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Are You a CarDoll Hater?

First of all, let me make a statement in regards to vested interests and financial motivations: Neither I, nor any of my business partners or affiliated companies receive any payment, advertising funds, or in any way benefit from the success or failure of "The CarDoll".  The same holds true for Jamie Lynn's husband (Ted Ing) and his businesses, or any of their other business interests.

I respect the right of each and every ADM Professional Community member to express their opinion, and if you disagree with me, I will usually promote your post! Last Wednesday, Larry Bruce paid me a compliment in Houston when he said to an ADM member who was complaining about "The CarDoll" to me:

"One thing about Ralph, I have posted many articles and statements that he vehemently disagrees with, but I have never seen him delete or moderate somebody for having an opinion different from his..."

(or something like that - sorry Larry if I got that wrong) I am deeply optimistic that a few of you reading this, who disagree with me, may understand that people who are friends can have differing opinions on such matters. I simply feel, in my heart, that to attack someone for the way they dress, or their personal mannerisms is wrong...

Long before certain individuals started talking about punching a young woman in the face for wearing a short dress in an automotive training video, I despised bigotry, racism, prejudice against people who look and/or act differently, along with the intolerant and at times violent behaviors that go with such hateful principles... Such as judging people by their appearance or ostracizing a person because of their looks. Threatening a young person with harm or rallying and influencing others to adopt the same negative attitude and hatreds towards appearance that is outside what somebody has deemed acceptable.

That is probably why I tend to defend the rights of gays, lesbians, people of color, those shorter than me, taller than me, darker than me, lighter than me, or even those stupid car salesmen that don't wear ties to sales meetings! Heck, I am even so far out of the norm that I have willfully, gladly and with a positive attitude sold cars to strippers, porn stars, sluts and the whores that cheat on their husbands (the reverse are the manly men who cheat on their wives).

I have actually accepted payments from people wearing bikinis and short-shorts who wanted to buy a car... Worse yet, I have sold vehicles to many of the undocumented immigrants here in Arizona who get gouged on their payroll taxes, then never file a return to get a refund of their over-payments, but who needed a car to get back and forth from that same job.

One of the best characteristics about the car business (in my opinion) is how, for the most part, we do not act prejudicial, regardless of a customer's appearance... As long as they have the means or credit rating to buy a car.

I have seen restaurants and bars refuse to serve people who look different than their usual clientele, but am proud to say, and thank the Lord that in MY CHOSEN INDUSTRY, I have not yet seen a customer kicked out of a dealership for their appearance, or even something as offensive as too much cleavage or a skirt that is too short.

Maybe my support for The CarDoll (Jamie Lynn Ing) is misplaced, but try to take a look at it through my eyes... Because, I look at the situation this way - I was raised during a time in American culture when many of us were taught that if you don't have anything good to say about somebody, then you don't say anything at all... Those that know me, also know that i have on many occasions violated this principle when a company or person does something i feel egregious enough to speak out about... Such as fraud, charging for a product or service that does not perform as promised, etc.  However, in this situation it seems to me that for ANYBODY to put a lot of effort into criticizing and personally attacking a community member in the social media space based on personal appearance is just plain wrong... This is how bullying and some of the related suicides we see in various news reports have occurred.

I had the unforgettable misfortune of witnessing deadly homophobic mob violence in Buffalo New York (outside of a Hertel Ave. bar), when I was 21 years old... The victim was guilty of dressing inappropriately, revealing his sexual orientation in the wrong place at the wrong time. At that moment, maybe I was in shock, I vowed to NEVER become a "hater" and to accept people who were different from me as individuals.  Because we are fortunate enough to live in the United States, we are living in what most of us would like to describe as a free country... I was so radicalized by my traumatic experience that I am now foolish enough to believe that if a woman so chooses, she is entitled to wear short dresses, or even show off her cleavage if she wants to. If you find that concept shocking, you better move to Saudi Arabia... Or at least stay away from most Phoenix are dealership Finance Departments.

