When you hail a yellow cab hoping to give your aching feet a rest, chances are your driver is a male. In an industry where only 5-8 % of the workers are female, catching a lady-driver is as likely as, say, Anna Wintour sporting a new 'do. Curious about this small (but fierce) niche, filmmaker Diana Diroy brings us an intriguing documentary short, What's A Girl Doing Here?, about the women who choose to get behind the city's wheels (46,000 in total btw).
Peeking into the lives, and 12-hour shifts (yikes!), of two female cabdrivers, Shonna and Elena, the film briefly explores how they got into the industry, why they think there's so few females, their worst passengers, and what they do when they're not carting you and your buddies around. Though the women lead decidedly different lives off the clock, they both encounter the same initial, head-scratching reaction from riders closing the door — something along the lines of, "Wait...you're a girl?" Obvious statements aside, these women deal with the same issues (sketchy New Yorkers, customers who over-share) that their male counterparts do, but believe "it would be a happier industry" if more females joined the ranks. Don't be fooled — these ladies are no pushovers. In fact, they admit to having "developed some testosterone" to keep up. Nothing like a little bad-ass 'tude underneath the mascara.
What do you think — would your cab experiences drastically improve with a female driver, or be the same bumpy ride as always?
(The Hair Pin)