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Dec 26 2006

Women are aliens, part 74

Hey girls. Wanna make a buck in a man’s world without having to rub your tits in anyone’s face? How about this: charge men a fee — say $795 a month — for explaining to them the mysterious, bizarre ways of women, so that these men may then make a buck off the women, thus completing the cycle of capitalist patriarchal control.

Take the manly, sweaty, short-sleeved world of auto sales.

It seems that ‘traditional’ methods of salesmanship, such as asking the female customer to bend over and wait for it, are no longer working quite as well as they used to. Confounded salesdudes may now turn to AskPatty.com.

AskPatty.com isn’t just a handy website of “automotive advice for women.” Here men , too, may take advantage of the perpetually shocking information that women actually buy cars by learning from an actual fake woman (‘Patty’ appears not to exist, at least in human form) how to communicate with the alien sub-species. AskPatty.com sells car dealers a book called How to Get Rich Selling Cars and Trucks to Women, a training course, and an exam. Dealers who pass the exam get ‘certified’ as ‘female-friendly’.

Where are all these alleged autodudes who pay AskPatty.com $795 a month for certification proving that they are conversant in women-as-a-second-language? I don’t know. A search produced the disheartening result that there are no certified female-friendly auto dealers — not even, alas, Aston Martin, Lotus, or Porsche — within 100 miles of the Twisty Bungalow, or I would certainly have gone out and bought a car just so I could report back on the experience.

Naturally the president of AskPatty.com, Jody DeVere, is quick to aver, lest her bid to be taken seriously in the World of Dudes die the usual lonely death of stifled female opinion, that she is not “a screaming feminist waving [her] finger at auto dealers.”

God forbid the readers of the Clarion-Ledger should think DeVere is one of the Humorless Hairyleg Army. Comfortingly, AskPatty.com was founded by and is currently CEOed by a dude.

15 comments

1 ping

  1. askpatty

    Thank you for posting about Ask Patty! I want to let you and your readers know that although Patty is a figurehead, we do have 24 automotive expert women who are real and will answer any automotive-related question you might have.
    On our panel there are women who work in all aspects of the industry, including dealerships, sales, financing, auto care and maintenance, as well as certified technicians. So send in your questions and we would be glad to help!
    Also, if you don’t find a dealer near you that is Female Friendly certified, let your local dealership know about us. We are certifying dealers continuously and would be more than happy to pass along information to newly inquiring dealers.

    Thanks again!
    Breanne Boyle
    eMarketing Manager
    AskPatty.com, Inc.

  2. Kwillz

    You’re posting on boxing day?

    BOXING DAY!?!

  3. Keeshond

    There are no female-friendly certified Honda, Toyoya or Saturn salesdudes within 50 miles of St. Paul, MN either. The patronizing douchebag sales technique is apparently working out quite well for them.

    That’s a real cute li’l post there, Breanne. So perky! So cheerily punctuated with exclamation points! So nauseating it makes me wanna barf pretty pink butterflies! Tell us, Breanne, was your number one qualification for your job good hair?

  4. Lya Kahlo

    “Tell us, Breanne, was your number one qualification for your job good hair?”

    I’m willing to bet it was the ability to produce patronizing spam.

  5. Pony

    I have a question Patty! Why did the dealership owner get upset when I told him I’d taped our 6 year earlier sales transaction?! And then played some back to him! Right there in his office! Wow he lost his female-friendly personae fast! Almost as fast, I got a new carburetor!

  6. tpurplesage

    As a long time blamer, I am loathe to make negative comments, but I worked with Breanne for over a year at MotorTrend.com and we lamented the challenge of a woman working on Car Magazines, and we were so happy for Breanne when she got the job at AskPatty.com so she could leave the oppressive environment that we labored under and could work with a large group of women trying to make the car world a better place for women.
    I left cars all together due to the terrible environment.
    Cheers to women who band together to work against the Patriarchy!

  7. Sylvanite

    Living in a large metropolitan area, I figured all I had to do was search within 50 miles of my home. I did find female-friendly dealerships for Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen. Actually, I lie – they’re all to be found at the same dealership in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

    I can’t get a discount deal through the Geological Society of America for any of those cars, just Subarus. And I’m tired of hearing my one friend bitch about his Audi. I can’t afford a Porsche.The more affordable VW’s are apparently not as reliable as you might expect. Guess I’ll just have to drive the ol’ Metro for a little while longer.

