Feminist outrage following Volkswagen Superbowl commercial

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Although the surest Superbowl was ‘no’ concerning whether power would go out, a surer bet was ‘yes’ to ‘will feminist outrage follow the Superbowl.’

Although the Denver Broncos were devastated, I enjoyed watching last night’s Superbowl and was thoroughly entertained monitoring the outcomes of several novelty proposition bets surrounding the game including ‘Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform shirtless,’ ‘Will the announcing team mention the word marijuana,’ and ‘How many times will the announcing team mention the phrase 12th man.’

Following some televised commercials, I predicted that there would be feminist outrage after the Superbowl. Volkswagen featured a commercial, echoing a famous line from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, stating that when Volkswagen cars reach 100,000 miles “a German engineer gets his wings.”

The commercial, including a man being slapped in the face (which goes unmentioned by self-professed “feminist crusader” Elizabeth Plank), has drawn the ire of feminists, but hey, feminists are working on men’s issues (see the 40-second mark)!


Plank describes the Volkswagon commercial as “horrifyingly sexist” and asserts that the Volkswagen commercial is a transmission of the message that only men [“old white dudes”] can become engineers.

Since, at least according to one feminist organization, the field of engineering is dominated by men [see page 15] it is sensible to portray engineers as men. It also makes sense to portray engineers as men when the statement in the commercial, “…gets his wings” uses the male pronoun. It is likely the case that the male pronoun was preserved to not entirely derive from the famous American movie quote. Regardless of the original movie quote, men dominate the field of engineering, therefore it’s likely that portrayed engineers would be men.

Plank seems to believe that since “horrifyingly sexist” commercials like this exist, women are discouraged from entering the field of engineering…despite the fact that women just don’t seem to be interested in engineering and tend to instead prefer fields like nursing, library science, education, social work, and psychology [read more about this phenomena in a previous piece in which I cast skepticism on the ‘gender wage gap’ – even in European countries which are believed to rate higher than the United States in terms of ‘gender equality’ and even when government agencies financially intervene with aims to increase gender parity in certain fields.

Feminist outrage is the order of the day. Feminists like Plank dig through media, often proclaiming themselves as ‘popular culture critics,’ with preconceived notions of sexism, misogyny, and negative messaging about women…and [not] surprisingly they ‘find’ what they knew they were already looking for.

If women want to break through the so-called ‘gender pay gap’ or the ‘glass ceiling’ [whether or not they exist], women ought to take initiative and actually do something about a state of affairs in which they view as unfavorable rather than complaining about Superbowl commercials and further tarnishing whatever good ideas people have surrounding feminism – the supposed movement for women’s rights and ‘gender equality.’ Take a cue from Ready to Run Northeastern Pennsylvania – a group which recently hosted an event to not only inspire women to become active in politics, but also provided needed tools and knowledge to facilitate a goal.

I could perhaps understand a response to the commercial encouraging a rephrase of the ‘…his wings’ quote and a portrayal of both men and women as engineers, but calling the commercial “horrifyingly sexist” and drawing conclusions that the commercial transmits the message that “only men can be engineers” is simply overboard and unwarranted.

Feminism – the radical notion that Superbowl commercials oppress women and keep them from attaining higher-paying engineering jobs despite the fact that women, as a group, just aren’t interested in engineering.

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