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Those Family Stickers on Cars August 20, 2013

Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, STFU.
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8143655393_58d23e3ce0_oThey are really disturbing, and if you live in North America, you know them. You see them all over.  You may even have some yourself! Those stick-figure-esque stickers showing the white outlines of people in the simplest breakdown possible: Man, woman, boy, girl. People put them on the back windows of their cars to show who is in their family. Oh, you also get dogs and cats and the occasional little baby. Some of the people carry things that represent their fun hobbies: Lacrosse stick! Guitar! Staple Gun! (Well, maybe not that last one.)  You may be thinking, SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM, GRUMPY ONELY?

The man is always bigger than the woman who is bigger than the children. That last part makes sense. But the first part has the potential for trouble. And trouble there is! 99.9 percent of the sticker families are ordered left to right–as is our written language in this part of the world–and so people (I hope without thinking) in an attempt at aesthetics smack on those stickers on biggest to smallest. So the father is always, always on the left, and hence, first.  And the woman second.

Ignoring for the moment that these sticker collections are almost always nuclear-focused, let’s look at that father on the left. First. Taller. ALWAYS. I don’t think I have ever seen them ordered Mother, Father, Children. Ever. And I have seen a looooot of them. These stickers give me the chills because of their father-as-head-of-household mentality. Maybe not on purpose, and maybe that wasn’t the intention of the company who makes them, but customers are still slave to the big-to-small aesthetic and hence stick father-then-mother, perpetuating a dynamic that I thought was supposed to be dying out in the 1960s!

But don’t worry! A few lone independent thinkers are fighting back!

Somewhere in Colorado between Denver and Boulder, I saw a black car in front of me with the family stickers. They were on the bumper instead of the window. And they had been, shall we say, rearranged. As this is a family blog (Hey, singles blogs can be family blogs too! Right?), I won’t go in to details, just to say that one scene had a girl (you could tell by the feathered hair and triangle skirt) throwing a baby’s head to her brother (you could tell by the boxy shorts).

If familystickers.com isn’t careful, more people might start manipulating their product into even more controversial displays, such as. . . Two Men and a girl with the girl on the left! (I’ve never seen this one; I’ve never even seen two men), or One Woman and Seven Cats (this would be mine) (hey, I’m counting my feral colony, ok!?).

Copious Readers, do any of you have FamilyStickers on your car? In what configuration?

—Christina

Photo Credit: Theo Junior

Comments»

1. Kenny - August 20, 2013

Well, I’ve seen some of these family stickers with “humorous twists”
Left to right there was the father sticker, then a gap where the mother sticker should have been, and the three liitle kid’s stickers. Written above the gap where mom sticker had been, was written “position open”….looks like a post divorce family

2. SweetSong - August 21, 2013

I’ve seen tons of variations of the family stickers here in Canada. I’ve seen Star Wars themed ones, I’ve seen the single female with the horde of cats, and I’ve seen single parent family ones. I’ve even seen a bunch of the “custom” ones with non-standard features, including height. Yeah, they’re a little sexist, but the simplest representations usually are. Just look at male/female bathroom signs. Are you going to complain that the women symbols on bathroom doors wear dresses when most women don’t wear dresses on a regular basis anymore? No, it’s simple recognizability. For the record, I think the family stickers are dumb, but it doesn’t seem THAT sexist to me. There are worse things we could be fighting.

3. CatLady - August 21, 2013

I always wanted to make my own family sticker of a knife-wielding woman, a beheaded man (eyes x’d out and all), two cats and a bird. :oD

4. Onely - August 24, 2013

It’s good to hear that some people out there are going against the tide with these stickers! What a relief :) — L

5. BC - August 24, 2013

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