Obviously this woman is not exactly Rosie the Riveter. But it's clear the model is inspired by the World War II icon — the polka-dot headband, the blue workshirt, the tough expression. But instead of putting a mothertrucking bomber together, this lady is about to do the floors. Earlier this week, Alexandra Petri wrote for the Washington Post:
Who knew that when the poster said “We can do it!”, the “it” in that sentence was “steam clean the whole kitchen!!”?
She went on to rant:
Deeply embedded in a lot of advertising still is the throwback idea that mopping, Swiffer’ing, convincing animated Scrubbing Bubbles to dance whimsically around your toilet bowl and Making Your Shower Sparkle Like A Disney Princess are the special province of women.
Extreme as it is, an ad like this is really just an extreme example of the larger, unquestioned assumption that maybe she goes to the office, too, but still, A Woman’s Place Is In The Home, Keeping It Clean — exactly what Rosie the Riveter implied was not the case. Ouch.
The folks at Swiffer took note, and issued a statement:
It was not our intention to offend any group with the image, and we are working to remove it from where it’s being used as soon as possible.
Victory! Recbecca Cullers at AdWeek suggests that Swiffer take a look at Tide has been doing lately — acknowledging that men also do housework and it's not a gendered chore anymore. After all, families with lady-breadwinners are at an all-time high right now.