By on February 15, 2017

audiad

You might not have heard about it, but Audi ran a rather controversial advertisement during the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago. If the Lords Of The Four Rings wanted to get people talking, they certainly succeeded, although not all the reaction was positive. Right-wing websites screeched that the ad was a “SJW hugbox” or a “feminist fantasy.” At the same time, the decidedly lefty Twitter hive mind was attempting to crucify Audi for offering a weasel-word response to queries about its own compensation policies for women. One rather suspects that the company did not forecast this kind of bipartisan draw-and-quarter when they were laying out their goals for their $10M Super Bowl spend.

My brief analysis of the ad spot was remarkably popular and it was linked out from all over the Internet. It was also very far from the only think piece generated by Audi’s gorgeous but problematic mini-film. The day after the Super Bowl, you could go anywhere from “Arf-com” to the “Last Psychiatrist” sub-Reddit to find a vigorous discussion on the merits of the ad. You’d be hard-pressed at this point to find someone who didn’t have at least a casual opinion on the subject.

With that said, I can give you a few names of some people who clearly didn’t see Audi’s paean to empowered, independent young women who are worth just as much as their male counterparts in the only scale that has ever mattered — cold, hard cash, naturally. These people, rather surprisingly, appear to work for Audi Atlanta’s promotional team.

Speaking personally, I don’t see anything wrong or sexist or Nazi-esque about this image, which appeared in a direct-marketing email forwarded to me by a reader. It fits my worldview pretty well. I grew up in an era and environment where moms spent their lives raising children and dads bought them cars to make that task easier. We didn’t know that we were racist and sexist and evil tools of the patriarchy. Our moms looked after us and our dads sat in the recliner in the evenings after earning the daily bread. Everybody was pretty happy, as far as I could tell. Most of my friends who grew up in this antiquated, hateful state of affairs grew up to be attorneys and doctors and successful businessmen.

Since then, however, I’ve been properly re-educated to understand how hellish and repressive the suburbs truly are. I’ve learned that women are only happy when they focus on their careers until the atomic clock of their fertility reaches two minutes to midnight, at which point they stop the game of musical chairs, marry the guy who happens to be sitting in said chair, and immediately pay a fertility specialist $250,000 to get one designer baby named Kayden with strong signs of autism-spectrum disorders and a light case of measles from lack of vaccination. How this is better than being one of the pretty 27-year-old mommies of my youth in Columbia, Maryland, I don’t know, but my opinion on the matter is no more valid than, say, that of the GEICO caveman, and for pretty much the same reasons.

Where we were? Oh, yes. Buying (or leasing) a new Audi for your wife or significant life partner. Doesn’t this seem like an awfully paternalistic thing to do? Like those uncanny-valley Lexus commercials with the red bows, this idea of just showing up with the Audi you’ve picked out for your boo-boo implies sorts of things about the male gaze, particularly the automotive male gaze. Shouldn’t she get to pick the car out herself? And shouldn’t she have to pay for it, since she makes as much money as you do, possibly more? What if you get her a Q5 when she really wanted an S5? (I’m joking here, of course.) Or maybe you chose lime green when she wanted a smart grey metallic? Nothing good can come from all of this independent action on your part, friendo. At best, you just agreed to make 36 payments on something that might annoy the hell out of your strong, independent female companion. At worst, you’re basically violating her by forcing your own choice in option packages onto her body.

I can’t believe anybody would really do this in THE CURRENT YEAR. Hell, I’m probably the worst throwback I personally know — I could have been one of the Germanic tribesmen in Gladiator’s opening scene — and I still got Danger Girl’s input on the subject before I ran off and bought her a Corvette. In the words of every stupid men’s magazine ever, don’t be that guy. The only vehicle that you can safely surprise your spouse with is a Lexus RX350 in silver. Anything other than that, you’d better call Kenny Loggins because you’ve just taken the highway to the danger zone.

With all of that said, let me tell you why I love this stupid email marketing campaign. It’s a perfect example of the difference between national advertising for an automaker and regional advertising for auto dealers. This subject is covered at length in the fabulous book Where The Suckers Moon, but I’ll give you the gist of it right here. National advertising, the kind approved and paid for by automakers, is all about the image and the style and the general desirability of the brand. Regional advertising, the kind paid for by dealers, is all about getting the mark in the door and shoving the metal out that same door.

The difference in tone between the two products is roughly equal to the difference in tone between Dwight Eisenhower’s command decisions and Sergeant York throwing a grenade. The manufacturers spend weeks in ad-company client meetings agonizing about whether there should be visible tire tracks behind a car pictured at a ski lodge. The dealers want the words “SALE BUY TODAY SALE DISCOUNT LIMITED TIME TODAY ONLY” in flashing neon letters. These two worlds cannot peaceably co-exist.

And that, my friend, is why Audi spent ten million bucks to show you a carefully constructed fantasy with a brief product shot at the very end, and it’s why Audi Atlanta has chosen a hastily assembled Photoshop image for a mass email to get people in RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MOMENT FOR THE SALE. One of these ads is trying to mold your worldview; the other is trying to make a couple of bucks in a hurry. The dealers hate the frou-frou manufacturer campaigns, because they don’t bring traffic to the showrooms. The manufacturers are profoundly unnerved by the crass dealer campaigns, which are basically the equivalent of your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately for both parties, they’re stuck with the advertising status quo, just like they’re stuck with all the other detritus of the franchise arrangement. The relationship between dealer and manufacturer is a marriage far more difficult and uneasy than any human pairing. And unlike the relatively antiquated, sexist, and unfashionable arrangements celebrated every February 14th, there’s no chance it’s going to go away any time soon.

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180 Comments on “The Strong, Empowered, Equal Woman In Your Life Deserves The Gift Of A Leased Audi...”


  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I’ve never given half a sh1t about national “how much do I have to pay to get laid day.” Not gonna start now. I spend 365.25 days a year expressing my affection and appreciation. Out of all the so-called holidays, it’s truly the most ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think it’s nice, actually.

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      Do you avoid anniversaries and birthdays too?

      Showing affection daily is critical, and exactly *nothing* is taken away by turning what would otherwise be a normal, affectionate weeknight into a super-special weeknight just because if falls on a day everyone decided to do so.

      For example, I cook about six nights a week (I’m in culinary school, so this is unsurprising). I usually leave large-scale projects to the weekend for obvious reasons. Last night gave me an excuse to instead make a much more involved dish my partner enjoys instead of a quick weeknight meal. Doesn’t take away from anything (other than that I had less time to read TTAC, I suppose).

      You can *always* do more.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        Anniversaries and birthdays actually mean something. Those are arbitrary days that are tied to the individual him/herself. I have no problem dropping coin for those. But I don’t buy into the “show your love on February 14th!” BS. I’m sure it keeps the DeBeers family happy though.