Now, with that said, I am quite comfortable with informing those that report to me in a work situation that clothing is either appropriate for our workplace, or it is not.  I also understand that if the people working in a business are not dressed in a manner that meets the approval of some people, that that business may lose those people as customers.  In fact, as incredible as some may find this to be about my background, I once escorted a high ranking Honda executive OUT of a party at NADA because of the scantily clad women who had been hired to mingle with the crowd at the party... (but Ralph, that doesn't happen in the car business!)

But guess what I did not do? I did not insult, assault or even pass judgement on the people who chose to stay at the party, nor did I slap any of the women or "punch them in the face"... as somebody has posted, describing what they want to do to Jamie Lynn (aka CarDoll).

I do not have to become a CarDoll customer, I am not now, nor do I intend to become one... neither do you or anyone else. Quite honestly, her appearance and mannerisms make me somewhat uncomfortable, but for those that enjoy her style of training and communication, more power to you... Vive le Différence!

What ever happened to simply posting a comment expressing a strong negative opinion? Trying to organize a public lynching of anyone for the reasons people are attacking Jamie Lynn (the CarDoll) is far too close to the sentiments that create Lynch Mobs and emboldens those that burn crosses on people's front lawns for my own morality and sense of right and wrong to accept.

How many of the CarDoll's detractors have communicated directly with her and attempted to coach her? I have... Have her other critics? Because, yes... I am a critic and Jamie Lynn and Ted Ing both know it.

If we deem ourselves enlightened, forward thinking "Thought Leaders", then we should refuse to accept "Hate Behavior", or any other form of online or offline bullying and appearance-based judgmental rejection... Where does it end? Are Burqas the next female clothing requirement in the auto industry?

Make no mistake, the way people have expressed a desire to physically abuse Jamie Lynn, to "Punch her in the face" is fueled by the same types of hatred and misogynistic motivations as when a group of Afghan men stone a young woman to death for exposing her face in public... Or, when an Indian girl is gang raped to death and the perpetrators say she had it coming. For those of you spewing hatred and intolerance for Jamie Lynn's appearance.... Osama Bin Laden has 76 virgins for you too.

Every single person in my life who is closely related to me, my daughters, granddaughters, my wife and many of my best friends, are women... I admire and respect women in general.  I am thankful that my daughters and granddaughters were born in a country that protects a woman's rights, more so than many other countries (although not as much as several). I am not willing to be neutral or silent about judging any woman solely by her appearance, or the clothing she chooses to wear... Whether it is because she is a devout Moslem, choosing to wear a Burqa, or a Philadelphia news reporter wearing a dress that is too short by Amish standards; either way, such appearance based rushes to judgement and the inflexible standards implied seem wrong to me.

Regardless of the clothing Jamie Lynn (CarDoll) wears or even the way she displays an attitude that seems remarkably similar to what I see so many men expressing in public settings, and then being admired by their peers, and rewarded for, there is something fundamentally wrong with hating her, or attacking her for it.  

I find the whole CarDoll bashing thing to be a disgusting example of intolerance and "socially acceptable" prejudice. These are people motivated by opinions far too similar to what drives violence against women, or result in a gay man tied to a fence in Wyoming, then beaten to death. I am ashamed of the people I know who are so eager to hate a woman who dares to act like the TV commercials used to sell cars, or for saying the same things that men are applauded and revered for. 

As a whole, this world could use a little more love, and a lot less hate...

