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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...
Manny, thank you for being the voice of reason... Personally, I think if there was a campaign to be waged it would be against the root causes of why such tactics seem to be effective and not against the practitioners of such.
This is my opinion as a woman who feels she's done some time in this industry to say the following.
In my humble opinion, there are many more women in this industry than ever before. I have seen it grow in the few years I have been a part of this incredible industry. The thing that bothers me has nothing to do with her physical appearance or what she wears. The hate is wrong, but to compare that to burkas and lynching is a bit extreme. I haven't personally seen "punch her in the face", but if that was said... it is wrong! What she chooses to do is her business. If she were my sister, I'd probably have different personal conversations with her. HOWEVER
As a woman in this industry, I find myself completely angered, turned-off, and insulted by the business model. I feel women in this industry (and there have been so many) that try to change the culture one dealer principal, one sales person or even one salesforce at a time.
Have there been issues of sexual-harassment in dealerships? Sure. Have each of us witnessed things being said to women or about women that shouldnt be said at a dealership? Absolutely! But isn't that what we're working towards? Changing and bettering the way we do business? All this talk about "zero moment of truth", humanizing the business, changing the way we talk to customers... is great, but in all of the places I have worked it has always been a priority to change antiquated behaviors of any salespeople who don't understand that the industry and people (both purchasing vehicles and those within the industry itself) have changed. Changing the culture is so extremely important when we talk to customers, why not when we talk to each other? I'm no feminist, you can ask anyone in this industry who has taken the time to get to know me. I am generally reserved and quiet, but this topic needs some attention.I walk into dealerships knowing that I have to have thick skin and learn to be one of the guys, but with the goal that they learn by example and learn to respect women they work WITH because it always translates to the women they sell TO.
I don't have a problem with Jamie Lynn. But I DO have a problem with Cardoll for many reasons. It feels like we're moving backwards and what people like me have so worked so hard for doesn't matter. It feels like we make excuses because things have been done a certain way for awhile and so its OK for this to happen. Would you be satisfied with any other industry (medical, law, education, etc) just doing the same things or making excuses because thats how we've been doing it? We adapt, we change, we move on. We need people to speak up about treating women in this industry with the respect that we deserve damnit!
I hope that people know better than to train their salespeople with this kind of training. Do I think she has some valid points? Sure. Do I think there are people in this industry that will do a better job of training your people correctly? Sure! Do I hate Cardoll? Not at all. It is an interesting concept, I just wish it were done differently. I don't agree with ANY of it, but it can still be done in a more respectful manner. And Ralph made a great point, he doesn't agree with the business model and has tried to reach out. I admire that and maybe I'll do the same, but personal attacks should be out of the question.
To assume that everyone in this industry training to be a salesperson would enjoy that and not get insulted is ignorant. And to assume that everyone disagreeing with Cardoll is hateful or jealous is also completely inaccurate. Most of the comments I have read seem to be more angered by the business than the person, it is difficult because in this case they are one in the same, but we should also allow those people to speak up with their disagreements about cardoll. Jamie Lynn should be out of the question... Just don't be so hateful people!
I'm sure this will cost me some personal attacks , but at some point a woman had to speak up.
Subi, thank you so much for posting here. And for your points. When folks don't really get what's wrong with the whole CarDoll concept, it worries me a lot. As a man, I've already taken heat on my stand against the concept (NOT NOT NOT the person). As you are a woman, I have really no idea what will happen. However, I don't expect personal attacks here.
Thank you, again, for a great response.
Thanks Keith. Just trying to be more involved this year. Too many dealership people are afraid to speak up with all the opinions of all the vendors out there. But I think the best stuff comes out of when vendors and dealership people speak TO each other. I'm prepared for any comments... I have thick skin... I work in this industry remember? ;)
You might enjoy this that I wrote in May of 2011: The Good Ol' Boy Network (GOBN) Limits Dealer Success. I may resurrect that blog. In fact, I just did! :)
Beautifully said, Subi!