        I think Christma$$$$ is a joke of an occasion too. I’ve made it clear that I’m not going to follow the American tradition of “going broke at Xmas” anymore.

        And no, I’m not a joy at parties. ;)

        • 0 avatar
          orenwolf

          “I’ve made it clear that I’m not going to follow the American tradition of “going broke at Xmas” anymore.”

          I can completely understand why you’d feel that way. In fact, my partner felt the same way when I met her. She’s changed her mind, though, when she realized that having *another* reason to see family and bring joy doesn’t diminish our other visits, and instead lets everyone bask in the collective joy of the season instead. The key, IMHO, as was rightly pointed out, is to not reserve all affection for arbitrary days. :)

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The problem with Valentine’s Day is that it actively ruins a lot (not all) of traditional ways to show your affection. Flowers bought around Valentine’s Day are twice as expensive and usually of lower quality. The restaurant experience on Valentine’s Day (and on my birthday, which is the day before Valentine’s Day) is awful: two-tops packed as tightly as possible with the ridiculously overworked servers and kitchen grumpy and usually below standard. Shows on Valentine’s Day are packed, often more expensive, and sold out so that you can’t go spontaneously. Even candy is worse; the lowest-common-denominator stuff is all anyone is selling.

        The home-cooked meal doesn’t have any of these issues, at least.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          My lady has a philosophy about Valentine’s Day: “Don’t you GD do anything for me you wouldn’t do any other day of the year.”

          So for Valentines Day what do we do? Nothing.

          But she randomly gets (througout the year) flowers, cards, a candlelit dinner when the in-laws keep our daughter overnight.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “how much do I have to pay to get laid”

      FYI, the going rate is $80 – $1300.

    • 0 avatar
      Driver8

      Agreed. Skittles FTW.

      Bring da movies.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Another excellent piece. Thanks, Jack.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    Thank you, Jack. Nice Archer callout.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    A small rant:

    I love how the base model is called “Premium”. If there’s no lesser model, then it ain’t “premium”.

    Also, Starbucks cup sizes decoded:

    Vente: Big
    Grande: Large
    Tall: Not Small

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Premium and Sporty have to be two of the most vague and over-used terms in Automotive Press Releases. Every fricking thing just has to have premium features and a sporty feel. Whatever makes people feel better, I guess.

      I just read the most recent Corolla press release – sport was mentioned 4 times and premium was mentioned 3! A Corolla!

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        My favorite is Limited. Honda used this as a trim line on the Accord for awhile. Really… an Limited Accord? My Z is a Touring model, which means heated leather seats and some extra speakers.

        FYI there are two cars my wife would gladly accept regardless of color or options: an M2 BMW and an Audi TT. She test drove both and could not stop gushing on about them.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I think it was Microsoft that started this, when the most basic Windows software you could buy was the Premium version.

      I was confused by the BRZ’s trim lines when it came out. I remember it this way: The Premium is more limited, the Limited is more premium.

      But Audi is still the worst. Premium, Premium Plus, Premium Doubleplus. I think that’s how it goes.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      I refuse to conform. I go in and ask for a medium.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      You forgot short…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Oh, dear…”violation”?

    Maybe your strong, independent woman doesn’t like shopping for cars (mine would be delighted if I did this for her).

    Maybe your strong, independent woman just got a big promotion and you want to treat her to something she’s always wanted.

    Maybe your strong, independent woman has been in need of a new ride forever, or has eyeing that red A3.

    Maybe a guy signing the lease on a new car for his strong, independent woman isn’t very sexist or paternalistic at all.

    Maybe Jack needs to stop making mountains out of silly advertising molehills.

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      Jack has, in other venues, suggested he does *not* believe in gender equality because, left to their own devices, women may opt not to have children or become overly promiscuous, both of which are against the eventual goals of a healthy, long-term family relationship later in life. So, one must read *these* sorts of articles with the appropriate Jack0coloured glasses.

      Indeed, however, every truly equitable relationship I’ve ever known (including striving in my own) has involved recognizing strengths and weaknesses of each other and accepting when advice or assistance is required, and recognizing the need to compromise.

      If it’s a two vehicle family, my partner would happily accept advice from me on her vehicle selection, because she recognizes that while she knows what she likes, she doesn’t spend nearly as much time as I do interested in the minutiae of vehicle specifications. Beyond that, I could care less if she drove something I hated.

      In a single-vehicle family, well, you find something you both enjoy. Thankfully selection in the auto industry, while not as great as the “wagons, sedans and coupes of every style” days, is still pretty awesome. Pick a few, test drive em, come to a consensus. Allow each party to veto a truly hated option.

      If either of those scenarios results in your partner feeling “violated”, well, I contend that perhaps your partner isn’t interested in “equality” to begin with.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        In a sense, women and I are not “equal.” We have physiological differences. There may even be behavioral differences (I’m not that sold on the idea that men and women are “wired” differently, but I don’t think it’s offensive, either). But everyone should have a shot at getting what they want out of life, regardless of what junk lies between their legs.

        And I fail to see how a silly dealer ad suggesting a guy buy a car for the woman in his life for Valentine’s Day makes much difference towards that idea one way or the other.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    What she really wants is an A4. What she’s getting is an A3. This is why having others by things for you is always a letdown.

    Also, the strong empowered copy editor of this ad needs to learn how to spell “Premuim”.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    “one designer baby named Kayden with strong signs of autism-spectrum disorders and a light case of measles from lack of vaccination”

    I find this deeply offensive. That designer baby with autism and measles could just as easily be named Aiden, Caden, Jaden, Hayden, or Brayden!

    But seriously folks…he’s not making fun of autistic kids here…put away your brickbats and get down off the high horse. HuffPo’s comments section beckons.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      There are 3 girls in my daughter’s class named “Taylor.” Why the school didn’t spread ’em around, I’m not sure.

      The boys have biblical names. Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah. If you’re going that direction, go all out: Methuselah, Jeraboam, Nebuchadnezzar, Goliath…

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I have a friend who’s been widowed for a while now and recently picked up a leased A3 as her first “single” car in 40 years. All she does is complain that it takes premium fuel and how much more that costs than regular. I told her to put in some regular and see how it runs, the computer should just compensate albeit with reduced performance. Apparently the dealer boys told her that’s dangerous to try.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    “At worst, you’re basically violating her by forcing your own choice in option packages onto her body.”

    I lost it at this line.

    Bravo, Jack.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      That paragraph that started with “repressive suburbs” had a neon arrow sign flashing over it that said “Trolling for clicks starts here.” Hilarious and beautifully executed.

      I hate to write about what was ostensibly the actual subject of the column, but I couldn’t agree more with Jack’s premise about the clash of cultures between brand advertising and promotion. I’ve worked at both ad agencies and promotions agencies, and he’s absolutely right. I now work at a hybrid agency that cooks up promotions which actually stay faithful to the brand (unthinkable!). And you know what? If you do it right, it works.

