A popular trend in commercial advertising is the “dumb man” premise — men (or more specifically, husbands) who are unable to complete a simple household task that usually involves a form of cleaning or food preparation are saved by their domestic goddess wives. And as women, we are meant to watch these commercials and think, “Oh, those dumb oafs! They wouldn’t last a day without me!”
Here’s a news flash: they would and they do. There are quite a few single men who do not live with female significant others who can fend for themselves when faced with a pile of dirty clothes and dishes. Because men are not helpless idiots. (And by this logic, I suppose we’re left to assume that households with male same-sex couples are just toxic hazard wastelands. Yeah, probably not the case.) Why commercials for household cleaning products are not being targeted towards all humans desiring a clean toilet and dishes riles me on a daily basis. But here’s my beef: the “female empowerment” these advertisers are trying to convince us of? Bogus. Gee, thanks, ad men. Thanks for further establishing women’s center of power as the home. Not as a breadwinner, but as a maid. And that’s not the only reason we lose despite being “empowered.” It’s the comedy.