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Laundry Ad's Message About Gender Stereotyping at Home

This Isn't Just a Laundry Ad — It's the Most Powerful Message About Gender Stereotyping You'll Ever See

This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen – showing how stereotypes hurt all of us and are passed from generation to generation. When little girls and boys play house they model their parents' behavior; this doesn’t just impact their childhood games, it shapes their long-term dreams.In this #SharetheLoad campaign, Ariel India, P&G, and BBDO Worldwide show how fathers and husbands can take small steps (like doing laundry) to create more equal homes. They won a #GlassLion at the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for earlier work on this campaign. The real win is the way they are changing stereotypes and showing that a more equal world would be a better world for all of us. Dads, #ShareTheLoad and #LeanInTogether for equality. Thank you Andrew Robertson, Marc Pritchard, Sonali Dhawan,Vidya Murthy, Sharat Verma, Shailesh Jejurikar, Josy Paul, and Mohammed Ismail.

Posted by Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Have you ever noticed something strange about all the laundry commercials you've watched on TV throughout the years? Think about it. What do they all have in common? Better put — what are they all missing?

The answer: men.

With rare exception, most TV spots promoting detergents or dryer sheets feature a cheerful woman diligently folding her family's linens.

Finally, however, one commercial is asking a seriously important question: "Why is laundry a mother's job?"

As part of a greater #ShareTheLoad campaign, Ariel India has released one of the most powerful videos you'll ever see about gender stereotyping — and how it starts at home, with us and our children.

As a grandfather watches his grown daughter balance cooking dinner, answering an after-hours phone call from the office, and yes, prepping a basket of stained kids' clothes, he's reminded of how it's as if she were still a little girl playing house, pretending to cook and clean and care for others.

"Sorry that I never stopped you, while you were playing house," the man says in the moving ad. "I never told you that it's not your job alone — but your husband's, too. But how could I say it when I never helped your mom, either. And what you saw, you learned."

The message is clear: that these stereotypes are passed from generation to generation and that the most innocent of childhood notions can go on to shape a girl's or boy's entire future identity. But another lesson? That it's never too late to right the course, to practice equality, and to share the load.

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