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Image / Editorial

#ShareTheLoad – A Campaign About How Gender Stereotypes Harm Children


By Jeanne Sutton
26th Feb 2016
#ShareTheLoad – A Campaign About How Gender Stereotypes Harm Children

Anecdotally, a lot of young women I know simmer when talking about how they are expected to do more household chores when at home than their brothers. It is an unspoken and expectant sexism that makes us feel akin to the chattels of old. We even live in a country governed by a Constitution with a paragraph about women’s work in the home. The message sent is absolute: this your duty.

A video from Ariel India has gone viral during the past 24 hours. The advertisement depicts a multi-generational household. A young mother comes in the door from work, balancing her bags, a phone call and greeting her son while she scrambles around the house tidying away toys and making the dinner. Her father, an elderly man, watches as she ticks off all the household chore boxes. His son-in-law remains sitting. The grandfather has an interior monologue – a mixture of pride in how his daughter accomplishes everything and an apology. “I am so sorry. Sorry you have to do this all alone. Sorry that I never stopped you while you were playing house. I never told you that it’s not your job alone but your husband’s too.”

The video does have a happy ending – a man starts helping her out, eventually – but the message is an important one, encompassed in the tweet accompanying the campaign: #ShareTheLoad.

Sheryle Sandberg shared the video on her Facebook page with the message:

“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.”

Watch it. You might save your daughter a future where she feels like she has to be the one who has to clean up every mess.

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, 24 February 2016