Saturday, January 19, 2013

Post Update: Mazda5 Review and more Sexism from Huggies

These two items don't go together at all, but I wanted to update each of them, and neither of them felt like a full post, so I mashed them together.

When I reviewed our then-new-to-us Mazda 5 (a year ago yesterday), we'd never driven it in snow of any import. Now that we have, I'm unhappy to report that though it goes OK in the snow, it's not an easy car to get out of a parking space in snow and ice.  The zoom-zoom of Mazda advertising fame mostly comes through in front wheel drive that all too eagerly spins the front wheels in a futile attempt to move the car.  Twice on solo drives around the city in post-Christmas snow, I found myself feeling like a solitary Ernest Shackleton piloting the micro-van version of the Endurance. OK, perhaps a little dramatic there, but when I got into these spots, I really didn't feel like I'd get out.  I managed to get out of one snow wallow by rocking back and forth in reverse and drive.  The death knell seems to be stepping on the accelerator.  In our succession of Honda Accords, I could power and slide myself out of a predicament like this.  In the Mazda, I had to just take whatever inches of movement I could achieve while idling forward or back.  The second parking space, I don't think I would have extricated myself without the help of a passerby with a shovel.  

The risk of getting stuck again inspired me to put a bucket of salt in the car and invest in a portable shovel that stores in three small pieces in the shallow tray in the back cargo area.  So far, these steps have had a prophylactic effect: no snow to worry about has fallen since I put them in the car.  It's a shame, because the shovel looks really cool, and I'd like to review its functionality.

In other update news, I found Huggies at the sexist advertising game again.

Unlike the last ad I pointed out in this space, this one doesn't have explicit text saying fatherss need extra-good leak protection.  This one just uses an image that I feel almost certainly would not be used featuring a mother by any company.  Sure, triplets are overwhelming.  Even so, moms just don't get depicted in ads this way - as overwhelmed, in-over-their-heads incompetent goobers.  In the comments section on that earlier post, we talked about the fact that if it seems like a sexist message, but we can't put our finger on exactly what it is, maybe we should live with it because at least an ad for a baby product has a father in it.  That conclusion doesn't sit right with me.  If dads are going to appear rarely in ads, I'd rather they weren't depicted as incapable to handle the job of parent.

1 comment:

Karen Gorss said...

Have you seen The Achilles Effect? She looks at how gender stereotypes affect boys. Your grappling with this advertising reminded me that I haven't checked it in a while, and I thought you'd be interested, too.