This week American Greetings company released a new ad to “honor” mothers.
On the ad, a group of people is presented while being interviewed for the “world’s toughest job”: motherhood.
Most normal people dearly love their mothers. So there’s no surprise that the video went viral. At the time this post was published it already had close to 8 million views.
The three closest women in my life (in order of appearance) are my mom, my wife and my daughter. And I love them with all my heart. I also feel great love and respect for my female relatives and friends. Because of that, I can tell you that the World’s Toughest Job viral video is the stupidest advertising campaign I’ve seen, so far. Here are five reasons why:
- It patronizes women, which for me is disrespectful.
- It promotes and perpetuates gender stereotypes (motherhood).
- This “Toughest Job” description is EXTREMELY exclusionary. What about single dads; people caring for 24/7 bed-ridden relatives; sons and daughters taking care of parents with alzheimer and dementia; etc, etc? These are people that could easily claim they have a tougher job than traditional moms AND dads.
- We don’t give up anything for our kids, we just do everything we need to do as parents.
- The only purpose is to sell you greeting cards, not to honor mothers.
Don’t fall for the emotional soundtrack. The Ad is CRAP. Why? Because anything that perpetuates myths and stereotypes does more harm than good. And there are better ways to honor the women in our lives than this stupid campaign.
*L. H. Ganong and M. Coleman. (1995). The content of mother stereotypes. Sex Roles, Volume 32, Issue 7-8, pp 495-512
Motherhood Image: http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs47/f/2009/182/7/5/Mother_Mermaid_by_ladylecuyer.jpg