  • avatar
    ajla

    (Explosion sound) We’re bombing high prices at YOUR Central Florida Kia dealer!

    No credit?! Low credit?! … NO PROBLEM! If you have a job making at least $250 a week, YOU’RE APPROVED! And $99 down always DELIVERS! (echo)

    Owe more than your trade is worth? … NO PROBLEM! We’ll PAY OFF YOUR CAR! And We’ll give you up to 15% over Kelley Blue Book. (Cash register sound).

    So come to your Central Florida Kia dealer today! (explosion sound) because explosive deals like this won’t last long!

    *guy reads stipulations at the speed of John Moschitta*

  • avatar
    319583076

    I can only imagine this posture is the result of witnessing IRL something like the infamous klezmer event detailed in Mark Leyner’s “The Tetherballs of Bougainville”.

  • avatar
    DirtRoads

    “Or maybe you chose lime green when she wanted a smart grey metallic?”

    In an article shot through and through with astute observations, this was the piece that snagged me. :) Then again, I’d never buy her a lime green anything…

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’ve never understood the “give the gift of a car” angle of ads, nor do I know who they’re targeted at other than millionaires. I don’t care who’s doing the buying or leasing. Unless you’re pulling down seven figures, a car is a huge financial decision that neither party should either make impulsively, be in kept the dark about, or gifted to sight unseen.

    Obviously, if you know full well what your spouse/significant wants and is leaving the details to you, by all means, pick a special day to drop that surprise on them.

    But to simply roll up to the driveway, get out and say “Here’s YOUR car hon! You’re welcome!”, you’d better hope that thing’s seats, sight lines, mirrors, controls, interior/exterior color, et cetera et cetera, are to their liking, or else you’re simply foisting something THEY DON’T WANT upon them.

    That’s grounds not for a “you’re welcome” but an “I’m so sorry.”

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I could see maybe buying a gift vehicle for my mother or grandparents. For a girlfriend or wife? Not likely.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        [Outside Morty and Helen’s, Florida]

        Standing at the kerb is a brand new, silver, Cadillac, gleaming in the
        Floridian sunshine. Jerry leads Morty and Helen over to it.

        JERRY: Well, what d’you think?

        MORTY: Look at this! Look at this! (excited) You bought a Cadillac?!

        JERRY: I bought it for you. It’s yours.

        Morty and Helen both look astonished.

        MORTY: You what? You bought me a Cadillac?

        JERRY: I bought you a Cadillac. (hands over the keys) Here you go.

        HELEN: (sharply, to Jerry) Are you out of your mind?

        JERRY: What?

        MORTY: (to Helen) You don’t want it? Are you kidding?

        HELEN: He’s not buying us a Cadillac.

        MORTY: What are you, nuts?

        HELEN: It’s a very nice gesture Jerry, but take it back.

        Helen wrests the keys from Morty’s grasp and hands them back to Jerry.

        MORTY: (to Jerry) Can you believe this?!

        HELEN: I’m not letting him buy us a Cadillac. He hasn’t got that kind of
        money.

        JERRY: How d’you know?

        HELEN: Oh, get out of here Mister Big Shot.

        JERRY: Why can’t I buy my father a car?

        HELEN: Your father doesn’t need a car.

        MORTY: Yes, I do!

        Morty grabs the keys back from Jerry.

        HELEN: Oh, Morty.

        MORTY: We’re keeping it.

        HELEN: Over my dead body.

        Helen makes another grab for the keys, and she and Morty struggle for
        possession, watched by Jerry.

        JERRY: (under his breath) Well, this worked out just as I had hoped.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Reminds me of that time I dated Lisa Catera…

  • avatar
    Snooder

    Jack, the reason why the “only dad works, mom stays home” picture has been moved away from is because it’s not fair to Mom.

    Here’s why it’s not fair. It ties Mom and her fortunes to Dad. Assuming people are charitable and nice and not assholes, that still means that if Dad dies or is incapacitated, Mom is fucked. That’s not a good risk to take.

    Worse, people aren’t all charitable and nice. Most of us are at least somewhat selfish, and a significant minority are straight up douchebags. At that point being stuck, as Mom, being married to aspen asshole dad because you have no job or way to take care of yourself isn’t just a risk, it’s an ongoing decades long nightmare.

    I don’t have kids, but I do have two sisters. And the last thing I’d ever want for them is to be trapped in a nightmare and unable to fend for themselves. Luckily, my parents were progressive and my Mom has always worked, so my older sister learned to appreciate her own value. She’s a doctor now, and much better off than if shed wasted her youth on some dude. And I’m fairly sure my younger sister will be similarly successful as well.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It’s not fair to Dad, either.

      Let’s face it – in some marriages, Dad should be the one staying home with the kids, and Mom should be the one making money. In the end, gender equality is about people being their best selves, not fitting themselves into some kind of mold they aren’t suited for, or won’t make them happy.

      People need to decide these roles for themselves.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        And we’re really so much better now that everybody works sixty hours a week instead of forty and the house that used to be affordable on a single salary is now a stretch for two?

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          @Jack,

          The 60+ hour corporate work week should be illegal.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Yeah did you hear the screaming on Wall Street when Obama changed overtime rules to make more salaried workers eligible for overtime?

            “They pay us salary because they can’t afford us hourly.”

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          When corporations shop hoarding cash and offshoring jobs and it’s possible once more for people to get a job that isn’t part-time internship without having a master’s degree, we can talk. Or, you know, we start looking at UBI.

          I know that’s all unlikely to happen with a Congress, Senate and White House that wants to roll everything __except__ tax rates back to 1950 levels.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “And we’re really so much better now that everybody works sixty hours a week instead of forty and the house that used to be affordable on a single salary is now a stretch for two?”

          Are you claiming this is a direct result of more women deciding that they don’t want to be housewives?

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            I’m certainly claiming that the rise in house prices is due to the normalization of dual-income couples, yes. I think there’s a lot of data to back that up.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I’m going to agree with Jack on that one.

          • 0 avatar
            Driver8

            It’s a feature not bug. Two incomes, two incomes to tax. More debt and property tax on bigger, more expensive houses. Expanded economy and tax base from child care, dining out, house cleaning, clothes, extra cars, fancier vacations and all the accoutrements of the suburban dual income life.

            Yet people, especially women, report that they are more unhappy now than ever.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Yes, the normalization of dual incomes has had a meaningful effect on housing prices.

            But it’s not the reason people can’t afford to have kids, because total income has gone up right along with housing prices. The problem is the distribution of that income. More of it has gone to the very top (in the form of CEOs, major shareholders, and the money managers for the big institutional investment funds), leaving less for everyone else. There are several reasons for that but the biggest is straightforward: tax policy that has shifted the burden from the very wealthy to the upper-middle-class. The very highest tax burden in society now falls on an individual or couple making around $300-$400,000, with effective rates falling dramatically at higher incomes thanks to low and easy-to-circumvent taxes on investment income. Even a dual-earning couple in the $100,000 area — a pretty low income for a dual-earning couple — pays more in federal taxes than most of the very wealthy.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Jack, et al, thanks for the thoughtful responses, I’m always impressed by the caliber of contributors here.

