Innovation


Thank goodness for Honda, you know, because without it, there wouldn’t be special cars for women only.

It’s nice of them to illustrate what kind of women the car is especially designed for – pretty, young, delicate, graceful, dainty, skirt-wearing, flower-carrying.

Embracing the design-for-women-only trend, Japanese automaker Honda has released a new car model designed especially for women.

The ‘Honda Fit She’s’ has a “Plasmacluster” air-conditioning system that the company claims can improve the driver’s skin quality, and a special windshield glass that blocks out 99% of UV rays—all aimed at lessening the chances of wrinkles.

It sports a pink exterior, pink stitching for its seats, steering wheel and floor mats, and metallic pink bezels around the shift and dashboard.

That’s great. It’s always worried me seeing women driving cars that are black, blue, grey, green – all kinds of stupid colors that aren’t specially meant for women only. It’s such a relief to see pink cars just for women at last.

That link to the “design for women only trend” (the what?) goes to another pink thing.

Japanese electronics brandFujitsu has launched a new computer that’s aimed at female users.

The ‘Floral Kiss’ Ultrabook is said to be developed “by a team of female engineers aiming to bring elegance to PCs”, according to the brand.

It comes in three colors of “Elegant White”, “Feminine Pink” and “Luxury Brown”.

The top casing has a gold trim an a flip latch that easily open the display, “even by users with long fingernails”, the company said in a statement.

The power status LED and Caps Lock key are decorated with diamond-cut stone, a gold ring frames each key on the transparent keyboard, and the outtake and intake vents feature a floral motif design.

Floral Kiss also features custom-designed apps for women, such as a Scrapbook, a Diary and Daily Horoscopes.

Aw, jeezis. End of sarcasm. That’s so fucking insulting.

Comments

  1. iknklast says

    Now I’m ashamed to own my Honda, even though it’s a great car. (It’s blue, by the way – I wouldn’t own a pink car on a dare). I’m also horrified that I am wearing the one and only pink shirt in my closet today while I read this, but I can’t take it off, because my boss frowns on topless teachers ;-).

  2. fastlane says

    As a male, I would totally buy one of those pink cars.

    Mostly to fuck with people, and to watch the expression on the salesperson’s face.

    Come to think of it, I might have to go ask for a test drive. I’ll get a friend to videotape it if I do. =)

  3. yahweh says

    The sales figures will be interesting. Have they calculated their market correctly? Or will fastlane be the only buyer :-)

  4. says

    I don’t think I am sure what the problem is here. “That’s so fucking insulting.” I mean these aren’t products being released “because” these companies are sexist. They are being made because there is a market for them. Some people like “dainty” things. If my daughter wants everything pink in her room or a new pink dodge neon I am not going to tell her she is “fucking insulting” to other women. Seriously, what am I missing here?

  5. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Seriously, what am I missing here?

    The period from 1961 to the present with a heavy emphasis on the sexism discussions of 2011-2012.

  6. says

    ng.” I mean these aren’t products being released “because” these companies are sexist. They are being made because there is a market for them.

    No, it’s being made because those sexist companies PERCEIVE a market for them. The free market is not some rational super-corrector.

    Seriously, what am I missing here?

    Everything? Your daughter isn’t saying that pink is fit for us, in your example, and that we must have pink.

  7. says

    Other features:

    * Pink turn signals.
    * Rev-counter replaced with vanity mirror.
    * Spare tire replaced with box of tissues, allowing driver to cry helplessly at her predicament until a man arrives.

  8. Sastra says

    As I recall, the Barbie Dream Car was a convertible.

    (Heh, I just did an image search on “Barbie car” to check. There were lots of pictures of Barbie in her various pink toy cars — which apparently include a pink Jeep and a pink VW in addition to the original convertible — but there were also images of this real-life Datsun. That is what it is then: a Barbie car. For when you grow up. But not all the way.)

