Feb 072010

Jay Hammers wrote a piece for the Spearhead about this year’s Super Bowl commercials.  One of those commercials was for Dodge.  Watch it below:

What this commercial acutely demonstrates is the life of the married man. The married man is stuck with dealing with whims of his wife (even if he has LTR game).  MarkyMark has noticed how almost all married men have the look of “walking death”. I have noticed the same thing with married men anywhere I go.

At my office, several of the married guys are taking a class on auto repair.  They take this class over and over again since they have cars they want to hold on to which means plenty of repair work.  The reasons they give for taking the class are all sensible and true such as wanting to hold on to older cars for when their kids turn 16 (i.e. they don’t want to buy a new car for an inexperienced new driver who might total it right away), wanting some expert help for doing their car repairs, getting access to a lift for doing their repairs, etc.  However, there real primary reason these guys are taking this class over and over is unspoken and with these married guys not quite conscious.  These married guys who pay for the houses they live in have been exiled to their garages. Where are these guys spending their free time, particularly the weekends?  In the garage repairing their cars and also sometimes waiting for Metro Garage Door Repair in Plano to fix garage doors. Apparently garage doors need special care as many men complain they need to repair them from time to time. The auto repair class they take also gets them a night a week away from their house.

What does this have to do with the Dodge commercial?  The other place that married men have been exiled to is their car.  At home the married man is dealing with a harpy of a wife (and maybe ungrateful kids).  Most of the rest of the time, Monday through Friday, is at work which means dealing with work related crap.  The only time during weekdays the married man has without crap (unless he has a really great job) is when commuting to and from work.  This is where the Dodge commercial comes in.  It says to married men that in the only time on weekdays you have without crap, you should be as comfortable as possible.  I suspect that’s also why more and more cars are coming with options like surround sounds and other luxuries that would have been considered exotic not that long ago.

I have also noticed how the married men that I have worked with (at any job I have had) always have the longest commutes.  For the most part it has to do with satisfying their wives’ desire for large houses and the only way of doing that unless a man has lots of money means buying a house out in the sticks.  From my POV as a single man, this sucks.  The married guy is paying money for a house in the middle of nowhere for space his family doesn’t need with corresponding heating and cooling bills and many other expenses.  This is on top of the long commute which under the best conditions sucks.  To me a long commute is just extra dead time compared to a short commute.  However, to a married guy a long commute while it sucks does have a side benefit, more time away from both home and work.  The Dodge commercial indirectly taps into this because again you want to be as comfortable as possible during your long commute.

This commercial from Dodge really taps into what happening to married men, in some cases beyond what was intended probably.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a few single guys got the message that getting married is a bad idea.

  13 Responses to “Exiled to the car and the garage”

  1. Great post. I’m glad to see some solid analysis since all my lazy ass did was post links to some of the notable videos.

  2. http://thinkexist.com/quotation/the_house_does_not_rest_upon_the_ground-but_upon/161477.htm

    “The house does not rest upon the ground, but upon a woman”
    -Mexican Proverb

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by jayhammers: Men: Exiled to the car and the garage http://ping.fm/Q455e #mra…

  4. Spot on about noting that married men have the longest commutes. That’s a whole ‘nother post that is outside the scope of this comment.

    One of Mrs. Wapiti’s favorite shows is on HGTV and features a newlywed couple buying a house. Invariably we see the woman pushing for the biggest, fanciest nest she can find. The couple are always childless, but somehow have the need for a 2,500 sf 4-bed house in the chic part of town. Also invariably we see the man not uttering a peep about all those slave-hours he’ll have to work to keep her in the style and comfort she desires.

    Granted, sometimes the woman works as well, but rarely is her job the sort of demanding wage-slavery that her hubby must put up with.

    So: women are relentless consumers and nesters, but I can’t help but indict the spineless men who do not say no and insist that they live within their means and/or that she works to support her appetites.

  5. As much as I hated that commercial, it does have that strong ring of truth to it. It does well depict the “walking death” of many modern married men.

    I was watching the Super Bowl with my LTR and a couple other friends, and after that commercial I quipped, “Maybe that’s the choice most men would settle for, but I’d take the rest of my damn life over a little car.”

    Too many men lack the testicular fortitude to rule their own households. I am simultaneously filled with pity and contempt for such men.

  6. Yeah, spot on.

    When I lived in Japan from 2000 I was struck with how much they live in their cars. They have the whole “third space” thing going on with the men because for them the crushing obligations of work and society are even stronger than the West.

    Do you think this is why Starbucks did so well marketing itself as the home away from home? Not so much on the gender dynamics (its’ mostly female, after all) but as a neutral 3rd space.

    • In Japan it’s more stark than it is here because in Japan you don’t need a car for transportation as much. It becomes even more clear how Japanese men are looking for a “third space”.

      It’s one of the reasons Starbucks does well. (Other reasons include selling overpriced coffee to SWPLs.) If you’re going to drink coffee by yourself (and really by yourself and not hitting on the hot barista) why sit in a Starbucks even if you’re reading or on a laptop? Looking for a “third space” has got to be a big reason.

  7. I came across this commercial on another blog yesterday and was *stunned* to see such sentiments in the mainstream. This message was *allowed* to go on tv…a medium women might be watching?!? Really?!? After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I was left wondering if the sadness of the message made any women stop and think, even for a moment. Rather than being a commercial for a car, it seemed like an anti-marriage commercial…..

    EW-The couple are always childless, but somehow have the need for a 2,500 sf 4-bed house in the chic part of town. Also invariably we see the man not uttering a peep about all those slave-hours he’ll have to work to keep her in the style and comfort she desires.
    Does the show mention if these couples have maid service? A house of that size would take a fair bit of time to keep clean and maintained, especially with the house being a “show house” since no children are occupying the extra rooms. Just think of the dusting necessary for the showcase of possessions. Either they have maid service or they “split” the chores, both of which makes the husband lose out even more.

    • Those houses could very well be show houses. I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect the really large houses (way larger than 2500 sqft) I have been in are show houses since even with kids there is no need for that space. I have heard that in such houses several rooms have plastic or cloths over the furniture and that they are only put into use depending on how much space is need when people are coming over. Even though that would cut down on the cleaning, that still doesn’t cut down on the heating & cooling bills, as well as several other bills.

      In the case of the 2500 sqft houses without kids, covering up the rooms they don’t use would be more difficult so all of the expenses are still there.

  8. They couldn’t have made a better advertisement for boycotting marriage if they had tried.

  9. They couldn’t have made a better advertisement for boycotting marriage if they had tried.

    You got THAT right!

  10. […] Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Tech – “Exiled to the Car and the Garage” […]

  11. […] I can talk about how my (male) coworkers have been run down after years/decades of living with their…, but that is not the same thing as Tuckner.  At least my coworkers fight for some time by themselves with things like the car repair class they’re taking.  Plus, they also recognize at some level that they have no good options.  Anything my coworkers might try and do to better their situations is potentially a disaster in the current political and legal climate so they are the “walking dead” more or less. […]

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