posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 11:00 PM
...and so there should be.
In recent years, marketers have begun talking quite a lot about what they call the pink dollar, meaning the gay market. All those big jock types in
the corner offices have discovered that gay people form a very large segment of the population, a segment, moreover, that in many countries and
regions has more disposable income than straight folk of comparable socioeconomic status and lifestage (tending as they do not to have children, those
well-known depleters of wallets).
They have also established that in certain product categories at least, gay people's tastes differ from straight ones'. Obviously (stop me if
I'm going into too much detail here, ivan) these tastes are no more uniform throughout the gay community than straight people's tastes are: a very
macho gay man would exhibit tastes very different from a very macho gay woman. But there are broad categories and trends that can -- or so the
marketing men hope -- be defined and catalogued.
So they've done all that. And yes, they now regularly develop products and product variants that they believe will appeal to the pink market.
Cars are very much part of this, because cars are normally a deliberate expression of personality on the part of their owners. In particular, a car is
the owner's sexual persona sculpted in metal. So of course there are cars designed for gays, just as there are cars designed for straights.
There are cars designed for just about every market segment: boy racers for young single men buying their first car, zippy little hatchbacks for
single women, non-macho SUVs for soccer moms, potbellied beer-guzzling SUVs for Ivan and his friends... and so on and on, ad infinitum.
The differences between vehicles from the same manufacturer, similar in type and sold at a comparable price, yet targeted at different consumer
segments, is usually quite superficial. Most of the time the works underneath -- engine, drivetrain, running gear and so on -- are the same; it's
just the bodywork and external appearance that change.
The practical characteristics (performance, seating capacity, price and so on) of a car are commonly thought important by buyers, but the range of
availabe choices is so vast that a consumer can easily find a car that fits his specifications and appeals to his taste.
And that's all it is. Cars designed to appeal to gay people do not signify a "feminizing conspiracy". It's a conspiracy of marketers to push more
product. Part of the great capitalist dream and none the worse for that. Why shouldn't gay people have cars that appeal to them just like everyone
Now, just for fun, here are my guesses (but educated ones) about the cars in the thread:
The Honda SUV Ivan showed is more likely to appeal to a fairly butch gay woman than a gay man. More generally, I would imagine, it's targeted at
women: upmarket soccer moms.
The Audi A4 is just a family saloon car, an upmarket version of a VW Passat.
The VW Beetle is essentially metrosexual: the driver could be male of female, gay or straight, but their outlook is very likely to be liberal and
tolerant of gay people.
The Suzuki Aerio is an entry-level car designed to appeal to a very broad swathe of relatively less wealthy consumers. It is unmacho, because as many
women buy cars nowadays as men, so ivan thinks it's "gay". "In the closet" might be a better description.
The Ford Expedition is a penis on wheels. Nothing wrong with that, by the way: I used to ride fast motorbikes when I was in my twenties and my brother
is a Land-Rover man to this very day. Essentially, the Exped is a human version of the peacock's tail: big, clumsy, wasteful of energy and
proclaiming to all the world that its owner has triumphed over the selective process to the extent that he has resources to waste on such a display
(though not enough, alas, to lavish on a real alpha male car like a Porsche 911 or a Hummer). Whether the peahens see it the same way is
SO's Mini-Cooper is metrosexual with machismo, fashionable with horny, half-civilized young men on the way up in tolerant professions like
advertising and the media, as well as with the same men at a later stage in their careers when the midlife crisis hits.
As for Val's Pontiac: an unaccustomed delicacy overcomes me and I simply cannot bring myself...
[edit on 3-6-2006 by Astyanax]
[edit on 3-6-2006 by Astyanax]