Mildly sexist washing machine ad touts that "steam thing" that women need

Sure, stereotypes have their uses. But it's the content of stereotypes that unite face and palm. "A Woman Has Needs. And Right Now, I Need This Wild Cherry Steam Thing" [Consumerist]

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25 Responses to Mildly sexist washing machine ad touts that "steam thing" that women need

  1. Paula Wirth says:

    Considering that, even in this day and age, more women get stuck doing more (or all) of the household chores, perhaps we haven’t evolved past the desire for this kind of sexist ad.

    Seems that not much has changed since the 1950s, except that perhaps this woman is not wearing a girdle. Though personally, I think the picture and slogan is more appropriate to a Good Vibrations ad, myself.

    To compare this with similar ads from the 50s, visit the “I Love My Electric Appliance” flickr pool.

  2. montauk says:

    Yeah, I’m female, and I do find this sexist, because it takes a pseudo-empowerment thing – the acknowledgment that women have sexual desires and expectations – but says OH WAIT NO, she wasn’t talking about SEX, she was talking about HOUSEHOLD CHORES. Mmm, yeah, she really neeeeads those household chores. Buy this product, it’ll make doing laundry sexy. Admit it – what really turns a woman on is…her washing machine.

    Unless I’m sitting on said washing machine and it’s vibrating in some kind of pleasurable way, that’s patronizing to my sexual desires.

    But that’s one thing – sexual desires – which I think men’s ads are worse with. Ads have all kind of horrible and insulting prescriptions for what is supposed to turn men on. And how supposedly helpless they are at the behest of their flaming, irrepressible sexual desires.

    The sex + women thing is a relatively recent pairing (thanks Cosmo!) so it hasn’t jumped the nausea shark yet.

    Anyway, considering how male-dominated gadget/technology blogs and comment-sections tend to be, I appreciate the acknowledgment of how technology ads generally deal with the female demographic.

    I care about price, function, and specs. If it’s ugly I’ll be less impressed but I’ll love it more.

  3. Daemon says:

    Steam things should be done up in leather and brass, not this bright red garbage.

  4. Kat Johnston says:

    I’m surprised that not one person has turned this into a blonde thing yet as well *grin*.

  5. jfaehnle says:

    I agree with Dragon. Maybe this woman really needs this wild cherry thing. She does say “A” woman & “I” need it. I think everyone who sees this ad as sexist needs to just step back & take a breath. The only way it plays on stereotypes is if YOU make it. Let’s remember that stereotypes are self-perpetuating, meaning that if you make this into a stereotype it does in fact become one. If you take it as a commercial saying that this woman is a singular woman who happens to need a washer/dryer at the moment, it’s not really that bad.

  6. teleny says:

    Hey, not to mention being one of the oldest tricks in the book…selling with sex. She’s pretty, and she ‘has needs’. What she needs is ‘wild cherry’ (with its connotations of virginity and primality, not to mention taste/smell/juiciness), steamy…and we’re being coy on exactly what that is.

    If she said “I need a red clothes washer that removes stains and disinfects sheets since I’ve got two kids below five who aren’t yet bed-dry”. we wouldn’t be able to sell to as many people. Plus, the ad isn’t for the washer, but for the store selling the washer. Wow.

  7. citybuddha says:

    Call me when there is a blueberry steam thiing

  8. bcsizemo says:


    So far that makes me the second male to say I do the majority of house work as well. I guess my wife didn’t get that memo….

    And no, we both work.

  9. DragonVPM says:


    The current sample size is 100% towards only addressing and critiquing female stereotypes. The previous one even had the BBC comedy piece where the 10 things a man wanted included going to the toilet and drinking.

    Believe it or not, I get the humor (and honestly it doesn’t bother me), but I’m tired that the way most “progressive” folks address stereotypes is by critiquing only the ones that they feel are negative towards women instead of all the ones that play off of negative stereotypes of either sex.

    I thought equality meant that people should be treated the same, not that we pick apart ads with a fine toothed comb if they even slightly play off of female stereotypes, but it’s totally ok to show guys out drinking, being morons, being stupid, and even having the Geico caveman around because, well, it’s just a joke. Either we should lighten up about ALL advertising (and accept that aiming it at stereotypes does tend to produce results in the bottom line of actually selling things) or ALL advertising that has a “sexist” tone should be criticized.