            The data is not as clear as you are claiming; you are attributing a large and complex trend to a single variable when multiple ones are contributing. As such, removing women from the workforce wouldn’t return us to 40-hr work weeks and affordable houses, nor would preventing the shift toward dual income families in the first place.

            Regardless, neither my wife nor I see stay-at-home motherhood as denigrative, but we do feel that way about the expectation that women are to be nothing but.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            “the rise in house prices is due to the normalization of dual-income couples”

            You mean that as household incomes go up, so do house prices? Duh.

            That’s the free market. People pay what they can afford. If they can afford more, they’ll pay more.
            Works the same for cars, by the way.

            About the ad: it’s a riff on the old “better than chocolate” meme. I think what threw Jack, once again, is that the ad is aimed at women. The guy is obviously a patsy, with his heart-shaped box of chocolates from Walgreens (in the Seasonal aisle!).

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I don’t know, Jack, were we better off back in the day, when the life choices of *your wife* would have been a) working at a low paying dead end job with no hope of anything better, or b) staying at home and punching out kids until her lady parts wore out?

          Now, I don’t know what your wife does, or how your household is set up career-wise, but I’ll bet my next month’s rent on her wanting something other than a) or b)…or, at minimum, the *opportunity* to make other choices than a) or b).

          Now, has that led to things like higher cost of living? Sure. But would your wife be OK with trading away the opportunities she has now, so that she can live cheaper? I doubt that. Neither would most women. Neither should most men.

          Progress comes with costs. No way around that.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The problem is couples that would prefer the option of having one parent stay at home or the option of even having children *at all* inceasingly aren’t able because that opportunity generally requires an income level people don’t reach until their 40s (and maybe not even then).

            Is corporate servitude and massive personal debt exceptionally preferable to domestic servitude?

            Your option B is also something of a dig on stay at home mothers. A matriarch is not an unrespected breeding machine. My grandmother raised a family that stretches to all parts of the world and will have an impact on things for years after she passes. I’ve got to believe that is a bigger source of pride than working 25 years as associate counsel at GloboTech.

            /Not talking about cars

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “The problem is couples that would prefer the option of having one parent stay at home or the option of even having children *at all* inceasingly aren’t able because that opportunity generally requires an income level people don’t reach until their 40s (and maybe not even then).”

            That’s why lots of folks are waiting until their 40s to have kids. That may not be such a bad thing if you think about it.

            And as far as choice B is concerned, I suppose I could have (and should have) added stuff like “provide a loving family environment for the kids and emotional support for the breadwinner,” but in essence, housewives were pretty much expected to breed once upon a time, and that led to them becoming little more than chattel.

            Heck, when I got married in 1993, my ex and I signed a “Ketubah,” or Jewish marriage contract, that basically said she was my property. Now, in the context of 1993, that was an outmoded, bizarre concept (and as neither of us read Hebrew, we didn’t even know it until someone translated the thing for us), but it sure wasn’t in years gone by. And it certainly isn’t for some folks today either.

            Did introducing women to the workforce in massive numbers have consequences for the cost of living? Yes. Equal rights often lead to higher costs. Am I the only one who noticed that school spending went up after ‘separate but equal’ was done away with? At some point, spending on family courts will increase once all those gay folks who can now get married decide to split up. Progress comes with costs sometimes.

            Did working women increase “corporate servitude”? Meh…I suppose it did, insofar as women becoming the same kind of corporate drones men had been, but the idea of “corporate servitude” began a LONG time before realization of equal rights for women. And nothing says a woman can’t work for herself – an opportunity made far more feasible by the equal rights movement.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            I can tell you straight-out that having four sons, the way my grandfather did, would have made me happier than having five PRS Private Stocks or six motorcycles or any of the other accoutrements of my scattershot-consumer life.

            My first wife and I waited fifteen years to have children so we could both have “careers”. It was a mistake. I’m trying to share that with the next generation so they understand. You can’t make enough money to make up for missing children.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            We all gotta do what’s right for us, Jack. If people want to wait, then they should wait.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            “I can tell you straight-out that having four sons, the way my grandfather did, would have made me happier than having five PRS Private Stocks or six motorcycles or any of the other accoutrements of my scattershot-consumer life.”

            And *I* can tell *you* straight-out that having even one kid would make me significantly less happy than I am now, and is something I would see as a cataclysm equivalent to a serious disease or debilitating injury.

            Go figure, people like different things and the things that bring us happiness are not universal.

            I am balancing you out, by sharing with the next generation that children are 100% a voluntary choice that should only be pursued by those who truly want then, and that “have kids” does not need to be their default setting just due to social expectations.

        • 0 avatar
          Snooder

          Depends on your definition of “we”.

          Are dudes better off? No, I suppose not.

          But sometimes you gotta sacrifice a bit so other people benefit a lot.

          Women are, categorically and undisputably, significantly better off. Men are about the same, maybe slightly worse, but not a ton. I’ll take that trade. That’s a good trade.

          If you can look your daughter in the eye and tell her that you’d rather she not have a job and potentially be stuck with the choice of staying with an abusive asshole, or being broke and homeless, well that’s on you. But I don’t think I could do that.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ll be happy for you to sacrifice as much as you like so I/we are better off, but speaking for myself I want no part of your noble “deal”.

    • 0 avatar

      1) Multiple studies have found the oft-maligned “traditional” arrangement of working father with mother at home is the most statistically-likely of relationships to lead to marriage satisfaction.

      2) Progressive icon Elizabeth Warren explores, in-depth, the idea that two incomes become the norm have sabotaged financial security and produced expensive houses in her book “The Two Income Trap”.

      3) Dad can take out life insurance to ensure his family is either fully protected or has time to get back on their feet. If he makes sure his spouse is co-signing his loans, then her credit rating is also safeguarded and kept healthy.

      4) What Jack said about having kids. But then, we’ve commoditized children, so he’s somewhat yelling into the wind. Children aren’t children pre-birth, and they cut into all that Netflix time after they’re born, you know.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        The idea of the nuclear one-earner family is a relatively recent development: it sprung from the industrial revolution and the collapse of cottage industry **which women were a huge part of**. For almost all of human history before it, people lived in extended, multi-generational families and/or informal communities where everyone worked and social welfare was an accepted thing.

        There’s this tiny slice of time, from around ~1800 to ~1950 that we all consider to be “normal” because humans don’t really have the ability to understand social norms more than a century (and often less) back because it’s spanned by currently living generations. That little ~150 year slice included one of the most hateful time periods, resulting from the shattering of the self-sufficient communities and abetted by rampant, unchecked capitalism.

