Friday, February 10, 2012

Man the Dishwashers Boys!

Some people would wonder why I bother. Seriously. Even I wonder why sometimes but there are occasions in life when you simply have to stand up for what you believe in. Regardless of the cost, the potential ridicule and the likelihood that you efforts will be exactly like attempting to resist the Borg: futile.

The current television ad for Finish Powerball, that's dishwashing detergent not the lottery, offends me. There I said it. I find it so disturbing that I have written to the company to complain. The ad suggests that only women use dishwashers. That crowd of enthusiastic Finish supporters at the end of the ad is comprised solely of mums. No dads, no singles, although there may be a few single mums, just mums. However, mums are not the only ones who use dishwashers. Everyone in my family uses the dishwasher and I am solely responsible for the choice of dishwasher detergent. All I'm asking for is a little credit.A little respect.

I clean the shower but I've never seen a man cleaning a shower in an ad for some too-good-to-be-true cleaning product. I'd like to see them use that stuff on a real bathroom, an old one, a dirty one, instead of a showroom version, but I digress. Am I the only man who washes the shower? No way. Am I the only bloke who cooks and cleans? Fat chance. So where are the men in the ads doing the business with the toilet brush, or scrubbing, spraying, wiping, chopping, dicing and cooking(celebrity chefs aside)?

A recent survey showed that an increasing number of women are becoming the household breadwinners. Househusbands are on the increase. Is this really happening? Or are women doing even more than they have traditionally done, that is, just about everything, and men doing even less? Whether it be childcare or housework, shopping or cooking, I don't think it is at all unusual for men to share the load at home these days.

That's not what I'm seeing in advertising though. Advertising, which targets particular demographics with particular products, reinforces cultural stereotypes as it serves its master and searches for sales. To the companies who use these discriminatory ads to promote their goods and services, I say...beware the slighted househusband. Ignore us at your peril!

To my fellow househusbands, and all those men, who may eschew that title but nonetheless pull their weight at home, and do so willingly and modestly, and even enjoy it, I say...bravo. I love you all. Man the dishwasher boys!

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