) Silver Shadow. In concourse condition, one will set you back over £20,000, but decent examples are available for half that (running costs will be heavy, of course). So not exactly oligarch territory – more Isthmian league reserve goalie.

  14. Andrew M,

    “I’m not sure that a Bentley sends that kind of signal. For proper gusset-moistening, you need a car with a low-pitched ground-shaking engine, loud enough to be described as anti-social. Those cars send a direct signal that you don’t care about others because you’re supremely confident in your own status. It helps that lesser men will crowd around the car to get a look; something they won’t be so likely to do with a Bentley.

    That and today’s Bentleys are just tatted up Volkswagens.”

    It probably still works on the GILFs. Women who still think of Jags as “class” even though they’re rebadged Mondeos, and a Lexus is better.

    Personally, I wouldn’t spend serious money on anything but a BMW M5 unless you get to mad supercar money like Lambos. Most “luxury” brands are no better than Toyotas today. But there is something about BMWs…

  15. John Square in Hell

    @DBCR

    “An interesting cultural comparison was made by Paul Hollywood (one of many TV chefs)in his otherwise boring TV programme about cars across Europe. He pondered in some detail why French men don’t go in for “performance” cars and talked it through with a very rich Frenchman who lived in a gigantic house -in fact a chateau. I turned out that this man drove a bog standard old tin box on wheels which he had taken over when his mother finished with it. I do not suppose he lacked for success with women. Meanwhile Hollywood, the dick, finished the show driving on his own round a wet, deserted, Grand Prix track , going quite slowly and shouting way-HAY!!! , beside himself with solitary excitement.”

    And your point is?

    As an aside- the old money driving shitheaps is hardly a French thing- it’s well observed here in the UK.

    If there is a point about the French not valuing performance cars, I suspect it’s more to do with the fact they can’t make them. A French sports car is an oxymoron.

  16. I strongly that is wrongly attributed. I seriously cannot see Jane Austen writing anything like that. For one thing, cars didn’t exist in Georgian England.

    One of the heroine’s male suitors bragged of his horse and carriage in Northanger Abbey, though.

  17. “Both cars & watches are said to be a reliable indicator of penis size.”

    Inverse correlation, of course. The Lib Dem wimp next door drives a huge Jaguar…

  18. I heard an interesting radio program years ago, which posed the question, what do people who can afford to drive anything actually drive? To cut a long story short, the answer was mid range BMW. Apparently it was regarded as having optimum cost benefit.

  19. One more thing . . . the late 20th century philosopher Cynthia Lauper said, “Girls just wanna have fun.”

    Except for the joyless Ms Bennett.

  20. “Which posed the question, what do people who can afford to drive anything actually drive? To cut a long story short, the answer was mid range BMW. Apparently it was regarded as having optimum cost benefit.”

    That ties in with my theory that up to about £30k you get more car for your buck, ie spending more money gets an intrinsically better engineered and performing vehicle, and beyond £30k you are less paying for better engineering and performance, and more for image – the increase in price is largely to create a ‘Look at me I can afford an expensive car’ statement.

  21. Jim said:
    “beyond £30k you are less paying for better engineering and performance, and more for image”

    Or with some high performance cars you are paying for better engineering and performance, but there’s a very steep curve in the law of diminishing returns, so that each extra 0.1 second shaved off the 0-60 time costs much more than the previous one.

  22. @BiSwindon. Ah. The M5. Got a very nearly new one (carbon black E39 M5 400hp 5 litre V8) a long time ago and then haven’t bothered to change it. It goes fast enough (still), stops well enough, goes round corners well enough and from a rolling start is practically as quick as the newer one was. Now I don’t drive so much (1500 miles last year) why change and get something that needs an artificial noise piped in. And in today’s money the newer F series car is massively cheaper than when I bought as the price is the same 30-40k for a used one.

    Signalling status not so much though. And certainly not as inversely as the e39 M5 I saw once with a 520i badge.

    Problem with these cars is they clog up with carbon if you don’t give them some welly. And it just isn’t practical to use the performance as passengers may get a little anxious.

  23. I found it amusing that the wife of John Humphrys (who is paid £550,000-£600,000 per annum by the BBC alone) should be complaining about others in the public sector being overpaid – even though they receive far less than Humphrys.

    Personally, I say a plague on all their houses.

  24. I was always under the impression BMW’s were the mark of Tottemham drug dealers. Hence the preferred expansion of the initials. An opinion apparently shared by Plod. For some unaccountable reason my late father was briefly the owner of an M5, complete with the obligatory skinny tyres & heavy tints. He was in his 80s at the time. Got pulled over twice on consecutive days poodling round Brighton with my mother.

  25. “Or with some high performance cars you are paying for better engineering and performance, but there’s a very steep curve in the law of diminishing returns, so that each extra 0.1 second shaved off the 0-60 time costs much more than the previous one.”

    Indeed one is usually paying extra for an improvement in one area (speed) at the expense of reliability, economy, space, safety and practicality etc etc. Hence my point – the usefulness of over £30k cars when defined in terms of a mode of transport declines with extra money spent. A car that can do 200mph but does 10mpg and you can’t get more than 2 people and a bag of shopping in it is not intrinsically a better car than a VW Passat, if one defines the role of a car as ‘Getting people and their belongings from A to B with reliability, comfort and as little cost as possible’. Despite the former costing maybe 10 times the latter.

    As a knicker loosener considerably better tho…….

  26. I heard an interesting radio program years ago, which posed the question, what do people who can afford to drive anything actually drive? To cut a long story short, the answer was mid range BMW.

