On my most recent nostalgia kick, I was browsing YouTube for old Looney Tunes episodes, and I inevitably stumbled across Tex Avery’s “technology of the future” series. Now, I was fully prepared for a healthy dose of vintage sexism going into this venture — but I don’t remember it being this bad. While all four episodes, The Car of Tomorrow, The House of Tomorrow, The Farm of Tomorrow, and The TV of Tomorrow, all capitalize off the woman-as-housewife or woman-as-sex-object narrative, Tex Avery goes overboard in The Car of Tomorrow. Car technology has certainly evolved since the 1950’s. But sexist stereotypes? Not one bit.
Some gems to look out for in this six minute episode: the woman’s car, complete with breasts and buttock (1:07); the emasculating, backseat driver (2:46); the garage for women (3:02); the inept-at-directions woman (3:31); and the car for date-rapists (4:54).
Anyone up for directing my new screenplay, “Men of Tomorrow”? I can tell you who it won’t feature: Tex Avery.