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Swiffer brings Rosie the Riveter back – and puts her back at home

Rosie the Riveter, we had all but forgotten your daring foray into the work force while the menfolk battled Hitler during the Second World War.

But you've come a long way, baby.

Instead of worrying your pretty little self about contributing to the GDP, you're back at home, brandishing a mop! At a time when a record number of women are outearning men, that's a bold move for a gal like you.

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We can all thank Swiffer – best-selling brand of chemical-soaked disposable sweeper cloths – for reminding us that cleaning floors is women's work.

After all, why create an ad showing a man holding a mop, as Salon.com pointed out, when you can recast a feminist icon like Rosie?

Fortunately, modern-day Rosies are not dupes. Within hours of spotting the ad, websites such as thinkprogress.org outed Swiffer for appropriating an image synonymous with women's empowerment in the world beyond their linoleum floors.

Swiffer couldn't help but hear them roar. Less than a day after the online outcry, the company took down the offending image on its promotional page and started doing damage control, the Atlantic reported.

"It was not our intention to offend any group with the image, and we are working to make changes to where it is used as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement.

In the future, corporations such as Procter & Gamble (Swiffer's overlord) will probably think twice before telling Rosie where to flex her muscle.

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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