  9. Sastra says

    No, wait — I didn’t click — those are (mostly) Fiats.

    There appears to be a market for people who want to drive Barbie cars.

  10. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    But, does it drive for you? Cuz, chick drivers amirite?

    I wonder if it costs more than the manly cars. You know, like how the Bic Ladypens for Ladybrains cost more than manly pens for manly brains.

  11. jhendrix says

    As far as I understand it, Japanese culture stresses the stereotypical femininity for women. I did a lot of work over there, and there’s this thing where if a woman is working as some kind of announcer they artificially raise their voice an octave or so, and speak more, I guess daintily?

    It was odd since one woman who was doing that ended up speaking to me briefly, and her “normal voice” was noticeably different.

  12. Phil Mole says

    I heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that a dude tried to drive one of these cars, and wound up in a ditch.

    He’d apparently ignored numerous “error: no vagina detected messages” just before that.

  13. sheila says

    For the first time in my life I just got the urge to buy a Hummer.

    Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with pink and dainty as such. It’s the assumption that you will like it because if you don’t, you’re unattractive and therefore a failed human being.

    Actually forget the Hummer. I want a TARDIS.

  14. Dago Red says

    Given Honda’s recent past experience with failure in gender marketing with the the Honda Element (marketed to the Sufer-dude/Frat-boy type but widely purchased by young women instead) I think they would have learned their lesson that cars do not reliably appeal to a buyer’s genitals.

  15. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Methinks they have an eye to a second market, sort of balancing out Jawehs judgements on them. Hey, it worked for VW with the new Beatle.

  16. says

    Wow, for a second there I thought this was about better design so shorter women (and men) don’t get decapitated by airbags and stuff, but no, it’s about wrinkles.

  17. says

    “No, it’s being made because those sexist companies PERCEIVE a market for them. The free market is not some rational super-corrector.”

    Perceive? So you are saying that after researching the market they are wrong and there isn’t anyone who wants to buy these cars?

    Yes it is sexist to say all women should wear dresses and danty colors and hang out in the kitchen. But what is the point of telling them not to buy pink cars? Or men? Should I not buy this car because Honda thinks there is a market for it? What if I see the add and am like HOLY CRAP that is exactly what I wanted! Now I don’t have to buy a normal one and spend 10 grand changing everything to my favorite color!

    What sounds sexist to me is telling people they suck for liking feminine things. “EVERYTHING HONDA SELLS HAS TO BE COMPLETELY NEUTRAL WITH NO SIGNS OF MAN OR WOMAN! GRRRRRR!”

    So the Honda Fit She is insulting to women – Check
    The Lexus line is insulting to rich people – check
    Dodge Ram line is insulting to men – Check

  18. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    So you are saying that after researching the market they are wrong and there isn’t anyone who wants to buy these cars?

    *facepalm*

    Should I not buy this car because Honda thinks there is a market for it?

    *facepalm*

    What sounds sexist to me is telling people they suck for liking feminine things. “EVERYTHING HONDA SELLS HAS TO BE COMPLETELY NEUTRAL WITH NO SIGNS OF MAN OR WOMAN! GRRRRRR!”

    *facepalm* Wow Teh Ignorant and Clueless is strong with this one.

    So the Honda Fit She is insulting to women – Check
    The Lexus line is insulting to rich people – check
    Dodge Ram line is insulting to men – Check

    So josephstricklin doesn’t have a fucking clue what he’s talking about, but won’t stop digging – check

    josephstricklin doesn’t have a basic understanding of the issues at hand, but is sexist enough to think the silly bitches care about his completely useless strawmen – check

    josephstricklin acting like an ignorant, clueless sexist ass, but it’s the bitches who are hysterical and making things up – check.

    Go back to AVfM, troll.

  19. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    So much money is being invested in marketing/advertising because it doesn’t work. Sure deal, josephstricklin. Maybe you should go and reveal that to big companies, poor dears seem to be unaware of how useless their campaigns are.

