“Kawaii” all woman car

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The thing about the world is that we all have different points of view depending on our culture. For the Japanese, Honda’s new car, “She’s”, seems to be a hit. In America, the outcome of putting the car on the market might not go over quite as well.

Japanese women, when asked what they thought about driving a pink car made especially for women, responded mostly with “kawaii!” or cute.

The response was backed up with simple statements that the women buying the car just like the special attention and details Honda gave to it; such as the plasma cluster air conditioning, which is said to help prevent dry skin, and a windshield that supposedly blocks 99 percent of the UV rays from the sun. Also included, pink stitching!

This is pure sexism. For the makers of the car, it may simply be a marketing technique. Either way, I see a huge problem with it. As does Alisha Velez, a transfer sophomore here at Radford University. “In different cultures, they [male and female] are seen as separate genders with separate needs.” In America, we pride ourselves on equality, and this just seems a bit too condescending for women.

On CNN’s website, they include a video where a Honda executive stated to a Japanese newspaper that She’s “can match a woman’s eye shadow.” To me, this seems a bit over the top. Condescending doesn’t even cover how I feel about the reasons behind the making of this car. I respect the fact that it is a new product, and maybe some women would love a car that “matches her eye shadow,” but for me, this is a little insulting.

The maker of the car, Eri Tomonari, stated that, “yes, everyone’s taste is different but many women in Japan love something cute.” Respectfully, is she saying that other cars, just because they are not pink, are not cute? There are many questions to be asked about why Honda thought they needed to appeal to just one gender. Why haven’t they made cars appealing to just men? If you immediately thought of trucks, you should probably start thinking about why you believe women should not drive them.

This whole, ‘appealing to the sexes’ thing deemed a dud when Dodge rolled out La Femme, another car made especially for women. It lasted a little over a year, which makes me think that She’s chances are slim. If you thought that maybe men would want to buy this car too, hopefully they won’t mind the replacement of the apostrophe is She’s with a cute little heart to signify it’s femininity.

This car is only available in Japan, for now. The marketing ploy used for Japanese women, as it being a “kawaii” car, would not work as well in the states. There are plenty of feminist that would be all over the makers of She’s the second it came on the market. It would be hostile and it certainly wouldn’t be cute. So let us just imagine how the critics would rave if this estrogen-induced car made it to America. Hopefully we will never have to find out.

 

Email:ecafferty@radford.edu