During World War II, ‘Rosie the Riveter’ became an American propaganda icon for encouraging women to take on jobs normally associated with men. With many men serving overseas, U.S. women took factory jobs producing munitions and other war supplies. Now, home cleaning products company Swiffer has come under fire for using ‘Rosie’ imagery in a steam cleaner ad that could be construed as sexist.
As cited by Boing Boing in a post on Monday, Heather Beschizza was the first to spot the odd implications of the ad. She tweeted out a pic of the ad, along with an appropriate jab about Swiffer’s view of women cleaning kitchens:
We can do it! Because cleaning kitchens is a woman’s work. #swiffer#sexisthttp://t.co/m0aCw4SY35
Swiffer has now responded to the criticism it received in the wake of the Boing Boing post. The company stated that it did not intend to offend anyone and that it is now “working hard” to remove the image from its ads. Swiffer has even paid to promote its apology on Twitter:
We hear you. We didn’t intend to offend any group with the image in our ad & are working to make changes as quickly as possible.
Our core value is to make cleaning easier, no matter who’s behind the handle. We apologize and are working hard to remove the image.
(Image courtesy Heather Beschizza)