  20. Martha says

    OK, I have to admit, I think the car itself is kind of cute. The advertising campaign? Not so much.

    It would be nice if cars were allowed to be pink without being especially for women. Or Hello Kitty.

  21. iknklast says

    “OK, I have to admit, I think the car itself is kind of cute. The advertising campaign? Not so much.

    It would be nice if cars were allowed to be pink without being especially for women. Or Hello Kitty.”

    This…so much this. It isn’t the car that’s sexist, it’s the advertising! The assumption that to appeal to women, you have to have something pink. Like women aren’t already buying Hondas…I’m reasonably sure that most women don’t choose their car based on the color, but choose based on the quality of the car, then choose the color they like in that car. Sort of like men do…

  22. geocatherder says

    I’m both offended and intrigued. I can see a smaller car designed for smaller people having a market (one which I am not a part of). I even kinda like the color, which is sort of a pink champagne. Mind you, I wouldn’t trust it not to fade badly and quickly, since so many red/pink paints are UV-fragile. But why can’t a car designed for a woman come in any color she wants? Why can’t high UV protection be designed into all cars? And what on earth made them think that a woman wants more doodads to clean in a car than a man does?

    I’m more offended by the computer. A computer is a tool; you can hang out on Facebook and catch tweets with it, or you can create cool new stuff or do good work or write a novel or a thesis or what-have-you. Just as I don’t need pink cabochons on my household screwdrivers, I don’t need extraneous stuff on my keyboard. Nor silly woo apps. I hope this “woman-designed” computer comes back to bite Fujitsu in the ass.

  23. NitricAcid says

    I have long fingernails. My father always chewed his when I was growing up, and the sight of his gnawed-to-the-knuckle stumps has always prevented me from cutting my fingernails to shorter than about 4 mm from the skin. I allowed a former girlfriend to cut them once to the length she thought appropriate for a man, and I have never let another person touch my nails since.

    I wish my tablet computer would make allowances for them.

  24. Anonymous Atheist says

    NitricAcid – The older resistive touchscreen technologies work great with long fingernails, it’s just the darn capacitive touchscreens that are showing up everywhere now that don’t. :( You might be interested in this product: http://www.txtrng.com/

  25. Ysanne says

    What I find more insulting about this car that there’s nothing it does for women specifically… it’s just pink and a bit glittery.

    And it can be done differently.
    I had a Lancia Y, a car whose marketing was aimed at women very strongly.
    It had 116 different paint colours to choose from and then a big bunch of interior colours/materials to combine that with, so they were quite popular with people wanting an “individual” look. (Drivers of other Ys rushed over to me at traffic lights on several occasions to ask for the colour code… all of them male, btw.)
    But the actual stuff aimed at women were details such as lots of well-placed pockets and compartments (including non-slip storage space across the whole with of the dashboard); an interior and doors that make it easy and convenient to get stuff (or kids) in and out of the back seat; seats, instrument placement, belts and windows that can fit short drivers as well as tall ones; a low trunk sill; a mirror that allows you to see the back seat in a glance; and a tyre-change toolset that had a nice long torque wrench, plus covers for tyre and clothing to protect oneself and the car from getting dirty in case of an emergency tyre change. Oh and one more detail women can appreciate: A really good engine.
    In summary, a car that actually takes women as car users seriously, and thus ends up being tailored to the needs of relatively short busy people with lots of loose stuff to stash quickly and kids to transport. (It also ended up being the car my dad used to transport his MTB… which didn’t fit through the hatch of a masculine Audi wagon.)

  26. psanity says

    @31 Rodney Nelson:

    The Hello Kitty Ferrari.

    I really hate pink. But I would totally drive that car.

    Not the Honda, though. I am far too dignified to drive a pink girly-car that isn’t a Ferrari. Besides, a pink girlified Honda can’t hold a candle to my beloved 25yo, 185,00-miles, absolutely dependable cheap Toyota wagon.