        What we had from 1930-1970 was even more of an aberration: we put in a nation-state level of social welfare to counterbalance the excesses capital and it more or less worked quite well because it addressed the income-gap-based misery of the preceding decades.

        Where it started to come unglued is that, but by bit, we’ve allowed income and power gaps to grow again and the social safety-net to fray. And as much as we’d all like to go back to cottage industries, automation and mass production has killed that era stone dead. It ain’t coming back.

        Women going to work doesn’t really matter. You could mandate only one working person per household and it wouldn’t help a whole lot. You might get a temporary boost in bargaining power for labour, but it would be short-lived in the face of automation and capital-accretion.

        Short of a much larger culling of labour (like, oh, a plague or a WW3), we’re not going to fix this problem without engineering a society where we don’t strictly value humans by the demand for their labour or the ability to raise capital. We’d need a re-jiggering of the economy such that your ability to not get sick, starve or die of exposure is more or less guaranteed by basic social services and a basic income.

        I don’t think we’ll see that any time soon because too many powerful people think the economy is a zero-sum game and that they have to lose a little in order for more people to stop losing a lot. Which is true, but not a bad thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          My name is Arthur Dailey and I approve the above message.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          I do remember this stat from econ 101: the year in the 20th century with the highest participation of women in the work force, in the US, is 1900 (or 1901 if you believe that’s the first year of the century). It trended down mid-century, and then back up, but it’s still significantly lower than it used to be (and was for the rest of human history).

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        2) Curious if you’ve read the book. I haven’t, but the numerous reviews and author interviews I have read on it produce a far more complicated picture than your description.

        • 0 avatar

          From the Amazon description itself:

          “In this revolutionary exposé, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and financial consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today’s middle-class parents are increasingly trapped by financial meltdowns. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable to financial disaster than ever before. Today’s two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but has 25% less discretionary income to cover living costs. This is “the rare financial book that sidesteps accusations of individual wastefulness to focus on institutional changes,” raved the Boston Globe. Warren and Tyagi reveal how the ferocious bidding war for housing and education has silently engulfed America’s suburbs, driving up the cost of keeping families in the middle class. The authors show why the usual remedies-child-support enforcement, subsidized daycare, and higher salaries for women-won’t solve the problem. But as the Wall Street Journal observed, “The book is brimming with proposed solutions to the nail-biting anxiety that the middle class finds itself in: subsidized day care, school vouchers, new bank regulation, among other measures.” From Senator Edward M. Kennedy to Dr. Phil to Bill Moyers, The Two-Income Trap has created a sensation among economists, politicians, and families-all those who care about America’s middle-class crisis.”

          Interestingly, Warren actually finds herself in agreement with one of the basic principles of market economics: capital flooding a market for goods and services drives up the price of those goods and services. So even though Mom and Dad are both at work and everyone feels empowered and women “have it all”–to borrow the sales pitch bantered about for years–what was once a natural cushion (that only one income was ever relied upon, thus the capacity to expand or replace income if needed was built-in to the nuclear family’s earning potential) has been replaced by shiny shiny and McMansions.

          Today’s middle class families thus have so much more until they suddenly don’t. The problem has been exacerbated by easy lending and guaranteed federally-backed credit dumped into the housing and education sectors, once again putting upward price pressure on housing and education. The cost of living for a comfortable middle-class lifestyle is now priced with the baked-in expectation of both parents working by default.

          I want to say I agree about 50% with what psarhjinian says above. While he’s right that automation, cloud computing, machine learning and a host of other technologies are going to make the 1950’s scenario largely impossible to recover, I disagree with his analysis of the moral landscape from 1800 to 1950. During that period of time, we managed to successfully decide that children weren’t just miniature adults, we had a much better grasp on the sanctity of marriage as something other than an extended date, and at least what happened in the bedroom wasn’t openly trotted in the open and subject to making culture sex-saturated (I’m old school here, folks, so your mileage may vary). Further, the financial landscape was nowhere near as bleak as he seems to think it was. I recall reading of students in the 1940’s and 50’s stating that a single modestly-paying job could put them through a local college, and take care of room and board to boot. That is absolutely not the situation following the rise of the deficit-spending “balancing” period he envisions having taken place in the 1970’s and later.

          Was this period of time perfect? No it wasn’t. Neither is the current period of time, nor the period he sees as praiseworthy. Cracks in it all.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

            Regarding the original question–dual-income families directly driving up home prices–Warren’s book apparently argues that perception of public schools and the fight to live within certain school districts is the primary driving force. This makes it more complex than simply “women entering the workforce drive up housing costs”. How you untangle those two I do not know. An admittedly brief Google Scholar search revealed no studies identifying the labor participation rate of women as a causative factor in the increase in housing prices–the closest I could find was that it could not be ruled out but causation could not be proven.

            I can see how it would make intuitive sense that higher household incomes from dual earners would jack up home prices, but intuition isn’t the same as evidence and that’s something I certainly struggle with. One thing I absolutely do agree with is that dual-incomes are the default for basic middle class lifestyle and how risky that is, creating dual income families with fixed expenses that require both incomes to meet. The chance of bankruptcy is then much higher because either one of them losing their job will drop their income below the critical level. Unfortunately, having kids raises those fixed costs significantly. It sucks. My wife and I saw this coming and ensured that our fixed expenses can be covered by one of our incomes if necessary.

            Anyway, here’s an excerpt of the book that mentions the entanglement of competition for school districts:

            “Instead, families were swept up in a bidding war, competing furiously with one another for their most important possession: a house in a decent school district. As confidence in the school system crumbled, the bidding war for family housing intensified, and parents soon found themselves bidding up the price for other opportunities for their kids, such as a slot in a decent preschool or admission to a good college”

            Thanks for the conversation.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @Threeve:

        No one forced two-income couples to buy more expensive homes, or acquire more stuff. They did that all on their own.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Mike; Who is building ‘starter’ homes these days? Generally a McMansion or a tiny condo are the only options on the market. Particularly in the GTA, although some are building townhouses on the outskirts.

          The days of building subdivisions of 1,000 sq ft. 3 bedroom, 1 bath, bungalows with a usable backyard for young families has gone the way of most manufacturing jobs.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That may be the case in Toronto, Arthur, but I can tell you plenty of three bedroom starter-type houses are being built around Denver. I know because I approve their loans every day.

            Maybe it’s a land issue where you are. Three bedroom houses with a back yard take up space, and in a high-cost area like Toronto, I’d imagine land might be expensive. Therefore, the emergence of McMansions for the folks who can afford land, or condos for the folks who can’t.

            But that’s not necessarily the situation everywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Well Mike, greed is certainly driving the market in Toronto. ‘Starter’ bare bones condos selling for over $700 per sq ft.

