In this KitchenAid advertisement, it shows a woman in the kitchen preparing a meal with a slogan that say “unleash your inner chef”. This ad seems to target women and makes us assume that women are the only people who would be interested in purchasing kitchen appliances. The problem with this ad is that it promotes gender stereotypes and frames women in a way that restricts them in the domestic sphere. Due to social norms, men and women have set rules or roles that they are expected to fulfill in order to successfully fit their gender category. Traditionally, women have stayed at home and did all the housework because in order to be a woman, one had to be able to do housework since people thought doing housework was in the nature of women. So, when the ad uses the phrase “unleash your inner chef” with a woman in the picture, it suggests that all women have the innate ability to cook. This also discourages men to cook or do housework since housework related ads are not targeted towards them, they would be less inclined to partake in housework which would further expand the labour division. Thanks to the gender revolution, women are now able to work in the public sphere right and pursue jobs in fields that are male-dominated.
However, despite this liberation from the domestic sphere, women and jobs seen as “women’s work” remain devalued. Women were able to “move up” the social ladder if they entered into male-dominated job fields but they were often harassed or discriminated against in that workplace. On the other hand, if men chose to enter into a female-dominated field such as jobs related to nursing, cleaning, or cooking, they would not be seen as “moving up” but rather the opposite since women’s jobs were not as valued. Men who pursued these “pink jobs” were criticized or seen as unmasculine.
For my culture jamming assignment, I chose to add a man into the KitchenAid ad to show that cooking is not just a women’s job and if a man likes to cook, he should not be criticized or looked down upon; if a man wants to cook, he should be able to “unleash his inner chef” without feeling judged or feel like he’s not performing his gender role. Also, seeing a man in a kitchenware advertisement could encourage men to purchase these items and be more inclined to cook. Housework should not be deemed as women’s work, both men and women should partake in housework together. Society is quite progressive now in the sense that most people are in favour of egalitarian sharing of housework. In fact, relationships are much happier and last longer when couples share housework.
England, P. “The Gender Revolution: Uneven and Stalled.” Gender & Society 24.2 (2010): 149-66.
Miller, Rowland S., and Daniel Perlman. Intimate Relationships. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2009. Print.
West, C., and D. H. Zimmerman. “Doing Gender.” Gender & Society 1.2 (1987): 125-51.