Swiffer's New Ad Actually Tells Rosie the Riveter to Get Back in the Kitchen


Have you taken a good look at the photo above? If your blood isn’t boiling, then you’re doing something wrong.

Swiffer’s new ad for its steam mop turns the strong, “We Can Do It!” Rosie the Riveter into a … housewife?!

Let me repeat that: They’re turning Rosie, the tough, independent icon who showed thousands of women that they are capable of and have the right to non-traditional jobs outside of the home, into a woman who just really wants to mop her floors. Somehow I get the feeling that if Rosie could speak, she would be filing a lawsuit.

I don’t even know where to begin with the insanity of this ad. It almost seems that if you colored it sepia, it could be in one of those slideshows for “Sexist Vintage Ads” – that’s how bad it is. Not only does it take a historically significant icon of feminism and women’s empowerment and essentially “piss on its legacy,” but in order to become the leading commercial image for Swiffer's steam mop, this ad must have gone through at least half a dozen marketing executives, if not more. Multiple people saw this ad and found nothing even slightly questionable about completely desecrating Rosie and her message.  

Even if we were to cut Swiffer some slack and say that maybe they were going for the idea that women can have a job and still clean the house, that’s not much better. Pushing this myth that women can and should “have it all” just creates an absolutely impossible ideal that nobody can realistically achieve — and worse, continues to tell women that housework is still solely their responsibility.

All I have to say to Swiffer is: There is definitely a way to make an ad for a cleaning product that isn’t revoltingly sexist. You can do it! .... Or maybe not.