            Aging boomers who want to stay in a home are now paying premium prices for the few 1950s/1960’s bungalows on the market.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            It’s like Arthur says even in the Detroit suburbs. There are two types of residential developments now. Either a subdivision where the developer levels a nice area, clears any trees out. Subdivides the lots into tiny little things. Then builds a McMansion on them that takes up 85% of said lot. Sells them for $700K+. The other is a bunch of crowded condos that sell for $300+. If you want to buy a true starter home, you have to overpay for a 100 year old bungalow that will need $50k or more in work if you don’t do it yourself.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “I grew up in an era and environment where moms spent their lives raising children and dads bought them cars to make that task easier. Our moms looked after us and our dads sat in the recliner in the evenings after earning the daily bread. Everybody was pretty happy, as far as I could tell.”

    I grew up in an environment where you kept your nose clean, did nothing unseemly, went to school, followed the career path expected of you by your parents, transitioned straight from college to a respectable 9-5, watched TV in the evenings, drove the practical CUV society expected of you, and played a round of golf if you were feeling really adventurous. Everybody was pretty happy as far as I could tell. That someone may want to follow their own path, take a risk, drive a sports car, or otherwise build a life contrary to opposing societal pressures was unfathomable and open to stereotyping and suspicions of nefarious undermining of societal stability.

    Otherwise, interesting article and well-written as usual. I enjoyed seeing the contrast in national and regional adverts pointed out.

  • avatar

    The only thing wrong with this ad is that she REALLY wants a Q7 S-Line, but will settle for a Q5 Premium Plus.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Until Trump and his friends eliminate her agency my life partner makes significantly more than I do.
    My best pal and his non-committed life partner are in a similar, but scaled 10 fold higher, situation.

    I can assure you that neither of our female counterparts would even consider surprising us with a car. I can think of several bodily fluid inducing punishments that they would rather suffer than head to their local mobility company store and attempt to pick out a car for us.

    And frankly, you’re right. I wouldn’t try to pick a car for my wife either without her explicit input. She may always wind up buying a car just like mine (she’s never had a different car than me since 4 months after we met) but there are too many variables I couldn’t account for.

    And as a final aside, what the heck is hovering above the guy’s head? Flowers? It looks really bad.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    If I presented my wife with an RX300 she’d laugh at me and tell me to take that prissy junk back where I found it. If I brought her a JKU Sahara on the other hand…

    In all seriousness she drives whatever she wants. What she wants is boxy SUVs. We’re eyeing the 2018 JKU as a replacement for her Terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      If my wife hunted down a clean used 1st gen RX300 with the LSD-equipped rear diff, I’d be pretty excited.

      I hope your wife realizes just how big of a shift in driving dynamics she’ll experience switching from a CUV to something with a solid front axle and suspension tuning designed for articulation.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    You think so little of your SO that you would give them a TEMPORARY gift? You would lease a car that has to be given back?

    I’m sorry but when I give my wife something, I intend for her to keep it as long as she wants it. I have never, yet, leased a car and don’t plan to start.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Isn’t that what a lot of game shows and raffles do these days? You can’t even win a car, you just win the right to drive it 10,000 per year for 3 years.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @TMA: That better be clearly written in the rules, because if it isn’t, I’m keeping or selling that car as I see fit. And no Raffle that I have ever entered has suggested it is only a lease.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      My dad leased my mother cars all the time. He thought the world of her.

      Troll request denied.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Never, EVER have I leased a car, nor my mother or father. Not a “troll request”, a blatant fact of life. If you want to know, I consider leasing a car as even lower than renting your home; cars simply lose their value too quickly to make a lease economical for the lessor or the lessee UNLESS said leased vehicle can be sold for a higher than average price after the expiration date. While leasing sounds good to the one getting the car at roughly half the typical auto note for the model, if they wreck it or exceed mileage or do ANYTHING out of the ordinary, said lessee has to pay the difference between expected and actual turn-in value.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, I guess you won’t be leasing anytime soon, then.

          Good talk. Let’s do this again sometime.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Nope. And I don’t recommend it for anybody else, either. It’s just another way to screw the customer and the OEM out of money.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “It’s just another way to screw the customer and the OEM out of money.”

            Interesting argument, since the OEM is usually the entity that is providing the lease.

            As to the customer, his dollar stretches the way he wants it to.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            In Tesla’s case, maybe. But banks tend to carry most of the others

        • 0 avatar
          baggins

          Vulpine – your view of leasing is hardly a “blatant fact of life”, and pretty simple minded. Am not going to waste time explaining why tho.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Vulpine – your view of leasing is hardly a “blatant fact of life”
            — The “blatant fact of life” is the fact that I refuse to lease; taking that statement out of context is trolling to a high degree.

            Maybe you think leasing is a good thing; personally, I don’t care what you do with your own life and money. I just don’t happen to agree with you and quite honestly I think you’re leaving yourself open to losing everything you have by leasing/renting rather than owning. When even a children’s cartoon series talks about owning rental properties to make money off of the disadvantaged, I begin to wonder who the real victims are.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Hah. My mother in law’s husband (remarried after her my wife’s father died in an accident) just traded her car so he could get a truck. He gave her his Jeep Cherokee. She hates SUVs and always had small cars and what just got traded was an Elantra. She was wanting a Mini Cooper next.

    Why he didn’t just trade his Jeep for a truck is beyond selfish.

  • avatar
    smallblock

    My wife doesn’t pick her cars out anymore, and doesn’t go to the dealer for anything more than a test drive if we feel one is necessary. I handle everything from there alone.
    The last time she was fully involved we ended up with a loaded 2005 Touareg V8 with 23,000 miles. She found it online, she wanted something that could fit a double jogging stroller she got cheap, even though we only had 1 kid at the time. Beautiful when it worked right, but an absolute nightmare, it was cursed. We sat there in the dealership arguing for hours over the trade in value of a 2005 Legacy GT limited, extended warranty, etc. with a crying baby. To top it off the air suspension compressor failed literally feet away when we left the dealership. This kind of thing went on for years.
    A few years later, one of the air spring fittings failed due to corrosion. It took me a week to get the parts from a Porsche dealer (they are actually cheaper since more Cayennes came with air suspension) She screamed that she hated that car, it’s a piece of crap, etc. Nex day I looked around a bit online, told her what was happening, and bought a CPO 2009 Traverse 1LT on the way home from work. She loved it.
    September 2015, the Traverse threw a code for camshaft position error. It was appparently a known problem, the tensioners wear due to insufficient oil feed. I changed the oil and cleared the code. It didn’t come back within that week. I traded it in on a 2016 Outback 2.5i Premium. She never saw the car until I brought it home, and loves it. She’s been happiest when I pick the cars.
    In any relationship, you need to identify what each of you is good at, and leave those decisions to the expert. She’s a nurse. When the kids are sick it’s her call. The cars are my call.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      … and now you see why I avoid buying used unless absolutely necessary. Every used vehicle I’ve owned was a money pit and every new one has given me exceptional service even after the warranty ran out–with one… only one… exception.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Thanks for the fun read! In my experience — 43 years to the same woman — making big financial decisions jointly, regardless of whom is contributing what percentage of the family income at the time (which has varied a lot for us) if not the path to happiness, is the path to avoiding needless strife. Better to argue the merits of buying the car, boat, house, whatever before you’ve made the purchase rather than afterwards.

