Audi is the latest in a lineup of companies attempting to pander to the progressive narrative. During the Super Bowl, the German car company aired a commercial that is incorrect in its assumptions and downright harmful in its message.
The much-buzzed about commercial opens with a father pondering several seemingly difficult questions while watching his young daughter race a pack of boys in homemade, wooden carts. The voiceover begins, “What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa’s worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that, despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets? Or maybe, I’ll be able to tell her something different.”
The commercial closes with the following written message as father and daughter drive off into the sunset (in an Audi sedan, of course) after she has bested all the boys in the cart race: “Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. Progress is for everyone.”
Those intent on perpetuating the “women as victims” narrative will tell you women don’t get paid as much as men for equal work. It is one of the rallying cries of the progressive feminist movement and one of its most harmful. The gender wage gap is, in fact, a myth that has been debunked time and again. See articles featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Examiner for a few examples.
An honest examination of the data makes clear that the perceived “wage gap” is the result not of systemic discrimination against women but of the choices they make. Women often take time off work, switch to part-time jobs, or leave the workforce entirely in order to raise children and run their households. And this is reflected when comparing women’s earnings to those of their male counterparts.
But Audi—like so many progressive feminists, politicians and advocacy groups—prefers to ignore the facts and twist rhetoric and statistics to fit the story they want to tell. And it’s a destructive tale, indeed.
Aside from getting the facts wrong, Audi’s message is dangerous in that it positions monetary value as the lead indicator of one’s worth. Perhaps dad is worth more than mom when simply comparing balance sheets. What of it? Does that balance sheet take into account that mom’s part-time job allows her the flexibility to be there when her daughter gets home from school? To answer a homework question? To cook a healthy meal? To help build her daughter’s race cart? Some things just can’t be reflected on a balance sheet because some things are priceless.
“What do I tell my daughter?” Well, confused, fictional dad, after you tell her that women aren’t really paid less than men for equal work, here are a few other suggestions, coming from a daughter who’s already heard them:
You are not a victim because you are a woman.
You live in a country where your rights are equal to those of men.
A person’s worth lies in their humanity, not in their gender, race, financial status, or occupation.
Sometimes you may feel discouraged or frustrated, and sometimes you may even be treated badly. Don’t let this get to you because it has nothing to do with you. Sadly, some people just aren’t good people; keep your head high and rise above them.
You have the freedom to make choices that are best for you and your family, and you shouldn’t let others dictate what’s most important to you.
Life isn’t always fair, and it isn’t always easy. But if you work hard, if you’re honest, if you’re kind, and if you maintain your integrity, you can accomplish a lot.
You can choose to be a racecar driver, a stay-at-home mom, a part-time teacher, a writer, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company; I’ll be proud of you no matter what.