Now This Is A Sexist Automotive Commercial

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Autoblog and Jalopnik have their panties in a wringer because at least 40 years ago Goodyear marketed tires to men appealing to their desire for their wives’ safety. I’ve seen the ad described as “misogynist” and “demeaning”. You can see it here. Jalopnik called it “the most sexist TV commercial of all time”. Why? The “plot” of the commercial is a woman driving at night on a highway. The soundtrack and editing is straight out of a horror film, with the woman appearing concerned, perhaps frightened. Still, she arrives safely at her destination, the airport. Her husband gets in the car, they embrace and she slides over and lets him drive. The voiceover is targeted at men and assumes they are the ones who decide what tires to buy. Remember, this ad ran in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Apparently showing women as vulnerable is a heinous sin. Tell that to the college orientation sessions that teach young women that all the men on campus are potential rapists. Oh wait, that’s okay because it involves demonizing men.

It seems that there’s a double standard that gets some people indignant when women are shown as anything other than super capable but laughs right along when men are routinely portrayed as idiots who could not get through the day without the guidance of their super smart wives.

While Jalopnik and Autoblog are so concerned about the societal impact today of a commercial that hasn’t been seen in decades, they ignore it when it’s men who are getting demeaned in commercials. This Dodge Durango commercial from 2005 follows a scenario that has become common in an era when women make 80% of consumer purchase decisions: a stupid oaf of a husband can’t do anything right, much to the chagrin of his long suffering and much smarter wife. Though negative stereotyping of women is verboten in the ad industry these days, it’s fairly commonplace for commercials to stereotype men as stupid, incompetent, stubborn, refusing to ask for directions as well as being clueless about the situation they’ve gotten themselves into. Any and every negative stereotype about men is fair game when you’re trying to sell things to women. In this particular case, the husband and father has managed to get his family lost in the desert while towing a boat, presumably looking for a body of water. When his wife suggests that he use the navigation system, he refuses, saying that he isn’t lost.

The probability that most of the engineers who developed that navigation system and the global positioning satellites that it’s based upon are men is pretty high. Apparently men are too stupid to use the tools we invent.

It’s interesting that when the people who say the Goodyear ad is sexist see the Durango ad, they come up with all sorts of excuses why there’s nothing wrong with it, how it isn’t sexist or demeaning to men. The most typical one is “it’s funny, and men really are like that”. I suspect those people don’t find blonde jokes very funny. As a matter of fact only a short time ago, pressure from feminists caused Autoblog to change a headline on a story about a blonde who caused an expensive accident in Monaco.

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One Response to Now This Is A Sexist Automotive Commercial

  1. Pingback: The Triumph of the Beta Male. Would Volkswagen Mock Women Like They Mock Men? | Cars In Depth

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