Gender and Cultural Stereotypes

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Gender Stereotyping in Advertising

In the Swiffer® commercial, Morty Are You Listening? We meet Lee and Morty, an older married couple who are showing us how Swiffer® makes cleaning so much easier for Lee, the wife. We see Morty telling Lee to be careful climbing up on a stool to dust the top of a cabinet and saying, “There has to be an easier way.” This is a major gender stereotype. Morty could have climbed on the stool and dusted himself. After they receive the Swiffer® duster, we see Lee making her way around the house and dusting different areas. As she is dusting, she is talking to Morty and commenting about what a great job the Swiffer® is doing. They show Marty yawning, while Lee is talking to him. As Lee continues to talk to him, they show Morty fast asleep. This is another gender stereotype. The man of the house relaxes and falls asleep, while the woman cleans around him. For the older generations in the United States, many women will not have a problem with this. This was how they were raised and how they have lived for most of their lives. However, many women in the younger generations would most likely find this commercial offensive. They are being raised in homes where the woman can be the major breadwinner, while the man stays home and takes care of the house. It seems as though, the manufacturer is implying that women are the only ones who clean the home, while the man will sit and watch or eventually fall asleep. If the manufacturer wanted to avoid gender stereotyping, they could have had Morty helping Lee or even taking over the cleaning. Lee could have sat down and relaxed, while watching Morty clean. The manufacturer could have shown that it is a product made for both men and women, rather than focusing on attracting women consumers. If this commercial were shown in other cultures, I believe it would be more…...

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