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Swiffer has pulled its latest steam mop ad campaign after finding itself on the receiving end of some major Internet fury.
The cleaning company thought it might be a good idea to take the ultimate icon of feminism, Rosie the Riveter, and put her right back in the kitchen where she belongs.
The ad for Steam Boost, spotted by Twitter user @hbeschizza and picked up by Boing Boing and Think Progress, showed a woman wearing Rosie's iconic head scarf and aping Rosie's crossed-arm pose.
Rosie, of course, first showed up in World War II, when women became a major economic force for the first time as men went off to battle. A Westinghouse Electric poster, with a factory woman captioned "We Can Do It!" was rediscovered in the 1980s and has since became emblematic of feminism. Although the original poster was not named Rosie, the World War II factory women and the famous image have often been blended in popular culture.
So naturally, women were angry when Swiffer pilfered Rosie for its rather un-feminist message.
"Because nothing says, “I can’t wait to rush home from my full-time job to start my second shift of devalued, unpaid household labor with my Swiffer Bissel Steam Boost!” like Rosie the Riveter," Feministing wrote.
Swiffer quickly backtracked on the ad, repeatedly apologizing to individual complaints on its Twitter and Facebook accounts and promoting a tweeted apology:
The ad, and many, many, many, many others like it, seem to completely ignore a major shift in reality.
A study out last week from Pew found that moms are the primary breadwinner in 40 percent of households, up from 11 percent in 1960.
But if the much-maligned reactions of a Fox News panel last week showed anything, men -- or at least the ones making ads for cleaning products -- are missing the message completely.