Dodge Fail

I am attempting to imagine the female version of that ad. Something like:

I will make your favorite meal every night, regardless of whether meat loaf makes me want to vomit.

I will raise your children, nurse them through countless illnesses, teach them their multiplication tables, get them into college, and all the while listen without complaint as you are praised for knowing how to zip the child’s coat and hold him/her without disaster.

I will pick up your filthy underwear from the bathroom floor.

I will take the garbage out after you forget for the fiftieth time.

I will walk your dog.

I will clean your fish tank.

I will laugh when you belch and fart. Every time. That will never stop being funny.

I will load the dishwasher for you because you are a man, and cannot be expected to learn how, because your penis gets in the way.

I will be nice to your friends, even the one who hits on the waitress in front of his wife every time we go out to the goddamn Chili’s. 

I will pretend it’s cute that you hate my TV shows, and say nothing about the 45 hours of cartoons on the DVR.

I will lie to my friends about the size of your penis.

I will talk to my friends about the size of your penis.

I will only do so when you give me permission to see my friends. And then I will only talk about your penis.


Though I suppose in any female version of the ad, the car would have to be pink. Sparkly pink with little kitties and bows on it. And RUFFLES.

And you know, let’s get this out of the way: If you are with someone who pressures you to say things you don’t mean, whose behavior tells you you are less than an equal partner in the relationship, who treats you more like a pet or a houseplant than a person, get the fuck out of that relationship right now. I know women who treat their husbands like children, or employees, who think it’s cute to belittle their spouses in front of others and who pass off cutting remarks as little jokes about how dumb boys are.

Guess what? Those women are assholes. There is nothing inherently male about being put upon. There is nothing honorable about being with someone who treats you like crap. It isn’t funny. It isn’t cute. If you don’t feel valued you need to have a talk with your spouse, your therapist, your family, and yourself about what you need and what you want and what everybody is willing to do to stop the fail. But once and for all, let’s quit pretending that it’s the natural order of things for women to be contemptuous and men to just take it because it’s estrogen or something.

Pardon the horrible pun, but what a dodge. Stick up for yourself, for chrissakes. You’re in a relationship with an asshole, don’t shove that off onto traditional gender roles and whatever like that’s how it’s supposed to be. Quit giving yourself, and more importantly the asshole who is emotionally abusing you, the out that you’re from Mars and Venus and can’t possibly be expected to do any better. Learn to load the goddamn dishwasher and quit being such a screaming idiot about it. And you know what? If after the 50th time he doesn’t put the seat down, maybe decide how much fun it actually is having that fight, because if he’s not doing it by now, it’s clearly important that it not be done.

This whole thing drives me wild, not because I really think most men & women are like this. This stereotype of the domineering domestic female is far more a creation of the advertising industry than it is reality. But it drives me wild because people seeing that stereotype then reinforce the bullshit in order to feel like they’re fitting in. Which leads to things like a meatspace conversation last week, in which a friend’s husband bought a car and a mutual acquaintance asked his wife why she “allowed” this. Or when relatives jokingly call me Mr. A’s boss. We start talking in this horseshit shorthand because it’s easier, because everyone knows the cues and knows where to laugh so as not to make anyone uncomfortable, and pretty soon you’ve got lots of unhappy people who think their unhappiness just happened to them and that it’s okay.

It’s not fair to women, it’s not fair to men, it’s not fair to anybody.

See alsoEchidne.


17 thoughts on “Dodge Fail

  1. As usual, nice rant, A. I had a few reactions to the ad:
    A bunch of the stuff the voiceover lists (picking up my damn laundry, putting the seat down) are things I do out of consideration, not because my wife nags me. It’s like signaling your turns and opening doors for people: Social lubricant that makes daily life function a little more smoothly.
    Putting aside the stereotyped idiocy, I can see where a person (male or female) would want to rebel against the thousand little concessions we make daily, like not calling someone an asshole when they deeply deserve it. But a new car is not a life change.
    Do you think this ad was calculated to tap into the teabag mentality? Do the advertisers perceive that there’s an appreciably-sized market of people who “just aren’t going to take it anymore,” even if they’re not quite sure what “it” is? I hope they’re disappointed. (The advertisers, that is — we already know the teabaggers are.)

  2. Do the advertisers perceive that there’s an appreciably-sized market of people who “just aren’t going to take it anymore,” even if they’re not quite sure what “it” is?
    THANK YOU. I’ve been trying to articulate this for weeks. We all have this vague frustration because we feel like we can’t get anywhere, and anybody who can focus that is gonna win our everlasting love. I really think that’s what’s going on here. People do feel stifled, and they do feel ineffective, and they do feel like they’re not living the lives they want to live. Now, that’s not the fault of taxes or political correctness or wimmenz, but it’s very easy to forget when you realize how awesome it feels to find someone to blame.

