Cascade Commercial

In “Reconstructed Gender”, Judith Lorber states, “Gender is so pervasive in our society that we assume it is bred in our genes.” Gender expectations and roles are constantly perpetuated in commercials. At first, this commercial seems to be challenging gender stereotypes and the idea that each gender exhibits certain inherent characteristics. Typically, the wife would know about cleaning supplies because as a woman, she is expected to know how to maintain the household. Instead, this commercial portrays the husband as being more knowledgeable about the dishwasher liquid, switching the gender roles of a husband and wife. However, a second look at this commercial proves that it still adheres to certain gender expectations and roles. Notice how a woman was chosen for the role of the dishwashing liquid expert. Showing that a woman, not a man, knew how good the product was and how it would benefit cleaning still adheres to gender stereotypes. The wife did not believe the husband because it is thought that a man would not know anything about cleaning supplies. She needed another woman to back up his claim that the dishwasher could clean the cupcake tin without scrubbing it again. Also, at the end of the commercial, the husband says, “So I was right, right?” and the woman ignored his comment. This portrays the stereotype that women cannot admit men are correct. The idea that women insist men are wrong even when they are right is perpetuated in this advertisement. Although this advertisement appears to challenge common stereotypes at first, it is clear after further analysis that it still maintains gender roles and expectations.

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