  27. says

    I’ve always been confused by the whole idea that there are “guy cars” and “girl cars.” When I bought my Kia Soul, several people I know thought it was their duty to inform me that I was driving a “chick car.”

  28. Timon for Tea says

    “When I bought my Kia Soul, several people I know thought it was their duty to inform me that I was driving a “chick car.””

    I think you may have misheard ‘shit car’.

  29. Timon for Tea says

    “Sure deal, josephstricklin. Maybe you should go and reveal that to big companies, poor dears seem to be unaware of how useless their campaigns are.”

    They know already, they just don’t know what to do about it. The old joke is that 90% of all marketing and advertising is useless, but nobody knows which is the magic 10%.

    All advertisers know this, of course, and feed off it.

  30. Beatrice, anti-imperialist anti-racist Islamophobiaphobic leftist says

    “When I bought my Kia Soul, several people I know thought it was their duty to inform me that I was driving a “chick car.””

    I think you may have misheard ‘shit car’.

    And that’s another problem with “chick” products. Much thought is given to how they look, while quality is secondary. Either the product is simpled down (even to the point of becoming nearly useless) or components are of lower quality than those in class marketed for general populace.

    (I read an article about mobile phones marketed for women, with a lot of nearly useless applications and bad components described, but I can’t remember where. Will link if I find it.)

  31. FergusM says

    “Your daughter isn’t saying that pink is fit for us, in your example, and that we must have pink.”

    Uh, neither are Honda. I agree that it’s hideous, but if you don’t like it buy a black Civic instead; nobody’s stopping you. They’ll sell it as long as they have a market, and stop when they don’t.

    Is there a market for pink tat? Yes, sadly there is. http://nem-pro.blogspot.de/2008/01/hello-kitty-ar-15.html

  32. EoRaptor 013 says

    Dalbryn @38

    I LOVE my hamster car! The only “manly” thing I miss is FWD; if Kia slipped one of those into the Soul, I don’t think I’d ever buy anything else.

    Manly-Man

  33. says

    Uh, neither are Honda.

    Yes, Honda is. It’s rather blatant, given that the one they market to women is ridiculously pink and gaudy, and is marketed on its ability to provide cosmetic enhancement to the driver in addition to its pinkness.

    FYI: The hello kitty car isn’t just pink (Hello Kitty is an actual brand, you know), and is a ferrari. Problems with your “PINK CAR HAS MARKET”.

  34. Die Anyway says

    I’ve recently seen a bunch of ads for fishing gear aimed at women… it’s all pink of course.
    https://fishergirl.myshopify.com/ if you want to look.
    I think it is silly but I can’t say it’s *wrong*. Standard fishing gear does not come in pink, it’s mostly black, and silver, and gold. If you want pink then this is the place to go. Supposedly there are some other design features to the clothing and rods & reels that make it more suitable for women but I was disappointed that they thought it necessary to play to the gender stereotype and color it pink.

    With regard to the extra UV protection in the pink Honda: I just had some small skin cancers frozen off by the dermatologist… men need UV protection too.

  35. maddog1129 says

    Actually, I do choose a car in part for the color, although that is not an overriding consideration. The literature I’ve seen says that red cars are the most visible in low-light or dark situations and/or have fewer accidents, yellow is next-most visible/safest, and white is third. I would think that other neon colors, like orange or lime green, would also provide good visibility/safety. Colors like gray or black or blue tend to lose visibility in low-light situations. A metallic forest green is my personal favorite car color, but I would not buy a car that color because of the safety factor. It’s the same reason I started wearing seat belts before it became the law (even though my ex made fun of me for doing so), and I started driving with headlights on even in the daytime (until the car companies came out with DRL’s, daytime running lights).

  36. FergusM says

    “Yes, Honda is.”

