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I chose to use this Mr. Clean advertisement because it stood out to me. It stood out to me because of how appalling it is that advertisements like this still exist- ads that reinforce gender stereotypes. Something I thought had been abandoned in advertising a long time ago. The problem that will be addressed in this advertisement is the gender role and stereotype that is made. For starters the ad implies the only job that really matters for a woman is to be cleaning-hence why it is suggesting for mother’s day she succumb to the stereotype and clean. In addition to this it has the woman teaching her daughter how to clean as if one day it will be the only job that “really matters” for her as well. Both females look happy and excited about cleaning, the stereotype that women should be chipper housewives cleaning and cooking without complaining. This stereotype is only furthered through the race of the woman and the child. The stereotype of the chipper house wife who stays at home to take care of the house and children-is also white. This simply adds to the stereotype of the house bound role of women, and what they should look like and do.
In reality nobody is smiling like this while they are cleaning and no mother wants to spend mother’s day cleaning… it implies however that house work is where she belongs and even on a day celebrating her life as a mother she should be cleaning, it suggests that a woman does not belong in another job and even if she has another successful, powerful job the only one that matters is her job as a house wife. This idea is the problem-it is the gender role that women are assumed as housewives unable to uphold any other sort of job and that they must pass this down to their daughter, teaching them that all they can “truly” aspire to be is the cooker and cleaner of the home.
My alteration of this Mr. Clean ad uses a sarcastic tone to suggest that the only job that “really matters” for a woman is cleaning. The sarcastic tone is used to suggest that there couldn’t possibly be more important jobs-like firefighters, surgeons, or teachers that women could possibly have. The tone used suggests that the original ad is ignorant of all the other possibilities. The sentence added reads “like conforming to gender norms!!!!” as noted earlier the extensive use of explanation marks demonstrates the sarcastic tone.
The words in the ad suggest that the only real job would be conforming to what society does or once believed woman should be perceived as-housewives. The sentence I added points out how the original advertisement believes the most important job for women is to simply conform to these unrealistic social norms. However, I chose to alter this ad because this ad is not true-the job that really matters for women is not cleaning the house or trying out different cleaning products such as Mr. Clean. Women have the power and the right to pursue whatever job they please, the only job that really matters is whatever job a woman wants to pursue, whether that be an engineer, a scientist, a politician or even a woman who cleans- what matters is that this norm not be forced upon women, women should have the option to choose the job that “really matters”. The philosophy behind this culture jam is just that-women can be whatever they want to be, they should not be subject to stereotypes or gender norms in any sense, not for how they look or act but also their career.