Stereotype Perpetuation: Gays and Cars

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    Nov 16, 2012 5:43 PM GMT
    An interesting realization came to me recently while browsing the "Gay Car" thread. We fight all day and night with the stereotypes that society grafts onto us unjustly. Why do we see the need to place stereotypes on other people and things then? Is it just another example of the "bullied" becoming the "bully"?

    I understand that much of it is in jest and its just a good laugh, but at the same time isn't that the excuse that so many people use when justifying their children's bullying behavior? Nevermind the fact that saying a car is "gay" is one of the stupidest notions ever. If it were marketed directly to gay men then maybe, but i think we all agree that rainbow-themed car ads are still a ways off. (with the exception of GM's bandwagon-jumper of a Volt ad)

    In fact, most of the examples that people give just underline their ignorance when it comes to the automobile industry. Let's take a closer look at that, shall we?

    (just to avoid accusations of favoritism, I will NOT be using the MX-5 Miata as my example in the exercise)

    The BMW 3-series. Okay, ignoring the new F30 3-series, lets focus on the E46 and E90 models (basically 1998-2011). In the American market, the 3-series is BMW's breadwinner. It easily accounts for the most sales out of the company's product lineup. Why? Because it is accessible.

    Until the introduction of the 1-series compact in 2008, the 3-series occupied the lowest position on the BMW totem pole in their American lineup. A basic 3-series got you vinyl seats (yes VINYL), a 2.5 or 2.8 litre straight-six in the USA, a manual transmission (which most people didn't opt for), halogen headlights, no moonroof, no power seats, etc.

    Americans are very image-driven. The race to "keep up with the Joneses" pushes people to give the appearance of success and prosperity even when they should be practicing austerity. Who do we know that typify this ideology? The "In" crowd of course.

    Whether they are gay or straight, these people find it absolutely necessary that everyone withing a five-mile radius know just how successful, popular and good-looking they are (even if they're ugly as sin) so of course they are going to drive a car that they can only just barely afford the payments on. The 3-series is a perfect match for that. The uneducated see "BMW" and think "Luxury, high-end, expensive" which is all that really matters to the people who buy this way.

    (please note, I am in no way suggesting that all 3-series drivers are asshole socialites. The 3-series is also a fine little sports sedan/coupe/estate so some people actually buy it for those reasons as well)

    The American notion of anthropomorphising automobiles is a bit absurd in the extremes it can be taken to. I am the first to admit that my car looks like a person with a big silly grin, ESPECIALLY with the headlights folded out, but when you start calling something "gay" it now has to carry all of the social stigma associated with that word. You might think it is cute and funny but other people might not agree with you. Plus, people who don't know anything about cars or who don't understand the context may then pass it on.

    Most car guys who race on tracks with both left and right turns will NEVER badmouth a (sorry) Miata's handling abilities. If you know cars and you say the Miata handles like crap or isn't a real sports car you literally burst into flames on the spot and crumble to ash. I've seen it happen. And yet SO many people who DON'T know as much about cars will immediately mouth off at someone talking about them, "what are you a faggot?" I've seen this too.

    The irony is that I've also seen people respond to the mention of a Miata this way but then not actually be able to tell you what it looks like. What that tells me is that their notion of the Miata being a "gay" car is derived purely from word-of-mouth. In other words, they heard someone else make that statement and then they parroted it (repeated without comprehension).

    So, basically, we are indirectly perpetuating the very stereotypes that we rant and rage about when society applies them to us.


    Meanwhile, how the hell am I supposed to explain to my straight car buddies that the people behind the whole "Miata is gay" bit are gay guys??? WILL THEY FORGIVE ME FOR IT??
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 16, 2012 5:53 PM GMT
    icon_neutral.gif Aren't "gay cars" the ones that straight guys have to wait for their mid-life crisis to buy?

    BTW: There seem to be quite a few miatas on CL lately, that seem relatively inexpensive. I've just assumed that they'd be too cramped to drive comfortably. (After driving a 4-runner for 22 years, I am so tired of being crammed into a seat sized for children.)
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    Nov 16, 2012 6:15 PM GMT
    nah, midlife crisis cars are different for different people. I wouldn't have one since I'm a car guy. I'm always in a fun car. But seriously, some guys might want a 4x4 for their midlife crisis. Some might want a supersedan like an E63 AMG. Others might want a sports car. You never know.

