GPS And The Turn-By-Turn War On Men


Can you imagine how few accidents must happen on the roads in Riyadh? Pretty much the only thing Saudi Arabia gets right is forbidding women from driving, thereby avoiding the terrible hell known colloquially as “femsteering.”

Meanwhile, in the west, an insidious creeping threat to vehicular manhood has integrated itself into our daily lives while we weren’t looking. It snuck its way into every vehicle on the road, and it is in every single mobile phone on the market. I’m talking, of course, about GPS.

GPS challenges one of the few remaining areas of male excellence: navigation. Without ruling the roads, what do we have left? GPS stands for Global Positioning System, but it might as well be Geographic Patriarchy Smasher.Who could have guessed that the age of men would pass not with a bang, but with 24 satellites silently orbiting the earth?

Men have serious issues with GPS, starting with the dumbing-down of the roadways. Older drivers developed an instinctive understanding of the road through repeated travel. It was a tradition handed down from father to son for generations, since the Persians landed at an inconvenient Spartan pass due to Xerxes refusing to pull the fleet over somewhere to ask for directions.

We’ve lost that innate skill by staring at a little screen that tells us where to turn. Even experienced drivers using a GPS on a route they know experience anxiety when the pleasant little voice says, “Turn right in 200 feet.” This will no doubt be labeled PTSD by 2016, but for now we have named it the GPS jitters. Even men going their own way must now be dominated by a passive-aggressive bossy broad telling them where to turn, even though they totally were going to turn there anyway.

We’ve also been losing our sense of direction thanks to the damnable way GPS screens rotate as we travel. Asked what direction we are traveling, a young man will often say “up,” which used to be strictly the province of women and those London and New York City residents that have never driven a car in their lives. Reading a map has largely gone the same way: no one under 30 has a map in their car and, even if they did, they couldn’t read it without searching for a YouTube explainer video.

There’s a bigger problem with GPS while driving. GPS addicts tend to forget to turn their senses outside of the vehicle to do basic driving tasks… like avoiding killing themselves. This poor sod drove right off a closed bridge due to having his nose in his GPS. Here is a whole list of accidents caused by GPS and related mapping software. These stories may be amusing to you, but they should also be a stark lesson. Drivers are doing extremely stupid things because their GPS tells them to.

The next major problem with GPS usage is that it is emasculating, and not just politically with its endless entreaties to “turn left.” Married friends of mine report that navigation system usage is just another way for their wives to symbolically kick them in the groin. If the husband expresses any confusion about how to reach their destination, the woman will slyly say, “Shall I get out the GPS?”

This question actually means: “I believe your brother has a bigger penis than you and could better provide for our young during the long winter, and I’m going to leave you because you’re bad at finding things.” To the husband, this wife code is almost on a par with being cuckolded. Indeed, some men would rather watch their wives get banged by Mandingo than be reduced to asking a TomTom for help.

Many GPS systems also track speed, which results in wives chiding their husbands for even moderate violations of the speed limit.  Previously, men were protected by the fact that the speedometer might as well display the speed in Chinese numerals for all the chance a woman would have at deciphering it from the passenger seat.

Even without a woman in the car, the GPS assaults our manhood. If we deviate even slightly from the course it chose for us, it starts nagging and whinging – in a calm female voice, of course – imploring us to do U-turns and increasingly bizarre manoeuvres to return to the original course. Now your wife and the computer lady are colluding. It’s like one of those shopping trips where she brings one of her terrible friends along everywhere to just agree with her, and you’re still not allowed to punch either of them.

A more reasonable approach would be for the damn thing to say, “You’ve left the course I chose for you, was that on purpose and should I remap to your desired route?” Honestly, we are at the point of HAL 9000 not wanting to open the pod bay doors: by 2020, your GPS won’t let you turn if it doesn’t want you to. Perhaps it will weigh you when you get in your car and not let you stop at McDonald’s either.

It isn’t only straight men who have problems with GPS. My gay buddies and I have to put up with passive-aggressive remarks such as, “Continue straight for 20 miles.” Honey, I will not continue straight anywhere, so why don’t you just check your map privilege? Also, based on my personal experience, if you type in, “Take me to Mandingo,” it will reply, “Destination not found.” Pathetic.

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