By Elizabeth DellaMonica
Have you heard the news? Due to forces that are unexplained, men can now do their own laundry. I know what you’re thinking, it sounds ludicrous. Who would have ever thought that mature, adult men, who are perfectly capable of holding a job, attending school, or living on their own could wash their clothing? Are we even expecting them to do that? It seems unheard of, but laundry detergent companies have recently made the discovery that, yes, men can do laundry, and they are targeting them as a new demographic.
Men have what it takes to load their dirty clothes into a machine, pour in some detergent, and press a few buttons. It really isn’t that difficult. Yet, now that this incredible scientific discovery has been made, laundry detergent companies are trying to make a profit. “Last year, 60 percent of men aged 35 to 54 did their own laundry. The biggest increase, however, came from men aged 18 to 34. Some 67 percent now do their own laundry, a figure that grew by 23 percent since 2013,” according to a survey conducted by consumer research firm Mintel, as reported on reviewed.com.
So, here is what I’m wondering. Before these facts had been reviewed,were laundry detergents specifically targeting women? Have men not enjoyed the smell of classic Tide detergent or “Fresh Cotton”? Yes, the commercials have always been aimed towards women, but once again, that is the company’s doing. The product itself is not gender specific, nor is the act of washing one’s own clothes. My father always did our laundry when I was growing up, and I think he was perfectly happy with the scent of his clean clothes. In fact, I think he would be offended to discover that laundry detergent companies are just realizing men understand what their products are for and how to use them properly. He never had “Bounce for Men” or “Tide Plus Febreze Sport.” which are just a few of the new products that are now being sold specifically for men.
It doesn’t end there. Whirlpool has added a ColorLast option to its washers to avoid faded or bleeding colors, since research shows that men don’t like sorting colors from whites,” according to laundry.reviewed.com. Yes, because women have just loved the tedious task of separating their clothing by color for the past decades. I, for one, a woman, am fully capable of admitting that I am a lazy human being who often does not separate my clothes before washing, and throws it all into the machine without a care. Yet, it took a study that showed more men are doing their own laundry for a company to feel that a color lasting feature was necessary.
The moral of the story: Don’t put men down for doing their own household chores; I am very proud of them for conquering such a challenging task. However, I don’t understand what the fuss is about. Laundry products have seemed pretty generic up until this point, and if you don’t use a scent like “Hawaiian Aloha” because you think it sounds too feminine, then you’re just crazy because it smells like paradise. Simply put, clean clothes are not gender specific, and laundry detergent doesn’t have to be either.