Driving Under The Influence Of A Uterus

logansrogue (napalmnacey) points out an ad for AAMI insurance’s “Safe Driver Rewards” programme.

The ad features a series of people in the aftermath of crashes admitting to culpable driving, to the tune of “What About Me”. Check it out:

Transcript:

Young white man: I was twittering [away before?] I crashed into the corner shop
Young blonde white women: I was trying to dry my hair
Middle-aged man: I was fiddling with my chair
Young blonde Scandinavian women: We were trying to read the map but didn’t stop,

Youngish white man hoisting coffee: Well my pants got soaked
Pregnant strawberry-blonde white woman clutching belly: My waters broke
Middle-aged white man: I just didn’t see the lorry

Thirtyish white man in chambray shirt and suit trousers, getting out of an intact shiny red car:
What about me
I never claim
They get the same as i get
What about me.

Pregnant laydeez! How dare you go out in public in the possession of a pregnant uterus? Irresponsible, the lot of you. You deserve to pay as much in insurance costs as people who twitter and read maps while driving.

Also, how ditzy are blonde chicky-babes, eh? Eh? Nudge, nudge? They’re a way bigger threat to society than assholes who get pissed and hoon around racing and road-raging.

As napalmnacey observes in comments:

Let’s? see if they make jokes about men whose appendix happens to burst while they’re driving, hmm?



Categories: gender & feminism, media

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33 replies

  1. Yes, because a pregnant woman’s water breaking is exactly the same as twittering while driving. *eyeroll*

  2. That’d be the Hollywood going-into-labor, which happens all at once and causes you to bend double and clutch at self.

  3. My mother went into labor with my youngest brother (her third) right after she picked up my other brother from daycare. She was just like, “Huh. I’m going into labor,” and we drove home. I know sometimes labor goes really quickly or whatever but it you follow the logic of the above ad, anyone with a good chance or a stroke or heart attack, anyone hypoglycemic or prone to panic attacks, etc. would be considered the same as people who are irresponsible/think they have a fighter pilot’s reflexes. But forget logic. Pregnancy is weird and scary and makes people prone to exploding. Or something.

  4. That lion is magnificent!

  5. I’m so glad this is being picked up on – my very first thought was exactly the same as yours Olivia! Going into labour is hardly on par with using your phone (illegal much?) when you’re driving.
    I also love the subtle touch that the other woman was drying her hair… wtf?

  6. I noticed this when I posted on this ad a while ago. Are they trying to say she went into labour *because* of the accident or that she had the accident because she went into labour. Either way it’s grr.
    Also, I love that the “default safe driver” saying “what about me? It isn’t fair” is the same white, middle class, male, cis, abled dude singing the same refrain who trolls the feminist blogs and mainstream news. Maternity leave, baby bonus, child support, equal pay, asylum seekers, reconcilliation – they always ask “what about me?” The answer: you control society and shape it to suit your whim. What *about* you? What about everyone else you’ve mocked, silenced or disappeared?

  7. And especially singing a song that I always saw as representing the downtrodden groups of society rather than middle-class white males. How dare they steal it!
    I also love the implication that of course silly women do silly things like trying to read a map, together, and still fail. I can read maps well and am usually navigating unless my middle-class white male friends that are driving me places don’t think I’m up to the task and read the map while driving… At which point I obviously tell them off because I don’t want them to kill me just because they are a giant sexist.

  8. I noticed this when I posted on this ad a while ago. Are they trying to say she went into labour *because* of the accident or that she had the accident because she went into labour.
    I think it’s fairly clear they’re saying the accident was caused by her waters breaking – all the other statements in the song are irresponsible things people were doing while driving.
    Also, I love that the “default safe driver” saying “what about me? It isn’t fair” is the same white, middle class, male, cis, abled dude singing the same refrain
    Exactly. It doesn’t even make sense as a choice of representation – the driver least likely to claim, statistically, would be a woman around or just past menopause age. (another cite)

  9. I seem to be recalling an old ad from my childhood – the razzamatazz one where the guy drove into a store due to a woman’s distractingly well hoseried legs. I wonder where that ad would sit these days…

  10. Ugh, Alison, I can still sing that jingle! “Uh Oh, Razzamatazz, Razzamatazz Leg Magic…” Ick. I seem to remember they were “control” hose.

  11. Gives a whole new meaning to “Control pantyhose”. Surely that’s not your arse doing what it’s not meant to! Control it ladies!!
    Ugh, the institutionalization *shudder*
    (could I be reading into it too much… nah!)

