A press release What Women Want identifies that:
Of the hundreds of emails Honest John receives daily, 35% are from female motorists who need help and advice.
Apparently, this warrants “John” teaming up with “a well know female motoring journalist operating under the alias of “Ultra Violet” to provide practical advice on what women want to know about when it comes to motoring” via the website www.honestjohn.co.uk.
But, I really don’t get why there is this ongoing attitude that women need to be communicated with differently in respect of motoring matters. The average male car owner is as likely to need advice regarding “what to do in an accident, buying from a franchised dealer versus an independent and… basic car maintenance”.
It is disappointing that attitudes to women and cars seems in many ways as patronising as it was back in the 1960s – as illustrated in a great video I found in the British Pathe online resource of the 1967 Motorshow that stated “this is the year when women will have the say in what goes… ladies perhaps for the first time the choice is yours if hubby doesn’t want to give up those pints (following the introduction of the breathalyser), you’re going to do a lot of driving”.
Anyway, this latest initiative is just one in a long line that I’ve seen of journalism targeted at women – most specialist magazines with this aim have failed, and there are already websites targeting women.
Of course, women motoring writers are pretty rare, but do we need women to write for women?
I’m not convinced women really need something different in terms of motoring communications – is Honest John now only for men? Haven’t 35% of his contacts been happy to receive advice from a man? Did any of them ask for a women to answer their questions?