Swiffer’s Rosie the Riveter-inspired ad campaign has feminist bloggers up in arms this week, and who can blame them? A powerful and iconic image for feminism has been re-appropriated by capitalism to sell mops.
In all seriousness, this is a pretty ignoble chapter in Rosie’s history. She began as an American propaganda poster during World War II that encouraged women to proudly take over the roles then normally occupied by men while the latter went off to fight.
Women nationwide were called into the factories to build airplanes, all under the proto-feminist banner of Rosie the Riveter who rolled up her sleeves, flexed a bi, and proclaimed “We Can Do It!” with a confident mug.
These days, women are starting to bring home the bacon all their own, and in many cases, they’re bringing home more than their husbands. So why did mop-maker Swiffer decide to take the Rosie image and plaster it all over their domestic products?
Well, we’re not sure, but many feminists are upset about the image.
Though it’s not clear how widely the new ad has been distributed, the blog Boing Boingspotted it on Twitter, noting one reaction which read: “I love the clear tribute to an important historical image done in such a way as to piss on its legacy.”
From there, it made its way to Think Progress, where Annie-Rose Strasser called it “particularly insulting” especially in light of the higher earning power women have in today’s society.
— Heather Beschizza (@hbeschizza) June 2, 2013
What do you think of Swiffer’s Rose the Riveter ad? Do you think it was inspired by the famed feminist icon? Is it sexist? Sound off!