Tags: Appearance, Attacking, Based, CarDoll, Gender Stereotype, Media, People, Sexual Orientation, Social

Views: 3837

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Replies to This ADM Discussion

{{BIG Sigh....}}  Julie, I agree 100%, completely with EVERYTHING you said in your comment! I do honor the 1st amendment and agree that "CarDoll" can wear and say anything she wants and endure the ramifications of her (and her husband's) decisions.  As a female veteran of 35 years, I, like Julie, am frustrated and annoyed.  The men who are commenting on this post, should walk a 20 acre lot in our stilettos before making a comment.  I entered the business when women who were employed were called nothing more than "secretaries".  I was in the business when it seemed popular to hire a female "salesman" and the guys would joke and kid in the showroom that more cars would now be sold in the back seats of the cars.  I was in the business when the male manager wanted to interview the females applying for office jobs and then rate their physical appearance on a scale of 1-10.  I was in the business when the females at the dealership were told they had to wear skirts or dresses to work every day because guys like to look at their legs.  I was in the business when I overheard that a female applying for a position in sales was asked on her interview if she minded hearing the "F" word because that is how we talk and I may ask you to lift your blouse and show me your "T*Ts".  I was in the business when a male was hired to replace a female at the exact same job and was offered a salary 15% higher, because, after all..."he has to feed his family!"  I was in the business when my boss asked me if I planned on having any more babies because that would not be conducive to the long hours expected of me.  I was in the business when a manager had a prostitute come into his office at lunch time and lock the door from the inside for 1/2 hour.  I was in the business when the girlie calendars were plastered all over the service department and the body shop and it was thought a big joke when I stated I was offended by them and just think how our female customers perceive us.  I was in the business when you were ridiculed if you did not go out to the local gin mill with all the fellas because you chose to go home to your family.  Are you sensing my frustration yet???

Women have made great strides in the automotive workplace over the last decade and I applaud all of the progressive dealers and leaders who advocate for women.  We do not want to be treated special, we want to be treated equal.  We do not think all women should dress in Khakis and golf shirts either... We want women to be comfortable in their own skin, to be accepted for who they are, but to maintain professionalism to keep that respect-o-meter going up in the right direction.  Car Doll has every legal right to express herself... Every dealer group and rooftop has the free will to either hire her for training or not to hire her....The bottom line is it is all about accountability...be ready to be responsible and deal with whatever ramifications arise as a result of your decisions.  Today's society is indulging in sexual sensationalism...Is this moral?  Does it have any positive outcomes?  My answer is NO.. Our children are brought up in a world which thinks it is okay to experience with sex at a very young age, our pre-teens are dressing in nightclub attire 6 months after they put away their Barbie Dolls, our culture is in for a rude awakening!  Is it our responsibility as responsible citizens to speak out about it?  YES!  We owe this to our children, our grandchildren and all those who support our legacy. 

Very happy that Keith Shetterly and others have taken a positive stance when it comes to this subject and voice their opinion with such bold integrity!  I am certainly not a prude, but I work hard to safeguard the professional respect it has taken us women decades to acquire in the automotive industry.

Nancy, this single post blew away everything else any man here said.  You and all the women I know in this business mean a lot to me, and I thank you for not only speaking out so well and directly, but also for recognizing me for the stance I have taken against the issues you raise.  I want you to know that, in the reaction of some of the men towards me and how lonely I have felt on this issue, I get a little hint of one one-thousandth of one millionth of what it has been like for you in the gender minority in this business.  And I admire you for prevailing in your achievements, your wisdom, and your soul.

You are my friend for good now, you know that, right?  :)

Thanks again,

Keith

We have always been friends of the soul for infinity... "Birds of a feather flock together"

:)

Nancy,  I couldn't wait to get to my computer this morning.  FANTASTIC post!!  It blew me away, as well.  It's so easy to feel "alone" as a woman in a male-dominated industry.  The one thing this Cardoll conversation has done is make me feel much less alone.  I thank great women like you for that.  I thank great friends like Keith for that.  I thank Ralph for starting the conversation, and I even thank Cardoll for being the catalyst to the conversation. 

Much Respect,

Julie

Nancy, I agree with everything your comment contains... I was there when the auto industry was just as you described.  I have also worked diligently for many years to bring more women into the car business, and have been successful in doing so... Hiring many more women than men during my tenure. My original post was suggesting that we take a stance against online bullying and ostracizing a woman for what she chooses to wear when filming videos... or something along those lines.