    Top Gear used to think the 320d was a magnificent car, and they were right. I bought a 330d few years back and it is fantastic: fast and practical. I looked at the M3 but decided I didn’t need that sort of performance and it wasn’t as practical (petrol and no 4WD version). The M5 is a lovely car though.

  27. Practically is what married men need. If you have to ask about practicality then you are not the target market. Men with money, young or old, and no attachments are the target market. Why? As they are signalling availability and wealth and success. Hence why young men mortgage themselves to buy a flash car. It isn’t to show off to their mates but to show worth in the eyes of potential mates. Same thing with fuel economy. (13mpg in town from my aged M5 since you ask. 20-22 elsewhere). If you have to ask you can’t afford it.

    A diesel says “careful husband to someone else” (air pollution not withstanding). A diesel BMW says “more successful potential husband”. A Ferrari says “father of my future child”.

    Look in mumsnet at the threads about provider men not being good enough if they step out of line and put themselves first but at the same demographic saying they would chase after Alpha male types for sex. Same thing on stats about children raised by men who are not their biological parent.

  28. John Square now in Civilsation

    The 5 series BMW’s are fantastic value- I had a new 520d a few years back, replacing an also new E class Merc. The BMW was 35k, the Merc 45k. In no was way the merc 10 grand better. In fact the BMW bested it in every possible way. Until very recently, I had a 320d, which was great, for an estate.

    I chopped that in for a Volvo Saloon (s80). Much more comfy, but murderously inefficient. My wife’s 2 litre golf is more fun to drive, but nowhere near as luxe

  29. What engine was in the S80? A ten year old D5 in a V70 would comfortably deliver 44-45mpg, 48 with a bit of care, although in an S60 would be about 42mpg tops, but that car could bloody shift.

  30. Why are Mercs and BMWs and Priuses too small? Why such shitty legroom and, especially, headroom? Do only squirts buy them? Come to that, Range Rovers aren’t roomy either.

  31. The ultimate road vehicle, as far as I am concerned, is a Toyota Alphard, with a chap up front driving me.

  32. I have an extremely unusual car.

    It is a Cadillac CTS, the saloon version of the one from the matrix 2 car chase. Now 11 years old and bought for a song with one years’ mileage since a) being USA it has a large engine and b) most buyers are vary of brands they don’t know. This is a normal euro rhd model made for our market. The parent is now GM who I think are the same as Vauxhall.

    It is perfect, complete luxury on the inside and runs smoothly. Looks a bit square and boxy on the outside, irrelevant to me and family on the inside. The big engine idles most of the time and is fuel efficient, with a ludicroud blast of power when you feel like paying for wasted petrol.

    The Cadillac dealer in surrey has more modern ones on his forecourt that look like concept cars from the future, and selling for a mere 40 grand. If they allowed more USA cars in, it would do serious damage to the euro car market. They are just so far ahead in the USA in giving what the punters want.

  33. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Where I am the best all-rounder is a Toyota Landcruiser or RAV 4 if you don’t want something that big. Nissan Gallopers are popular, too.

  34. Recently hired a Porsche 911 Carrera S for the day…anyone who thinks sports cars are vulgar or thinks they are driven by dicks (that is the preserve of the Audi driver these days), has obviously never driven a high-performance car.

    Best fun I have ever had…sure there was no autobahn to give it a go on but the rural Derbyshire roads were fun to drive on.

    Poor old Violet Elizabeth Reed, such was the dripping envy in his comment that the only thing he has ever driven is the Dyson round the living room.

  35. @DuckyMcDuckface

    “What engine was in the S80? A ten year old D5 in a V70 would comfortably deliver 44-45mpg, 48 with a bit of care, although in an S60 would be about 42mpg tops, but that car could bloody shift.”

    It’s got a 2.5 petrol. And it’s rated at c29mpg off the assembly line…

  36. ” but the rural Derbyshire roads were fun to drive on. ”
    Depends, Mr Crun, if you’ve ever lived on a rural road & had drivers demonstrating the abilities of their penis extensions past your door.
    Always the problem with high performance cars. Use the performance & you’re a pain in the arse to everyone else. Don’t use it & they’re a pain in the arse to drive.
    As Jim points out above, they tend to be optimised for a very narrow range of circumstances. I’ve driven a few Ferraris, Lamborghinis etc, . Very nice if you can find a billiard table to drive them on. Otherwise, they dislike the slightest bump in the road, are murder to park due to poor visibility, cost a fortune to maintain & are appallingly temperamental. The quickest, as opposed to the fastest, car I’ve ever driven has to still be the Lotus 7. The twin turbo’d ex-Rover V8 variant belonging to & built by a mate being the ultimate. (His father was the guy authored the Ford/Colin Chapman tie up gave the world the Lotus Cortina – so the family have previous for this sort of thing) Nought to a hundred in about the same time as it takes to say the words & no necessity to slow down for anything is mighty impressive but it is essentially a four wheel motorbike with all the comfort thereof.

  37. JS; ah. Not heard much that’s good about their petrol engines. And they no longer make the D5…

  38. There’s an odd, sexist assumption in Ms Bennett’s column that only the lads like to drive fast, powerful cars. Not so. My better half collects supercars and is particularly interested in the possibilities of electric vehicles. She is, admittedly, 41 years younger than Ms Bennett and several magnitudes wealthier.

  39. @bis

    “I’ve driven a few Ferraris, Lamborghinis etc, . Very nice if you can find a billiard table to drive them on. Otherwise, they dislike the slightest bump in the road, are murder to park due to poor visibility, cost a fortune to maintain & are appallingly temperamental.”

    Then on the 7th day, Ford came along and made the Shelby GT350, fixing all your concerns.

    Mine is white with blue stripes, the classic colors. I paid US$57,345.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZL4aMk97LQ

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