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Cleaning: For Women Only

I’m a young woman who enjoys the typical girly things, like makeup, clothes and nail polish. But I can’t for the life of me figure out why I’m inundated with cleaning product commercials whenever I’m watching “girly programming,” like “What Not to Wear” or “Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.” In the late ’90s and earlier this century, it seemed ad men—and women—finally realized they were neglecting a major segment of the population that might actually want to clean up a spill or, you know, disinfect something, so commercials were changed accordingly. But now, this spic-and-span equal treatment has gone out the window.One particularly annoying commercial is this Bounty paper towel commercial, in which a father and son are standing over a nasty looking spill debating whether it needs two sheets or one, as the liquid inches toward the carpet. And like a super heroine saving the day, the perky mom proclaims, “One sheet,” and promptly cleans up the mess.

So why does this grind my gears, you ask? Because instead of just standing there, dad or junior could have walked the 20 or so feet to the Bounty roll and cleaned the mess themselves. I don’t understand why that was a woman’s job, especially since those two fools made the mess in the first place.

I do have to say that Bounty does market to men on its website, with its Super Duty Shop Towels. But it seems men are only allowed to clean in the garage, where they go to “get their hands dirty.” Even the packaging is more masculine—the heavy duty texture of the towels looks like tire tracks. You know, they target the flower-printed towels to the ladies. Most men don’t care whether their paper towels coordinate with their kitchen décor.

Now I’m not trying to take down the “Bounty establishment.” I think its paper towels are the tops because they have the best perforation and durability. But I’d like some equal treatment when it comes to commercials. What do you ladies think? Should I get over it, mute the commercial break or refuse to clean ever again in protest?

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