This ad from India for laundry detergent movingly shows how women deal with the "second shift" — working all day and coming home to even more household chores. And it shows how we could break the (laundry pun intended) cycle:
This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen – showing how stereotypes hurt all of us and are passed from generation to generation. When little girls and boys play house they model their parents' behavior; this doesn’t just impact their childhood games, it shapes their long-term dreams.In this #SharetheLoad campaign, Ariel India, P&G, and BBDO Worldwide show how fathers and husbands can take small steps (like doing laundry) to create more equal homes. They won a #GlassLion at the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for earlier work on this campaign. The real win is the way they are changing stereotypes and showing that a more equal world would be a better world for all of us. Dads, #ShareTheLoad and #LeanInTogether for equality. Thank you Andrew Robertson, Marc Pritchard, Sonali Dhawan,Vidya Murthy, Sharat Verma, Shailesh Jejurikar, Josy Paul, and Mohammed Ismail.Posted by Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The ad is going viral after Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg shared it on her profile, calling it "one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen."
In the two-minute ad, a father visits his grown daughter and her family and watches her — after a day at work — juggle work calls and dinner preparations and her son's stained shirt.
Meanwhile, her husband watches TV. "I am so proud. And I am so sorry," her father says in voiceover. "Sorry that you have to do all this alone. Sorry that I never stopped you while you were playing house. I never told you it's not your job alone, but your husband's too. But how could I say it when I never helped your mom either?"
We later learn that the voiceover is a letter, and her father closes by promising to do better, starting with doing his own laundry from his trip to visit his daughter.
Men's laziness around the house is an international phenomenon
In India, where the ad is set, the gender divide on who does the chores is especially vast — men spend just 19 minutes a day doing chores, while women spend nearly five hours.
But men do less work around the house in every developed country. In the US, even in households with children where both parents work, women spend nearly twice as much time on housework. Even when men aren't in the workforce, they spend less time on household chores than unemployed women.
The ad, which features an older man realizing he actually does need to do more work around the house, also might be true to life. A study of German couples published in April in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that after retirement, men nearly double the amount of time they're spending on household chores — even though they were still doing less than half of the work.