“Blinker fluid” is a joke as old as the car itself, used to catch people who aren’t mechanically inclined. It’s pretty funny, that is, until some doofus uses it to embarrass his own daughter on the internet. Way to reinforce every stereotype that will keep your own daughters from being taken seriously in the future, Dad!
In the video, two young girls come back from Dad’s modern-day mechanical snipe hunt, mortified that the “blinker fluid” and “bucket of steam” they were sent to retrieve aren’t real things. The dad filming the video had even sent the girls off with a coupon, versions of which have been floating around the internet for quite some time.
It’s totally plausible that these girls might not know that these things aren’t real yet. They’re what, in junior high? Maybe early high school, at the oldest? Crap, I didn’t know what went on under the hood of a car at that age, either. Some mechanical bits moved around, magic happened, and the car worked. And I liked cars at that age—I just wasn’t all that interested in working on them myself until years later.
Only now these girls are the stars of a viral video with over 2 million hits, at least a few thousand of which probably never consider that context and wrote it off as “girls are dumb.” Thanks, Dad!
That’s the problem with this video: women are treated like crap on the internet. Every cliché, low-hanging-fruit prank where girls are the butt of the joke ends up so much worse than it does when we’re laughing at some dudes.
For better or for worse, this dad may have learned that lesson himself at some point, as YouTube comments have been disabled for the video. Unfortunately, as anything put onto the Internet lives forever, and I’m sure this will haunt these sisters for a while, trash off-YouTube comments and all.
Privately, this is probably a pretty funny joke to share around the family. “Tee hee, look here, my kids don’t know any better.” This dad may have posted it with the best of intentions to show how funny his kids are. But you have to be careful with any in-family joke that’s published online to the wider, public audience of the Internet, and make sure you’re not doing your own kids a massive disservice in doing so.