I'm an Equal Opportunity Grouch on the road. Cut in front of me, and I will voice my displeasure, regardless of your gender. Fail to yield, and I won't fail to point out the error of your ways, regardless of your hormones. I figure any clown bearing down on me might be the last I ever see, so who cares if it's a he or a she?

Apparently, however, other men aren't so willing to overlook the other driver's sex. Or to put it the way Betty Christensen of Fairfax put it:

"Male drivers project the idea that no woman is capable of driving a car with any degree of proficiency and should not be allowed behind the wheel of any vehicle.

"These arrogant, chauvinistic bullies spend three fourths of their driving time honking their horns, shouting obscenities and making irritated, disgusted gestures and faces at any woman who comes across their path. . . .

"I must put up with this infantile behavior in huge parking lots if a male driver must wait as I back into a space, at intersections, stoplights, etc., etc. I am bloody well tired of it!"

Maybe my masculine defenses are showing, but I can't believe all men, or most men, or many men, still act like this, or think like this.

More women hold driver's licenses in Maryland and Virginia than men, and in the District, women trail men by only 114. It's routine to see female cab drivers, female bus drivers, women who depend for their livelihood on their ability to drive. I would have thought that the impulse to damn female drivers as a group went out with Father Knows Best.

But if Betty is still getting The Treatment--and other women, too, no doubt--the problem must exist. Solution: the next time a chauvinist steps out of line, show him a copy of the latest car insurance rates. Then ask him sweetly: "Do you think you pay $250 a year more for insurance than I do because you're a better driver?"