Sunday, July 10, 2011

1950s Ford Commercial Argues the Benefits of Two-Car Households

This commercial is depressingly eye-opening. It illustrates not just the car dependence of suburbia, but also the gender component of that dependence. Women were literally stuck at home unless they had access to a car. The actress surely represents the real-life circumstances of many women at the time.

The second car was indeed a step forward for gender equality in that fictional household. But it certainly would be nice if we could find more sustainable pathways to achieving that equality. The style of the ad is very retro indeed, but the problem it illustrates is at least as relevant today as it was back then. As long as people live in car dependent places, gender equity will be achieved through two sets of car payments.


  1. The commercial and the commentary have it backwards.

    In the suburbia where I grew up mom had the car if there was only one. She dropped dad off at work or at the train station.

  2. ^ remember Ford is about selling cars, it's not a documentary film company.