    Although I’m sure if you’re a hedge-funder or other member of the top 1/2% something like a leased Audi represents a trivial purchase . . . so maybe the rules should be different. Who was it who said, “the rich are not like you and I” — F. Scott Fitzgerald?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    “Our moms looked after us and our dads sat in the recliner in the evenings after earning the daily bread. Everybody was pretty happy, as far as I could tell.”

    Both of my grandmothers are counterexamples.

    My paternal grandmother was one of the first female mathematics students at the University of New Mexico. She gave up that career to follow my grandfather around while he was in the Navy (he was a meteorologist). She became a housewife and raised three kids, the oldest of whom was my dad. Her kids turned out more or less OK (although all three have had trouble with relationships and two of them are workaholics), but she spoke often toward the end of her life about how much she regretted giving up her mathematics and physics studies. She had unfinished business, and the 1950s expectations you describe above are to blame.

    My maternal grandmother also gave up her (somewhat less ambitious) career plans in social work to become a homemaker, but then was unexpectedly forced back into the workforce when my maternal grandfather died early (my mom was 14). She hit the glass ceiling hard, repeatedly being passed up for promotions in favor of inferior men and retiring early with a bad taste in her mouth about her career. The bitterness overtook her toward the end as she began to suffer from dementia, and she did not have a happy last few years. Again I blame 1950s ideas, this time the one that only men could be leaders in the workforce.

    My wife is currently a homemaker, partly because the cost of childcare in Seattle for two young boys is more than she would be likely to make after tax. She is very restless, though, and plans to get back into the workforce as soon as the younger kid is in school.

    Your mom might have been happy with the arrangement. Many women weren’t, at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      My mother was a captain in the Army who jumped from towers and served as adjutant to the fellow that John Wayne portrayed in “The Green Berets”.

      After all that adventure, she was thrilled to be a mom. In my experience, most women prefer mothering to GloboCorp.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “In my experience, most women prefer mothering to GloboCorp.”

        And most fathers prefer being fathers to GloboCorp. It’s definitely the best job I ever had. But bills have this way of requiring payment.

      • 0 avatar
        Hogie roll

        I’m in a new job and in way over my head not knowing what to do. My new coworkers are showing no mercy.

        Is this what women in the work place feel like all the time? No wonder booze, pills, comfort food and pets are rampant.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      There are still places like this in the world. Japan and Korea come to mind, the latter of which has the widest gender-based pay gap in the world. Women still make the investment of gaining an education, but they go into careers where they’re expected to resign after getting married.

      I think it was someone on here who mentioned that a US bank operating in Japan has become successful because they hire all the top-tier female graduates who get passed over for inferior male graduates at domestic banks.

      • 0 avatar
        pbx

        And the Japanese population is in decline because Japanese women don’t want to stay home waiting for a sake besotted ‘salary man’ husband to arrive late at night.

        Can’t blame them for wanting a career.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    ‘Mad Men’ did the local dealer vs. automaker bit using Jaguar and spot on to your analysis.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Jack – as usual a great article. In my neck of the woods I occasionally come across A3 driving beta males who say things like “My partner told me to bring home some kale”.
    Sometimes I can’t blame the Illegal alien males as today’s competition makes it pretty easy to get ahead in this country.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      “My partner told me to bring home some kale.”

      I’d rather be dead or in prison.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        Yeah, disciplined dietary habits are for f*gs, and buying groceries is a woman’s job.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Not enough imagination there from mtmmo, as usual. I do nearly all the grocery shopping in our household. My older son (2 1/2) loves tagging along when I have time to let him slow me down. My wife likes watching me carry 80 lbs of groceries up the stairs (our front door is 15′ above street level) in one trip.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          Amazing how of all the professional athletes I’ve known, none of their disciplined dietary habits included kale. I can’t believe I ever won a Pro-Am BMX race and averaged a heart rate of 176 over a three-hour training ride without KALE.

          Or do you mean “discipline” in the sense that your “partner” gives you some “discipline” with a strap-on after eating the kale?

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            If you won the Giro d’Italia eating nothing but Wendy’s it’s still no skin off my nuts. Hating on leafy greens is played, holmes.

        • 0 avatar
          everybodyhatesscott

          Kale is nasty, eat more protein, don’t use the world partner unless you’re gay, European, or in business with someone because backwards people like me will assume you’re gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that) if you’re buying Kale and calling your girl friend or wife your ‘partner’.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          HOMER: Hey, that’s a half-truth!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Yeah. I saw Peter Griffin in my local supermarket lying on the floor trying to reach the back of the bottom shelf… absolutely in that Peter Griffin pose with one knee stuck straight up and the round belly just like the show… When he got up even his face looked like Peter’s.

            Don’t care what you say, there are ways to avoid looking like that.

      • 0 avatar

        What about quinoa?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Why are random Audi drivers talking to you about their grocery buying habits in the first place?

      I was also unaware about the negative social connotation associated with kale. I thought it was just a vegetable in the cabbage/broccoli/collard family.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        Nah, kale definitely means you’re gay, bro.

      • 0 avatar
        mtmmo

        ajla – My dd is a TLX (company car) but my other car is an S6. In the past two years I’ve had more than a few A3 beta males approach me when I’m pumping gas. I assume they think we’re instant buddies b/c we both drive Audi’s. I then get hit with the typical boreass S6 questions. And on one occasion a beta male announced to my wife how much he enjoyed talking to me (about my S6) but had to run to Trader Joe’s to pick-up kale. True story.

        I’ve never eaten kale and don’t see that changing.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d say Internet trolls like mtmmo are the worst beta males of all. Unless, of course, they hang out over at the grocery stores name-calling the guys who buy kale. In that case, they have All The Balls In The World. Of course, that makes them immense a-holes, but I suppose a-hole is the new “real man.”

      Either way, just upload the YouTube video of you calling out kale-eaters sometime so we can all watch it and wonder at your alpha-maleness.

