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.
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 tells women "We can do it!" "It" in this case being housework. We're super unimpressed. Get your act... fb.me/2ERzwdCpv— Women's Fund of NH (@WomensFundofNH) June 4, 2013
Swiffer quickly backtracked on the ad, repeatedly apologizing to individual complaints on its Twitter and Facebook accounts and promoting a tweeted apology:
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.— Swiffer (@Swiffer) June 4, 2013