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Common in advertisements from this time period is the assumption that women must be inept or unskilled when it comes to something as technical as the car. We see this prescribed identity of The Incompetent at work in this advertisement, which hopes to sell the Pontiac Bonneville to women because it is easy to drive. "Ladies like the security of Wide-Track Driving," the ad reads. Ladies, then, supposedly want the simplest driving experience. In this trope, women are unable to master driving skills in the same way that men are. Thus, advertisers attempt to sell an uncomplicated, unskilled, and untechnical driving experience because they imagine women to be poorer drivers than men.
This advertisement is more subtle, but it still assumes that women want a less intensive driving experience. The 1961 Ford lineup is being advertised as "service-free" and "minimum-service." These, of course, are features that any car buyer wants. There is no overt statement here that "ladies like" a low-maintenance vehicle. However, in this image selling ease of use, Ford has given us a female driver. In other ads for the same family of vehicles, where we have images of male drivers, there is no mention of easy service or minimal maintenance requirements. It is subtle, but this advertisement suggests that female drivers in particular want to own a car that is easy, while men can 'handle' something more challenging.
Though no women actually appear in this advertisement, the Dodge La Femme is too infamous not to include in this exhibit. The La Femme is notorious because it represents automakers' insistence that the standard cars designed 'for men' were unfit for women. "For the lucky lady's driving ease," this advertisement promised that women would not have to put up with the trouble of driving a man's car. This car was supposed to be particularly stylish and feminine. More importantly, though, it was supposedly designed to be accessible to female drivers, who were imagined to be too incompetent to handle a standard vehicle. The Dodge La Femme was not a success in the market, and such overt paternalistic pandering towards female consumers was rarely seen again.