A couple weeks ago, I was driving around town and heard a new radio spot featuring Brooke Shields for VW. A day or two later, I heard the same ad and it bugged me just as much as the first time I'd heard it.
The ad speculates that women everywhere are getting pregnant in order to justify their purchase of the new VW Routan minivan. Women. Like it's a one-sided deal. Like women are mischievous and manipulative. Like our duty in life is to have babies and drive minivans.
Yeah, I know it's a joke. It's supposed to be a playful spoof on the "soccer mom" stigma. But I'm a college educated woman and, in fact, a mom. And though I don't consider myself a feminist by any means, as a Women's Studies minor sometimes things evoke a sense of sexism for me. And this is one of those times.
Last week, I saw the TV spot:
In her article in Adweek, Barbara Lippert critiques the spot for a few far-fetched connections, like those it supposedly has between the phrase "German engineering" and "genetic engineering," reminiscent of the tragedy Hitler caused, and the struggle with post-partum depression Brooke Shields had after her last pregnancy.
Listen, I'm not trying to nitpick here, but this one really does disturb me. It seems the "role" of women in our society is so ingrained that no one thinks twice about it. Yeah, I know they're trying to get past the label "soccer mom," but can't they do it in a way that doesn't offend educated women and career moms? It could be as simple as CP+B using the word "families" instead of "women."