Sorry, Audi, but America Is a Fantastic Place for Women
Rebutting the bleak and hopeless vision of our nation in the carmakers latest ad.
During the Super Bowl, Audi released one of the most distorted and depressing ads we’ve ever seen — “What do I tell my daughter?” As a man watches his daughter prepare for a soapbox derby race against a bunch of boys, he laments:
What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandpa? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued less than every man she ever meets? Or maybe, I’ll be able to tell her something different.
Instead of the bleak and hopeless vision of America this man seems intent on instilling in his daughter, we would suggest a different vision for him to share with her: She is one of the most blessed young women in all of human history. She lives in a nation where her potential is nearly limitless if she works hard and gets an education; where she can make her voice heard, and be a force for good in society.
In America, she enjoys every single one of the rights and privileges enjoyed by men. There is no right a man possesses that she does not possess equally; rights secured by the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
She lives in a nation where women are the most powerful and sought-after voting bloc, having cast 54% of the ballots in the most recent elections, and where the number of women elected to Congress has risen from 12 in 1967, to 104 in the current Congress, and where 40 women have served as governor of a state.
She lives in a nation where women are now more educated than men, earning well over half of all bachelor’s degrees (56% for white women, and 65% and 60% for black and Hispanic women, respectively), and for seven years straight have earned more doctoral and master’s degrees than men.
Women can earn as much as any man if they choose, because the “wage gap” has been all but eliminated. Women now earn the same as men in their chosen fields when all other factors are equal; taking into account educational attainment/degrees, technical skill and time worked, there is virtually no difference in pay for men and women. Almost all discrepancies in pay have to do with the professional fields women choose to work in; the hard sciences and dangerous jobs (like working on an oil rig) pay more than professions in teaching, social work or the humanities.
If women have ambitions to be their own boss, America is a great place to be. Right now, 30% of all American businesses are owned by women, a 68% increase in just the last decade. For minority women, the increase has been even more rapid; a 265% increase in the last decade.
Girls like the one in the commercial live in a nation where they don’t face the prospect of being beaten if they appear in public unaccompanied by a male relative. In America, unlike some nations, we do not tolerate “honor killings” of women and girls by men who feel their wives or daughters have brought dishonor to the family, for things as simple as dressing like a “Westerner.” Nor do we tolerate female genital mutilation of wives and daughters, which treats them as little more than animals and deprives them of the same enjoyment of marital intimacy as men.
In America, women are not banned from driving simply for being women, nor do they need permission from a male relative to travel, work or go to school.
In short, tell the girl in the Audi ad that she has been blessed to be born in a nation that gives women greater protections, rights, privileges and freedoms than women have known throughout the entirety of human history, and where she can be anything she wants to be, do anything she wants to do, and where her potential to accomplish great things is limited only by her own vision and her desire to work hard to achieve those dreams. She is an agent of her own happiness, not a helpless victim of circumstance.
Tell her to dream big, work hard, love more and never underestimate her potential for happiness.