I know that there are some who feel that beating up on a woman who doesn't act according to their preconceived ideas of what is appropriate and what is not, is not only OK, it is to be encouraged... I do not.

And, you know what? If the whole world believed it was OK to stone women to death for what they wear, I still wouldn't support such punishment, or any punishment for that matter.  So, I guess I would be stoned to my death together with my feisty sisters (Lisa and Gina), and my daughters (Sarah and Rachel) who choose to wear and act how they please, despite society's acceptance or rejection. Maybe I take the whole "Land of the Free" propaganda a little too literally.

The following text is a recap and summary of my observations regarding this Forum discussion that I wrote as part of a comment responding to Brian Pasch on Micah Birkholz's blog post referencing this ADM Forum Discussion...

I admire and respect Micah Birkholz's passion and independence... Having seen his work first hand, I know that he is very good at what he does for car dealers... So am I, and so are many of the members of the ADM Professional Community. But, there is value in debating an issue. There are insights to be gained from reading what others write in opposition or support of a hypothesis. It does not mean that one side is wrong, or the other is right... It does indicate that there is a divergence of opinion from people who are knowledgeable and have good intentions.

 

This is why we are going to have a couple of POTUS style "Debates" at AutoCon 2013... Yes, to do so is risky... Yes, the debates will have to be genuine and not a sham for some sponsorship booty... And, yes, the debaters will actually believe and be expert in their opposing positions to each other.

 

Why is debate a positive tool for car dealers? Because there are many decisions to be made regarding digital marketing strategies that can be completely different at one dealership than at another and both work for both dealers.  Want an example?

 

Onsite Customer Reviews - This is a great debate topic because the people that recommend for or against onsite reviews have compelling logic and case studies to support each position.

But, as for Micah's blog post... I don't think anyone has taken the position that sexual harassment in the workplace is either recommended or should be tolerated. Yet, there have been a divergent number of positions around the issues that The CarDoll's business development "look and feel" contained.  Some people felt the CarDoll deserved all the criticism and denouncing that those of us in the auto industry social media space could muster.

 

Some people did not really see anything wrong with what The CarDoll was doing, and suggested the business would either succeed or fail on its own merits without any assistance from the automotive social media peanut gallery (that would be us). A few went so far as to point out many other examples of sexually charged marketing within the car business that had never drawn anywhere near the criticism that this female trainer seemed to be subjected to.

 

Then there were other people, which I will count myself among, who were mildly amused by The CarDoll's "Politically Incorrect" antics (I also like watching the Bill Maher Show), while not having any interest in doing business with the company, we were taken back by the vehemence and passion bordering on hatred that so many people seemed so eager to join in on... People like Manny Luna put a mirror in front of some of us, showing photos of CarDoll critics happily posing with attractive models hired to represent suppliers at dealer conventions. (Thank you Manny for being brave enough to do so...)

All in all, regardless of the people whose emotions were raised above the boiling point, it was a valuable and insightful dialogue. The fact that so many of us were induced to think about the issues raised by The CarDoll's blatant use of sexually charged messaging to draw attention to the character played by Jamie Lynn Ing, was and is, in and of itself a valuable outcome for the auto industry...

The fact that The CarDoll virtually vanished within a three hour period is amazing for its execution (try doing it some time!), and reminds me of waking up from a dream... And finding that the enemy we were preparing to go to war against in our dream, was never real in the first place.  I do not know what happened with The CarDoll, but I do know that the car business is now better off because of the dialogue and debate instigated by her objectionable style of soliciting business... I sincerely believe that the thousands of people who read and observed our dialogue and debate are now more aware than before of the issues around women working in the car business, and the negative impact of sexually based objectification on their level of satisfaction.  This works directly against our industry's genuine need to get more women into various professional positions throughout our industry.  This is a positive impact, regardless of how distasteful the way we were brought into the debate may have been.

