Wednesday, September 23

When bumper stickers just don't seem that funny...


As I was walking to work this morning I noticed a van idling near the curb.
It had a large bumper sticker plastered across the back. It said:
"Driver does not carry cash. He's married"

It took me almost a minute to figure out that the bumper sticker was a joke.
My initial thought was actually more along the lines of "well that's an unusual way to prevent a carjacking or mugging. I guess you won't want to steal from/hurt a married man? That's kind of sweet. Yet strange."

Then I realized it was a in..henpecked married men are forced to give up all of their cash to their wives.

Which doesn't seem that funny to me.
Or that offensive.
Just silly.

But when I thought about it a little more, I realized that the bumper sticker that said almost the exact same thing but about a woman would actually be pointing to a rather scary situation.

If you saw a bumper sticker that said "Driver does not carry cash. She's married" there would be no punchline.
Instead, you would probably expect to find a hotline number for domestic violence on the same sticker.
It no longer seems like a joke, and begins to sound more like a PSA against partner abuse and economic control.

I guess over-thinking silly bumper stickers comes with the territory when you spend most of your professional work day thinking about reproductive and social justice..but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

Perhaps more thinking and less subtly disturbing bumper stickers would be better for the world.