Imagine an advertisement for bathroom cleaner featuring a female star explaining how a group of men should clean their toilets
Since the novel coronavirus outbreak, womens' workloads have increased significantly. This is more pronounced for working women as most women have to do all household chores, including cooking, alongside their jobs.
Women are also cleaning more as most of the people who worked as housemaids moved to their villages after having lost their jobs.
Amidst this hectic daily life, they indulge in social media if they get some leisure time.
In the midst of all this, if you sit in front of the television and watch a few channels, you will see an advertisement for Harpic Bathroom Cleaner featuring Indian film star Akshay Kumar.
As seen in the ad, a group of women come forward seeing a shiny mobile bathroom and excitedly say, "New bathroom!"
Just then, Akshay Kumar emerges from that mobile bathroom wearing a pair of shiny shoes and naturally the girls are even happier to see the film star.
The girls eagerly ask Akshay Kumar, "Who is the new bathroom for?"
Akshay answers "For you."
Similarly, in another Harpic toilet cleaner advertisement of 2018, Akshay Kumar appeared at Mrs Patra's house in Mumbai and proved the effectiveness of Harpic and advised her to use Harpic.
Almost all brands including Clean Master or Vanish present women as those responsible for keeping toilets clean.
Why brother? Men do not use the bathroom? Or do they use dirty toilets year after year? Or have they been having this apparently unpleasant work done by women year after year? Or are only women responsible to keep bathrooms clean whether by herself or by a housemaid?
Now I am telling both women and men to imagine another Bollywood star, Kangana Ranaut, in place of Akshay Kumar, and imagine some men instead of women.
In the same way, Kangana goes to a man's house to prove the effectiveness of Harpic and advises him to use the product.
Now tell me, does the fictional ad seem normal to you or does it look a little harsh? If you are in the next class, know that you are a racist.
Till now, as the product was first launched in the United Kingdom in 1920, all their ads, whether Bangladeshi or Indian, that I have watched present the same discriminatory attitude towards women.
Even a decades-old American advertisement of Vanish toilet cleaner represents men and women the same discriminatory way. I am providing the link here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-kcfOMGBJo
The advertisement starts with a middle-aged man calling to a woman, "Honey!," and after some conversation he advises her to use automatic Vanish to clean the toilet.
According to the official website of UK Harpic, a regular person on average visits the toilet 2,500 times a year, about six to eight times a day. This amounts to about three years of a person's lifetime spent in the washroom.
I will say, you owe women three years for the very physical activity if you have been relying on the work done by a woman.