Volkswagen: “Your precious daughter will never get married if you never let her boyfriend ask you for her hand”

Dear Dad,

You know how I feel about asking a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. So of course I cringed when I was catching up on the latest episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine and saw a new Volkswagen ad with just that as the premise.

The plot is this: Young man and his girlfriend’s dad are on an 11-hour car trip. Young man keeps trying to ask for her hand (“There’s something I have to ask you.”) and father keeps distracting him, shushing him, making the conversation about his swell new car. At one point, dad even accelerates in an attempt to, I dunno, outrun the guy in the passenger seat?

http://youtu.be/yZWLgApBq5A

And nowhere in the commercial is the woman, or any woman, for that matter. This commercial is on the one hand about selling cars (which like, what do marriage proposals have to do with torque or fuel efficiency?), but it’s also about selling the centuries-old idea that women are property to be handed from father to husband.

It’s just another commercial that reinforces the idea of women as tangential to men, existing only as wives or daughters, and not even of their own choosing. I’m sick of this kind of media, Dad, just as I’m sick of these gender roles we can’t seem to shake. I, for one, am not buying it.

Love,

Victoria

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One thought on “Volkswagen: “Your precious daughter will never get married if you never let her boyfriend ask you for her hand”

  1. Well said! I have never really known if I believed in marriage, and a lot of it has to do with the archaic “women are property” aspect to it. I have thought that if I meet the right person and I spent years with him, maybe I’d change my mind about getting married.

    This is such a great point you make about how men still sometimes ask her father for permission, as if she is being handed down in ownership from the father to the husband. It’s quite absurd.

    Thank you for writing this. It’s so wonderful to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. 🙂

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