For the record, I was the ADM member in Houston having the Cardoll discussion with Ralph and Larry. It was a great discussion, in my opinion. I love a healthy debate! Also for the record, I was NOT the person encouraging violence against Jamie. I do not know her and have not attacked her as a person. I am, however, 100% embarrassed as a woman in this industry who has struggled to gain respect (and still do on occasion) that Jamie would think it necessary to sexualize herself in order to get attention. I agree with Keith, that Cardoll is a symptom. Not the problem. The problem is so much bigger than we can write about here. Go to Amazon.com and search “the sexualization of women/girls…” and take a look at the amount of books that are written on the topic and see if you can find even one that has a positive spin for women. For me. For my daughter.
When I walked into the dealership on my first day as a salesperson, I knew instantly that respect may be a slight challenge. There were no other sales women in the store at the time and the Good Ol’ Boys fell into two camps: The “I can tag that” camp, and the “ain’t no woman gonna outsell me” camp. Well… I came to be friends with most of those men in time, and they all treated with me respect. They treated me with respect because I sold cars…lots of them. I worked hard, treated people with kindness, respected my managers, and participated in the football pool and even won on occasion. Might I have sold a car or two because the customer happened to be attracted to me? Sure. Most of us probably have. But I have never USED my gender, my age, my looks, my mammary glands or ass(ets) to gain respect or, more accurately, the perception of respect. My point is that Jamie might have something valuable to contribute…but nobody will ever know that. Women will be turned off and insulted, and men will not hear the message. I have listened to the messages in her videos, by the way. And I don’t believe that they say anything new that we haven’t heard a million times. But they COULD.
This is not a human rights issue, Ralph. I don’t think anyone would argue with you (and win) that everyone in this country has the right to wear what they want, say what they want, yada, yada, yada. This is about being frustrated…paddling the boat against the current, exhausted, finally feeling like I’m making headway, and looking over my shoulder to see Cardoll pulling me backward. That’s it. Simple.
I agree with every word you wrote. 100% Those experiences are EXACTLY the same as mine (as I'm sure many other women will agree). From treating people with respect, to showing them I was willing to work hard to play in their game, to football pools, and most importantly "looking over my shoulder to see Cardoll pulling me backward".
I saw your post and was inspired by it. I agree with you totally and completely. Never anything personal towards Jamie but frustrated and saddened none-the-less. Thank you so much for posting here as well! Good to know other people think like me and don't think I'm nuts for saying all that.
Subi, thanks again. The keywords you wrote are "treating people with respect". It's a two way street. If you feel that another is disrespectfull, you don't teach them respect by treating them with disrespect. That is equally hurtful and engenders an attitude of resentment and accomplishes nothing. In my day and age, it was called manners. You don't teach good manners by displaying bad manners. Hateful words never accomplish their goals to change behavior.
Awesome, Julie. Just awesome.
Julie, I appreciate your comment... BUT, it was I that said CarDoll is the symptom and not the root cause. It is certainly the right thing to do in considering whether or not to do business with a company that uses objectionable marketing and advertising practices. But, there is also the perspective that Manny expressed... If something works for some people and not others, then let the others stay away from it and let those that it works for take advantage of it. The real problem that i believe makes people object to CarDoll is not necessarily what CarDoll is doing to promote her business, it is the thought that it might work, that anyone in our industry might reward her for the approach she is using. If that is the case, then I stand behind what i said before... Attacking the symptom may feel like the right thing to do, but does not solve the root cause of the issue itself.
Subi, very well written and very well taken. You are a voice of reason. Whether anyone agrees with parts of this post by Ralph (burkas?), I believe the true meaning has been subverted by the argument over sexuality in advertising.
You stated it succinctly and correctly, "And Ralph made a great point, he doesn't agree with the business model and has tried to reach out. I admire that and maybe I'll do the same, but personal attacks should be out of the question." Thank you!
Micha delivers a great response.