Now that women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of American households, it's a great time for Swiffer to co-opt the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter—who urged women to roll up their sleeves and join the workforce during World War II—and use her to get women back in the kitchen where they belong! Funny thing, though, a lot of women objected to that, and now Procter & Gamble, in one of those smart moves where companies actually listen to their consumers, is working to remove the image everywhere it's being used. Satisfied consumers are chanting Rosie's slogan of "We can do it!" relatively pleased that Swiffer heard them.
Our core value is to make cleaning easier, no matter who's behind the handle. We apologize and are working hard to remove the image.
— Swiffer (@Swiffer) June 4, 2013
If you didn't know the history, the ad would seem boring at best. It has a woman in Rosie's trademark red polkadot hairkerchief and rugged denim button-down holding a Swiffer steam mop with an arched eyebrow and a no-nonsense look on her face. She's about to get her deep clean on with steam clean. If wardrobe had put that woman in nearly any other outfit, we wouldn't have thought twice about it. But now bloggers are not only upset over the soon-to-be-destroyed Swiffer ad, they're scrutinizing the entire cleaning category, which has been overpopulated for far too long with the sort of sexist bullshit that demeans both sexes, reducing men to bumbling children and elevating women to powerful princesses of cleanliness. Which is ridiculous.
I recommend they take some tips from Tide. Look, gender doesn't matter in cleaning. Women, men, even children and probably a few intelligent dogs can mop a floor. And that will be true until we ditch our Swiffers and start mopping the floor with our genitalia.