      Offer still stands on the ex, bro…two attention wh*res like you guys would make one fab couple.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      All this hating on kale makes me want to try some. I’ve never knowingly eaten kale, but will be sure to try some as soon as I can find a fresh supply.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        it’s basically like spinach. some people push it as “superfood” nonsense, and the backlash is from a handful of apes who have to broadcast how much they hate anything trendy.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Kale, if it’s not fixed right, tastes terrible–very bitter. On the other hand, when fixed properly doesn’t taste all that differently from spinach or collard greens. It is no more, or less, a “superfood” than those other two; it’s just a different leafy green that’s edible.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          RE: Kale !
          .
          Thanx for explaining it ! .
          .
          I’ve been hearing about for a while now and wondered if it’s been in the salads I eat .
          .
          Me, I love greens, esp. Collard Greens with Turkey necks .
          .
          Sadly my Mother thought preparing Greens meant wash them well and boil in a pot, dump on your plate and wonder why no one wanted to eat the damned tasteless things .
          .
          Eventually I crossed the rail road tracks and discovered Soul Food where they season everything properly and now I’ll often pass up seconds om meat for more Greens ! =8-) .
          .
          I’m having difficulty understanding how a Green food makes you gay …(?) or did I misunderstand ? .
          .
          Whatever a Man does, becomes masculine by default unless you’re scared or something weird .
          .
          Hell, I know folks who like to eat pickled Chicken Feet (! groos !) and it doesn’t make them less Manly, just really odd and un aware of how filthy Chicken’s feet are.
          .
          -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            it’s roughly similar to spinach, nutritionally. it’s just that it’s been tagged as a “superfood” by some marketing wonks, after which the CrossFit drone types fell in line and insisted that it be everywhere.

            “I’m having difficulty understanding how a Green food makes you gay …(?) or did I misunderstand ?”

            to certain types, if you’re a man who cares any bit about your health you’re a homo.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            “to certain types, if you’re a man who cares any bit about his health you’re a homo.”
            .
            Oh, I see ~ .
            .
            Whew ~ I guess I’m O.K. then as my favorite comfort food is grilled liver with bacon and onions….
            .
            =8-) .
            .
            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            /Jim nods, as he sticks a couple more Pringles in his gob.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            ? Festering Gobutet there ? =8-) .
            .
            Being Scots-Irish white trash loves me my spuds ! .
            .
            Just as much as a (redacted) loves (redacted) .
            .
            -Nate

  • avatar
    BuzzBNY

    I might be wrong but the guys hands up in the air is a sign of realizing how screwed he is after the divorce settlement. She is so happy an Audi! That guy should be happy also, at least his extortion in the the form of child support, alimony etc is going to a fairly nice car. My ex ran out and bought a Chrysler 200…A CHRYSLER 200!!!! Id rather see my support check go to meth and Colt 45’s.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Bring back Vodka McBigbra.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Dear Tech Support:

      Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0. I soon noticed
      that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a
      lot of space and valuable resources. In addition, Wife 1.0 installed
      itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system
      activity. Applications such as Poker Night 10.3, Football 5.0, Hunting
      and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6
      I can’t seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run
      my favorite applications. I’m thinking about going ! back to Girlfriend
      7.0, but the uninstall doesn’t work on Wife 1.0. Please help!

      Thanks,
      Troubled User

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I grew up in an era where the company that you worked for was more important than your education. If you went to work for the right organization, such as IBM, GE, GM, Ford, Stelco, Dofasco, etc you would get a raise every year, get promoted as the company grew and you earned seniority, be able to support a family in a nice middle class environment and eventually retire with a defined benefit pension.

    Those days have ended.

    And I for one do not think that we have benefited from this change.

    And don’t just take the altright approach and blame leftists, liberals or the other easy targets for that. Blame demographics. Blame globalization. Blame mechanization. Blame technology. Faith in free market capitalism such as precluded the great economic crisis of the past 120 years commoditises humans. We are now only worth what we contribute to the economy.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Maternal Grandfather worked a union foundry job for GM. He had left school after 8th grade. He had a wife and 4 daughters, no credit cards, no loans except to build his home. He died of cancer at age 42.

      His pension took care of his wife until her death at 81 last year.

      But that also represents a very unique slice of time in human history.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        “But that also represents a very unique slice of time in human history”

        Not as unique as you’d think: social welfare was implied in feudal structures (“noblesse oblige”) and guilds performed similar functions in more recent times.

        What’s we’re doing now is that we’re hearkening back to 19th century mercantilism, which was probably the single most miserable period in human history. It combines the feudal lack of formal social programs with the modern fractured community. Good times indeed, if you’re a robber-baron.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      In your blame list, you forgot financial capitalism.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I don’t understand why women want to be equal when they could be better.

    That shows a lack of ambition

    Which is why men are paid more.

  • avatar
    April S

    I detect Jack Baruth (SUPER GENIUS) is downright unhappy (and resentful) that gender relations are no longer like they were back in the 1950’s.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Spot on as usual Jack ;
    .
    Having said that , my response is : all a Woman really needs is Sweet Dick Willy and she’ll be happy driving your old rusted out Pinto but I digress .
    .
    Yes, she should probably pay for her own ride but like you (except more so) I’m a knuckle dragging old guy who actually takes the time to find out what SWMBO wants to drive .
    .
    Different times, different Woman to be sure .
    .
    Now I’m off the read all the comments .
    .
    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      April S

      And what exactly is a “Sweet Dick Willy”?

      • 0 avatar
        Hoon Goon

        A penis April. He was referring to a penis.

        • 0 avatar
          April S

          Ah, I see. I hate to disappoint Nate (or any other guys) but as long as Good Vibrations is in business (and ships overnight) that “Sweet Dick Willy” won’t be necessary.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Always good to see perceived misogyny met with “women don’t need men” misandry, April.

          • 0 avatar
            April S

            @FreedMike

            Some men can’t take a joke.

            I was only responding to the Misogyny of the original comment.

          • 0 avatar
            Snooder

            I’m still incredibly annoyed at the state of the sex toy industry.

            Why is it that women can get dildoes and vibrators in an infinite variety, but all dudes get is a shitty rubbery fleshlight?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Hate cannot drive out hate.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Actually April ;
            .
            You proved my point .
            .
            As long as someone/thing makes the Woman happy, the man buying cars or whatever isn’t important .
            .
            NO misogyny to it .
            .
            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            April S

            @FreedMike

            Where was your outrage to all the Misogyny spouted in about 25% of these comments?

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            “Where was your outrage to all the Misogyny spouted in about 25% of these comments?”.
            .
            Couple things here :
            .
            I hope you didn’t think I was claiming to be one as I’m not ~ I can handle my own but never was/will be a SDW .
            .
            I also hope you didn’t think my comments to be misogynistic as I learned about SDW’s from Women ~ Women I know and whom I respect and I know they know what they’re talking about .
            .
            No outrage necessary against misogynists : they’re all sad sacks anyways who are afraid of Women .
            .
            -Nate

  • avatar
    Hoon Goon

    The dude in the ad looks like he would prefer another dude anyway. A real man would go smack that pretty posterior, tell her she’s lucky to get a clapped-out ’92 Civic, and take her home for a good rogering. Problem solved.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    I had my Q5 in for service at a dealership that is owned by the same group that owns Audi Atlanta a few days after the ad ran. I overheard a salesperson (female) explaining to someone on the phone that the ad was done by Audi USA and their German overlords and that the dealerships had nothing to do with it. Then she apologized for any offense it may have caused. I wondered how many times this scene was repeated at Audi dealerships around the country.


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