I’ve crossed swords with AskPatty.com before. When the self-professed “automotive advice for women” site asked me to link to a contrived story on autos and the fairer sex (here be trolls), I replied that TTAC does not approve of sexual discrimination. The editor thought I was kidding. I wasn’t. I’m philosophically averse to AskPatty’s “Women Buy Cars, Men Have a Penis” perspective. But it’s the site’s craven kow-towing to carmakers that really sticks in my craw. And vice versa. Carmakers never met a PC website they didn’t like; they especially don’t not like this one. Normally, I’d [continue to] flank the issue. But advertisertalk.com reports that Midlands Honda in South Carolina has become the Palmetto State’s first AskPatty.com’s “Certified Female Friendly Location,” complete with an AskPatty-branded Midlands website. An unspecified number of dealer employees completed some [presumably cumulative] 90 hours of on-line training. So the question must be asked: what did they learn/pay for?
“Up until now, like most dealerships, we thought the obvious goal was to ensure that women were treated the same as men. Through the AskPatty program, we’ve learned that treating women the same as men does not necessarily yield the ideal experience for women. This may not sound profound, but with an increased awareness of what elements women seek in a positive automotive purchasing and servicing experience, our dealership is better prepared to meet and exceed the expectations of our female customers,” testifies Alexis O’Neal, Midlands’ Customer Relations Manager.
And what elements might those be? The article doesn’t say. Any guesses? Absent that information, you might say that this “sensitivity training” smacks of a PC shakedown scheme. But I couldn’t possibly comment, because I believe that all car buyers should be treated with honesty, transparency, dignity and respect—regardless of their gender.