Monday, February 14, 2011

So easy, even a man can do it

I like this ad for Canada's Economic Action Plan skills development (the one called Better Jobs).  It's about government assistance for career development but what I like the best about it is that it shows people in non-gender-stereotypical careers, like women in construction and working on heavy duty equipment and a man becoming a nurse (or a doctor, but I'm going to say he's a nurse because he's not wearing a white coat to signify that he's a doctor).

Kudos to the agency that created and produced this commercial.  In a world where most TV commercials still have women doing all the cooking and cleaning and men not knowing how to change a roll of toilet paper or use a washing maching (Purex detergent sheets - "It's so easy my husband even helps with the laundry!" VOMIT yes, because when he had to measure liquid into a cup before this product came along it was WAY too hard for him to handle on his own), I am actually so happy to see an ad that finally breaks those barriers.  I also like the current Philadelphia cream cheese commercial that has a father doing the cooking for family dinner, and not reheating something frozen or tacked onto a message like "this product is so easy to use that even a MAN can use it!"

The thing is, I have met a lot of men and I can say that every single one of them is perfectly capable of a) getting some soap and a sponge and cleaning the bathroom b) following a recipe or at LEAST making a sandwich c) turning on a washing machine d) giving a spoonful of Robitussin to a kid who is coughing.  And I don't mean that to sound condescending at all - we are ALL capable of carrying out simple tasks such as cooking and cleaning, so can TV please give guys some credit here?  Why in the year 2011 when the internet is there to teach us to do everything we ever would possibly want to know how to do, including cleaning a toilet, are television ads still perpetuating the stereotype that only women know how to properly carry out domestic chores?  Frankly I find it insulting, to both sexes.

Seriously, the day I see a TV ad that depicts a man cleaning something indoors, I will be so happy.  TV ads depict women having any career they want AND taking care of sick kids AND being excellent at chores, why can't it equalize men to this status as well?

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