  12. At the risk of approaching the topic in a contrary fashion, I’d just like to note that if a woman was unfortunate enough to have her waters break while driving and as a consequence she crashed the car, it’s easily possible IMHO that she could be found to have been driving negligently. It’s not because she was driving while heavily pregnant, it would be because she failed to control the vehicle safely, perhaps (facts depending). It all depends on what happens. If she stomps on the accelerator then it’s not going to be viewed in a favourable light in terms of ‘reasonable behaviour’ in the circumstances, whereas if she tried to veer to the side of the road and/or braked but still crashed, it would be viewed more favourably. Obviously a copper would be cavalier to slap on a fine and it would be even less likely that a judge would convict unless the circumstances were pretty outrageous. But in terms of the real world where insurance companies apportion blame, it’s easily conceivable that an injured party or car owner who sustained loss or damage following on from the waters breaking could successfully make a claim against the pregnant driver’s insurer who might assess some level of fault in their client’s driving.
    Just sayin’.
    I don’t have an opinion as to the inclusion of the woman in the ad … but I can see why you don’t like it.

  13. Peacay: If the problem is someone veering, then the problem is the veering. If the problem is someone stomping on an accelerator, the problem is someone stomping on the accelerator.
    Do you know anyone who’s had their waters break? It’s really not that big a deal. It doesn’t cause sudden complete loss of judgement. Most pregnant people are pretty used to having had stuff come out of a vagina. We know what to do.

  14. But in terms of the real world … yada yada yada…
    Just sayin’.

    In terms of the real world (the subject of this post is an ad; did you notice!), women are considered a better driving insurance risk than men. Just sayin’. 🙂

  15. Oh I get it. I’m not, or at least I try not to be, in the habit of making a sweeping generalisation about women in particular gender-specific happenstances, but it seems to me that it wouldn’t be outside the bounds of reason to suppose that individuals react differently no matter how normal the biological event might be. In other words it might be a physically benign event but I can imagine it freaking some people out. “fmd I’m having a babby!!” which could be a distraction to their driving competence, no? I’m only saying that people sometimes do weird things or react weirdly because they’re human is all.

  16. My waters never broke while driving, but in each case it was a relieving, somewhat relaxing sensation. I can only guess at how I might have reacted had I been driving, but I’m thinking a combination of “Ahhhh, that feels better” and “Thank god I’m not the one who has to clean the upholstery” would probably be my primary reactions. I can’t imagine veering or accelerator stomping featuring. I might go so far as to consider finding a nice safe place to pull over and change drivers, because in my case the contractions started reasonably soon after, and driving isn’t particularly attractive at that point.
    But even if someone’s waters broke in the kind of way that could cause her to lose concentration for a moment, I’m in complete agreement with everyone who pointed out that it simply isn’t the same “at fault” as someone who’s choosing to behave irresponsibly.

  17. “it wouldn’t be outside the bounds of reason to suppose that individuals react differently no matter how normal the biological event might be. In other words it might be a physically benign event but I can imagine it freaking some people out.”
    I suppose if they wanted to make that point they could have included someone who crashed because they sneezed. Seems unlikely to me but plausible if traffic was stop start that you could crash because of a sneeze.

  18. I think a better ending would have been for that last white car to have run over Mr Perfect. I’d have smiled at that.

  19. And if we’re going to include some kind of biological event, why not pick one that happens to everyone, like a seizure or a heart attack, or even something much more likely, as Shiny says, like a sneeze or a foot cramp?
    No, it has to be women, with their all-consuming ladyparts that make them act stupid. *grrrr*

  20. Question (since I can’t watch the video), is the middle aged man who “fiddled with his chair” white also?
    Additionally, peacay, you don’t seem to be actually engaging with the commenters here very genuinely. Many people have mentioned their actual experiences of being pregnant, having water break, and have pointed out multiple other conditions that are *more* likely to cause control problems in a car (like strokes, heart attacks, etc.) that are not mentioned in this ad. Exactly how many people saying: “I’ve been pregnant and this is totally outside of any experience I or any people I know have had with pregnancy” would it take before you felt that it was credible? It seems like you’re letting the ad/your preconceptions/theories entirely overwhelm people talking about their real-world experiences. Unverified theory is an inherently worse way of hypothesizing about the world than actual data (ie experience).

