Wow, there is a lot going on here. First, watch.
So, how about that? My interpretation of the scary driving montage was the tired “women aren’t good drivers” story, but my sweetie had a different take on it. He started by admitting that he does get nervous when I’m driving alone. Which led to some rather colorful language on my part. 🙂 Once I stopped seeing red, we had a good conversation.
He said it isn’t that he’s concerned about my driving; it’s that he’s concerned about the other factors he can’t control and/or protect me from. Which was sweet, but still problematic.
But, getting back to the ad. First, it exploits the desire to protect your loved ones–“If you love your wife, then buy our tires.” Second, the structure of the ad, namely that men are interested in performance for themselves and protection for their “women,” implies that women need to be protected and men don’t. And why would a woman need more protection than a man while driving?
Does a flash-mob of crazy drivers start when a woman gets in the car alone? Does Cal-Trans set up detours just to stymie your wife’s airport runs? Clearly, the answer is no. Traffic is traffic, detours are detours, and crazy drivers do not practice gender discrimination. The implication, then, of women “needing protection” on the road is that women aren’t as adept at navigating the hazards of driving. Which brings us right back to the starting point: Women can’t drive.
The most troubling implication of the ad is evidenced by a stylistic shift when the driver is reunited with her husband. When the woman is driving by herself the music is ominous and the cinematography is choppy and disjointed. Not only is the world unsafe, but something feels seriously out-of-order. Hmm…I wonder what it could be…
When she safely arrives at the airport and her husband gets into the car, the disordered universe is set aright. This return to order is evidenced by the abrupt change in cinematography; The music becomes soothing and we are treated to a nice steady shot of the happy couple. Apparently, it is not only dangerous for a woman to drive alone–it is unnatural. Ick.