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Not a Happy Housewife: Why I Don’t Relate to TV Commercials

SAMSUNGby Librarian Karen

When I first noticed the new advertising campaign for clothing retailer Mark’s Work Wearhouse, now known as Mark’s, I remember being confused by the “Now Welcoming Women” slogan: welcoming women to what, the work force?

The ads reminded me of how much I dislike advertising targeted towards women, specifically TV commercials for household cleaning products. They cause me great stress because of how they insist on still portraying a woman as the only person in a household capable of doing anything. And although I’m a woman responsible for everything in my household (of one), I don’t relate to them at all.

TV commercials for cleaning products give the impression that a woman’s primary role, or even only responsibility, is for the management and care of a household, including catering to the emotional and physical needs of her partner and children, regardless of her own employment status and other responsibilities and needs. In this Arm & Hammer cat litter commercial, we see a woman going about her busy life, and yet we are led to believe that she will be the one cleaning the litter box:

Are the children not capable of helping out with such a simple task? I had chores when I was young, and as much as I probably disliked doing them, as an adult I can appreciate having learned responsibility. Read more

Posted on by Librarian Karen in Feminism, Pop Culture 1 Comment