    No, Honda is NOT. If women want to buy a pink car they can. If they want to buy a black, red or British Racing Green car they can buy one of those, too. No doubt pink will go off the market soon enough if nobody wants one.

    “the one they market to women”

    They market ALL their cars to ANYONE who wants to buy them. However Hello Kitty, and similar pink things, seem to enjoy better sales among women than among men. Go figure.

    I’m not aware of a Hello Kitty car, although I’ll certainly take your word for it that there is one. The link I gave was to a Hello Kitty assault rifle, which is owned by a woman.

  37. GodlessForeigner says

    #10: “No, it’s being made because those sexist companies PERCEIVE a market for them. The free market is not some rational super-corrector.”

    Well, I cant say with any certainty that you are wrong in this particular case because stuff like that still happens and all too often at that.
    But to issue such a statement and with that degree of certainty you would either have to be privy to the inner workings of Honda or deeply entrenched in ignorance of the way present day companies conduct business. I think Ill go with the latter as it seems more likely and is also indicated by your completely ignorant statement about the free market. I apologise in advance If Im wrong.

    Sure, there is still an element of intuitive decision making present and thats why I tried to distance my argument from any particular product or company, but the current trend of increasingly basing decisions on analysis of hard data is very strong and is picking up speed with increasing sophistication of computer systems. Thats why saying that any corporate decision is based on some kind of perception is simply idiotic.

    And now I come to your statement about the free market and this is where the enormity of your ignorance of anything related to economics really shines through.
    First, there is nothing rational about the free market, the whole ‘invisible hand’ thing was simply a metaphor to try and explain its effects.
    And while the free marked as an auto-corrective mechanism(just like Newtons laws has long since been proven unreliable at the macroeconomic scale (whole countries over longer time periods), at the medium level (single markets, companies or products) the laws of supply and demand do a pretty decent job (again like Newtons laws).
    Sure, calling economics a science is still a bit of a stretch but a lot of people are working on it and with the advent of the computer age they are finally getting the tools that they need.
    Sorry for the too long post but such ignorant statements really annoy me. Dont get me wrong, nothing wrong in being ignorant about something, we cant all know everything. But since this is a place that prides itself in its skepticism, and scientific and rational thinking, one of the guiding principles of those streams of thought is: DONT MAKE STATMENTS ABOUT STUFF YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT!

  38. says

    Which is why single corporations don’t engage in discrimination at all. Because people actually use data and-

    Please, whatever fairy song you have to sing yourself to sleep at night is cool with me, but don’t kid yourself that people don’t regularly fuck up, and in large ways, because people aren’t rational and are bigotted.

    And if you’re unfamiliar with the ways people can skew testing so as to get particular results they want to see, and can’t imagine how that might affect market research, well, that’s certainly not my problem.

    They market ALL their cars to ANYONE who wants to buy them

    Do you know what it means to ‘market something’? Because I’m lead to believe you don’t, from what you just said.

  39. says

    I mean, for all this posturing about HARD DATA, and ECONOMICS IS A SCIENCE do you know about any of the stupid shit that japanese business culture does that demoralizes or fucks with their employees despite hard data it doesn’t help? And it’s hardly just Japan. People use Polygraphs, Astrology, and bogus personality tests in the USA. It’s like they’re irrational people making their way through a world with a brain not meant to understand everything, yo.

  40. GodlessForeigner says

    My post: “Well, I cant say with any certainty that you are wrong in this particular case because stuff like that still happens and all too often at that.”
    Your post #50 where you try to paraphrase me: “Which is why single corporations don’t engage in discrimination at all. Because people actually use data and-”

    I know my post was probably too long to read but come on, that was the first sentence after I quoted you.
    And again, its not the core of your statement that I find objectionable but the certainty with which you made it.
    Were you at the meeting where the pink car got approved? Or are you in possession of market research data that clearly shows that there isnt a market for pink glittery stuff?
    I dont believe that either is the case and that you are thoroughly unjustified in making such a statement.