  8. Ms Kate

    I recently bought a car and I have to add that some of the same douchebags who treat women like shit also treat a solo male with children in tow like shit, too.

    My husband is a teacher, so he is off work at 3pm. He went with the kids to do some scouting, and had very strange experiences until I joined the family at 6pm for dinner and further car hunting. I had to laugh, because he was somehow magically “feminized” by the presence of kids, or so it seemed. We considered such interactions as being a bozo filter – you know rather quickly and can leave without wasting your time on bozos.

    We went to a Mazda dealer and were treated with utmost respect. We even “nibbled” them for a roofrack and they were willing to go for it to close the deal.

    I therefore think that it isn’t just the dealerships to look out for, but the policies of the automakers themselves. The Mazda promotional materials were very much tuned to the idea that women buy and drive cars, and their ads for the Mazda 5 have an at-home husband picking up mom at work, baby in tow. If their ads and promotional materials indicate that they understand that women buy and drive cars, too, and that families come in multiple different configurations, and that people of color might actually do the same, that may be a good indication of their treatment of customers.

  9. ::Wendy::

    From reading the response from Patty’s, they appear to hve missed the point that their marketting a certification in ‘female-friendliness’ is perpetuating a dialog of females as a ‘different’ and less easily understandable (in articulate?) form of human than the male. Which I think is Twisty’s point. Personally I couldn’t give a toss if the sale’s paople have speicialist skills in selling to pre-concieved, possibly fictional, niche markets. I want to buy a car from someone who has basic skills independent of the market, for example, honesty, can answer direct questions, has detailed knowledge of their product etc. Oddly enough I don’t consider this skills as being tailorable to gender. But I could be wrong.

    I wonder if the female friendly training has a section on ‘colour’?

  10. No Sharp Edges

    The red-lipsticked, blue-eyeshadowed cartoon chick on the website makes me cringe.

    And “Womanar” podcasts – what the hell?

    Freaking patriarchy, making a buck EVERYWHERE it can, and finding it especially satisfying, I’m sure, to take that buck off a woman who thinks she’s finally being dealt with fairly and squarely, as if she were a real person (i.e., of course, a man).

    IBTFP.

  11. Pony

    Oh look. A subsidiary.

    IBTFP

  12. scratchy888

    Wow! One of those empowerful women is JUST LIKE ME!!! She “is an advocate of building self-esteem in people of all ages”

  13. Auto Goddess

    Everything your saying confirms I’m not crazy!

    I’m a woman in a lower management position and I’ll tell you that it doesn’t even matter that I bring in more business, I still get snubbed by the others there for being polite and fair to my customers…

    I mean God forbid I might actually treat them like they are…..HUMAN BEINGS!

    Customers call saying “You didn’t have to send a Thank you -I don’t know what we would have done if you hadn’t gotten us out of that car, followed by: My friend needs a car too, so I gave her your number” ect…

    That makes me feel good, but also powerless against the industry because I get treated like a dealership oddity even by upper management. I make them their profit; I just don’t lie to my customers about it like everyone else.

  14. Twisty

    When I was buying my last car, the little office into which I was ushered to sign all the paperwork was inhabited by a woman. She was all like “screw the dealer add-ons” and proceeded to confide that her true avocation is writing erotic literature and driving Lotus sportscars. Good times.

  15. finnsmotel

    “She was all like “screw the dealer add-ons” and proceeded to confide that her true avocation is writing erotic literature and driving Lotus sportscars.”

    You have all the luck.

    Well, we know she got your number (on the paperwork). Did you get hers?

    Hey, last time I bought a car, I got fucked in the ass. Does that count as erotic?

  1. Question 133: if your customer has a notable rack, when is the proper time to make a joke about “headlights”? at PunkAssBlog.com

    [...] Via Twisty, someone, somewhere has finally clued into the fact that women also drive and purchase cars, and would prefer not to be treated like children while doing so. Twisty gets to the heart of the matter: AskPatty.com isn’t just a handy website of “automotive advice for women.” Here men , too, may take advantage of the perpetually shocking information that women actually buy cars by learning from an actual fake woman (’Patty’ appears not to exist, at least in human form) how to communicate with the alien sub-species. AskPatty.com sells car dealers a book called How to Get Rich Selling Cars and Trucks to Women, a training course, and an exam. Dealers who pass the exam get ‘certified’ as ‘female-friendly’. [...]

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