Marketing non-gendered goods to a specific gender is usually a risky road to walk. Designing and marketing cars to women will inevitably make someone upset. The only way to make such a product is to make giant, untrue generalizations about what women want or need from a car. It also assumes that women need something different from men or any other people while driving. Despite the many pitfalls, the Chinese car company, ORA, launched a car “for women,” and it’s even more sexist than whatever you’re thinking.
ORA made the most sexist car of all time
According to Carscoops, Chinese automaker Great Wall’s ORA brand has forgone subtly or taste by all measures and come out with a new electric car, the ORA Ballet Cat.
Before we get into the ridiculously offensive features, the car’s design is a blatant copy of the VW Beetle. The Ballet Cat is the follow-up to the somewhat more gender-neutral Punk Cat. the main differences between the two cars are the color pallet and the absurd, gendered features for the former. The Ballet Cat only comes in light pastels, whereas the Punk Cat gets more neutral colors.
What the hell is “Warm Man Mode?”
If a car has something called “Warm Man Mode,” it’s probably fair to be a little weary. Warm Man Mode is a model-specific feature designed for women to use during menstruation – yikes. First reported by Carnewschina, ORA’s Chinese press release (which we aren’t allowed to access) says that when women menstruate, they might get cold and “panic.”
With the push of a button, the feature changes the climate control to turn the heat up to “warm the body and mind.” The assumption seems that ORA assumed all women want a man to comfort them, and this warm setting is meant to emulate that? Not to mention the insinuation that women will “panic” if they get cold. I don’t even know.
But if you think that’s all the ridiculous Chinese carmaker has in store for its customers, hold on to your seats.
What other features does the ORA Ballet Cat have?
There is plenty more if “Warm Man Mode” isn’t bad enough. The ORA press release offers this doozy: “Whether commuting or dating, Ballerina has created a ‘secret space’ for women. Open the magic space, and there is an exclusive makeup box inside.”
According to Carnewschina, as we climb deeper into this electrified pit of misogyny, we find something called “Lady Driver Mode.” The ORA press release reportedly says that this driving mode makes driving easier for women. The mode includes automatic cruise control that keeps an extra distance to vehicles ahead, voice-controlled parking, voice-controlled reversing and an extra warning system for fatigued driving.
As if to insinuate that female drivers aren’t capable of understanding what bad weather is, there is another offensive mode called “Wind and Wave” mode. This mode automatically rolls up windows, adjusts the air conditioning, automatically adjusts the lights/wipers, and further increases the distance to vehicles ahead when the ACC is switched on.
The final bit of insanity comes in a steering wheel “specifically designed for women.” The automakers say they designed the steering wheel to be “in line with the width of women’s shoulders and the size of the palm of [a women’s] hand.” For reasons unknown, ORA also felt it important to include a selfie camera in the steering wheel, which directly uploads photos and videos onto social media.
Somehow, it still gets worse
Ok, the features are absurd, offensive, and down-right pointless. However, the most sexist part came when ORA presented the new electric car. You might think they would hire a woman to explain the car’s features. Nope. A bearded man explains all of the car’s features to a young girl in a short dress. *groan* You can watch the video of the car’s debut here if you dare.