    If you said something like: Companies sometimes make sexist/bigoted decisions and I think this is the case here.
    I would have given you a thumbs up and have been on my merry way long since.

  41. GodlessForeigner says

    My post: “Sure, calling economics a science is still a bit of a stretch but a lot of people are working on it and with the advent of the computer age they are finally getting the tools that they need.”
    Your post #51: “I mean, for all this posturing about HARD DATA, and ECONOMICS IS A SCIENCE do you know about…”

    Again, Ill admit my post was too long so you probably didnt read it, but then just say it was tl;dr and leave it at that.
    Dont go on creating strawmen and arguing against them with examples of irrational behaviour in business that I never said doesnt exist.

  42. Thinker says

    Honda has messed up badly on this. While they have made it very clear what the requirements wrt looks etc. are on the dainty little things women who will be driving the car, I can’t see that it has a master starting lock or other feature by which the woman can be prevented from driving unless authorized to do so by her father or husband owner.

    Likewise, the navigation system should transmit its position to the owner so he can keep track of his property. (No, not the car…)

    I mean, if women started using cars to make independent decisions on when and where to go someplace, they may actually start believing they have rights, and where would that take us? Horrors!

  43. says

    My post: “Well, I cant say with any certainty that you are wrong in this particular case because stuff like that still happens and all too often at that.”

    You then went on to say I was wrong for about 500 different reasons. But please, keep telling yourself I just ‘didn’t read it’ when I just don’t pay attention to ‘now I’m not certain, but let me tell you all the reasons I’m really certain about…”

    If you said something like: Companies sometimes make sexist/bigoted decisions and I think this is the case here.

    ‘sometimes’. What a gracious grant that’d be on your part.

    Again, Ill admit my post was too long so you probably didnt read it, but then just say it was tl;dr and leave it at that.

    What you really mean to say: “I don’t think you read my post because there’s no way you could possibly disagree with my super-awesome reasoning, so I will assume you didn’t actually read it”.

    Dont go on creating strawmen and arguing against them with examples of irrational behaviour in business that I never said doesnt exist.

    It’s a strawman to say that you didn’t say companies never once make irrational decisions, but you got a bug up your ass the second I said a company made an irrational decision.

  44. GodlessForeigner says

    @56
    Actually I doubt Fergus is kidding. Because you see, the verb to market has 2 meanings.
    The first one (and i think that this is the case here) is to offer products for sale to buyers or to put something on the market for people to buy.
    And because i doubt they would put actual restrictions on who they sell their cars to, the statement is correct.

    But if the sentence went like: They are marketing this car as a car for everyone.
    Then I guess you would be right because that would have been the second meaning of the verb: to encourage people to buy more of a particular product, for example by advertising. e.g. to market sth as sth or to market sth to sb.

  45. GodlessForeigner says

    Which method of doing business do you thing will result in better sales and higher profit:

    1: Doing proper market research, modeling a product on what there is a demand for and then investing in a moderate marketing campaign to nudge the products market share a few percent higher.

    2: Going along with the personal opinions of the management, modeling a product on the said opinions and when it turns out that there isnt a market for that product investing big amounts of money in an aggressive marketing campaign in an attempt to create such a market.

    Because you are saying that Honda went ahead with option number 2. I dont think they did but thats just my opinion and I cant say that with any kind of certainty because as far as I know they could have made that decision on a tarot reading or whatever.

    What I can say with certainty is that #2 is neither the best not the generally accepted method of doing business.

    And based on that I pointed out that saying someone used the second business model without actual evidence has more chance of being wrong than being right.

  46. says

    I now look at the things I do as opportunities to get better from one day to the next. It’s more satisfying to set and meet an attainable goal, like focusing better and writing an extra article tomorrow, than it is to obsess about perfection, stressing because I’m not a world-famous author.

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