So Who’s Riding Shotty?

Often, we hear about the progress our country is making in technology, medicine, and even equality. However, one place that challenges that equality is the American front passenger seat. For many families around the country, the front passenger seat is reserved for none other than the oldest male that isn’t driving the car. While this may show a flashback to the 1950’s, car seating is more complicated then it appears.

Take for instance these two average examples:

1.) Husband and wife go out with friends: If the husband is driving the car, his wife should sit in the passenger seat because she is closest to the husband, right? Or, should the wife let the husband’s male friend sit in the front to talk to the husband? Or, should the husband’s friend sit in the front because of tradition? Now what if the wife is driving, is her husband entitled to the front seat?

2.) Boyfriend and girlfriend go out with his parents: If the boyfriend drives, should his girlfriend sit the front seat? Would it look like she feels entitled to the sit in the front and thus she should sit in the back? Shouldn’t she sit with the mother to build a rapport with her? What if the boyfriends, parents drive? In this case does the mother get the front seat or has her son gained the clout to sit up front? How did he earn the clout?

Clearly, the front passenger seat is a coveted and controversial place. Some rely on tradition where others push for gender equality and change. To me, a healthy blend works best. Know your company, your stance on gender roles, and who may or may not be in the doghouse before assigning your front passenger seat.

Who rides shotty with you and why?