Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Turning the Tide

As a working woman and a feminist, I find it irritating when every household cleaner is shamelessly targeted to women. Dust mops who stalk the housewife after she "dumped" it, women dancing around with floor cleaners as if they were the most liberating thing to come along since the 19th Amendment. It may seem like a minor thing to be irritated about but commercials and pop culture in general are reflections of a society's widely held values. Commercials such as these are just reminders that after a long day of your boss screaming at you, being on your feet, enduring countless toddler tantrums, or being stuck in commuter traffic for hours, women are still expected to keep the house clean and prepare dinner for her clan.

This is why the latest series of Tide commercials have me tickled pink.

Here we have a stay-at-home dad discussing his laundry strategy. Just as he's celebrating the fact that having a quality detergent will eventually lead to more "me" time, his daughter approaches and asks him to braid her hair.

Finally, an ad campaign that reflects the actual day-to-day reality of family life. And what is even better, the stay-at-home dad is not an anomaly of men doing laundry. Several other commercials show men folding laundry along with their wives. Furthermore, when women are discussing their laundry, they aren't depicted as the Super Mom, they are women lounging around in their yoga pants or discussing how their little girl prefers hoodies and cargo shorts to pink dresses. All in all, this ad campaign earns a gold star from me.

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