By Arré Bench Jul. 22, 2020
An advertisement for a range of Voltas Beko dishwashers has sparked a furious debate online, with a number of social media users calling it out for being sexist. The hashtag accompanying the dishwasher ad, which read “#TestedByRealMoms”, was also called out for its tone-deafness.
It’s no secret that in our country, the burden of housework usually falls on the women. Years of conditioning have ensured that these so-called “traditional” gender roles continue to be enforced in households across the country. But, after a recent advertisement for dishwashers went viral, it’s soon becoming clear that at least social media won’t stand for this discrimination any longer.
An advertisement for a range of Voltas Beko dishwashers has sparked a furious debate online, with a number of social media users calling it out for being sexist. Journalist Faye D’souza was one of the many who noted that the advertisement featured absolutely no men.
Men don’t need dishwashers? https://t.co/Fp8h4wAWwt
— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) July 20, 2020
Where are the men in your ad voltas? Too busy doing the ‘important stuff’ is it?
— manu arya (@manuarya83) July 20, 2020
The hashtag accompanying the new dishwasher ad, which read “#TestedByRealMoms”, was also called out for its tone-deafness in the replies. Many on social media questioned what qualities the brand thought were required to be categorised as a “real mother”.
— Geeta (@GeetaraniL) July 21, 2020
OnLy fOr rEaL mOmS https://t.co/PoTjq27J95
— Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma 🇮🇳 (@BookLuster) July 20, 2020
— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) July 21, 2020
Errr, @VoltasBeko, do you think men in general and women-who-are-not-Moms don't wash dishes or should not wash dishes? If your goal was to attract attention with your conservatism, congratulations: mission accomplished. https://t.co/U4oQJmtsPB
— Anna MM Vetticad (@annavetticad) July 21, 2020
The ad also caught the attention of filmmaker and poet Pritish Nandy, who noted that “advertising promotes gender divide more than anything else.”
Advertising promotes gender divide more than anything else. Sad to see @VoltasBeko doing this.
— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) July 21, 2020
Rather than offer a straightforward apology, the brand later issued a statement clarifying that its products had been developed to “create convenience and comfort for all customers”, and that the dishwasher was, in fact, “gender agnostic.”
“In this advertisement, we captured a fun, casual conversation between four independent and spirited friends who got together over a video call during the lockdown. One of the characters in the video refers to how the family has been managing household chores, with her husband taking over the responsibility of washing dishes,” the statement read.
Still, with hundreds of social media users outraged by its choice to leave men out of the advertisement, it’s clear that there’s no place for messages like this in 2020.