Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

20 May 2008

Why is the IL Dept of Transportion using sex to sell seat belts?

I ask because I recently caught their new PSAs for the "Click it or Ticket" campaign and they use two very attractive women to urge their men to use their seat belts. Two women...one white and one African-American with sultry voices and in cute outfits telling their men, "You know what I want..." Where is the Latina PSA?

En Espanol! Because us Latinas are never more sexy than when we're seducing our hombres into wearing seat belts than when we're speaking Spanish, eh? The problem is that not all of Latino men speak Spanish or at least would be watching Spanish language TV. I can only consider that a lack of English-language Latina PSA means that the state thinks we all only speak Spanish, they could give a damn about us English speakers, or our Latina sexuality is just too much for English TV.

Can you imagine if JLo, Salma, or Lynda Carter aka Wonder Woman did a PSA in English? Ay, Papi, we'd bankrupt the state due to all the Latino men falling under their Latina spell and always buckled up! Especially if we used Wonder Woman's lasso of truth!

And what's with the men in these PSAs? They are squirming in their seats as if they are innocent virgins and the hot-to-trot women are fiery sirens seducing them into doing oh-so-naughty things. When I first saw these PSAs, it was after 10pm and I thought it was another ad for a chat line. "Wanna be bad? Let's use our seat belts!"

Ironically, I had to go to YouTube to see the PSAs and they are not mentioned on the state's website or offered in their 'Get involved' section. Is the state ashamed of their blatant use of sex to get men to buckle up?

cross-posted at Shakesville

Technorati tags: Illinois, seat belts, Click it or Ticket!, sexism

2 comments:

I don't live in Illinois, but this brings up two responses:

1) What's the point of a PSA if the public doesn't see it? Just askin'.

2) Very true that not all Latino men speak Spanish. My husband is half-Latino (last name Vasquez), and I speak more Spanish - high-school style - than he does. He programmed all the Spanish-language TV out of the channel list, too. :-)

Terrific. Racial and ethnic stereotypes thoroughly mixed with cliched sexism. And did anyone notice how dumb and easily manipulated the men seemed?

I'm thinking about never wearing a seat belt again just to protest these ridiculous ads. LOL. Just kidding.....

Bob Simpson
The BobboSphere