    For bigger folk, a miata may not be the best choice for a daily (although they fit thicker people better than alternatives like the S2000, which fits taller people better). I don't even want it as my daily indefinitely. I'm looking at scooping up a P2 Volvo V70R in the next year or two.
  • AMoonHawk

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    Nov 16, 2012 6:20 PM GMT
    You can't even give a decent blow job in a miata ... why bother ... every fag knows that to get a man you have to drive a big ass truck.
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    Nov 16, 2012 6:23 PM GMT
    I buy a vehicle because it suits my needs , so i drive a 1999 Toyota LC TD in Australia , it is perfect for my off-road caravaning , though and reliable , n the U.S i drive a 2005 Kia Cerato/Spectra , because it was cheap to buy and it is perfect for what i use it for , driving to and from the airport .
    In the case of the Miata , i never and will never understand why it is considered as a gay car in the U.S . It is a car for enthousiastic driver , one of the most raced car on circuit in America and why , because it is cheap to race !
    It is also true that a lot of Americans are going to buy a car for the image that it projects , but don't forget , that the Toyota Camry , Honda Accord are best sellers in the U.S , and those cars are family cars without any thrills , they are a reliable way of transportation , and they are more gays driving those family sedan than gays driving Miatas !!icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 16, 2012 6:24 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidYou can't even give a decent blow job in a miata ... why bother ... every fag knows that to get a man you have to drive a big ass truck.


    lol, you don't have time for a BJ if you're driving a Miata unless you're driving one of the awful 4-speed automatic models. But then you're most likely hunting for a new transmission most of the time in case your current one kicks the bucket (auto Gen1 cars are rare)
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    Nov 16, 2012 6:32 PM GMT
    neffa saidI buy a vehicle because it suits my needs , so i drive a 1999 Toyota LC TD in Australia , it is perfect for my off-road caravaning , though and reliable , n the U.S i drive a 2005 Kia Cerato/Spectra , because it was cheap to buy and it is perfect for what i use it for , driving to and from the airport .
    In the case of the Miata , i never and will never understand why it is considered as a gay car in the U.S . It is a car for enthousiastic driver , one of the most raced car on circuit in America and why , because it is cheap to race !
    It is also true that a lot of Americans are going to buy a car for the image that it projects , but don't forget , that the Toyota Camry , Honda Accord are best sellers in the U.S , and those cars are family cars without any thrills , they are a reliable way of transportation , and they are more gays driving those family sedan than gays driving Miatas !!icon_smile.gif


    exactly. also, my point regarding image-based purchasing was that people who are overly image-conscious buy this way but also to consider that gay culture is divided between the obvious scene-type guys that everyone automatically associates with being "gay" and the normal don't-give-a-fuck guys who are just living their lives. I would imagine that the former group would have a higher percentage of image-concerned guys than the latter which would skew the public perception of cars like the 3-series being "gay" since a higher percentage of "visible" gay guys would be driving them, even if the total percentage of gay guys driving them versus gay guys not, visible or otherwise, were no different from the average of straight guys driving and not driving.
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    Nov 16, 2012 6:39 PM GMT
    I've never bought into the idea of what gay cars are supposed to look like. I really would rather have a car that reflected my personality.

    As I've mentioned people who think Miatas are gay cars can go screw themselves. Time over, many motor magazine have listed the MX-5 as one of the best affordable roadsters around.

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    Nov 16, 2012 6:40 PM GMT
    Fivealive saidI've never bought into the idea of what gay cars are supposed to look like. I really would rather have a car that reflected my personality.

    As I've mentioned people who think Miatas are gay cars can go screw themselves. Time over, many motor magazine have listed the MX-5 as one of the best affordable roadsters around.



    plus in Japan/Euro market they offered a fixed-roof coupe version of the Gen2 cars. heLLO chassis rigidity! *wolf whistles*
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    Nov 16, 2012 6:42 PM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    Fivealive saidI've never bought into the idea of what gay cars are supposed to look like. I really would rather have a car that reflected my personality.

    As I've mentioned people who think Miatas are gay cars can go screw themselves. Time over, many motor magazine have listed the MX-5 as one of the best affordable roadsters around.



    plus in Japan/Euro market they offered a fixed-roof coupe version of the Gen2 cars. heLLO chassis rigidity! *wolf whistles*


    Indeedy icon_biggrin.gif