If you've ever seen a TV ad, chances are you've seen mums clean up kids' messes, men fail spectacularly at simple tasks and little girls shamed for being too "boyish". Don't like these sexist throwbacks? Might be time to consider a move to England, where the UK-based industry watchdog Advertising Standards Association has just released new regulations intended to kick all those cringe-inducing gender stereotypes to the kerb.
Mashable reports that the Association has spotlighted six different kinds of gender stereotypes and then presented a comprehensive set of findings about how these stereotypes are portrayed in advertising and how they might affect those watching.
It doesn't mean that British viewers will never see a woman cleaning on TV again; instead, the new standards are intended to put an end to stereotypes that "can potentially cause harm."
"Gender stereotyping in ads has the potential to harm and offend, which could have serious implications for children and young people in particular... the advertising industry has a responsibility to the general public, but should not lose its creativity," the report states.
According to the report, those stereotypes include:
An ad which depicts family members creating mess while a woman has sole responsibility for cleaning it up.
An ad that suggests an activity is inappropriate for a girl because it is stereotypically associated with boys or vice versa.
An ad that features a man trying and failing to undertake simple parental or household tasks.
"Portrayals which reinforce outdated and stereotypical views on gender roles in society can play their part in driving unfair outcomes for people," Chief Executive of the ASA, Guy Parker, said in a statement.
"While advertising is only one of many factors that contribute to unequal gender outcomes, tougher advertising standards can play an important role in tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for individuals, the economy and society as a whole," Parker continued.
Here's hoping the doofus dads and happy housewives start fading from screens here, too.