Have you ever been home alone without a husband to protect you, when you spot a burglar with a crowbar outside your window? According to the ads for Brinks Home Security, it's a common occurrence.
Brinks commercials all follow the same basic plot: A defenseless woman is home alone (or with her young children). A male intruder sees that she is in the house and breaks in anyway, the alarm sounds, and he runs off. Then Brinks saves the day when the phone rings and a white male employee says he's "sending help."
To wit, Brinks demonstrates the dangers of exercising alone in your home (courtesy of last night's CNN programming):
And: Joggers in your neighborhood are probably just burglars waiting for your husband to leave for work!
Obviously all home security companies use affluent suburban homeowners' fear of burglars to sell security systems. But what's so infuriating about Brinks ads is that they aren't actually about securing the objects in your home. They all focus on protecting the one most important object in a man's castle: his woman.
Logically, if someone was just after your big screen TV, it would be easiest to break in when no one was home. But in Brinks commercials, the burglar often sees that there's a woman inside the home before he chooses to break in. Since there's no other reason for the burglar to break in while he knows someone's home, Brinks must be implying that the man intends to assault the woman. But we never find out exactly what he's planning to do, since the hardened criminal is easily scared off once he hears the alarm.
Then, the woman receives a phone call from one of the dashing he-men over at Brinks. Because when you're face to face with an attacker, you always want a strong, authoritative man on the other end of the line, sitting in an office hundreds of miles away.
If you stop to think about it, the entire point of the phone call is unclear. In every commercial the woman sees the burglar run away immediately with out coming near her, yet when the Brinks man asks if she's ok, she says no. In real life, "are you ok?" means, "do I need to call an ambulance?" to which the answer is no, unless she needs to be treated for hysteria. Though she does need to report the crime, since no one is hurt the only point of the police rushing over anyway seems to be so a strong protective force can comfort her until her husband comes home (unless the cops are going to repair her door). If the intruder was actually attacking her, she wouldn't be answering the phone, or she'd be telling Brinks it was a false alarm because the guy had her at gunpoint.
So, while we thank Brinks for the daily dose of irrational fear and for reminding us that as women we are vulnerable even when we're locked securely in our own homes, we must agree with the reader who tipped us off about these ads, that mostly they just bug the crap out of us. If you're really concerned about home security, rather than giving Brinks a couple hundred dollars to provide protection and "a quick link to the authorities 24 hours a day" why not take a few self-defense courses and figure out how to dial three numbers to call the police yourself?