Monday, July 20, 2009

Babies are cars: adventures in gendered mass mailings

Last week, I opened up my mailbox and was slightly scared to find this:

Creepy, right? I ain't a mama and I don't want no babies. Thusly, I don't know what possible reason a postcard would have to post a baby inquiring as to whether I'd abuse it by forcing it to sit in its own waste.

Oh. It's for car upkeep. Duh.

A few things about this:

1) I'm not a huge fan of babies, but they are not cars. They're not equal to cars. They have nothing to do with cars. There is no reason to dehumanize babies.

2) Why is it necessary to humanize cars? The care of a human being is not analogous to the care of a vehicle - it's far, far more important. What kins of materialism creates that equivocation?

3) What the hell kind of guilt might this create for an anxious new mother? What about a mother who has lost her child?

4) Notice that this is addressed to me, and not my partner. Monro is rather blatantly making many problematic assumptions based on my first name. For them, the best way to get me to come back for an oil change is not to appeal to me based on the quality, convenience, or low cost of their services. They instead choose to guilt me into changing my oil based on the maternal experience or inclination that they assume I have.


  1. Hahaha. After replying to your comment over at LJ, I came over here and read this post, which made me laugh out loud.

    So, are they trying to say that a man WOULD leave a baby sitting in its own waste? He would just say "uh, yeah" and then throw away the flyer without ever turning it over?

    Those damn babies. Politicians use them to get elected, car companies use them to get business... where will it end?!

  2. The humanizing of cars has been around for ever, though it's sad. I have had my car since I was 16 and I have watched go through it's teenage years when it wants to act up on me and now I feel like it's sick and i just wanna take care of it. I also have a name, is that bad?

    I know this doesn't have to do with babies and motor oil, but kinda, right?


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