Feminism | Posted by Reba R on 09/6/2010
Swiffer Brings “Sexist” a Whole New Meaning
I love television. I willingly gave 6 years of my life to Lost, watch the Daily Show for ALL of my news, and I can’t even do my homework on my laptop without first checking Hulu for updates on shows I’ve missed. But nothing compares to my love for commercials. As a journalism student, I find myself analyzing every advertisement for subliminal messages using lighting, colors, word choice, and imagery to figure out what message they are trying to get across. But a set of commercials that really grind my gears with their obvious sexism comes from that space-age mop known as Swiffer.
Yeah guys, I’m a little late on this one. And it’s been so long since I’ve written something for thefbomb. I have been wanting to write this article for a long time, and just as I start to find time to do it, I notice that Swiffer has really started to change these commercials as not to offend the many feminists out there (but that doesn’t mean they aren’t offensive.)
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months (understandable, in this economy), or you just haven’t seen these commercials, it starts off with a woman cleaning her floor with a Swiffer. Immediately sexist, having a woman cleaning, but not surprising. Then voice of your best friend informs you that, “You’ll love Swiffer so much, you’ll forget about your old [mop, broom, duster]. But don’t worry, he’ll find someone else.” Following this is a rendition of “Love Stinks” or “Baby Come Back” where the neglected cleaning utensil finds another inanimate object to love.
Really, Swiffer? When was the last time I had a romantic relationship with my broom? Was the person (obviously a guy) at the meeting intending to make women out to be in love with their cleaning supplies, or was he really just an idiot? Clearly I was mistaken in going to college to meet guys, when in reality the love of my life is cleaning floors or dusting book shelves (with, I might add, an obscene amount of dust on them). And I had told myself all these years that I was going to marry a lawyer. Oh, the farce!
The last month has shown either a step away from sexism or a cruel twist on sexism in commercials, showing the cleaning instrument as wanting something extra, such as a static cling balloon. Could this be a sting on guys, who may be insecure about buying forms of male enhancement? If I were a guy, I would probably find this commercial a bit offensive as well. Dear Men: You are only good as a tool to use, unless something bigger and better comes along, and then you need enhancement for us to love you. Love, Ladies.
Swiffer seems to be having a problem with their advertising department. As I go to my Mass Communication classes and the people around me say they are going into advertising, I can only hope that the future of commercials is improved with my generation as I start my first year of college.
P.S. Steve, if you are reading this, I didn’t mean it. You will always be the only mop for me. And you’re perfect just the way you are. Love, Reba.
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