Sexist Commercial

I heard a commercial on the radio for Liberty Mutual Insurance, and it made me laugh.  I’m not one to point out sexism (as there are a million crybabies to do this), but this one was stupid.  However, I will use it to illustrate a point about the world.

This particular radio commercial has two men talking, presumably at the office water cooler.  One of them talks about how he would be freaking out and a nervous wreck if it was his teenage girl getting her license.  The other one calmly responds that, because he has Liberty Mutual Insurance, she has roadside assistance if she breaks down, and that now he can sleep easy.

First:  I (and probably most parents) are nervous about their kids driving because THEY CAN, AND OFTEN ARE, KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENTS.  Not because they might break down.

Second:  You know what sucks about breaking down?   Missing events (and work) because you are stuck on the side of the road.  You know what else sucks about breaking down?  Having to pay for it.  In a near last place, there is the off chance (very rare off chance) that you will be attacked while waiting for a tow truck.  Realistically, your daughter will miss school (I’m sure she’s broken-hearted), maybe work or a date with her friends or boyfriend (which you probably don’t approve of anyhow).  And, I’m more than willing to bet that she won’t pay for the car repairs, either.  So, the threat is that she could be attacked while stranded on the side of the road.

Let’s examine this threat a little more.  I don’t have exact numbers, but I bet the odds are pretty slim.  I bet she is more likely to be attacked at a frat house in college (which you’ll encourage her to attend), by a family member or friend (unfortunately), or some other scenario long before a random driver attacks her on the side of the road.

Also, what does it mean to be “stranded” on the side of the road in 2017?  I don’t know.  Where I live, there is miles of desert between small towns.  However, these roads are traveled by plenty of locals; more than likely if she broke down there, one of her classmates, a family friend or neighbor would see her and help.  Where is your daughter driving?  If you live in the city, she’ll be able to call for help from her cell phone and wait for a tow truck in a coffee shop nearby, no big deal.  If she is in the suburbs, the same applies.  Unless she’s driving across unfamiliar land on some cross-country road trip, alone, she’s probably in cell phone coverage and probably not far from a semi-safe public place.

Why do I bring this up?  Because this commercial tells us more about the way a lot of people think of the world.

For example, these authors have an unrealistic fear of the big, bad scary person that may attack while their daughters are waiting for a tow truck.  In reality, their daughters are much more likely to be killed in a car accident.

For example, I have heard about African American parents teaching their children that they could be shot by the police for no reason at all.  In reality, their children are also more likely to be killed in a car accident, commit suicide, or drown in a swimming pool than shot by the police.

For example, plenty of people are afraid of Muslims, as some of them attacked us.  Guess what?  We are more likely to die from a heart attack, car accident, suicide or cancer than killed in a Muslim terrorist attack.

Should these girls not be afraid of an attacker?  Should we not worry about being shot by the police for no reason?  Should we not worry about a terrorist attack?  Actually, it’s all about situational awareness.  Situational awareness, not worry.

The world is not a bad place.  There is no reason to suspect all people of being inherently evil.  A few are capable of evil things.  Let’s not let a few evil people change how we think of the world any longer.

Thank you for reading my post.

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