Watch What You Say on the Back of Your Car

Watch What You Say on the Back of Your Car

The back of our 2005 Nissan Sentra is pretty much covered in reading material. If you get stuck behind us in traffic, odds are that you will not be bored. From same-sex marriage support slogans to Obama stickers leftover from 2008, “Feel Your Boobies” imagery to Save Darfur clings, there are at least a dozen messages on our back window—and they never fail to get people all nice and riled up.

Some people are just amused. We get a lot of comments about “Feel Your Boobies.” My husband’s coworkers used to think it was a porn site. I like having to explain what it’s about, though, and isn’t that the point? To get people to not just get themselves checked for cancer, but to stay in tune with their bodies and what their bodies tell them?

But some people are pretty angry when they see the back of our car. I think the Obama sticker and the gay marriage sticker—or perhaps the one about Fox News?—is the most offensive to the Midwesterners who surround us. Some honk, some even pass by us just to flip us off. My husband has even had cars come up beside him and yell at him out their window, calling him a socialist and much worse. I’d rather be called a socialist than a bigot, racist, or fascist, myself.

What is really distressing is when drivers get violent about our stickers. Look, when I see those “It’s a child, not a choice” stickers, or an abysmal one that says “Speak English or get out,” or those horrible discriminating ones that say “Marriage = one man + one woman” stickers, I get pretty damn pissed off, but I don’t threaten people or cut them off or cause a danger to other drivers. That unfortunately cannot be said about the drivers who surround us.

It’s usually the same—some pissed off, young to mid-life white guy, laying on his horn or speeding around us just to cut us off and give us the finger or an evil look. Today’s guy was bald, so I sneered, “Classy move, skinhead. Cutting off a car with an obvious child in the backseat.” Yeah, I know I was being discriminatory there, too—who knows if the guy is a real skinhead or not, after all—but I was pretty miffed. At least I didn’t give HIM the finger or cut HIM off. Still, I should not have said that in front of my daughter—who apparently wasn’t paying attention over the enthralling dog book she was reading anyway.

Should I take off all of my beloved stickers? I say no. I have a lot fewer stickers than I used to have on my “hippie wagon” in college, after all, with its tie-dyed seats, “Not Another Son of a Bush” stickers, and activist materials filling up the back of the car. I sure do miss that car… Anyway, the point is, it’s our property, so we should get to say what we want on it. If I have to see those grotesque anti-abortion ads, those ridiculous giant signs that proclaim “JESUS” and nothing else (what the hell is the point of that, anyway? I so want to buy one and have “BUDDHA” printed on it), and all of the other crap we—and our child!—have to see driving down the highway, we sure as hell should get to use our own stickers on the back of our vehicle.

And we should get to do so safely.