As for my original objective... To take a stand against bullying and hate based social media attacks against people. Especially when the mob effect kicks in and all manner of "thought leader wannabes" jump on board by spewing their collaborative hatred in the form of agreeing with the haters... After all the dust settles, I am not sure I was successful in bringing about increased awareness of the issue, but I know that at least a handful of people understand my position around using social media to bully an individual on a personal basis... I don't like it.

Ralph, you did a greater service than you'll ever know.  I, for one, dropped out of the conversation once I knew the topic was not what you wrote about.  A debate must have a topic.  You're topic was a plea for civility.  The response was, "Yeah, but they're wrong!" And so your topic of debate was rejected and discarded and the conversation was moved to the right or wrong of the Cardoll.

I am not discussing the 1st Amendment or freedom of speech, I am discussing civility and respect for differring points of view.  There are good people on both sides of the equation.  But some were silenced by the chorus of comdemnation.  There was no debate about civility as you intended because civility was thrown out the window.

Those who favored civility were never heard to accept sexism, or GOBN, or whatever was in the accusations.  They were heard to describe respect for others and their right to be who they are.  In truth, the marketplace will choose the winners and losers.

I thank you for your commitment to civil discourse and respect for alternative points of view.

The mentality of "It's just the way it is" is the problem. If we all walked around saying "Well, that's just the way it is" I am pretty sure the telephone would have never been invented, African Americans would still be treated like slaves, the Internet wouldn't exist and women would not be allowed to vote. Come on people! Realize that because something is the way it is, is not a reason to keep it so. Change is a GOOD thing and has allowed this country and the automotive industry to prosper. Just because large marketing firms down to small business owners use sex to sell their products does not mean it is OK and should be the norm. Think outside the box. It is easy to use sex to sell something (anyone can do it!!) - try using real marketing strategies to increase your sales. 

Agree 100%.  Thank you!!

I never knew any of that Starbucks logo analysis... Fascinating... Make mine a Grande Caramel late, with the whipped cream, please!

Eh.  Btw, this isn't business-to-consumer sleaze marketing, it's business-to-business.  One of the things about not realizing that difference is also realizing that it DOES affect the workplace environment.  Do you make nudie or pin-up calendars to advertise to dealers for the direct mail sales you do?  I hope not.  It may have never been part of your business to do that, but it was part of others.

Nancy Simmons' post here says it all.  And this is an open forum.  I write what I feel as you do.

I haven't kowtowed to ANYbody here.  And I won't start now.

Here's what a man in the car business for 40+ years wrote me on Facebook (e.g. not all conversations about this happen HERE).  Food for thought.

He's very right about me not giving in to bullying of any type, by the way.

Thanks.

Keith

Thomas A Kelly Keith, your position/comments on the thread fairly reflect the majority I believe. You had every opportunity to cave to the real bullies who insist on defending the indefensible. The issue, in my opinion, never was or is about rights or legalities in our industry but rather the defense, promotion of honor and integrity. An emotionally charged. over the top comment like "punch in the face" ( I missed it and assume it was taken down?) could have been dealt with a simple, harsh criticism of the comment. You did not waiver throughout. Thanks for all that you do for our industry and special thanks for putting honor, integrity and good taste ahead of "rights". There are thousands of Nancys in our industry who have had to tolerate our GOBN for decades...many, if not most have fallen by the side as eventually we wear them out as they are exhausted from our bullshit. Our industry deserves better and most importantly the ladies deserve better. The thread deserved to be set on it's rear...my thanks to Nancy for sharing her thoughts. For what it is worth, I have no particular problem "attacking folks on social media for their appearance" if it is in poor taste and reflects badly on women and the automotive industry. Thanks Nancy and Keith!...You are champions each.
7 hours ago · Unlike · 3

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