The Car You Drive Makes You More of a Man?

Hummer H1

We’ve had a good deal to say on this blog on the subject of so-called chick cars, particularly about the male chauvinism evident in the promotion of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle.

In one piece, I said, “In order to be real guys, many [car writers] have to flaunt their sexist preferences in cars.” And the chest-beating continues. In an MSN Autos blog post on Manly Machines, author James Tate shows us 10 cars—mostly muscle and mostly predictable—that will, he says, inject machismo into your life.

If that’s what you need to get machismo, you’ve got a problem, Jack.

Tate’s lead is that the car industry offers “increasingly bland” and “wussified” vehicles, which his choices then proceed to disprove, as most of those shown are current models. Except for a few like the Hummer H1 (above), which is a joke, I think.

Those infected with this sort of participation mystique are men who have symbolic fantasies about cars. It’s like what the psychologists call projection—in which a person imagines himself endowed with the qualities he thinks the object, the car, represents.

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