  10. g.park says:


    There’s a pretty big gap between your proposed “androgynous spokes-things” and ads that are sexist. It’s one thing to appeal to a demographic, another to appeal to them via vaguely erotic cliches (“Women have needs”), and stereotypes:
    “And right now”=impuslive,
    “wild cherry”=superficial
    “steam thing”=technologically illiterate.

    And there’s been 2 “mildly sexist” posts on BBG as far as I can tell, so you should save your outrage at supposed feminist bias until there’s a slightly larger sample size.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is it still sexist if I hear women like this all the time?

  12. Matt Sanderson says:

    Perhaps it’s less that there have been “mildly sexist” posts on BBG, and more that some people have a considerably loose grasp on the concept of “humor.”

  13. Downpressor says:

    Any ad not featuring at least three human females whose somatypes do not align with the patriarchal standards of beauty does not pass the minimum standards of political correctness and can not be certified. To receive any certification beyond the minimum, the models must be certified to be racially representative of any potential viewer of the ad and have been shown not to induce erections in lab speci-men.

  14. Anonymous says:

    In the West Metro Atlanta, GA, Area I just saw the “Wild Cherry Steam Thing” listed in a Sears “Sale” circular….. For the washer it is 1699.99 and for the dryer it is 1499.99…

    As for the “suggestive” Best Buy ad, should the ad copy not have something like “My significant other and I need to knock over a liquor store before we buy the new washer and dryer,” besides remember the old adage…. If you have to ask the price, you can not afford it!!!

  15. DragonVPM says:

    So what’s the solution to this “problem”

    I mean, do we have to resort to having androgynous spokes-things telling us about every single last technical detail of products so we can only make decisions based on purely logical criteria even though most people are likely to be more swayed by color/style than technical specs?

    Seriously, these mildly sexist posts are starting to seem mildly sexist themselves. Are only women pandered to through mildly sexist advertisements? Does that mean that ads directed at men are never sexist (or just plain insulting), or is it just not worth mentioning because we’re used to seeing men portrayed in popular culture as idiots, slobs, creeps, horny losers, neanderthals etc..?

  16. agraham999 says:

    We have an LG steam thing…my wife doesn’t do the laundry…perhaps I made a miscalculation getting it in white. It is Wild Cherry she craves.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi Montauk

    No, I don’t like doing houshold chores either.

  18. thievedrelic says:

    personally, i find this ad to be great. i can see how some people might get mildly offended; it certainly pokes at stereotypes…but so does almost all good comedy. i think the reaction to it that i see here is a little, how you say, hyper-sensitized.

    they flickered a different facet of perception for their marketing campaign, they came up with something a little innovative in its presentation. just because the word ‘woman’ is in it doesn’t mean that we have to lance the company for misguided marketing….if the ad said, ‘a man has needs, etc’, and showed an unshaven george clooney frozen in mid-wink, would the ad be outrageously vulgar at that point (considering the product phrasing and the chromatic connotations)?

    i think this ad is more focused on the concept of ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, and is purposefully reducing that concept to absurdity so as to poke fun at humanity. should i be offended, since i have both needs and wants as well? take it easy.

  19. clueless in brooklyn says:

    dude here.. I so need the wild cherry steam thing this morning. so badly. I’m feelin’ wild.

  20. Duffong says:

    dude #2 here… I could sooo give her that wild cherry steam thing she’s craving.

    [/runs and hides]

  21. Anonymous says:

    You know what I need? My husband to do that laundry.

    Really, though, I’m just an unhappy with the cleaning product ads that show husbands as being totally inept and so it falls to the wife to do it correctly. If I were a guy, I’d be annoyed by the assumption that men are incapable of doing certain things around the house.

  22. Jake von Slatt says:

    Hey! I’ve got Patent Pending on that!

  23. Drew from Zhrodague says:

    Check Craigslist. Put in two dryers and two washers for less than 1/4 the price of one of these units.

    For an added bonus, stencil-paint flames, flora, or robot/alien invasions onto your new sub-laundromat.

  24. Thinkerer says:

    “I need this wild cherry steam thing” is actually a failure of LG’s Engrish translator.

    Using Google’s translator and others in careless succession, this retranslates back to roughly “I need this chokecherry steam the matter” indicating the desire for a fresh, fruit-scented wash rather than a sexual rumpus on top of an out-of-balance spin cycle like most of you think. Pervs.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Chica here who finds it amusing, not sexist, but I personally vote for Jake Von Slatt’s wild cherry steam thing d^_^b

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