  21. I hope never to be pregnant and thus never to have my water break, but let me tell you, sneezing can totally be a driving hazard. Maybe a single sneeze isn’t that bad, but if you have severe allergies, it can be scary. I’ve had sneezing fits where I needed to pull over because the sneezes kept jerking my arms around, and my eyes were watering so badly I couldn’t see even when they were briefly open between the sneezes. If it hadn’t been 3AM I have no doubt someone would have gotten hurt.
    And the word “sneeze” rhymes with lots of things, so it would be easy enough to work it into the song. They could have even rhymed it with squease (which I can’t spell), and had somebody who tried to park their car somewhere it didn’t fit. It took me under a minute to come up with that, and I’m a database administrator, not a jingle writer. That’s how much effort it takes to come up with something that doesn’t mock women for being women. It’s also how much effort they didnt’ feel was worth making.
    .-= intransigentia´s last blog ..A world with no abortions, ever =-.

  22. The thing about sneezes (kinda) or heart attacks or strokes that differs is that they are events that could render a driver physically incapable of controlling a vehicle; they wouldn’t be at-fault situations. I was just speculating because it’s an insurance ad. It’s how it struck me: fairly unlikely but not as wildly unlikely as being struck by a meteor. I’m not trying to fracture a narrative about this being egregious stereotyping: on that point I am listening. It’s why I visit the site now and then, albeit usually silently.

  23. It’s how it struck me: fairly unlikely but not as wildly unlikely as being struck by a meteor
    That, on it’s own, may be valid. But in the context of this thread, the point isn’t that it’s more likely than being hit by a meteorite, the point is that it’s much less likely than lots of other things, but being about teh wimminz, it gets used as though it was a very common occurrence, like people texting while driving.

  24. @Attack Laurel: …if we’re going to include some kind of biological event, why not pick one that happens to everyone, like a seizure or a heart attack, or even something much more likely, as Shiny says, like a sneeze or a foot cramp?
    No, it has to be women, with their all-consuming ladyparts that make them act stupid.

    The only biological event I’m aware of which has come up as an assertion in court IRL as the cause of a fatal accident is this one. Driver was male.

  25. ”The thing about sneezes (kinda) or heart attacks or strokes that differs is that they are events that could render a driver physically incapable of controlling a vehicle; “
    Which makes them quite different from water breaking, which doesn’t render a driver incapable of controlling a vehicle. It’s not a fucking uterine explosion; it doesn’t hurt; it doesn’t compel eye closure; it doesn’t convulse the body; it doesn’t impair consciousness or bodily functions. Can we move on, now?

  26. Aaaw a splainer. Cute! 🙂

  27. My uterus can cramp at any time, no fetus required! Don’t tell the menfolk – we could be banned from driving altogether. You know those silly lady brains* — they just can’t handle the task.
    *our uterii used to be considered such, mm? and still are, actually, think the cries of hormones making us crazy emotional irrational moody bitches, and being pregnant causing us to lose brain power.

  28. @ DE

    The man fiddling with his chair is of African descent.

  29. What really gets me is that the guy in the chambray shirt seems to be suggesting that all these people are inherently more dangerous drivers than he is. After their accident it would be on their record that they have had an at fault accident and so their premiums would rise. So he seems to be suggesting that their premiums should have been higher in the first place because they are more likely to have accidents because of who they are not what they are doing. So all pregnant women are unsafe drivers, as are all young men and women and back packers and POC, men who wear suits and drink coffee and anyone wearing a vest who looks like they may be an accountant. Nasty ad.

  30. That ad has p*ssed me off since I first saw it, because it so shamelessly presents the white, middle-class male (of which I am one, btw) as being blameless.
    “After their accident it would be on their record that they have had an at fault accident and so their premiums would rise. So he seems to be suggesting that their premiums should have been higher in the first place because they are more likely to have accidents because of who they are not what they are doing.”
    That is so spot on. Insurance companies already discriminate (legally, I think) in terms of age, but maybe AAMI are advocating further discrimination on the basis of gender, hair colour, skin colour, ethnicity and pregnancy.

    • I just noticed last night, and it has persisted on telly this morning: the ad has been edited to remove the reference to the pregnant woman’s waters breaking.
      I guess we weren’t the only people annoyed by it.

  31. “I think a better ending would have been for that last white car to have run over Mr Perfect. I’d have smiled at that.”
    I like your thinking *evil grins*

  32. tigtog: Looks like there’s just a long version and a short version of the ad – I’ve seen both during tonight’s 20/20 match. “My waters broke!” is still being screened.

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