New feature: Mama’s mop and Bachelor’s soup

// 13 June 2008

Although women shoulder most of the housework burden, men also vacuum, wash up and do the laundry. Kristine Bergström wonders why TV advertising persists in pretending otherwise?

In an article relating to the controversial events surrounding the presidential election in the United States, New York Times journalist Kate Zernike raised the question of where society stands today on gender issues.

The story, headlined ‘Post feminism and other fairy tales’ asks: “Weren’t we in what some people have long called a post-feminism era, when we thought the big battles were over – or at least that the combatants had reached some accommodation?”

This reflection immediately made me think of all those nights I have spent in front of the television here in the UK wondering why all housework related commercials – exclusively and without exception – star only women, especially in the role of apparently stay-at-home, usually white, suburban, middle class mothers? Why do men never feature in housekeeping TV commercials? If men do feature in these ads, they are there as experts telling women what to do and giving them advice on how to better assume their household duties.

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