Who’s Doing the Laundry?: A Liberal Feminist Analysis of Gender Sensitivity in Selected Soap Commercials

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Who’s Doing the Laundry?: A Liberal Feminist Analysis of Gender Sensitivity in Selected Soap Commercials. Laundry detergents have been a staple product in the lives of Filipinos. The product is often associated with women due to washing clothes being considered a domestic chore. However, I have observed the emergence of male laundry detergent commercial endorsers. The study was done to determine if the laundry detergent commercials are gender sensitive. In this study, qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the text. I used UNESCO’s Gender-sensitive indicators for media for the qualitative analysis. The different representations of different genders in the commercials were given focus. Textual analysis was utilized in analyzing the data and liberal feminism was used as the lens of the study. I analyzed thirty laundry detergent commercials from 2010-2013. These commercials were retrieved from YouTube and have been aired on local television. The findings revealed that the commercials are gender-sensitive when it comes to the proportion of men and women as the main characters, voice over, and experts in the laundry detergent commercials. However looking in depth through textual analysis, the women are still portrayed in the traditional way as the wife and the mother, while the men, although given expert status on laundry detergents, are never seen doing the laundry. To conclude, although in reality, gender roles are more fluid today than ever, there is still a struggle for gender equality in advertisements because of the normalized gender stereotypes. It is hard to change how genders are portrayed in commercials because the stereotypes are already embedded in our culture and tradition.

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