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seductive urinals to decrease drunk driving

February 16th, 2007     by Thea Lim     Comments

New Mexico in the U.S. has implemented a program that reminds drinkers not to drink and drive when they’re at the urinal – pretty smart if you figure the urinal is the last place drunk men stop before going to their cars. Oddly enough, the safety message will be delivered by “talking” deodorizer pucks. This is how it works:

“When a man steps up, the motion-activated plastic device says, in a woman’s voice that’s flirty, then stern: ‘Hey, big guy. Having a few drinks? Think you had one too many? Then it’s time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home.’” (This quote hijacked from The Toronto Star.)

Okay, I applaud this very creative (and totally weird) way to stop drunk driving. But what’s with the gender bias? As if it wasn’t irritating enough that the puck is a woman, who does she have to talk in a stupid voice? Wouldn’t a TALKING URINAL PUCK on its own be enough to surprise people out of driving home drunk? And does anyone else feel grossed out by the implied message of the “flirty and then stern?” tone of voice - i.e. that the ideal babe is a hot combination of Ultimate Sex-Machine and Your Mom?

I’m assuming that this campaign only targets men because statistically the majority of drunk-driving incidents involves men - and I can sort of accept that. But why does the campaign also have to force sicko gender role conditioning and hetero-normative values, at the same time as it pushes safe driving?

Tags: news flash

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