  3. I’ve never understood the toilet seat thing.
    Put thelid down, goddammit. That way your hairbrush/cell phone/book/whatever won’t fall into the toilet. Also, that way, everyone’s equally inconvenienced. Not that it’s like crossing the fucking Sahara to have to raise or lower a seat in the first place. And yes, I get that inconsiderate assholes are inconsiderate about things large and small.
    As for Dodge, fuck them and their shitty products. This is the hill they picked to die on? It’s no mystery why the American car industry is sucking wind.

  4. Hell I saw that ad and said, forget the man in the marriage wanting the muscle car, I want the muscle car. A new model Camaro, thanks very much.
    The group I was watching the game with was mostly women. We were much more disgusted by the damn GoDaddy ads.

  5. I just think it’s weird: “Dodge: If you hate yourself.” Also, I associate “last stand” with Custer and dying horribly, but maybe that’s just me.

  6. This stereotype of the domineering domestic female is far more a creation of the advertising industry than it is reality.
    Yes, and it effectively reinforces the idea that men should get to do whatever they want in every other sphere of life, because “everyone knows” that women who are in relationships with men kick men around mercilessly. It’s really a neat bait-and-switch — convince the ones who really don’t have the power that they are overbearing and domineering, and you’ve got an excellent recipe for social control.
    I mean, is it so goddamn hard to put your fucking dirty socks in the hamper? I don’t know about you, but I can sink a dirty sock from across the room. It’s a hell of a double standard — the popular culture tells us that menought to run everything outside the home, but they’re useless, spoiled infants once they’re inside the home. (Contrariwise, the popular culture tells women they’re useless and stupid — except as gaze/sex or service objects — outside the home, but trusts themdefinitionally with the raising of children.) I’m tired of the Patriarchy Pick’N’Mix: Either people are responsible, capable adults everywhere, or they’re not.

  7. one of the few ads i saw and boy did it rankle. but hey, i hit the al bundy’s right were dodge wants.
    dodge sucks anyways.

  8. Oy vey. I watched it and it was a just part of the blur of commercials to me. I didn’t identify with the guy in question nor did I think there was anything especially insulting about it (to men or women).
    I just took it as, hey when you get married you have to make some changes. That’s how marriages are. Some changes go against your native inclinations, but as long as it’s relatively minor stuff (picking up socks etc) then the benefits far outweigh those drawbacks. I didn’t see it as someone who had surrendered his manhood to some castrating bitch.
    Was the “Last Stand” language in the commercial itself? That certainly makes it seem dire. Good God – I’m thinking about this way more than I intended to. I think it must have been targeted to insecure men, not men in general, because I don’t feel diminished or threatened by washing dishes. Or maybe it’s meant for men who feel the need to compensate, which (heh heh) is not an issue with me either.

  9. I don’t know why a man wouldn’t be pissed off at this commercial. It’s essentially saying they’re all pussies.
    I was definitely pissed off. My second least favorite was the FloTV ad which said that any man who goes shopping with his wife/girlfriend without their product is literally spineless. When you combine them with the execrable GoDaddy ads and most of the beer ads, the broadcast was Exhibit A in the trial of How The Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.
    And yes, Dan: in giant, block white letters, the Dodge commercial intones that its new car is
    Bottom line: I plugged my TV back into the broadcast antenna just so I could watch the Saints whup the Colts (the onside kick alone was worth the price), and now I’m unplugging it again.

  10. Murtha has passed away… 🙁
    Oh, the only ad that really cracked me up was the “Groundhog Day” one w/Palomalo (Sp??). The bud light ads did NOTHING to sway me from Abita.

  11. Thanks, Robert M. I was doing bills during the commercials and wasn’t giving them my full attention.

  12. I think it’s just one more example of Dodge’s ‘Big Dick’ commercials. Real men don’t have to be – or shouldn’t have to be – concerned about the niceties. They just need their Big Dick – here, in the form of a car whose front grill is actually designed to look fierce and aggressive. (It does, in fact.)
    You might remember another of their commercials – where the Ram insignia on the rear window (Dodge Ram) stands up and pees on the back window of the truck. That one was special.
    And while I was looking for another favorite, where Daddy is afeared that Mommy may make his son gay by talking about the luxury accomodations of the SUV…well, no need for me to explain it since I found a very nice roundup. Check out this overview of Dodge Big Dick commercials.

  13. Whoa.
    It’s a car commercial.
    They’re *supposed* to be aimed at wannabe macho. Oh, and it’s Palomalu, and they messed up his mane.
    Insofar as who’s to blame for the persecuted male / snooty bitch vibe in modern pop culture?
    Sitcom writers — all the way back to, actually, “Maude.”
    “Tart-tongued” is how women are supposed to be, according to your television.
    Another reason to spend as much time as you can away from your tv.

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